top ten, endless summer edition

How is it the end of August already? Seriously with this? So what you’re telling me is that it will be Thanksgiving three months from now? Directly followed by winter?

I demand a recount.

1. One of the hardest parts of leaving summer behind is saying goodbye to summer fruit. The amount of watermelon I have already eaten is extraordinary. 

I heart watermelon

Then there was the best cantaloupe I’d ever had in my entire life. We got it at a roadside farm stand in New Jersey. It tasted just like growing up in Jersey farmland. And don’t even get me started on the berries. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. I will miss you all to pieces.

2. Fortunately for us, there are lots of other treats to savor. Like Sprinkles Ice Cream sundaes. See, first there was Sprinkles Cupcakes, which I finally got to visit for the first time when I was on book tour in Los Angeles in 2010. That was also when I got to meet Wilson from Cast Away (scroll down in the same post for documentation)! Then Sprinkles expanded into ice cream territory. A mad impressive accomplishment, especially considering that they were killing it just with the cupcakes. I like taking some of my old students out for cupcakes once a year. It’s our Friendly Neighbor Reunion. This year our FNR was held at Sprinkles Ice Cream, which is right next door to Sprinkles Cupcakes and the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. What did I have?

Susane Colasanti with a Sprinkles Ice Cream sundae

Um, yeah. This is a Sprinkles Ice Cream sundae. It’s a cupcake bottom, then ice cream, then the cupcake top and frosting. They also have cookie sundaes and brownie sundaes. The cookies and brownies are broken up into cups. Then you add whatever ice cream and toppings you want. All I’m going to say is this: It’s a good thing Sprinkles is uptown and I live downtown. There is no way I would be able to resist a daily sundae fix if I lived closer.

3. Summer reading freaking rules. Everyone knows this. My summer reading started with Eleanor & Park. Reading that book was like a mental mashup of classic 80s movies highlights plus my most embarrassing dark secrets from high school. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is so beautiful and brilliant and true that I immediately had to go out and buy her other books. I can’t even explain to you how much fun I’m having reading Landline. It’s official. I’m a Rainbow Rowell fangirl.

4. It wouldn’t be summer without experiencing my trifecta of fave old-school down the shore activities on the Point Pleasant boardwalk: Skee-Ball, water ice, and bumper cars.

Susane Colasanti and bumper cars

Am I aware that I am a major dork? Yes. I am totally aware of that. It is ridiculous how excited I get for bumper cars. But I’m not one of those mean riders who enjoys bumping into other cars. I like to swing around the outside in a smooth circle, avoiding the pileups and staying in motion. You could say I’m a bumper car pacifist.

5. One book event highlight of the summer was Beach Bag Book Club on Long Island. This is an annual event I absolutely adore. I’m extremely fortunate to have participated in BBBC for the past few summers. This year I was on a super fun panel with these fabulous authors:

Jennifer E. Smith, Kieran Scott, Susane Colasanti, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Jen Calonita

Here I am surrounded by Jennifer E. Smith, Kieran Scott, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Jen Calonita. These ladies are beyond amazing. Their accomplishments are an inspiration to us all. If you’re looking for more summer reading, I highly recommend everything by these four adorable romance writers.

6. Speaking of book stuff, some fresh interviews were posted this summer. Author Turf interviewed me about inspiration, career building, and advice for aspiring writers. Progressive Radio Network interviewed me in the studio about my inspiration for Now and Forever, why my main motto is Dream Big, and how my personal love life influences my books. The interview starts at 32:55 of the podcast. 

7. Even more book stuff! Remember when I shared some behind-the-scenes photos from the City Love cover shoot? Here’s one more via Margot Wood, who was on the scene:

City Love by Susane Colasanti cover shoot

I heard there were way more people there. The cover shoot took place over two days on a Brooklyn rooftop to capture the dazzling New York City skyline in the background. Book one of the City Love trilogy will be out on April 21, 2015. But the cover should be revealed soon! Please stay tuned for exciting news about the reveal.

8. This summer here in New York was gorgeous. Not crazy hot and humid. August was way more tolerable than usual. That meant lots of dinners outside, epic night walks, and laying out on the sundeck. Temperatures were in the 90s for only 4 days this summer as opposed to the average 18 days. But the summer overall has been two-tenths of a degree warmer than average. Escaping a heat wave made the summer feel cooler, even though it wasn’t. Plus our last four summers ranked in the top ten of hottest summers for this past century. And the Earth experienced its highest temperatures in over a century during this May and June. This concludes the part where I geek out science teacher style. Thanks for listening.

