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Shameless Self-Promotion: My Latest Articles

By Nora Zelevansky / January 17th, 2013

Well, folks, it’s been a while since I shared a slew of articles, so I guess I’ll just get down to it.  New Year.  Same me (and you!).  Yay!

But, seriously, it’s either this or ramble on for hours about The Bachelor and, honestly, it’s too early in the season for that.  Sean is the “Most Sincere Bachelor Ever.”  He’s falling for a trick who he thinks has a good heart.  She’s not there for the right reasons!  Whatever will he do?  (I mean, besides keep her until there are five girls left and then finally see her true colors.)  Why don’t the Bachelors and Bachelorettes ever believe the other contestants when they try to forewarn, when they themselves have seen, during their respective past seasons, that the other contestants have unique incite and are probably telling the truth?  But I digress.

Anywaaaaay … back to the articles.  Because we’re highbrow.  And we like to read.

1. In January’s Town & Country, I wrote a personal essay about the trials and tribulations of developing a big chest for their LOOKING GLASS section called: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT.  (The story may or may not still be available on newsstands, as the February issue has likely already dropped.)  You may also want to check out the magazine’s new website, as it just launched in earnest and it looks fantastic.

BTW the personal essay includes snippets about growing up on the Upper West Side, which is partially what inspired parts of my still new novel, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE.  Not to be pushy (ahem, ahem), but if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, now is the time!

2. In this month’s ELLE (that’s the February issue), I offer a sneak peek into Once Upon a Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s lifestyle and Hollywood Hills home.  (Hint: She loves tea!)  It’s both a profile and a design piece, so check it out.  It’s currently on newsstands.

3. For this past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times “Image” section, I wrote a story called Beckley Joins The Cool Kids about new shop Beckley opening on LA’s Third Street.  (The area is a local favorite, cool strip of independent boutiques and restaurants near West Hollywood and also where I used to live.)  The store’s owner Melissa Akkaway also launched her own clothing line last year, Beckley By Melissa, and those pieces are worth ogling online too.  I believe there’s a sale happening as we speak?  Also, look out for spring’s Beetle-Print Party Dress.  It’s on my “MUST HAVE” list.

4. Lastly, it hasn’t come out yet, but this Sunday’s “Image” section will likely include another story by me about a new cool, artsy store opening, helmed by a fabulous and interesting chick.  I can’t say more, but keep your eyes peeled!

xo – N.

The Best Review That I Missed

By Nora Zelevansky / August 15th, 2012

A picture from the window of Book Hampton in Southampton, NY taken by my friend Rachel Meis

As I’ve admitted time and time again (almost as if I have no impulse control—ahem), for the first few weeks after my book came out, I spent a psychotic amount of my time trolling the Internet for Semi-Charmed Life reviews.

Sad, but true, especially since I nodded so agreeably each time a kind friend told me not to pay attention to the reviews, as reviewers can sometimes forget that there’s a person on the other end feeling stung.  Totally.  I won’t even look.  Until five minutes from now.  When I will be huddled over my laptop, rocking and mumbling like a lunatic.

I read a lot of tweets recounting the lyrics of the 90’s song by the same name and I’m here to report that there are some very angsty people out there and some really big Third Eye Blind fans.  But I also came across some great write-ups, on top of the ones I was lucky enough to anticipate in advance from ELLE, Daily Candy, Flavorpill and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette (to name a few, if I MUST!).

Honestly, I would list every amazing blog write-up here, if I could without seeming like a total … I was going to say “crazy person” but I’ve sort of already established myself as that above.  And, in a way to me, they’re all amazing because you can’t possibly please everyone, but you just have to feel grateful that people are reading the book!

And then a couple days ago, I realized something: I’d missed one!  There are a few major publishing trade publications, who generally review books before they come out.  One is Publisher’s Weekly and they were kind enough to checkout and write-up SCL.  My publisher had mentioned that Booklist, another of these trades which largely targets librarians, was reviewing the novel.  Suddenly, I remembered that I’d never seen it.

