Monday, December 24, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Huge thanks to my dear and talented friend Myfanwy Collins for tagging me in this blog chain interview called The Next Big Thing. You can read Myf's interview here, and I hope you'll consider buying both her brilliant new short story collection, I AM HOLDING YOUR HAND, and her exquisite novel, ECHOLOCATION.

And now here's my interview ...

What is your working title of your book? 

The book's gone to press, so at this point it's safe to say it's an official (as opposed to working) title: Farewell, Dorothy Parker.

Where did the idea come from? 

On some level, I think I carried the idea around with me since I fell in love with Dorothy Parker back in high school, and never stopped imagining what she might say about my life or about this whole crazy modern world.

What genre does your book fall under? 

Good question. I suppose you could call it general fiction, since that's where you'll find it in the bookstore. Some might assume it's paranormal since the ghost of Dorothy Parker is a main character, but I prefer to think of it as magical realism, as it's mostly pretty grounded.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version? 

One of my favorite questions! For Violet, the timid movie critic, the divine Emma Stone. (Is that girl talented or what?) For Dorothy Parker, who else but Meryl Streep? She would inhabit the part and breathe extraordinary life into this extraordinary woman.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

A timid woman movie critic accidentally unleashes the ghost of Dorothy Parker, who becomes her mentor, tormentor and,with any luck, friend.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

Not self-published--traditionally published. It's coming out in hardcover from Putnam on February 21, with simultaneous ebook release. It will also be an audiobook from AudioGo. There are ordering links on the right. I'm represented by the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

About a year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

I think it's a little bit like Julie and Julia, as there's a mentor relationship between a young woman and her hero. But in Farewell, Dorothy Parker the main character is face-to-face with her larger-than-life idol.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

The spark was lit when I looked at the long list of Jane Austen-inspired titles and thought, Someone should do that for Dorothy Parker. My next thought was, Oh, me! 

In the movie version of this answer, we'd cut from there to a scene of me sitting at my desk several months later, as I struggle with capturing the essence of the twentieth century's greatest American wit, and all I can type is:
What was I thinking?

Of course I kept at it and somehow managed to pull it all together. I'm awfully proud of the result.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I'll let Publishers Weekly tell you:

"Meister skillfully translates the rapier-like wit of the Algonquin Round Table to modern-day New York ... [with] pathos, nuanced characters, plenty of rapid-fire one-liners, and a heart-rending denouement."

Thanks so much for reading my interview. I'm thrilled to tag the following writer friends to post about their Next Big Thing: Mary Akers, T.J. Forrester, Dina Santorelli

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Win a Copy of The Portable Dorothy Parker!

Pre-order my book, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, 
and you'll have a chance to win this wonderful collection

Thanks to my publisher, I now have 5 copies of THE PORTABLE DOROTHY PARKER to give away to people who have pre-ordered my forthcoming novel. In case you haven't heard (ahem), it's called FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, and it brings the famous wit back to life in the form of a feisty, gin-swilling spirit.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is pre-order FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER and fill out this form to request a free signed bookplate. That's it! You will be automatically entered in the giveaway for this magnificent collection of Dorothy Parker's poems, stories, essays and letters.*

*Available for all U.S. pre-orders made by February 14.

You can pre-order Farewell, Dorothy Parker today from your local bookstore or any cyber bookseller, including:

Note: If you already signed up for a bookplate, you are entered in the giveaway. You do not need to sign up again.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Farewell, Dorothy Parker

Since I'm having temporary technical difficulties with my website, here's synopsis of Farewell, Dorothy Parker:

What if inspiration came to visit … and wouldn’t leave?

When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that’s only because she’s learned to channel her literary hero, Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the 20th century.

If only Violet could summon that kind of courage in her personal life.

Determined to defeat her social anxiety, Violet visits the Algonquin Hotel to pull strength from the hallowed dining room, where Dorothy Parker and so many other famous writers of the 1920s traded barbs. But she gets more than she bargained for when Dorothy Parker’s feisty spirit rematerializes from an ancient guestbook and hitches a ride onto her life.

Violet is shocked and thrilled to be face-to-face with her idol, but when the gin-swilling writer takes up residence in her home and grows pricklier and more outspoken by the day, the timid movie critic is pushed to her limit. With her job threatened, her new relationship in tatters, and the custody fight for her orphaned niece in jeopardy, Violet is forced to face her fears …and she makes sure Mrs. Parker does the same.

Wickedly funny and surprisingly poignant, Farewell, Dorothy Parker perfectly re-imagines one of America’s most iconic voices in a captivating and unforgettable tale.

You can pre-order Farewell, Dorothy Parker today from your local bookstore or any cyber bookseller, including:

Monday, December 03, 2012

Would you consider pre-ordering Farewell, Dorothy Parker?

I've been a Dorothy Parker fan for as long as I can remember, and bringing the famous wit to life in Farewell, Dorothy Parker has been a singular joy. I'm so proud to share it with you, and hope that you love it.

This novel comes out in February from Putnam, but if you pre-order it today you can lock in a very deep discount and request a free signed bookplate. To get your free bookplate, simply order the book (links below) and then fill out this form, which takes less than a minute. 

These self-adhesive bookplates are not robo-signed, but will be individually autographed by yours truly. To get yours, order the book and click here, and it will be mailed directly to your home. You can buy Farewell, Dorothy Parker from any cyber bookseller, including:


Early Praise for Farewell, Dorothy Parker

"Farewell, Dorothy Parker is a delightful haunting. How wonderful to have the renowned wit—America's wisegirl—as resident ghost and adviser....  Ellen Meister's new novel is smart and fun."
 Susan IsaacsNew York Times bestselling author of As Husbands Go

"Gone four decades and still missed, Dorothy Parker now has a starring role in Ellen Meister’s delicious new novel. No doubt Mrs. Parker, wherever she is, must be smiling." 
 —Marion Meade, author of Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?

"In Farewell, Dorothy Parker, Ellen Meister provides refreshing insight into Mrs. Parker as a wit, civil rights advocate, and writer. Both of this bitchin' novel's main characters—Violet and Dorothy—can visit me any time."
Mark EbnerNew York Times bestselling author of Hollywood, Interrupted

"What bliss to be in the company of a reimagined Dorothy Parker!  Ellen Meister's wonderful novel delivers the wit, ingenuity and elegiac sass worthy of the Algonquin Round Table's most quoted member. Long live Dorothy Parker and her zingers, resurrected so winningly in these pages."

Elinor Lipman author of The Family Man

* Available for all U.S. orders made by February 14

Saturday, December 01, 2012

On the air, Pitchapalooza, etc ...

Busy weekend here. Lots of stuff going on with the kids, my teaching (classes today and tomorrow) and more. Early this morning I did a radio interview with Robin Kall, host of Reading with Robin, on WHJJ in Providence  You can listen to a podcast here.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'll be the guest judge at a terrific event, and I hope all my Long Island friends can come. It's called Pitchapalooza and it takes place at Book Revue in Huntington at 4 pm. It's like American Idol for writers, only gentler and more fun. I hope you can make it. Click here for more info.

Have a great weekend.