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06-26-09 Malena Lott, guest host

The transcript below covers the complete #litchat conversation on June 26, 2009. The order appears sequentially from the first post to the final post. Guest host was Malena Lott, author of DATING DA VINCI.

 LitChat Welcome to LitChat. Today we’re concluding our topic of the week, Genre Bending Books, with guest host @MalenaLott. Join us now for #litcha
 carmenshirkey @LitChat #litchat -@MalenaLott is awesome! I’m sorry I have to miss the chat, but I’m sure she’ll do a great job! -1:01 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 LitChat Welcome, Malena! I read your book, DATING DA VINCI, and found it had deep understand of grief and loss. Bent the chick-lit genre. #litchat -1:03 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Hello, all! Thanks to @litchat for asking me to host today. I’m looking forward to the conversation. #litchat -1:03 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Hi Melena. You have an intriguing book title. #litchat -1:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit Hi Malena. Looking forward to the chat. #litchat -1:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana Hi there! #litchat -1:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Thank you @Litchat I’m glad you enjoyed Dating da Vinci. Yes, a recent review described it as chick-lit plus which is great with me #litchat -1:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 Rororosie Hi Malena, @litchat I have a q..what inspired you to transcend genres in your book DATING DA VINCI? #litchat #litchat -1:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana Thanks. I actually named the book myself. (Sometimes the publishers change names, but they liked it, too.) #litchat -1:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @mdbenoit Hey! Maybe we should stop meeting like this. People might tweet. #litchat -1:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana Yeah, we could start a trend. #litchat -1:06 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana I’m no fan of Dan Brown’s book, but I think I’ll read yours. #litchat -1:06 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @Rororosie I naturally have a humorous writing voice so that’s where the “light” comes in, but it also has love and loss #litchat -1:06 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @malenalott What is the significance of the title? I presume it’s not the real Da Vinci #litchat -1:07 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott My da Vinci is younger and sexier than Dan Brown’s. 🙂 But I did base mine on the original da Vinci.) I’m a huge Leo fan. Genius #litchat -1:08 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots I get a chicklit vibe from your book. Is it a blend of genres? Or just break the rules? #litchat -1:08 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Hard to write about loss; even harder to find humor in it. Good coping strategy, tho. #litchat -1:08 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott My Leo da Vinci is a young italian immigrant who is going to school at UT in Austin. My protag Ramona teaches English #litchat -1:09 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 bibliofreakblog @melanalott did your publisher/editor ever want you to change things to make it more classically chick lit? #litchat -1:09 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Lolly Winston’s first novel (title???) does a good job of dealing w/loss in a ‘humorous’ bent. #litchat -1:09 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @pussreboots It is written in first person & has humor but I think the cover makes it look lighter than it really reads, though #litchat -1:09 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana <—- loves first person! I shall definitely read this one. #litchat -1:10 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @bibliofreakblog No, I don’t think any publisher/editor is asking for more chick lit-style. But they did want a strong romance #litchat -1:10 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Is this your first novel? #litchat -1:11 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @malenalott The age difference is also an interesting bending of the genre #litchat -1:11 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana DD is my second novel. My first is THE STORK REALITY about a young woman’s journey to motherhood. Also 1st person pov #litchat -1:12 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @mdbenoit Yes, da Vinci is ten years younger than Ramona. Plus, she has 2 kids, young boys #litchat -1:12 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum The stores don’t have your book in stock. I have to buy it on line. #LitChat -1:13 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana That’s going on my list as well! I love the age diff. too. #litchat -1:13 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Ramona is searching for la dolce vita, the sweet life. Da Vinci’s youth is a part of his zest for life & making a new life #litchat -1:13 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana For those who read ebooks, it’s available for the Sony eReader #litchat -1:14 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @PattyRum praise be the Internet, where inventory doesn’t have to switch over as often! 