npr interview

We all know what a huge NPR nerd I am. Garrison Keillor. Car Talk. Fresh Air. Morning Edition. I’ve been a faithful listener for years. So how stoked was I when NPR’s The Roundtable interviewed me about Keep Holding On? Stoked out of my mind, that’s how. You can listen to the interview here.

Some points:

In 7th grade, I already knew that the upcoming years would be the worst of my life. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My purpose in life is to reach out to teens and help them feel less alone. I did that for ten years as a high school science teacher. And I continue to reach out to even more teens now as an author.

When I was being bullied in junior high and high school, I didn’t have the courage to speak up. Noelle in Keep Holding On has the courage I never did to take a stand and be DONE. My wish is that more teens will take charge of their life. There are so many things we don’t have control over, but there are a lot of things we can control. My main goal in writing Keep Holding On was to motivate teen readers to start creating a better life right now.

As adults, we have a responsibility to protect our kids. School should be a place where all kids feel safe. Yet it’s really hard for kids to reach out to others who are being bullied. The fear is that if they try to help someone being bullied, the bullying will then be turned on them. That is unacceptable. Why is reaching out to kids who need help something we’re afraid of? It should be cool for kids to help other kids. It should be cool to let your freak flag fly. School should be a place where we can all be who we are.

My hope is that Keep Holding On will inspire teens to speak up, take a stand, and make their world a better place.

home life – view

This will be my last home life post. Thanks for all of your encouragement and support during the renovation process. And thanks for your sweet comments! I know most of us haven’t met in person, but I feel like I know you. Your enthusiasm has made me even more excited about my shiny new home.

In case you missed any of the before and after pictures, here’s a listing of the posts:

One thing I knew I absolutely had to have in my new home was an epic view. Not necessarily the kind of epic where you can see across Manhattan to the river from the 27th floor. I turned that place down. Not the easiest decision. The sunsets were unreal. But I knew I wanted more space. My view is epic in its own unique way. It’s a very West Village type view. You can see glittery city lights at night, which I love. It just feels like home. The best part is being able to see lots of sky. Last time I had big sky views was 17 years ago when I moved to New York. I had a tiny studio in Chelsea. That place was so small the kitchen was actually a converted closet. But there were two big windows with southern exposure and unobstructed views. Happy sunshine all day. So when I saw this place with its wall of five big windows and southern exposure, I knew we were meant to be. The sunshine is epic. The view is epic:

epic view

I mean, hello. Clock towers and old churches and big trees and chimneys? All of this and a personal water tower? Sold.

Other windows have more sweet views:

epic view

You know I’m into astronomy and meteorology. I love those sciences so much I used to teach them. Now I can admire some of my fave constellations. I can watch storm systems roll in. And the moonlight. The moonlight…

I know it’s not the biggest of big sky views. But I grew up in the country. Been there. Seen that. What makes my view so epic is that it’s right here in New York. In downtown Manhattan where these kinds of views are super rare. That’s why it took me three years to find this place. Most of the apartments I saw had windows only looking at walls. Or windows facing the neighbor’s windows in the next building like three feet away. I can’t tell you how hard it was to find a place with views plus windows in the bathroom and kitchen, which were also important to me. So you can imagine how stoked out of my mind I am.

Looking for the right home is like looking for a boyfriend. Neither will have everything you want. But if your heart is happy, you’ll know it’s meant to be.

Thanks for joining me on this journey 🙂

goodreads giveaway

Woot! As of last night, sunset is finally later than 5:00! More daylight time is making winter way more tolerable. Well. Maybe not way more. The coldest month is approaching. Still, I am welcoming the light. Darkness at four-something is unacceptable.

This week has been extra busy for me. I’m on deadline. The first draft of book eight is due by February 1…which is apparently next Friday. There’s no official title yet. I think I can do better than the working title. For now I’m calling it book eight. Hard to believe I’ve been a full-time author for almost six years and have written eight books. That’s what happens when you’re dreaming big and working every day to turn your dreams into reality. And when you have amazing readers who make your dreams come true. I’m so thankful to have all of you in my life.

