The Return of the Cover Girl

Last year, I posted Cover Girl Coincidence and shared three covers with the same girl on them. Well, guess what? She's back! Earlier today, I was browsing the coming soon section on Moviefone and spotted her on a poster for independent film See Girl Run. This cover girl really gets around! 

Here she is on a movie poster and three novels:

See Girl Run is what happens when a 30-something woman allows life's "what ifs" to overwhelm her appreciation for what life actually is. Disregarding her current obligations, she digs into her romantic past in hopes of invigorating her present. 

When Emmie (Robin Tunney) starts to think that her current relationship isn't enough, she can't stop wondering about her high school sweetheart, Jason (Adam Scott), who still lives in their coastal hometown of Maine. On a whim, she throws caution to the wind and goes home to discover if he could be what she needs to reignite her life.

A European vacation. A luggage mix-up. A note from a secret admirer. Meet two single parents who think they're too busy to date. And two teenagers who can't stop writing flirty emails. This is a tale of connections--missed and made--in a universe that seems to have its heart set on reuniting Ms. 6B and Mr. 13C. 

In the Bag is a smart and stylish story that explores the old-fashioned art of romance in a modern world, where falling in love can be as risky as checking a bag on an international flight. Buckle your seat belt--it's going to be a bumpy vacation!

Rachel Summers loves a to-do list: Boyfriend, flat, great job. NOT on the list: Being dumped. Best friends Emelie and Matthew ride to her rescue with an entirely new kind of list – The Single Girl’s To-Do List. Rachel doesn’t know it, but it will take her on all kinds of wild adventures – and get her in some romantic pickles too. And then it won't be a case of what but who she decides to tick off… Mr. Bendy Yoga Instructor, Mr. Teenage Sweetheart, Mr. Persistent Ex, Mr. Deeply Unsuitable. 

The Single Girl’s To-Do List gives Rachel the perfect heartbreak cure – and proves love is out there if you’re willing to take a chance.

Of course she's obsessed with Jane Austen... Surrounded by appalling exes and fawning students, the only thing keeping professor Katherine Roberts sane is Jane Austen and her personal secret love for racy Regency romance novels. She thinks the Jane Austen Addicts conference in the English countryside is the perfect opportunity to escape her chaotic life and finally relax... 

But then she encounters a devilishly handsome man at the conference who seems determined to sweep her off her feet. Is he more fiction than fact? Or could he be the hero she didn't know she was looking for?

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy is a quick, fun read. 


Where Are the Romantic Comedies?

The last romantic comedy I saw in a movie theater was To Rome With Love last summer. And I’m pretty sure it was the only new rom-com I saw in a theater last year. I waited to rent The Five-Year Engagement because it looked awful, and I was right. I finally sat through a couple excruciating hours of that movie in October last year. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed. However, I absolutely loved This Means War, but it isn’t exactly a classic rom-com since it’s also a spy-thriller-action type movie. The real romantic comedy genre is practically nonexistent in film right now. Browsing through Moviefone’s list of movies coming soon, I see that there is only one romantic comedy being released this year, The Big Wedding. Only one. This is an outrage. Why do we have to suffer through countless sci-fi, thriller, vampire, and action movies, but we only get one decent romantic comedy per year? The biggest problem is that the genre as a whole has been branded as stupid. People seem to think that these movies are so formulaic and predictable that they aren’t worth anything. Well, guess what? The big blockbuster action movies are totally obvious as well. I wouldn’t exactly classify them as original. There’s a quest to conquer evil, lots of action and violence, then the good guys prevail over the bad guys. The end. So, why isn’t that stupid? Why, why, why is the romantic comedy genre the one that people love to hate the most? 

In recent years, the best romantic comedy released was The Proposal in 2009. Sandra Bullock has a knack for romantic comedies, and she’s my favorite actress. Two Weeks Notice is one of my all-time favorite movies. She gets rom-coms right. The Proposal is the type of rom-com we need more of now. It’s like the classics that came before: The Wedding Planner, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Sleepless in Seattle to name a few.  And I don’t mean similar in plot. I mean similar in how they make me feel. True fans of rom-coms know what I mean. As the credits roll, you get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside and can’t stop grinning and wishing that something funny and amazing and beautiful like what you just saw would happen in your own life.

Lately, I’ve turned to the Hallmark Channel for my romantic comedy fix. They’ve had a bunch of cute new made-for-TV rom-coms. So, maybe the answer to my question, “where are the romantic comedies?” is, “on TV.” Has this genre moved from the big screen to primarily the small screen now? People still want romantic comedies, even though the Hollywood big shots seem to think they can dictate what we want. Rom-com fans will go elsewhere to find the genre they love. Just like when the big publishers decided that people shouldn’t like chick lit anymore, declared it "dead," and stopped publishing it. We went elsewhere. We self-published. We went to indie publishers. We found a way around people telling us what to like and what not to like.  Maybe Hollywood should adapt more romantic comedy novels into movies. There are so many stories that are just waiting to be brought to life in movie form. Until then, I think I’ll watch When Harry Met Sally for the billionth time. 