🙂 #litchat -1:14 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana I’m all over technology except when it comes to reading. Prefer the old fashioned method. #litchat -1:14 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @malenalott Any culture clashes? #litchat -1:14 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Yes, it is now available as an e-book, Kindle format as well as tradepaperback. (whether in book store or online) #litchat -1:15 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Is it set in Texas, or Italy, too? #litchat -1:15 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @mdbenoit Since Ramona speaks many languages, she feels comfortable with da Vinci, but she’s not fluent in Italian #litchat -1:16 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana It’s set in Austin, Texas #litchat -1:16 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum I haven’t read the book – can you tell us abt it? #LitChat -1:17 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @PattyRum Ramona is a widow of 2 years & is the book explores her journey to find joy again, including a new love #litchat -1:18 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott The cover says “a tale of love, longing and la dolce vita” which means the sweet life. #litchat -1:19 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots @malenalott #litchat How does Austin play against the imagery associated w/ da Vinci and Italy? -1:19 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 SighWTF It would be fun to make up genre-bending types…say, economics and sci fi. #litchat -1:19 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @pussreboots Austin and Italy. That’s a bit of genre bending right there. #litchat -1:20 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @pussreboots All the characters in the story are feeling out of their element, transplants, trying to fit in again #litchat -1:21 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit Where did Ramona learn her several languages? Is she frm immigrant parents herself? #litchat -1:21 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Out of physical and emotional elements? #litchat -1:21 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @SighWTF They already did. It’s called VooDoo Economics. #litchat -1:22 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @mdbenoit She is not an immigrant, but she is a student & is doing her dissertation, which provide some non-fic elements, too #litchat -1:23 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum Is there a new book in the works? #LitChat -1:24 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Ramona is a self-professed “word nerd,” loves all language, & it was fun playing with the language of love in the book #litchat -1:24 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 Rororosie @malenalott Sometimes location kind of plays a character role in a story: is that true of Austin in your book? #litchat -1:24 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @malenalott She sounds like me. I’m also a “word nerd.” I like her already. #litchat -1:25 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @Rororosie Yes, Austin is very much a character: the university setting and learning and growing and bettering yourself #litchat -1:25 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots Why is da Vinci in Austin? #litchat -1:26 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @KatieFforde We’re having fun in #litchat. Do you have time to jump in? -1:26 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @PattyRum Yes! Making revisions on my next novel, about three sisters, right now. Should be to my agent in the next week or so #litchat -1:26 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @mdbenoit Scrabble makes more than one appearance in the story. #litchat -1:27 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum @malenalott wonderful! Look forward to it. #LitChat -1:27 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @carleenbrice Hello, darling! So nice of you to swing in. #litchat -1:27 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott I enjoy books when a location (town, a house, the beach) is also a strong character. #litchat -1:28 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @pussreboots Da Vinci is a college student at UT. He lives in Ramona’s studio apartment behind her home. #litchat -1:28 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 carleenbrice @malenalott Hope all goes well with your next book! #litchat -1:29 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @carleenbrice Thank you. Me, too. I’m very excited about it. Wrote in the POV of each of the sisters so a great way to explore #litchat -1:30 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Was it hard, getting two distinct voices to work? #litchat -1:31 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 carleenbrice @malenalott How many POV? My new book is 2 sisters & each has a POV. #litchat -1:31 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum @malenalott Where does the story take place? #LitChat -1:31 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott I did play a lot with culture and tradition in DATING DA VINCI. Her neighbor is a Russian bride; she attends a Hindu wedding, etc. #litchat -1:31 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots @malenalott lots of opportunity for tension then w/ them always so close. #litchat -1:31 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 George9Writer @malenalott How much freedom to genre-bend did you feel, when you wrote this? #litchat -1:32 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @carleenbrice THREE! They are 22, 24 and 25 in the story. I need to go out and get your new book! #litchat -1:32 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit How do the 2 kids come into play in the story? Detractors? Facilitators? Is a 26 yr old interested in kids? #litchat -1:33 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 carleenbrice @malenalott I admire you for taking on the challenge! Hard to pull off 3 women who r related so need to sound similar but also not #litchat -1:33 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @George9Writer I had extreme freedom, because it’s single-title – wasn’t fitting into anyone’s “line” and wasn’t sold beforehand #litchat -1:33 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots @mdbenoit Good