American Idol Without Simon Cowell: Five Things We’ll Miss (Paula Abdul, for One).

Paula-abdul-simon-cowellromance-240x300 I'll admit it: I was an addict.


I sobered up this year.

I don't blame the talent. Those kids sing their hearts out. It's their time to shine, their shot at the brass ring.

Nope, what made me go cold turkey was the thought that two of the four constant integers of the marvelous equation that made up IDOL — judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul — would no longer be a part of it.

It was bad enough when Paula left. If IDOL were a Hostess Ding Dong, Paula was the kooky gooey center that held together the dry crumbs so blithely tossed out to us,the plebian masses, by Simon.

Think Abbot (Simon) without Costello (Paula).  Or Kirk (Simon) without Spock (Paula).

Or (more gender-appropriately) Ricky without Lucy.

Yeah, okay, Paula is a flake. But to paraphrase Roosevelt, she's our flake.

Or was.

I actually like Kara. Randy knows his stuff, but needs a new schtick.

And who doesn't love Ellen? But seeing her on IDOL is like the first time you saw William Shatner do comedy after STAR TREK. He has the chops, but it's blowin' your couch-potatoe'd mind.

Which brings us back to Simon. What are the five things we'll miss most? Here's my list:

1. The wit. Say what you want about the man, he's sharp (ouch! that hurt!) as a tack.

2. The cutting remarks. No one slices and dices like Simon. Frankly he should move to the Food Network

3. That raised eyebrow at one of his jester's (fellow Atlanta native Ryan Seacrest's) many foibles.

4. The non-posh Brit accent.

5. The advice. He is a master class in the commercial music industry. And in TV land.

In other words, without him, IDOL is . . . . just a singing contest.

Goodbye, Simon. We knew ye well enough to love to hate you.

Well, the king is dead. Long live the king.

Back to reality TV,


Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

In bookstores June 1, 2010. Order it

"Hollywood's got nothing on the cast of characters living in
bedroom community of Paradise Heights, who have the secrets, sex, money
and scandal of an OK! Magazine cover story. Josie Brown is a skilled
observer whose clever dialogue and feisty style make for truly
entertaining reading."

, bestselling author of Hollywood Wives and Poor Little Bitch Girl

bookstores June 1, 2010. Pre-order

From Amazon

From Barnes & Noble

From Books a Million

From Borders

From Copperfield's

From Your
Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's


Reality TV Wants YOU! Think You’re Ready for Your Close-Up?

It's always a hoot when I get one of these in my mailbox. 

Alas, I've already had my shot at reality TV (you'll read more about that, come September 2010; though I warn you: it' ain't a pretty tale) so I'm passing this one along to all you single gals.

Lights, camera, action,

— Josie


Are you a woman in your 20’s or 30’s who is actively navigating the NYC
online dating scene?

Have you looked for love on or other online dating websites?

Do you and your single girlfriends have enough stories – the good, the
bad and the ugly – to write a book on dating?
Are you New York City’s real life Carrie Bradshaw?

If so, we want to hear from you!

Picture Shack Entertainment is now casting fun, fabulous single women
(and their friends!) for a new reality pilot about the good, the bad and
the future happily-ever-afters of the NYC dating scene! We're looking
for that vivacious group of girlfriends who are outgoing, adventurous
and made-for-TV…all those real life Carries, Mirandas, Charlottes and
Samanthas who will let us come along for the ride as they meet, date and
discuss all those potential Mr. Rights!  

If you’re open to new styles of dating and love to meet new people
online while searching for your Mr. Right, please contact us with a
recent photo, as well as a brief description of yourself and your online
dating history. If you have girlfriends who might be right for this
ensemble show, please let us know! 

To apply or get information about the pilot
Please contact:  

Danielle Gervais (Casting Producer)
Call: 646-674-3098


SecretLivesCover200w Josie's
Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

In bookstores June 1, 2010. Order it

From Amazon

From Barnes & Noble

From Bigger Books

From Books a Million

From Borders

From Boswell Books

From Copperfield's

From Your
Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's

Here's your chance to win a $200 gift card from Target!

purchase necessary! All you have to do is read an excerpt of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, and answer the question at the end.

All correct
answers, received between between now and 12 Midnight PT on
June 8,
, will be
entered in the drawing, which takes place at my book tour stop on Thurs
June 10, 2010. CLICK

I Want My Book TV! Using the AMERICAN IDOL Model in Publishing

If the publishing industry is to survive, it has to promote it's products (books and authors) and its brands (imprints — and again, authors).

That's the wave of the future.

And the eBook — the fastest growing distribution method in the publishing industry — ia taking us there, at warp speed.

