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Comedian Heather McDonald: ‘You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again’


You’ve seen her on Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Lately, Frasier, Malcolm in the Middle, Reno 911, Drake and Josh, Quintuplets and Watching Ellie but now the wacky sharp-tongued comedian,Heather McDonald has come out with a new book entitled, You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again.

I had the opportunity to talk to this multi-talented performer all about it and more.

You’ve been building your career as a comedian for years. How did the Chelsea Lately opportunity happen for you?

Chelsea and I have known each other for 13 years and we were always friendly when we’d see each other at auditions. About six months before Chelsea Lately began I did a few all female stand up shows with Chelsea and we connected. When I heard that she was going to have a 5 night a week show I got very excited because I had written on shows before one being The Keenen Ivory Wayans late night talk show and I thought it might even be easier to write for a cute white woman than it was to write for a black man so I submitted a writing sample and got the job. Only after I began working at Chelsea Lately did Chelsea and I become close friends. 


For those who haven’t read your book, what’s it about? 

You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again is about all the guys I did not have sex with in the ’90’s living in LA and pursuing acting and stand up comedy. Unlike “putting out”, blue balling might not have paid my rent or land me free trips to Hawaii, but it did provide me with hilarious stories and adventures in my search for true love.

Why did you feel compelled to write it?

I had been jotting funny stories down to hopefully one day put in a book when one day I was on the round table on Chelsea Lately and I started to tell a story when Chelsea interrupted me and said “If this is another one of your stories that ends with you blue balling some a guy from the ’90’s I’m going to kill myself.” It was then that I realized that a lot of my funniest stories do end with me blue balling a guy from the ’90s. I also decided it was time for me to come out and tell the world that at one time I was a 27 year old virgin.

What is it like to write your first book and seeing it actually on the book shelves?

I love seeing my book on the book shelves. I admit I have been Secret-ing this vision for years and it finally became a reality! I also could not be happier with the way the cover turned out. I love how girly and fun it is. It made lying uncomfortably on all those blue balls totally worth it. 


Do you plan on writing future books? If so, what would they be about?

Yes, I do plan on writing future books. Right now, the working title for my second book is From Blue Balls to Tee Balls and it would include more embarrassing hilarious stories about my life and what has happened after I got married and had kids. 

Where can we get a copy of your book?

Anywhere books are sold!

What the YUCK?!

When I heard the title of this book: What the Yuck?! The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body I had to find out more. It answers all those embarrassing questions we all want to know but are too afraid to ask. To find out more, I contacted the co-authors Dr. Roshini Rajand Lisa Lombardi.

For those who aren’t familiar with your book, what’s it about?
Lisa: What the Yuck?! The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body tackles all the super-embarrassing and random health questions women would never ask our doctors–or even our best friends. The book–which grew out of a hugely popular column in Health magazine–is meant to be a funny and frank guide to the real stuff we wonder: Could my laptop make me infertile? How do I know if I smell down there? Are celeb cleanses safe? Can I catch bedbugs from my date?

Dr. Raj, you have so much great information in your book. What’s one of the wackiest things about our body that few people know about?
Dr. Raj: There are so many wacky things to choose from! I think our intestines are a murky area for most people. Did you know that we contain more bacteria in our guts than cells in our body? Most of these are the good variety, which help us regulate our bowels and process gas.

Why do you believe now more than ever people seem to be more health conscious?
Dr. Raj: This is the age of information. With the explosion of the Internet, TV medical dramas, and people like Oprah Winfrey talking about poop on national TV, health matters are being demystified like never before. People are much more invested in their health and in preventing disease, rather than blindly trusting their doctors. The danger is that, in addition to increased awareness, there is also a lot of misinformation out there, so it’s important to verify that you’re getting accurate information.

Lisa: That’s so true–what makes this book invaluable is it’s filled with the kind of questions we all Google late at night, but the answers are from an Ivy-educated doctor rather than a random bulletin board or blog.

You deal with a lot of serious medical conditions in the book, do you think it would be appropriate for children to read passages of it?
Dr. Raj: Definitely. It is never too early to start learning about our bodies, how they work, and when we may need to see a doctor. Also, some of the questions on weight-loss and celebrity health matters teach important lessons to children, who may be hearing and wondering about strange health trends.

Lisa: What the Yuck?! goes there–it’s definitely meant for women. Brave readers may want to share it with their teen daughters, but I have little guys so I’m keeping my copy on the top shelf of my bookcase!

