While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story. Published on May 10, 2011.
Fourth grade with Barbara Stanley, hands down. I keep trying to find her through Facebook or other search engines, hoping she will read something like this somewhere and know how much she meant to me. Things I learned in Mrs. Stanley’s class got me through high school, college and law school, and helped me draft legal papers after and, yes, even helps me write my manuscripts. She was an unforgettable teacher. Fourth grade was a great year. Plus, I was Lucy in our class play, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. And my parents were fond of telling me that I was Lucy in real life. So it was an excellent fit. ;)
Have you ever broken a bone and is there a story behind it?
When I stop laughing . . . er. . . Why yes, I have broken many bones. Some when I was a gymnast (e.g. dismounted off the wrong side of the beam, no mat); some when I skied off a cliff into a tree (that was fun); several when I slipped on the ice in my spike-heeled Candies clogs (why no, no intelligent human being wears spike heels in the ice, thank you for noticing); and, most recently, when I fell on ice after being quite the coordinated diva in a hot bikram yoga class (that delusion, thus, being quickly dispelled). Now, I swim a lot. You can’t break anything swimming. Shhh. Don’t jinx me.
How has the world changed since you were a little kid?
Aw, come on! You just want to make me feel old. *sigh* #sowhatifIamold? Lol, that looks like “so what if I a mold.” Okay, fine, for starters, all of that stuff I just typed – the stars and hashtags and abbreviations – didn’t exist because home computers didn’t exist. All through high school and most of college, I used a good old fashioned typewriter (and lots of White-Out) to write my papers. There were no cell phones, no email, and no facebook and Skype. Oh yeah, and we still read our books FROM BOOKS! You know, the things with pages that turn. Fine. I will one day learn to love ereaders. #bigfatlie. Hmmm. Also, we lived in caves and foraged for our food. Okay, no we didn’t, but typing this answer has made me feel that way.
What was the best and/or worst job you've ever had?
One of the best jobs I ever had was my second job as a paralegal before and during my first year of law school. My boss loved me (er, maybe a bit too much, but that’s a story for another day) and I was a superstar there and was paid very well for it. It was the first job I ever had where I really thought I could be a bigwig in business or law one day (I wasn’t exactly right), and felt smart, and capable and super shiny. Um, WTF, I’m just typing things now, aren’t I? ;)
The worst job? That’s easy. For a short time, before I decided to go to law school, I worked a second job as a flower seller at the Cadillac Bar in NYC a few nights per week. My required uniform: black spandex pants, spike heels, and a tuxedo jacket. And there were lots and lots of really drunk people. Need I say more?
Most memorable party you ever hosted or went to?
Hmmm. That’s a hard one. Honestly, the most memorable parties were my parents’ annual New
Year’s Eve parties, which I know sounds kind of boring. But, there was something magical about those parties -- about how my mom prepped and cooked for days, and we made the house sparkling, and I helped her to bake, and my father would string the entire yard with tiny white holiday lights like our house was Tavern on the Green. Candles everywhere; gourmet food; usually some special addition, like the year someone brought fireworks. The grown-ups would arrive giddy and dressed up, and drink, and laugh and become generally enchanting. At midnight there would be this huge sense of excitement, of possibility, protected by a strong sense of family and love. It’s one tradition I’ve tried hard to recreate in my house with my kids. Except, I mostly cater it, because, well, just you never mind.
What was one of the highlights during your college years?
I was on the executive board of a student-run ad agency at Boston University called Adlab. We had real world clients who we did advertising work for. My friend Sean and I really thought we were ad execs, I think. Regardless, we had tons of fun. We lived in the Adlab office. We drank coffee, talked to important people, and said, wrote, and did clever things. Yes we did. I still talk to him once in a while. He went into advertising after college, but is now in law enforcement. And, me, I still practice family law, and have my first novel coming out. Amazing how paths bend and sway. . .
What made you interested in going to law school?
Truth? I wanted the credentials and clout that went with having a law degree. At that time, I wanted to go into entertainment management (and had dabbled some). I thought the law degree would make me that much more credible and valuable. I graduated in the midst of an economic downturn and ended up in family law. There’s that bend-and-sway thing again. . .
When and how did you meet your husband?
I met my husband the first few days of law school. At orientation, the dean had mentioned the age of the oldest and youngest students entering our class (the youngest was 18; the oldest was like 45). After our first class together, he and I commented that we thought the other was the youngest one (neither of us was: I was 24 at the time, he 23). After our first date together, he called me up to tell me he had found out our families knew each other and that our fathers had been minor investors in a failed business together when we were little kids. Suffice it to say, when the business tanked, there was no love lost between them. When it became clear that our relationship was serious, it became a running joke between our fathers. . . Aw, typing this answer is making me miss my father-in-law, who died in 2001. I am so lucky to still have my own dad, who just a few weeks ago read The Pull of Gravity in hardcover for the very first time. Now he won’t stop talking about Nick and Jaycee. It’s pretty adorable.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Please don’t make me think about this. I’m not so good with the whole time passing thing. Come back and check me out in ten years. We’ll see how it goes. I hope the bending and swaying are good to me. And to all of you, too.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Yes, if I break any bones swimming now, it’s probably your fault. ;)
CONTEST TIME! This is something a little different...
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