question. How old are the kids? #litchat -1:34 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @mdbenoit The kids added tension because she’s a mom & they are her top priority. Da Vinci comes from a big family in Italy so he #litchat -1:34 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 redRavine @melanalott about the writing process — What is your writing schedule/best time to write? What works when you get stuck? #litchat -1:35 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @pussreboots I believe they are 6 and 8, both boys. Not sure if I said their ages, but elementary school. Fact-checker, anyone? #litchat -1:36 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @carleenbrice Yes, was tough, but all 3 sisters are very different so that helped a ton. #litchat -1:36 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @redRavine Well, TinyHulk is whining behind me as I type this! I try to write when he’s still asleep (early morning). #litchat -1:37 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott For editing, i can work anytime, anywhere, but for “fresh” work, I do like to have quiet. (If that’s possible) #litchat -1:38 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum Have you always written – published or not #LitChat -1:38 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @PattyRum Yes, I started writing in earnest in sixth grade. Motivated by Bridge to Terabithia and also Sweet Valley High. #litchat -1:39 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 ZiggyTek RT @mdbenoit @maggiedana For those who read ebooks, it’s available for the Sony eReader #litchat http://bit.ly/NY1gd -1:40 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Interesting those books represent grief (BRIDGE) and fun and relationships (Sweet Valley High) #litchat -1:40 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Was there one thing or a bunch of things that inspired this novel? #litchat -1:41 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @ZiggyTek Thanks for that link. #litchat -1:41 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum @ZiggyTek I so love a real book with a binding & pages I can turn #LitChat -1:41 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana I definitely wanted to write about grief and I studied da Vinci for about 5 years as a creative (ad agency) so I… #litchat -1:42 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @PattyRum I still prefer hardcover. Prop self in bed with numerous pillows to help hold book. #litchat -1:42 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 zumayabooks @PattyRum I love to take twenty books with me and they weigh less than a pound. 😉 #litchat -1:42 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott …combined both of those things. #litchat -1:43 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @PattyRum I currently have 82 books in my eReader, which I lug everywhere, esp. on weekend trips on our sailboat. #litchat -1:43 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @zumayabooks The design (of book) on e-readers isn’t there yet. But I imagine it will be. #litchat -1:44 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana you can do that with the eReader. I read in bed w it all the time. #litchat -1:44 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum @mdbenoit I do see the benefit of eReader, I just love the actual hardcover. I love having them as much as reading them #LitChat -1:44 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana I’m a book designer. Can’t bear look of e-reader text. #litchat -1:45 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana LOL I love that formula. (Agree, too) #litchat -1:45 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 Rororosie must…. buy… Kindle… LOL #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @PattyRum one doesn’t prevent the other. #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana I like to see the full cover book covers, so I’d love for that to be a part of the next gen of e-readers (&sleek/cool) #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 PattyRum Tell us about the 3 sisters #LitChat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Back to studying daVinci. You said with ‘ad agency.’ Sounds intriguing. #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 zumayabooks @maggiedana Designers, I suspect, will never be happy with ereader layout. Readers of ebooks, OTOH, really don’t care. #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @zumayabooks Sad, but true. #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 redRavine @malenalott if you could pass on 1 thing you learned about grief from writing this book (in 140 or less) what would it be? #litchat -1:46 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana I was the creative director/co-owner of an ad agency so I used da Vinci’s mind mapping in brainstorm sessions #litchat -1:47 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 LitChat We have 15 more minutes with Malena. Let’s bring back the topic to her and genre bending books, ok? #litchat -1:48 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Fascinating. What do you former colleagues think of the novel? #litchat -1:48 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @redRavine That grief changes who you are, but you can learn to live a new kind of normal. Must give yourself permission… #litchat -1:48 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Did anyone ask which 2 genres Malena has bent? If so, I missed her answer. #litchat -1:49 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana Is there a need for 2 genres in genre-bending? or is it taking a genre and “twisting” it? #litchat -1:49 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 George9Writer @malenalott What are a couple of genre-bending books that influenced you? #litchat -1:49 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 rebeccawoodhead