One of the interesting questions you answer in the book is which fad diets are safest? So many people are trying lose weight fast, what do you suggest?
Dr. Raj: My suggestion is to be realistic. When it comes to weight-loss, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, there is no get-thin-quick diet that actually works. Calorie restriction and exercise is the only proven way to lose weight, and it should be gradual. In What the Yuck?! we talk about different strategies to do this, how to combat cravings, and we also address the dangers behind many of the popular fad diets.

What are you working on next?
Lisa: There are so many juicy questions we couldn’t fit in this book, so a sequel is a definite possibility, as are spin-offs focusing on men, kids, and pregnant women. In the meantime, I’m back to my “day job” as executive editor of Health magazine, where we’re working on an exciting redesign for September.

Dr. Raj: Starting with the September issue, my Health magazine column will be called “What the Yuck?!” and I’ll also continue my “day job” seeing patients along with appearances on NBC’s Today Show.

Where can we get a copy of your book?
What the Yuck?! is available wherever books are sold.

Lit Agent, Stacey Glick Wants YA Books!

Stacey Kendall Glick is no stranger to the entertainment world. Before she joined literary agency DGLM, she had been working in film and television development for years. The former child actress took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for aspiring writers looking for representation.

Stacy, what’s your official title and why are you the best agent in the universe?
I’m a Vice President and have been with DGLM for 11 years. Hard to say why I’m the best in the universe, or if in fact I am (!), but I know my authors trust me, are easily able to reach me, appreciate my dedication to their work, and ongoing persistence in trying to make things happen during a difficult time in our industry.

So much is changing in the industry today, what are you and your agency doing to brace for impact?
We have always worked as hard on our small books as our big ones, and for better or worse, that means a lot of authors need to do other types of work to make a living. Most of them understand this, and are willing to let us do our jobs and knock on doors until we find the right place for them. It also means that we’ve been able to survive an thrive despite the economy and downturn in book publishing.

How do the new eReading technologies come into play?

I think the changes are like a moving target and it’s hard to say in a concise way because the conversation is so big, and it just keeps changing so rapidly. Ultimately, I feel that the more opportunities there are for publishers to find new readers in any and all formats, the better off the industry, and our culture at large, will be.

What’s hot now, what are editors looking for? And what type of manuscripts and proposals are you currently looking for that you never seem to get?
We’ve had great success lately in YA and some middle grade. The younger markets seem to be vibrant right now. I can’t say what I’m looking for that I never seem to get, but I will say I am being very selective these days, more than ever.

What’s the best way for writers to approach you? And what’s one of your pet peeves when writers query you?
E-mail is probably best, but regular mail still works too. I like query letters to be personal, and reference projects I’ve worked on or something I’ve said on our website. A well-written query that shows an attention to detail is going to get a lot more attention than a “To Whom It May Concern”.

And finally, what is something about you that very few people know?
I’m a lot busier than I used to be because I have 4 little girls, the oldest just turned 5, and the youngest are 14 month old identical twins!

Author Victor McGlothin on Secrets of Newberry

Lovers of post-civil war era love stories, you’re in for a treat. Victor McGlothin has created a heart-warming tale called Secrets of Newberry about a defiant black man and a young mulatto lady. When fate, crime and racism drives them apart only love can bring them together. I had the opportunity to interview the author of this gem and this is what what he had to say:

First of all, for those who haven’t read your book, what is Secrets of Newberry about?

The Secrets of Newberry is set in a small plantation community just outside of New Orleans, 1955. The story follows a family with deep dark secrets which are shocking even by today’s standards. Events chronicled in this novel drift beyond the well-drawn color lines of the era as rich plantation owners brazenly cross them. Conversely, poor tenant farmers scratch out a living from fertile Louisiana soil while holding onto dreams deferred and an occasional hot night in the dance halls of the big city.

Two small time hustlers from opposite sides of the tracks discover that friendship and freedom aren’t mutually exclusive when a heist goes wrong, a powerful city councilman is murdered and the police are hot on their trails. The toughest decisions they will ever have to make could mean turning their backs on women they love and exposing some secrets worth dying to keep. 

Why should we go out and get a copy?

This story is so rich in history and plot twists that it merits reading more than once. It would be a welcomed addition to any personal library.

Who do you think would enjoy the book the most and why?

Secrets of Newberry is steeped full of dramatic events, witty dialogue and vivid scenes. This novel will appeal to avid readers and those searching for an authentic story of tragedy and triumph.

What inspired you to write Secrets of Newberry?