So. What’s coming up in the next few months? My first Help Wanted video should be posted soon. You can submit your questions about relationships and suchlike here. Marketing plans for the release of All I Need on May 21 will take shape. I’ll be posting my book tour schedule. And getting psyched out of my mind to meet readers on tour because meeting readers is the best part of my job. More contests and giveaways to win ARCs of All I Need are coming up. For now, I’ve posted a giveaway on Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

All I Need

by Susane Colasanti

Giveaway ends February 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Talk soon. xoxo

home life – front closet

How many of you remember the front closet door drama that raged on for five months after I moved in? Show of hands. Now let’s review. There’s a coat/utility/storage closet near the front door that was in desperate need of new doors when I bought my apartment. I knew the original doors had to go. I just didn’t know having new doors made would take so freaking long. But they are magnificent. Def worth the wait.

Here’s the front closet before picture:

Front closet before

Those sliding slatted doors were not working for me. The closet space was basically one long hanging rod and two overhead shelves. An outrageous waste of space. I could not start sketching designs fast enough. You’ll also note the second closet on the other side of the front door. At first I was like, “Sweet, two big closets!” But my architect was like, “Um, no, we should take that other closet out to create a grand foyer.” How right he was.

This was the second closet after being ripped out:

Grand foyer before

Then the front closet was gutted:

Front closet during

I worked with the same designer who did the walk-in closet. She determined the best measurements for a coat rod, several shelves for supplies, overhead storage shelves, a cubby for my floor cleaner, and an area with hooks for hanging my gym bag, scarves, and umbrellas.

Here’s the completed front closet and grand foyer:

Front closet and grand foyer

Were we done? No. No, we were not. Because this whole time I thought the custom doors were almost finished, my carpenter was still waiting for special hinges to be made. You know hinges are special when they take two months to make. The closet doors were not going to have a frame. They were going to hang on pivot hinges. They were going to be spray painted glossy white. They were going to be magnificent.

If they ever got here.

This was the front closet situation for five months after I moved in:

Front closet awaiting doors

The funny thing? Is that people who came over didn’t even realize this was supposed to be a closet. I kept insisting that doors were coming. They kept nodding like you do with crazy people who insist their imaginary friend is coming to dinner so you better set an extra place. Some lost hope that the closet doors would ever arrive. But I kept hope alive. First the doors were supposed to be installed, but the carpenter’s assistant put the latch pulls on backwards. Then they were supposed to be installed, but they needed another coat of paint to correct for the latch pull debacle. Then Sandy happened. My carpenter’s studio was flooded. He sent me a photo of the doors to confirm that they existed, but were being held hostage:

Front closet doors being held hostage

Finally the doors were brought over! Were they painted yet? No. No, they were not. They were only visiting for a few hours to make sure they fit:

Front closet doors visit

Saying goodbye was not easy. I couldn’t wait to see them again and welcome the painted doors home for good. They were whisked away to be painted…oh yeah, then the whole latch pull/Sandy/flooding/repainting happened. Sorry, the timeline got a little foggy there. In the end, the front closet doors were installed in their full magnificence.

Finally…the after photo we’ve all been waiting for!

Front closet doors after

The doors are solid maple with a layer of MDF to achieve that glossy shine. Each door is about 150 pounds. The doors pivot on those special hinges so smoothly they don’t even make a sound. My architect wanted me to go with latch pulls instead of doorknobs for a streamlined look. Am I happy with the doors? Hells yeah. Windex is pretty, but I really didn’t need to look at the bottle like it was part of a sculpture called No Closet Doors anymore.

Oh yeah. If you’re wondering why my grand foyer doesn’t look all that grand, allow me to kindly remind you that this is downtown Manhattan. A foyer measuring four square feet is quite grand. Just being able to open the front door all the way is a luxury. Oh, it’s fancy up in here. No doubt.

home life – walk-in closet

One of the things that struck me about my new apartment the first time I saw it was its similarity to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. We have the same bedroom/walk-in closet/bathroom configuration. Since I live in reality, my bedroom/walk-in closet/bathroom are smaller than hers. But we all love relating to Carrie.

Getting to design my own walk-in closet had been a big dream of mine since I was little. You guys know what an organization freak I am. Organizing is my idea of good times. Friends even invite me over to organize their closets. For reals. Which is why I was beyond stoked to transform my original closet into streamlined, customized bliss. Here’s the before picture of the right side of the walk-in closet:

Walk-in closet before

What we have here is a classic New York City closet. Complete with classic New York City problems. This entire right side was essentially two hanging rods and an overhead shelf. Shoes were scattered on the floor. Scattered, people. Not even on shoe shelves. The previous owner had a dresser on the left side of the closet with a mirror over it. That’s about it. There was so much wasted space I kind of felt bad for him. Then I remembered the insane profit he was making on the apartment. I didn’t feel bad for him anymore.