Sure, technology is the lead horse, but shouldn't publishing houses be grab the reins — and the bulk of sales?

That means more promotion.

And creating more impulse sales.

And opening up point-of-sale in more venues.

Not just publishing houses, but bookstores, too. If they want to survive (let alone thrive) they must must get on the bandwagon . . .

Or go the way of the buggywhip store.

I'm talking bread and circuses here.

Yep, the more, the merrier. Make it a happening, a be-in.

I'm talking a book slam. In person, and in a BIG way.

Big venue, big crowds. 

Then invite the world.

Some booksellers get this.The town in which I was born and raised (as we say in the South) puts on a world-class book fair. The Decatur Book Festival (in Georgia) is something that the independent book stores in the area should be proud of. I know I am.

If the world can't be there in person, take them there, via TV and radio.

Podcast it. YouTube it.

Forget about "American Idol." What about "American Novelist?"

But big ideas take big bucks.

Which brings us to the pub houses — many of which are owned by media conglomerates. So CBS (Simon & Schuster) or ABC (Hyperion) or Fox (HarperCollins), why not devote a
few hours of TV programming each week to promoting your publishing subsidiary, and showcasing
your authors?

Make it an elimination contest. Each week, have the novelist contestants do round-robin reads of 2-3 chapters.

The audience can vote for their faves (via online, where they can also download .pdfs of the chapters they just heard).

You could have your bestsellers serve as judges–and showcase trailers of their upcoming books.


Like most readers, I love any venue that helps me visual what I'm reading. More to the point, I want the readers of my books to visualize my characters and my plots.

But let's be honest: most authors read like frightened 5th graders giving book reports.

Solution: hire up-and-coming actors that act out scenes, or to give table reads.

Afterward, the host talks with the author about plot and character.

The requisite "video bio" of the author will help endear him/her to new fans.

And of course "American Novel" will culminate in a "grand prize": a bigger advance, multi-book contract, and front table status for mid-listers.

Talk about a way to build the brands — and the sales — of your authors


You get the picture.

And yes, I am ready for my close-up,


BestSLHW Josie's Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

Look for it in bookstores June 1, 2010

From Amazon

From Barnes & Noble

From Bigger Books

From Books a Million

From Borders

From Copperfield's

From Your Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's

D’oh! The Simpsons: Enter the Contest to Name a New Character

Homer-Simpson-3 When my son graduated from high school, one of the questions asked on his senior yearbook form was who inspired him the most. I'm guessing the names Lincoln, or Jimmy Carter or Ghandi flitted through that pea soup he calls a brain, but the idol he finally settled on was HOMER SIMPSON.

Yup. Just the sort of thing that makes a mama proud, right?

In truth, Martin and I have no one to blame but ourselves. Both our children were weened on the TV show, so of course one of its characters would have made an impression. (Was it too much to ask for that to be Lisa?…Guess so…sigh...Well, at least it wasn't Comic Book Guy.)

I'm happy to report that said son enjoys philosophy and is wending his way through a degree in Journalism. Perhaps his idol, Homer, has instilled him with some heady lessons after all.

In honor of that — and THE SIMPSON's 20th anniversary — I'm using today's shout-out to encourage you to enter the show's contest to name a new character by clicking here.     

Should be a blast. And in typical Simpsonian form, the contest explains that the writers extended this invitation:

"For 20 years, the artists and writers of THE SIMPSONS have lovingly labored to create a parade of hilariously memorable characters beloved by the whole world. Well, that's all over now. The simple fact is, we're tired. Tired and, frankly too rich to care anymore. That's where YOU come in! While we coast on our long ago achievement, you have the chance to shame us off our lazy butts by designing your very own Simpsons character! (Come up with a great name and catchphrase, plus a brief description, and if you're selected as the winner, we'll bring you to Los Angeles to meet with an actual artist from THE SIMPSONS who will bring your character to life in the episode currently planned for January 31, 2010). Come on, people show us how it's supposed to be done. You'll have the satisfaction of creating a character seen by millions. And we'll have the satisfaction of not having to do our jobs."   

Homer couldn't have said it better,



Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives
Simon & Schuster/Pocket
(ISBN: 9781439173176)

Look for it in bookstores

September 2010



I ran a contest to celebrate the release of my newest book, IMPOSSIBLY TONGUE-TIED. The prize: A 1GB iPod Shuffle! Sweet, huh?  The winner had to email back to me the right answer to a question about my excerpt for the book

And the winner is…


Kim Westgaard of Crystal Lake, IL! 

Enjoy it, Kim!


And Read an Excerpt of IMPOSSIBLY TONGUE-TIED here!