I emailed my publicist at St. Martin’s Press, who sent it over right away.  And it was good!  And it kind of captured the book!  And it was from July 1!  And I was psyched!  And here it is:

[***SPOILER ALERT! Gives away a lot of plot!]

Semi-Charmed Life.
Zelevansky, Nora (Author) Jul 2012. 304 p. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paperback, $14.99. (9781250001184).
Chick lit takes a trip down the rabbit hole in this first novel. Twenty-one-year-old Beatrice Bernstein, of the Upper West Side artist Bernsteins, has never left New York City. A flu-induced wish on a mohawked pigeon starts a strange journey through her senior year in college. First, her student housing is a basement apartment full of cockroaches. Then, instead of studying Latin American literature, she finds herself ghost- writing a blog about the art world for socialite Veruca Pfeffernoose. She also gets a new wardrobe, travels around the world, alienates best friend Dolly, foils a plot by thieving hipster goons, and, of course, gets the guy. One thing she does not do is figure out how to navigate Veruca’s ever-changing loft, until she starts to follow disappearing clues found in her precious moleskin notebook. Beatrice is hard not to like, smart but just naive enough to get caught up in Veruca’s fabulous world. The narration is full of giddy pop-culture references, and the story is told with a sort of gleeful cynicism that only fails at the too-neat ending.
— Susan Maguire

There’s hardly ever such thing as a perfect review, but I think, even from the midst of my book insanity haze, that you have to walk away feeling good about the overwhelming positives because otherwise you really will lose your mind.

xo – N.

A Couple of Firsts: My First Book Event & My First Sighting of SEMI-CHARMED LIFE in Stores!

By Nora Zelevansky / June 28th, 2012

The above left is a picture taken by my sister-in-law K. at my first ever book event this past week (along with a pic of the beautiful Georgetown Cupcakes — fitting because my hubby Drewser is from DC — on hand next to stacks of MY BOOKS)!  And that’s just the beginning of what’s been up, as I’ve gotten closer and closer to the book actually launching on July 3rd!

As you guys know, I’ve never done this whole novel thing before: So far, I know that it takes quite a while and that it’s a lot of hard work.  Now, I am just so grateful and excited to reap the benefits of all that effort (on my part and on the part of my agent and editor etc.)!

First of all, the SEMI-CHARMED LIFE reading, signing & shopping fest (at boutique 143 Ludlow owned by Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller, who I’ve known since my curfew was 11:30pm) was incredibly fun, at least for me.  It was organized in part by Gilt City, who not only created the below beautiful online invitation (which is blurry because I am a technologically challenged, which is code for “a dinosaur”), but also were incredible on the day of the event:

Anyway, I wore this Aryn K. dress that fits like a glove with a new Rag & Bone belt I got for not so much at their recent sample sale (which has changed my wardrobe, but that is really not the point of this post).  The people who attended the book event were beyond lovely, the reading seemed to go smoothly and the signing was probably my favorite part because I got to meet all these interesting and interested people.  And then about 70 of them walked away with my book, taking it out into the world for the first time for the public to actually read.  And that made everything feel amazingly real.

The wine at the party, donated by Suncé out of Sonoma County’s bucolic Russian River area, was not only really good, but they actually surprised me by putting the cover of the book ON the actual bottle labels.  I mean, how amazing is that?  It’s the little things.  And the big thing too (at least when it comes to presents).  I mean you, Drewser!  Aveda, Liz Earle and Stila donated beauty products for the gift bags and that included Stila’s soon to be discontinued (sad!) “Purple Tang” eyeliner that is featured in SEMI-CHARMED LIFE as a prop for marking the main character Beatrice’s way home.

ANYWAY, that was my only preview event.  The book comes out on July 3rd and since that’s a holiday weekend/week (when people will hopefully grab the book as a beach read!), the readings start on July 9th.  I’m traveling all over the country, so definitely do check the “Events” tab on my website for all the info!  Also, join my Facebook Author Page for updates of all kinds on readings, reviews and general book happenings!