The entire closet had to be gutted. I wanted to create built-ins from floor to ceiling on both sides to maximize storage space. Here’s the left side during demolition:

Walk-in closet demolition

And the right side, featuring my bathroom door. Remember that first week after I moved in when I was living with my team of contractors and no bathroom door? That was a super fun bonding experience. Here’s where the bathroom door lived:

Walk-in closet demolition

I worked with a wonderful designer who sat with me for hours, perfecting each millimeter of space. She took my initial sketches of both sides of the closet and calculated the exact measurements for the cubbies, cabinets, drawers, and hanging rod areas. For the left side, we started with the measurements of a hamper I saw at The Container Store and immediately had to have. It’s shiny white, large, and rolls. Sold. After we decided on the measurements for the hamper space, we figured out that I would have six clothes cabinets, four drawers, a sweater cubby, a large cabinet for supplies, and shoe cubbies right above the floor.

Here’s the after picture of the left side:

Walk-in closet after

How much do I love this? The drawers make me feel extra fancy. The closet is deeper than it looks, so the cabinets go way back. The top cabinets go all the way to the ceiling. There’s tons of storage space. Well, tons by downtown Manhattan standards, anyway. It’s pretty sweet to be able to buy the big Method soap jug to refill the little dispensers. And, like, more than one of something on sale.

The right side is for hanging clothes with shelf space at the top and shoe cubbies on the bottom. I wanted two rods for hanging tops, plus a smaller rod just for dresses. Here’s the right side after picture, facing toward the bedroom:

Walk-in closet after

Do I feel like Carrie Bradshaw every time I walk through my closet? Most def. But would Carrie want to live here? No way. Where would her shoes go?

waiting for you in brazil

Happy pub day to Waiting for You in Brazil! This is the second book release by my Brazilian publisher, Novo Conceito, who will be publishing all six of my books within the next two years.

Recognize the cover?

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti, Brazilian edition

A friendly neighbor from Brazil translated the tagline for me on Twitter: Two boys. Two passions. A girl undecided.

Even if you don’t know Portuguese, you’ll appreciate the official trailer.

Much love to my Brazilian readers!

your questions, please

TGIM! I’m starting off this shiny new week by asking for your questions. As you may remember from my most recent contest, I’ll be launching a help video series soon called Help Wanted. Some of you have emailed me with questions about boys, friends, home, and school. I am far from an expert on any of these topics. But I love getting your emails and writing back to everyone! And I really do miss being able to give my students advice when they’d come to me in my teaching days.

So I made an executive decision to answer some of your questions in video form. This will be a good way to share advice with even more friendly neighbors. I’ll be choosing a few of your questions for each Help Wanted video. Which means it’s time for your questions! Please leave any questions you’d like in the comments section. Include your first name and age. I can’t wait to get this started.

Some other things to share with you…

A big shout-out goes to Kara Doyle. Kara is my fitness instructor, mentor, and friend. I’ve been taking her Zumba classes for almost two years, plus total body and core since last summer. Because of Kara, I have all this renewed energy for working out. Her classes are amazing. I actually look forward to going to the gym. She has whipped my body into shape and continues to push me toward my next goals every day. Am I surprised that Kara was voted NYC’s #1 Zumba instructor? No, I am not. Her devotees have known that all along. Snaps for making working out so much fun, Kara!

January 6 was my 17-year New Yorkiversary. I moved to NYC in the Blizzard of ’96 for grad school. I had no job. I had no savings. Just big dreams of creating a better life here. I had a Knowing that New York was my true home. And I am so happy that I followed my heart. I can’t imagine being happier living anywhere else. Here’s to you, New York. You’ve been the best boyfriend a girl could ever hope for. Other than this one, of course…

(500) Days of Summer

Yesterday was a powerful day. Tomorrow is also powerful. January 8 is the day Tom meets Summer in (500) Days of Summer. This is the kind of detail hardcore fans like me notice. So when you’re going about your day tomorrow, caught up in routine and rushing from one place to the next, take a moment to look up. Your whole life could change before you even realize it.

(500) Days of Summer, Day 1