What do you think about the state of romantic comedies? Leave a comment and weigh in. 

Author Guest Post: Getting Inspiration From Movies

A good book should have you visualising the plot unfolding in your mind, as though you’re watching a movie, and every writer strives to achieve a rich sensory experience for the reader. Watching movies can be a good way of inspiring writers to create visual and emotional scenes that evoke a strong image in the reader’s mind. They can remind writers to focus on the different senses in a scene - What is the character seeing? What sounds are there? With writing we have only words, but those words have the power to become much more.

I find if I’m stuck with my writing, taking some time to watch a movie can help restart my enthusiasm and remind me of all the little details that can enrich a scene; the setting, the colours, the atmosphere, the facial expressions, the weather, the actions... And good movies with emotional storylines remind me of how powerful fiction can be in stimulating certain emotions. You’d think because it’s fiction we wouldn’t be affected emotionally, but the brain doesn’t differentiate clearly between what it sees and what it imagines. It’s known that watching certain events - real or fake - can stimulate specific parts of the brain and create emotional responses in the body.

A helpful tip when writing certain types of scenes is to watch an example in a movie. So if you want to write a car chase scene, then it could be helpful to watch the car chase scenes out of a movie such as The Bourne Identity. Take notice of how it’s done, press pause and slow motion, and note down what is happening involving all of the senses. The types of books I write are not that likely to involve car chases though, so for me, I’d be more inclined to watch examples of kissing scenes, arguments, funny moments, and heart-wrenching moments. If a scene in a movie has triggered strong emotions in me, I like to take note of what it was about it that caused that reaction. Was it the subject matter? Or the way it was communicated through the actor, such as their bodily reactions and facial expressions? Then I can try and do a similar thing in my writing.

Movies can also help writers with the pacing of their story. Movies have a much more rigid structure than books, and there are certain turning points in the story that almost always occur around the same times, so if you want to get really academic, you can try watching a movie and jotting down each of the turning points and roughly when they occurred. This can help you to see what the main plot points are and how you can replicate this pacing in your own story. Movies are, of course, different to books though, so this is only a way to guide you.

Characters in movies can also help in the creation of your own characters. Think about characters that stood out for you in various movies... why did they stand out? What made them unique? You can flesh out your book characters in the same way.

Some movies I’ve enjoyed that I kept in mind while writing my book, Fast Forward, were 13 Going On 30/Suddenly 30, 17 Again, and Big. Although I didn’t try to replicate anything in particular, they were a general inspiration for the ‘feel’ of the book I wanted to write - something that was both humorous and heartwarming. So if you’re a writer, next time you’re stuck, pop on a DVD and get inspired! :)
Aspiring supermodel Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday, she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd. Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband, and hideous support underwear forever?
Buy FAST FORWARD: Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, Kobo.

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Friday Flicks: Favorite Romantic Comedy Duos

There are quite a few actors who have appeared twice or more with the same actresses in romantic comedies. Out of the duos listed below, who are your favorites? Have we left any out? Remember: They have to have appeared in two or more movies together in leading roles. Leave a comment to be entered to win You've Got Mail, The Wedding Singer, or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on DVD. Three winners will be chosen randomly on Wednesday, January 11th. Good luck!

Richard Gere & Julia Roberts - Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride

Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore - The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates

John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - Grease and Two of a Kind

Matthew McConaughey & Kate Hudson - How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Fool's Gold

Steve Martin & Diane Keaton - Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II

Colin Firth & Renée Zellweger - Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason

Paul Rudd & Reese Witherspoon - Overnight Delivery and How Do You Know

Owen Wilson & Rachel McAdams - Wedding Crashers and Midnight in Paris

Book to Film: 20 Times A Lady/What's Your Number?

When Delilah Darling reads a survey revealing most people have 10.5 sexual partners in their lifetime, she begins to feel like a tramp. She's slept with 19 men so far—almost twice the national average. During a self-help moment, Delilah vows to cap her "number" at 20, swearing that she'll save her last spot for the right guy. But after losing her job, she has a wild night on the town and falls into bed with Mr. Wrong. Unwilling to up her number but unable to imagine a life of celibacy, Delilah dreams up a foolproof plan: she'll track down every man she's ever slept with in a last-ditch effort to make it work with one of them. Hitting the road in a rental car, she begins a madcap adventure that takes her across the country, from New York to Chicago, New Orleans to LA. When it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes numbers only tell a fraction of the story.

Based on Karyn Bosnak's novel 20 Times A Lady, this freewheeling comedy tells the tale of one hopelessly single woman who's convinced she's passed up the man of her dreams. Upon reading a magazine article that leaves her dejected about her future marriage prospects, Ally Darling (Anna Faris) begins to fear that one of her many ex-boyfriends was "the one that got away." Now, with a little help from her mischievous neighbor (Chris Evans), Ally is paying a visit to each of her exes in order to reel in the perfect catch. She begins a wild search for the best “ex” of her life.

In theaters September 30th

Have you read 20 Times A Lady? Are you going to see What's Your Number?