My readers inspired me to put this story together after hinting at its existence in a previous novel several years ago. A character in What’s A Woman to Do? found a collection of hatbox letters after her mother passed away. The letters were written from a relative in the town they fled from in the middle of the night during her childhood. My fans were so taken by the contents of hatbox letters they suggested vehemently that I actually write a story based on the letters. The Secrets of Newberry is the result and I believe my best work to date.

What challenges have you faced in promoting your work with over 100,000 books coming out per year?

There will always be challenges in giving your book a voice when so many others are screaming to be heard simultaneously. Fortunately, non-contemporary novels seem to call out to readers stemming several generations because of their historical value and a rare glimpse back in time. Every reader knows what it’s like to live in the present. This novel provides an opportunity to see, feel and experience life when cards were played closer to the vest and love didn’t blossom over the internet or die with a rude ‘sorry but I’ve found someone else’ text message. 

What are you working on next?

I’ve completed my last novel which is the sequel to The Secrets of Newberry. Now, I’m focused on adapting some of my story to screenplays. If all goes well, I’ll see you on the red carpet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed real tight.

The Serious Side of Nick Cannon (AUDIO)


Many people know actor, comedian, rapper and TV host Nick Cannon from the silver screen or from what they read from the headlines. However, not many realize that in addition to multi-talented performer’s roles on camera, he has become just as active off screen.

One such role is the Chairman of TeenNick, a Network owned by MTV Networks which is seen in over 70 million households and features such hot shows as Degrassi, True Jackson, iCarly and Cannon’s newest creation, The Nightlife, a hot Summer series for teens.

The new series will feature some of the latest trends in fashion, music, dance and entertainment. Airing every Thursday night in August from 9:30-10 p.m. (ET). Ice Cube, Anna Kendrick, Travie McCoy, New Boyz, Brandon Routh and T.I. have all signed up for the gig.

In my audio interview with Cannon today, he discusses his role as Chairman (which is more than just a publicity stunt), his hectic schedule that begins before 6am every morning with his radio show duties and ends past midnight after he’s completed his record label duties and spinning at some of the hottest clubs in the country. He also tells us his goals for the future and how he balances it with his personal life.

 

Enrique Iglesias on his New Album (AUDIO)


Talking to Enrique Iglesias, you would never know the guy is one of the biggest Latin artists of his generation. Oh, sure you have this image in your head of a man who has women dripping off him, and who checks every mirror as he walks down the hall in order to look at how beautiful he is. But the truth is, I was not prepared for what he had in store for me. Enrique Iglesias was incredibly down-to-earth. He makes you feel as if he’s known you for decades and that you’re talking to your best friend.

Forget about the fact that including his latest album,Euphoria, he has sold over 55 million albums in both English and Spanish. Forget the fact that he is part of Latin music royalty, or that he’s reportedly still with one of hottest women on the planet, Anna Kournikova. In my interview with Iglesias today, he discusses how he deals with the paparazzi, his songwriting process and why he says he’s panicking about the public’s response to his latest album.

Alison Arngrim is a Total ‘Bitch’ (AUDIO)


Alison Arngrim, best known for her role as the conniving Nellie Olson on the hit classic series, Little House on the Prairie is a total bitch. At least that’s what she calls herself in her new memoir Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, which started as a one woman show, and has now become a world-wide phenomenon.

Argngrim admits she hated the wholesome image of the show at first but since has embraced it and built a second career out of it. In my interview with Arngrim today, she speaks about her experiences on the show, what she really thinks of her co-stars, her book and her tremendous work with HIV/AIDS charities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brigitte Berman on: Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (AUDIO)





Oscar-winning documentarian Brigitte Berman was not prepared for the accolades nor criticism she has received for her film Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel. Passionate about her friend of over 5 years, Berman insists her film has a balanced view of the iconic American figure and new insights into his life that have never been covered on film before.

Although she has a generally positive disposition, one cannot ignore her slight irritation at what she views as some of the unfair and slanted news coverage some media outlets have given the documentary.

Working on such subjects as Artie Shaw, Robert Bateman and even the Osbournes was no match for the tremendous press coverage her newest film has encountered. However, Berman has never been more proud and excited about a film’s debut.

Hugh Hefner: Plaboy, Activist and Rebel offers one of the very first in-depth and authorized views of the inside of Hefner’s media empire that goes beyond just the pretty faces, she says.

Berman promises a look at Hefner’s other passions such as art, politics and the rebellious as well as the more gentler side of him that the public has never seen.

In our audio interview with Berman, she explains her stance on the film, how it was put together and her response to those who have not given the film a fair chance.