9. Shout-out to Garrison Keillor for celebrating Prairie Home Companion’s 40th anniversary this summer! I have been a massive Prairie Home fan for…wow, almost 20 years. Snaps for Garrison preserving vintage radio show entertainment. Long live PHC.

10. Here’s to epic summer love.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti, National Book Store

 Summer is not over yet, friendly neighbors. Anything is possible <3

susane colasanti, author of city love

Shiny new author photos for my upcoming City Love trilogy are in the house!

Susane Colasanti

Jayd Jackson is a phenomenal photographer. Like, seriously the best. She shot a few of my book covers and now takes my author photos. Usually you have to take about 300 photos of me to get a halfway decent one. Not Jayd. She magically makes me look like I clean up way better than I do.

Susane Colasanti

After I saw these City Love author photos, I was pretty much blown away. Jayd’s use of natural lighting and mad profesh camera skills meant that I had photos I actually liked. Which, for me, never happened before I started working with her. If you’re looking for a photographer, Jayd is your girl.

Susane Colasanti

Here’s the thing. Jayd’s photos are so fun and colorful that I’d love for them to show up in Google image searches. But you can’t just submit images to Google. You have to post them on a website and hope they eventually show up. So instead of just raving about Jayd, I’m posting her photos here so that they have a chance of showing up. Please forgive this annoying post with all the large photos!

Susane Colasanti

Okay, that’s it. Thanks for tolerating all the pics. It will be funny ten years from now when image searches are way easier and we’ll laugh about how clunky technology was back in the day. Cheers to progress!

rock star giveaway

Can you believe it’s back-to-school time already? Me neither. Summer always goes too fast, but this summer has an even bigger hold on me. The weather has been gorgeous. I’ve had lots of relaxing mornings on the sundeck and fabulous dinners outside. Plus sunsets on the High Line and night walks along Hudson River Park, complete with spying on amazing apartments. So I was really not feeling it when I saw a display of Halloween candy at the supermarket the other day. Halloween candy displays are unacceptable to some of us still laying out in their bikinis needing to avoid fun size Snickers.

One thing that always resonates with me during the summer more than it usually does is music. There’s the soundtrack of your high school experience, which mainly forms the soundtrack of your life. That music will always be closest to my heart. But then there’s the soundtrack of your summer, which fluctuates from year to year. This summer I’ve been kicking it with Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, and Justin Timberlake. Not exclusively or anything. There’s always a sprinkle of the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson in my summer. But there’s a certain musical sound to Summer 2014 that will always be captured in time.

Thinking about how musical tastes evolve a bit over time (but mostly stay the same) reminds me of why I wrote Now and Forever. Or at least my inspiration for the book. One of my biggest fantasies in high school was to be the girlfriend of the world’s biggest rock star. Now and Forever is Sterling’s story. Ethan Cross is her boyfriend…and also the world’s biggest rock star. Missed the trailer? You can watch it here.

 

I’m giving away a signed copy of Now and Forever on Twitter this week. Here’s what I want to know: If you could have any rock star as your boyfriend or girlfriend, who would it be…and why? Follow me on Twitter and tweet your answer with the hashtag #NowAndForever to enter.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Tweet the name of the rock star you would want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend and tell me why. Use the hashtag #NowAndForever in your tweet.

Giveaway rules:

1. All entries must be tweeted by Friday, August 29 at 11:11 pm.

2. Only one tweet per entrant will be counted.

3. I will announce and contact the winner on Twitter.

4. The winning mailing address must be located in the United States. If you live abroad but know someone in the States who can accept the prize for you, go for it.

Can’t wait to see your BF/GF rock star selections :)

rooftop city love

TGIM, friendly neighbors! I hope your summer has been a spectacular one. Here in New York, we’ve been enjoying happy summer days and romantic summer nights. Including some rooftop city love, soul mate style.

Susane Colasanti and Matt Huntington

Looks like a book cover? It’s actually me and my BF.

Thanks to Jayd Jackson for capturing the magic. Jayd also shot the cover of All I Need, which features a very similar pose. You know how I love a good full-circle moment <3

city love photo shoot

Breaking City Love trilogy news! The first book cover photo shoot happened on a Brooklyn rooftop yesterday.