So, here I am waiting for the book to show up on July 3rd, when I was surprised to discover my book ALREADY ON SHELVES!!!!!!! at Book Court in Cobble Hill, when I stopped in.  I actually surprised myself, as I literally almost starting crying right there in the store.  (I held it together because I didn’t want to scare the nice staff there.)  I snapped some photos (including the above) and then wandered home impervious to the heat, listening to music on my iPod and feeling … I don’t know … proud of myself.  And that’s a weirdly rare feeling, no?  Too rare, if you ask me.

Anyway, I will stop blathering on now!  More to come, when there’s … well, more to come!

xo – N.

SEMI-CHARMED LIFE (AND BEYOND): The Best (and, Okay, Only) First Review

By Nora Zelevansky / May 9th, 2012

 

  Semi Charmed Life_final-1

Here ye!  Here ye!  (Or whatever.)  Yesterday I opened what I thought was a run-of-the-mill Google Alert and found the first review of my book, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE (coming to a store near you or on the World Wide Web on July 3rd, 2012, but available for pre-order now) in Publisher's Weekly!

Throughout my years as a freelance writer, I've certainly heard the (sometimes not so censored, forgiving or sane) complaints of Internet audiences.  As many of us have experienced in different capacities even when simply reading the "Comments" section of an online article, constructive criticism notwithstanding, people are in a word, brutal.

But this is the first time that I have merited a formal review.  (I totally got snubbed when I played Morgan le Fay in that 5th grade production of King Arthur, but that's another story.)

Anyway, when I read this very first book review I was essentially vibrating with anticipation and I cannot tell you how happy and high I was that it was not downright mean.  Who knows what I imagined, but all I can tell you is that I am very appreciative of this response to the book, which feels fair and direct.  Not at all below the belt.

So, I guess, danka.  A million times, Danka.  And now I must say adieu.  Or as Morgan le Fay would say, "I bid thee goodnight!"  And then she'd cackle.  You know she would.

Okay.  I have officially lost it.

xo – N.

PS Did I mention that THE BACHELORETTE is starting?????  I mean, SIGN.ME.UP.

BROOKLYN (& BEYOND): Shameless Self-Promotion & a New Type of Sushi Roll

By Nora Zelevansky / December 17th, 2011

Screen shot 2011-12-17 at 12.24.19 AM

This is very exciting for me.  This isn't just some regular old shamless self-promotion.  This is my book … on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles!  And the cover above!  SEMI-CHARMED LIFE actually doesn't come out until this summer when I'll be doing all sorts of readings and such (July!), but it's available for pre-order as of last week.

Also, I learned via a Google Alert yesterday that it's up on Good Reads too!  I have no clue at all how that happens, which is the case for me with most of what goes on in publishing, but I'm totally pysched.  This might seem silly, all these small details, but each public announcement or step makes the whole thing seem a little more real.

Anywaaaay, what else is happening?

Well, during my first month back in NYC (Park Slope to be exact), I've discovered a new ingenius sushi roll invention: The Tempura Sweet Potato Roll.  Yup.  It's become a regular thing for me.  Well, as regular as something can be after 28 days.  Or, actually, more like 21.  Time flies when you're  … unpacking boxes.  Whatever.  The roll is amazing.  What else can I say?

Also, I went without TV for four weeks and then wrote a story about it called "In Defense of The Boob Tube" for Huffington Post's new HuffPost TV section.  If you love TV like I do (and you all know I do), then I think you'll be nodding along with this one.

Some other highlights over the last few weeks?  An interview with my favorite pair of designer sisters from ELKIN on elle.com and a write-up of new antioxidant-rich line of beauty products, Radical Skincare, for Vital Juice.

Otherwise, I've mostly been on the road and all that implies (a.k.a. slightly broken out skin and a few extra fast food pounds).  Oh, and also the freedom of the open road.  That too.

Happy happy holidays to you all!  May the New Year bring you happiness, health, money and YES! a new season of THE BACHELOR.  It's baaaaaaaaack.

xo – N.