Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

The following is my annual Easter re-post.


Every so often, a reader tells me their impression of something I wrote in a way that deepens my own understanding of my own words. Someone in Florida once told me how a decision one rof my characters made helped her illustrate a sentiment she'd been trying to get across to her friends.

Here's what she told me:

In the past, I've had to help friends realize that life goes on even after you've made a poor decision. Not because you move on or get over it, but because you grow as a result of it. You build something new, something with a higher purpose, using what you've learned as one of your bricks.

When I read that, my heart leapt! Since there was no way I could say it any better, I immediately knew I'd be using her words in future speeches...and blog posts.

So what does this have to do with Easter?

One of the most beautiful ideas surrounding this holiday is that we're all given an opportunity to make corrections if we find ourselves traveling down a road we don't want to (or shouldn't) be on. In fact, we're given this opportunity to change every day. Every second! But sometimes we need a calendar to remind us.

Refresh. Repair. Rebirth. Whatever you want to call it...

Renewal is a wonderful blessing!

Easter 2017

Friday, April 07, 2017

13 REASONS WHY: A Netflix Premiere

It's been a full week since you've been able to watch the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. And it's been a week and a day since the red carpet premiere, so I'm just now barely starting to begin to come down from La La Land, and thought I'd share a bit about that magical experience.

My book's journey to the screen began  when I met Selena Gomez and her mom, Mandy Teefey, for a sushi dinner. They impressed me immensely with their passion for my book, their understanding of the characters and message, and their ideas for adapting it.


Fast forward eight years, and it finally happened! While those years saw several false starts, the end result makes all of us feel it happened exactly how it was supposed to happen.

The day before the premiere, my wife and I drove down to L.A., directly to the Paramount Pictures lot.


That's where the premiere would happen, but first we acted like giggly tourists as guests on a studio tour. Joining us were the equally giggly Kristen Pettit (she edited Thirteen Reasons Why) and Peter Emmerich (he created the map inside the book). In the distance behind us is the Hollywood sign!


Our hotel was across from Capitol Records, with another distant view of the Hollywood sign.


And in the other direction, a much closer sign of our show!


The next afternoon, the day of the premiere, several of my guests came to our room where three hair and make-up stylists made the women premiere-ready.


From left to right in the picture below are Nate Asher (brother), Sarah Pinon (sister-in-law), Kristen Pettit (editor), Romina Russell (YA author), Mary Weber (YA author), Laura Rennert (literary agent) JoanMarie (wife), me (uh...me), Elyse Marshall (publicist), Trey Pearson (musician), and Ben Scrhank (publisher).


When we got to the premiere, the red carpet festivities had already begun. You could take photos next to the beautiful Mustang from the show, as well as blue lockers from the hallways of Liberty High.


JoanMarie and I walked the red carpet, where more cameras were pointed in our direction than ever before. That's Derek Luke (Mr. Porter) to my left!


One of the people I feel blessed to know because of this journey is the beautiful person and wonderful actor who drove that Mustang, Christian Navarro (Tony).


If you've read interviews I've done about writing the book, you may know that the TV show My So-Called Life had a big impact on me. When I found out Wilson Cruz, who played Rickie Vasquez on MSCL, would play a lawyer named Dennis Vasquez on my show... Well, the full-circle elements of this project have been incredible.


This entire thing would not have happened as wonderfully as it has for me if not for the dedication of my literary agent, Laura Rennert, and film agent for Thirteen Reasons Why, Sean Daily.


Other YA rockstars in attendance, pictured with Romina and Mary below, were Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi...




But there was also a rockstar rockstar named Courtney Love!


Then we all headed into the theater...


...took our seats...


...and watched the first episode of a project lovingly handled by so many talented people.


I could not bmore grateful for what all of these people have achieved.

Forever...

Thank you.