City Love by Susane Colasanti photo shoot

Snaps for these fantastic models who braved the extreme heat and humidity. It was totally gross out, but they looked absolutely gorgeous. As models do.

This cover will be stunning. New York City skyline in the background? Yes, please.

City Love by Susane Colasanti photo shoot

The first City Love book will be out in April 2015. I can’t wait to share the cover with you soon!

now and forever behind the scenes

Capturing the tone of a book in a book trailer is not easy. There’s a lot to think about – casting, locations, music, editing. I wanted the Now and Forever trailer to capture both the dreamy romance of falling in love and the exhilaration of rising fame. Which is why, when my BF/soul mate said he’d write and direct the trailer, I was all over that.


The first step was to find actors who would bring Sterling and Ethan to life. I was thrilled when Lily Zahn and Ben Bowers responded.

Lily Zahn

 

 

 

Ben Bowers

Lily is freaking adorable. As soon as I saw her reel, I knew she had the talent, depth, and right look to play Sterling. Ben showed up looking like a total rock star. Dude, he is an Abercrombie model. Ben submitted this ad he did with his resume and I was like, Um, yeah, you might want to work on your abs more? But other than that…

This past winter was so cold that we had to wait forever until it was warm enough to shoot. Finally the trees were flowering and we were good to go. Our shoot was a full day with four locations in downtown Manhattan, including my apartment. Ben brought the world’s biggest rock star to life right in my living room:

Ben Bowers, Now and Forever book trailer

My red couch will never be the same. Especially after the hot makeout scenes:

Ben Bowers and Lily Zahn, Now and Forever book trailer

What’s it like to show up for a job and kiss someone you just met (while dealing with horrible allergies and getting locked in a diner’s bathroom)? Lily shared some reflections from the shoot:

It’s somewhat rare when filming that we would get to have the writer (in this case, author) on set. Since the book hadn’t been released yet, it was so helpful to have Susane there guiding us to bring her characters to life. It was also really comforting to know that Susane had handpicked us for the task. Sterling’s specific experience is pretty incredible – I’ve never dated a guy who became a world-famous rock star (…yet). But in playing her, I keyed in to what I could relate to about her story, which is being young and in love and having to realize that things change as life takes each person in a different direction.

Oh gosh, I had the worst allergies the day we shot the trailer. It was April and everything was starting to bloom. Probably the biggest challenge of the day was to not let feeling under the weather impact my performance. After all, Sterling wasn’t feeling sick! In that case, all you can really do bring is some Zyrtec and power through – keep the energy up, try to enjoy the experience, and ignore that stuffy nose and headache.

As an actor on set, one of the weirdest things we do is form an “insta-relationship” with a co-star. In a play, I usually have weeks of rehearsal to get to know someone and build a rapport. When I’m called in for a one day shoot, I may show up on set, shake hands, and start making out. No matter how you slice it, it sounds pretty weird. But I think we all know it’s part of the job and when you have someone nice and hygienic (and let’s face it, not bad on the eyes), it’s generally fine… and even a little fun. But it’s also pretty technical; you might get directions like, “put your hand here,” “smile earlier,” or “no tongue.” Once that first kiss is out of the way, it’s sort of business as usual (how many jobs can you say that about?).

Oh! Kissing schmissing. I have the most awkward story of the day. On our lunch break, I got locked in the restaurant’s restroom. Literally, the lock jammed and I could not get it off. I had a bigger emotional journey in those 10 minutes than I did the whole day of the shoot. I went through annoyance at the faulty lock, panic that I’d delay the shooting schedule, embarrassment at what everyone must think I’m doing in the bathroom, laughter at the absurdity of the situation, and finally determination to unjam that lock with brute strength (which I did… eventually, thank you very much). I flung out of the bathroom, took a deep breath and returned to our table. Show must go on, right? Even with the allergy attack and bathroom debacle, it was such a great day. I wish all jobs could be that fun and relaxed (and on schedule!) Susane and Matt brought such a positive energy that it really made my job easy and enjoyable.

Lily and Ben were amazing to work with. And I was happy that they had fun with each other. They made the relationship between Sterling and Ethan adorable and relatable.

Lily Zahn and Ben Bowers, Now and Forever book trailer

Thanks for all of your kind comments about the trailer, friendly neighbors. Here’s to bringing books to life!

Lily Zahn, Susane Colasanti, and Ben Bowers