Monday, April 30, 2012

Everything John Hughes Wrote Was True

Each generation can be defined by its icons and the maxims they gave us. In the sixties, the Beatles promised us that “All you need is love.” In the seventies, Network gave us permission to yell out our windows, I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!! (and we wouldn’t be arrested for it). And then, in the eighties, there was John Hughes. Paddy Chayefsky nor Paul McCartney he was not; but he gave voice to a teen culture that was too busy wanting its MTV to care whether it was being heard, and did all but canonize Molly Ringwald.

Both friends and readers know how proud I am to be a card-carrying member and product of Generation X. Evidence of it is openly displayed in each of my novels. My adolescent life was far from a bed of roses, from dealing with parental separation to poor body image to being bullied at school. What saved me, however, were those very icons that now serve as rose-colored glasses. I put them on and see the eighties as a more happy time, full of color and vitality and a lot of synthesizers. All of these things not only shaped me as a person, but as a writer, and I owe some of it to John Hughes. Thanks to his movies, I learned some important things about life, and I’ll share a few examples here, in no particular order.

From The Breakfast Club: “When you grow up, your heart dies.”
This is totally true. Mine died when I turned twenty-nine, I think. I don’t listen to all that eighties music now because I like it; Apple created a special device that hooks up my iPod to a pacemaker and keeps my heart artificially beating.

From Some Kind of Wonderful: “The only things I care about in this goddamn life are me and my drums and you.”
Also totally true. Except by “drums” I mean “chocolate,” and word to the wise, ladies: jonesin’ for Eric Stoltz will keep you terminally single.

From Sixteen Candles: “Whassa happenin’, hosstuff?”
Best. Pickup. Line. Ever. (Hint: it only works on fellow Gen-Xers. The rest of the population will think you’re stupid. And speech impaired. And racially ignorant.)

From Pretty in Pink: “I’m not particularly concerned with whether or not you like me, because I live to like you and... and I can’t like you anymore.”
Best. Breakup. Line. Ever. It’s the “I live to like you” that makes it art, because nothing says co-dependence like “I live to like you,” and nothing scares men or women away faster.

Also from The Breakfast Club: “I’m not a nymphomaniac. I’m a compulsive liar.”
This might explain why I had so much trouble getting into college when I was eighteen. I wrote this on my applications.

From Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: “Those aren’t pillows.”
That one is self-explanatory, yes?

From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Who do you love? Who do you love? You love a car!”
Would you like to see pictures of my Volkswagen Beetle? I call her Lola.

And finally, honest to God, here’s the one Hughes really got right:

Also From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Honda recently did a commercial for the Super Bowl with Matthew Broderick reclaiming his iconic role, and it was quite delightful, I must say. I’m sure that following the release of this movie, truancy was at an all-time high, and maybe playing hooky from work was, too. High school was, and still is, a bunch of bullshit. Sadder still, too many people work in jobs they find unfulfilling. Trust me. This one is worth its weight and gold.

So, the next time you meet a Gen-Xer, spike up your hair, scrunch down your socks, and instead of saying hello, just give them the secret password: “Yes. I always carry this much shit in my bag. You never know when you have to jam.”

Elisa Lorello is the author of three novels: Faking It, Ordinary World (the sequel to Faking It), and Why I Love Singlehood (co-authored with Sarah Girrell).

Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome to New Wave Authors!

In 2009, I self-published my first novel, Mercury Falls. The book was a modest success, selling nearly 5,000 copies over the next year.

About six months after self-publishing Mercury Falls, I was contacted by an editor at AmazonEncore, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. At the time, Amazon was just getting into publishing, and I had never heard of AmazonEncore. I thought that maybe it was some sort of add-on service to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service, the digital equivalent of a vanity press. Boy, was I wrong.

Amazon Publishing is a full-service publishing company, no different than any other publishing company. Well, they are different in a few respects: their parent company is the world's largest bookseller. Since signing with Amazon Publishing, I've sold a lot of books.

One of the most unexpected benefits of my association with Amazon Publishing, though, has been the opportunity to meet many other "Amazon authors" from all over the world, whose novels span a wide variety of genres, from mystery to sci-fi to literary fiction.

During one conversation with a group of these authors, I floated the idea of a website that would serve as a sort of hub for Amazon authors -- a place to talk about our experiences with writing and publishing, to keep readers up-to-date on our works in progress, and to reach more potential readers. To say that the idea was met with enthusiasm would be a significant understatement. I spent my spare time over the next several weeks building a site that would meet those goals. The result was this site, New Wave Authors.

To be clear, although the content on this site is produced by authors who are associated with Amazon Publishing, New Wave Authors is in no way affiliated with Amazon Publishing or The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors, and don't represent the views of all Amazon Publishing authors or Amazon Publishing itself.

Simply put, New Wave Authors is a community of Amazon authors who have come together to talk about our experience with writing, publishing... and pretty much whatever else we feel like talking about. This site is about our books and our stories. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy writing them.