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I’m still here!  Three updates:

  1. I’ve changed my first name to Erin. For some background, go here.
  2. I’ve become obsessed with graphic memoirs after discovering How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less while comic book shopping with my 15-year-old son and then reading Fun Home. Got any suggestions for other titles in this genre I should read?
  3. I’m about to begin work in earnest on another novel, a romance set in Israel. I’ve been taking notes for months and hope to dive deep this fall.
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A year ago this week, my second novel, Heads or Tails, was published. It now has 190 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.5 stars, and has been favorably reviewed by several book bloggers. In celebration of the one-year birthday of Heads or Tails, you can get it for $.99 for the next few days. If you plan to veg out and read during the long weekend, check it out! http://amzn.to/1QiUjKb

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Three of my favorite authors are coming out with new books in the next few months. First up, Curtis Sittenfeld. (You may remember that in Heads or Tails, I named Curtis Construction after her.)

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Then, Emily Giffin’s latest comes out. (I had a nod to her in Heads or Tails too!)

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And finally, the author of one of my all-time favorite books, Rules of Civility, releases a new one in September. I can’t wait!

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In the spirit of Sarah Dessen’s blog, I thought I’d give readers FIVE FUN FACTS about HEADS OR TAILS.

One: As with Cheer: A Novel, the idea for this story came from a relatively off-hand comment someone made to me. A few years ago, a friend asked me to watch her kids one afternoon because she had to drop everything to fly to New York to help her dear friend, a single mother who was struggling with post-partum depression. When she returned home, I asked how her friend was. She described a sad situation and told me that her friend had said, “Take my baby.” Of course, my friend did not take her baby, but the novelist in me thought, “What if…”

Two: As I wrote in a previous post, many of the institutional names are thinly veiled homages to my favorite writers. But many character names are also winks and nods to real-life people — a good friend, favorite yoga teacher, for example. And some less likable and off-hand characters (I won’t reveal which!) are named for frenemies or mean boys from my past!

Three: I made Hillary a general contractor because I wanted her to have a unique job for a woman. And I wanted her to be exceedingly competent in a man’s job because she’s so hapless when it comes to baby-rearing, which is traditionally considered women’s work. I know nothing about construction (despite the fact that my house is undergoing a huge remodel as I type this!) so I consulted the great forums on ContractorTalk.com for the more technical dialog.

Four: Hillary’s neighborhood is Cole Valley, which is a neighborhood I lived in for many years. The flat she and Jesse share on Frederick Street is based on one that a friend of mine used to live in. The Thai food place where Hillary and Jesse first flip a coin is Yukol Thai in the Marina, one of my favorites. Margot’s Upper West Side condo is loosely based on my good friend’s apartment.

Five: Abe and Marigold were later additions to the story. Many of my first beta readers never met them!

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