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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.

What’s The (Fashion) Story? “Sisterhoods of Style” in The LA Times

By Nora Zelevansky / August 12th, 2012

Meet the Smith sisters, the impossibly cool kats behind the clothing line you’re about to start hearing about constantly and seeing everywhere nonstop, Elkin.  Don’t they look like dolls here or some inexplicably updated Renaissance painting?  You might recognize their stuff from the recent cover of New York Magazine, featuring the cast of GIRLS largely dressed up in Elkin frocks.

This duo is just one of the sister designer teams—also including the Malakpour sisters behind coveted accessory line NewbarK and the Thornhill sisters-in-law behind drool-worthy new jewelry line Liv Haley—I wrote about for yesterday’s SISTERHOODS OF STYLE story in the Los Angeles Times “Image” section.

My editor gave me a heads up late last week that the story would be getting the cover, which is always amazing news, but I still get excited for the reveal of what it looks like; it’s a surprise.  I think it ended up looking beautiful!  Also, with all the book craziness lately, it’s kinda nice to focus on journalism for a sec!

Anyway, I may be in Brooklyn right now, but in spirit I’m still in LA too … only with a smaller apartment, better bagels and less Earth Bar nearby.

xo – N.

The Bestselling Paperback! (Well, One Week)

By Nora Zelevansky / August 9th, 2012

I don’t know in what romantic ways I imagined I might spend my time as a new author.  Maybe wistfully staring out at sea … from my Brooklyn apartment window.

In reality, I waste hours (between trips to bookstores to stare without purpose at copies of my novel on “New Paperbacks” tables) checking various websites to gauge how Semi-Charmed Life is fairing out in the world.  Occasionally, I’m rewarded with a new positive rating or review or a low Amazon Rank (which I recently wrote about authors obsessively checking for The Huffington Post), but most of the time I’m just staring at numbers, having no real sense of what they mean.

So, last week, when I awoke to find an email in my inbox with a link to the above from my friend L.T. (the blogger behind Hollywood Housewife and also the wonderfully generous person who threw me an amazing LA book party), I was thrilled.  Basically, Book Soup, which is one of LA’s treasured bookstores (yeah, people read there too—A LOT), posted their weekly top sellers on their site and my book topped the list!  Finally, a metric I could understand!

Of course, I was beyond excited.  So excited, in fact, that I stopped checking Amazon … for at least a few extra hours.

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.

THE BEST (Well, First) JACKET COVER!

By Nora Zelevansky / May 17th, 2012

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Usually the jackets I get excited about have zippers or buttons.  This one is a little different: It's the jacket cover for my book Semi-Charmed Life!

I am beyond psyched and not just because my name appears to be spelled correctly.  (My worst fear was that it will be wrong, which you no doubt understand if you went through life with a name anything like "Zelevansky.")  It's all getting a bit more real as I get closer to the release date.

Anyway, here's it is on the wooden floor of my living room.

And here it is below in black and white … because I have lost my mind and can't think about anything else.

That high-level distraction is ALSO why I missed this first Bachelorette recap post.  I know some of my friends and fellow fans feel like Emily is too much to take, but I am on board.  One episode in and I'm already hooked.  Plus, after Ben F. and Ashley H., I feel like I need this as a palate cleanser.  The Bachelor and Bachelorette should be all Southern or Middle American and Barbie and Ken-like, I think.  It works best like this.

xo – N.

P.S. If you'd like to find out about my upcoming book readings in various cities, you can become a fan of my author page on FB and you'll get alerted to all that information!  (Who am I?  It's so weird to say things like this!)

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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.

It’s Been A While: Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / April 23rd, 2012

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If this post is incoherent, it's because I've finally succumbed to exhaustion.  Someone send me to one of those resorts/rehab facilities for celebrities, where I can go drink cucumber water and let other people take care of all my crap!

Who knew that setting the stage for a book release was so much work?  I guess it isn't unless you make it that way.  There's just an endless amount of things you can do to try to promote a novel and, though I'm sure some amount of it doesn't work, you want to exhaust every possible opportunity.  At least I do.  Still, I'm not complaining because I'm beyond excited (and not suave enough to hide it), but … I am tiiiiiiired.

Anyway, all that sleepiness certainly disappeared for a hot second, when Vicki, my editor at St. Martin's Press, sent me the above book cover, which is close to the finished version.  Yay!  I'm especially grateful for the effusive blurb from writer Molly Jong.  It's just so comforting to get positive feedback at this juncture. 

I've taken to Googling myself and the title, Semi-Charmed Life, kind of consistently (yeah, whatever, I admit it) to see if there are any new developments online.  That's how I discovered that I'd been added to Goodreads and, just this week, that the book seems to be available for pre-order at Target.com.  LOVE me some, Targé!  That was very exciting for me.

Meanwhile, I've been a busy bee, trying to pay my rent by writing the usual journalism stuff.  Here are some potentially fun reads from the bunch (maybe?):

For Style.com, a round-up of new spring spa treatments.

My Dame Magazine story on giving up cilantro for a year to become a millionaire and also a story on why smart women like "bad" TV.

A Huffington Post story on how I can't tell the difference between Park Slope and Portland.

My Huffington Post interview with Project Runway All Stars winner, Mondo!

A short interview for C Magazine with famous oncologist Dr. Agus about his new book, The End of Illness.

An interview with the goat farmer and creator of Laloo Ice Cream.

That's all for now!  Excuse me while I go pass out.

xo – N.

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

By Nora Zelevansky / December 17th, 2011

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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.