Clan issues have made me so late for #litchat -1:50 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @mdbenoit I think I confused bending with blending. Sorry. #litchat -1:50 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @maggiedana You can also have genre mixing, like taking mystery and mixing it with romance: romantic mystery #litchat -1:51 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott I’d say I bending chicklit, or else bending women’s fiction – lightening a heavy topic. #litchat -1:51 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots #litchat Did you set out to write a genre-bender or did it just evolve that way? -1:51 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @rebeccawoodhead Welcome! #litchat -1:51 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @George9Writer Someone mentioned GOOD GRIEF earlier. It has heavy issue with humor. #litchat -1:52 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @pussreboots My goal is always to try to be different and unique and if there are any boundaries, push them. Make story stand out #litchat -1:53 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @malenalott That’s what a real writer should do: push the boundaries #litchat -1:54 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Yes, GOOD GRIEF … it was I who mentioned Lolly Winston. #litchat -1:55 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 pussreboots @malenalott An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life & Other Stories also mixes grief w/ humor #litchat -1:55 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Pushing boundaries always good unless they fall off the editor’s table. #litchat -1:55 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit John Gardner’s Sunlight Dialogues are amazing and are almost undefinable in genre bending #litchat -1:56 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott I really enjoyed @krisriggle REAL LIFE & LIARS, deals with cancer & her protag is v. funny #litchat -1:56 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @mdbenoit I will check that out – sunlight dialogues #litchat -1:57 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @malenalott Kris’s book is excellent. It certainly pushed boundaries and bent genres. #litchat -1:58 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 rebeccawoodhead @malenalott ‘live a new kind of normal’ I feel that way about grief. I say to people ‘Time doesn’t heal it. It blunts the edges.’ #litchat -1:58 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana @krisriggle RT @malenalott I really enjoyed @krisriggle REAL LIFE & LIARS, deals with cancer & her protag is v. funny #litchat -1:59 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @rebeccawoodhead yes, blunts the edges. When I feel grief, it’s as sharp as the day it happened, erasing all time. #litchat -2:00 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit @malenalott lots of used copies available I think. It’s not a new book. The illustrations are great, too. #litchat -2:00 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 susanmpls bit late to the party here: Malena, when you wrote the book, given it’s genre-bendiness, was it hard to find a publisher? #litchat -2:01 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Thanks for chatting with me today! Great ??s. I’m on Twitter daily, so hope we can stay in touch. #litchat -2:02 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 mdbenoit Well, chat people, gotta go. Thanks Malena for the great chat. Have a glorious w/e all. #litchat -2:02 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 rebeccawoodhead @malenalott me too – when I’m writing – it’s agony isn’t it but doesn’t it have to be? #litchat -2:02 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @susanmpls Hi, Susan. I think it helped it more than harmed. 🙂 #litchat -2:03 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 maggiedana Thank you, Malena. Both your books are on my next book-buying list. #litchat -2:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @rebeccawoodhead Agreed. Writing is agony and ecstasy. #litchat -2:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 LitChat We’re run to the end of our official 1-hr chat. @MalenaLott is welcome to stick around if she’s able. #litchat -2:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott @maggiedana Thank you! I appreciate that. #litchat -2:04 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 LitChat In the meantime, let’s all give @MalenaLott a big LitChat thank you for joining us today. #litchat -2:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 malenalott Thanks @litchat. I must go because I promised TinyHulk we could go feed the horses. Even though it’s 100 degrees! #litchat -2:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 susanmpls @malenalott Interesting. Maybe because it was different, they figured it would break through the “noise”? Or it’s just that good 🙂 #litchat -2:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 redRavine @melanalott thank you so much for your time. Enjoyed it very much. #litchat -2:05 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 rebeccawoodhead @malenalott great #litchat. Thanks very much. -2:06 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 LitChat A note from housekeeping: LitChat now has a Fan Page on facebook. Just search LitChat and you’ll find us. #litchat -2:06 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 LitChat A note from the boss: We’re taking off next Friday to celebrate America’s Independence Day (sorry, brits). No LitChat next Friday. #litchat -2:08 PM Jun 26th, 2009
 Rororosie Thank you @malenalott GREAT CHAT! #litchat -2:08 PM Jun 26th, 2009
LitChat But the week after that our topic is How Real Life Informs Fiction and guest host on July 10 is @lynne_griffin. #litchat -2:10 PM Jun 26th, 2009

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