Monday, August 31, 2009

News and Funny Stuff

In honor of the silly season, here's some funny stuff:

Late last week you came up with a joke and sent it to the Laugh Lines Blog at the New York Times, and low and behold, they included it:

Next, a few years ago you decided to write a country western song about your mother's driving for the funny NPR show, Car Talk. They played it on the show in October of 2006:

And some news:

Hot off the presses, the first hardcover copy of WISH YOU WERE DEAD

Have a great Labor Day Holiday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Your BRIEF Career as a Male Model

Back in the day when you worked as a newspaper reporter they sometimes called summer “the silly season” because there was not always enough hard news to report. As a result, reporters sometimes came up with pretty silly stories to fill the news hole (On a broiling hot day you once convinced a kid to pose over an egg cracked on the pavement to see if it would actually cook).

The author, third from the left, wearing a haute foam insulated camoflague hunters outfit with matching hat.

So, in honor of the current silly season you will file this story to fill the blog hole.

Recently your children were sorting through some old clippings of yours when they came across some odd ones that appeared to be torn out of a catalogue and showed some men wearing hunting outfits. They wanted to know why were these among your clippings?

The answer goes back to late 1970s when you lived in New York City. A friend of a friend was a photographer who needed models for an apparel shoot. You went down to the photo studio to audition, and were, quite frankly, shocked when the photographer said he could use you.

Early one morning the following week, with fantasies in your head of huge photos of your fashionably dressed self plastered in magazines and on billboards everywhere, you boarded an RV with three other “models,” a stylist, the photographer, his assistant, and the RV driver. While feasting on bagels and donuts, the photographer explained what you would be modeling: hunting outfits for the JC Penny catalog.

And here you are modeling the lastest (circa 1979) in all-cotton camouflage chamoix shirt.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Book Covers

  • Morton Rhue's next book in Germany

  • If I Grow Up paperback (in the US)

Nighttime mass market

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Review for WISH YOU WERE DEAD

The first review comes from the blog Live Life

Since the day I read Give a Boy a Gun, I’ve been a Todd Strasser fan. His writing is authentic and scary, sort of like that feeling you get when you are all alone and you think someone is watching you. You feel your hair standing up on your arms and little beads of sweat break out over your upper lip. “Is someone there? Hello?” His new novel, WISH YOU WERE DEAD keeps the chills coming.From the first chapter, Strasser’s YA thriller sets us up for more scares than a Halloween haunted house. We cautiously turn the page ahead to the next chapter, readying ourselves for another shock. He makes sure the evil keep popping out at us, giving us fright after fright. WISH YOU WERE DEAD features a blend of four narrations: an anonymous teen’s blog listing the kids she hates, a first person narrative by a nice girl named Madison from a wealthy community, a bit of omniscient narration, and strange ramblings from a possible psychopathic kidnapper. Strasser is able to pull off having this many different narrators through his talent as a writer and the use of font styles to indicate a change in narration.The main character, Madison, is losing her close friends, one by one, and is receiving strange emails and notes warning her of each impending disaster. To compound matters, she is attracted to the new guy in school, but is unsure whether he is involved in the disappearances or not. When Madison decides to take matters into her own hands, we cringe, knowing no good can come out of a choice like that. The pace is fast and the end is shocking. As I sat curled up in my chair at 1:00 am, wanting to finish it, I was wishing I had started it earlier in the day…it was so dark outside and only a thin screen separated me from the noise on the porch…Strasser’s WISH YOU WERE DEAD is published by Egmont USA and is due out late September 2008. Some language and violence, but nothing over the top for most teen readers. The themes of bullying, tolerance, and friendship are all ones to which students can relate. A perfect read for chill seekers…make plans to spend the wee hours of the night with this one.