Cherry Money Baby

Images Inspiring Fiction

I’ve heard various artists say they’re often inspired by images. Most famously Ron Howard claims he draws inspiration for his movies from single still images and photographs.

On Tumblr today I stumbled across this painting by Edward Hopper, which was the initial inspiration for my book CHERRY MONEY BABY. Something about this woman (an usher?) alone, apart from whatever’s transpiring on stage / screen, lost in her own thoughts…it got me thinking about a young woman who feels tangential to someone else’s larger drama, a girl on the outside looking in, and I wanted to tell her story.

tumblr_o3a9223Hpv1qz6f9yo1_540.jpg

Fellow writers, are there pictures and images that inspire your stories? I’d be curious to hear about them (and see them).

Advertisements

CMB Audiobook Review

I don’t typically share reviews, but seeing as this one praises my totally fabulous reader, Sarah Elmaleh, I figured I’d spread the love. An excerpt from The Reading Date:

“I listened to the audiobook, performed by Sarah Elmaleh, a new-to-me narrator, and in fact this seems to be her first audiobook. This audiobook just would not work if it weren’t matched with the right performer. There’s Cherry, with the larger than life personality, her family and friends in the trailer park, plus the English accented movie star Ardelia and her entourage. But Elmaleh gives an authentic voice to Cherry and infuses the supporting characters voices with personality. I had a copy of the book, but used a credit on the audiobook based on the audio sample, and I’m really glad I did. Elmaleh has a great throaty voice and nails Cherry’s deadpan humor, and eases seamlessly into Ardelia’s polished accent. This is an audiobook I’d listen to again if I needed a pick-me-up.”

Read the full review here.

CHERRY MONEY BABY Launch Party, this Sat. @ BookCourt in Brooklyn

If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing about a month late. This Saturday I’m throwing CHERRY a major to-do at one of my favorite Brooklyn bookstores.

The What: CHERRY MONEY BABY Knock-Down-Drag-Out Baller Book Launch

The When: Saturday, October 12th, at 4pm.

The WhereBookCourt, in the Right Honorable Borough of Brooklyn

Listen, you’re all invited, so mark your calendars! Come, bring pals, enjoy libations, and watch me get probably way overdressed and maybe read a selection or two.

There will be signings, too. And push-up contests. Maybe. Winner gets a free burrito. Runner-up, an Alpha Romeo.

Hope to see you there!

CHERRY MONEY BABY has arrived!

 

 

 

Basically, this is me today:

tumblr_m9l8tqkTo31qehi9co1_500

 

It was almost three years ago I had the idea for CHERRY MONEY BABY– while washing dishes, as it happens. After countless drafts (on laptops, notebooks, and index cards) and months of revision, I’m so thrilled Cherry and company have arrived. And I feel such intense gratitude to the many, many people who helped bring this book into being, including Scott Treimel, Deb Wayshak, Lucy Earley, and all the phenomenal folks at Candlewick Press, my friends Evan Simko-Bednarski, Helena Fitzgerald, and Vicki Lame (who kept me sane through most of 2011), my parents Kate and John, and of course my GFF and first reader, Sarah Elmaleh (who voiced the audiobook, people!).

So if’n you like a story about hopes and dreams, glitz and fame, fast-cars, burritos, trailer parks, high heels, Converse All-Stars, Daisy Dukes, Louis Vuitton, British architecture, rented wombs, caviar, orange marshmallow circus peanuts, Italian cinema, Edward Hopper, She Hulk, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Auto-Tune the News, push-up contests, pregnancy tests, Alice in Wonderland, envy, champagne, and Pop Rocks…

…this is the book for you.

CMB Final Cover

Buy It / Read It / Review It:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Goodreads

What folks are saying:

STARRED REVIEW, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
Author/literary agent Cusick (Girl Parts) gives Cherry a sarcastic and often profane voice. The supporting cast—Cherry’s blue-collar father, her chill boyfriend, and Ardelia’s caustic manager—round out a plot that continually surprises. Cherry is a highly memorable character, prone to violent outbursts but possessing a strong moral compass, a rare smalltown girl who isn’t consumed by anxiety over getting into college or out of town—even when she has the chance to dip her toe into the pool with some big-time celebrities. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)

“Cherry Money Baby is fabulous in every sense of the word! It’s earthy and smart and moving, laugh-out-loud funny, surprising, inventive, suspenseful, and — Oh, Hell — just gorgeously written!” — Tim Wynne Jones, author of Blink and Caution and The Uninvited

“Smart. Funny. A terrific read. I love that Cherry loves her family and loves that things aren’t perfect. I want to be her friend (though she might beat me up).”— Carol Lynch Williams, author of Waiting and Glimpse

“A witty and wise exploration of living big, living small, and figuring out which size will make you happiest. Unpredictable, smart, and deliciously satisfying.” — Lindsey Ribar, author of The Art of Wishing

“Beautiful, insightful, and unpredictable — just like Cherry herself.” — Leila Sales, author of Past Perfect and Mostly Good Girls

“Cherry Kerrigan–rhymes with “heroine”–will kick you in the teeth with her vim, wit, and homespun charm. John M. Cusick’s sophomore, but never sophomoric, novel captures the thrill of a teen’s unexpected adventure with an adult’s wry eye toward the inevitability of the unexpected. Cusick’s nuanced premise that home is who you are weaves the entangled threads of class, change, and circumstance into a tightly plotted, full-hearted bildungsroman.  CHERRY MONEY BABY is better than cherry cola.” — Laura Goode, author of Sister Mischief

CHERRY MONEY BABY audio book! Guess who’s reading it….


SarahFace
So I knew there was going to be a CMB audio book for a few months now, and wondered about the poor sap who’d have to perform the book’s two dozen odd characters and ten-or-so distinct regional accents. Lucky lucky me because the very talented lady (who absolutely nailed every syllable), is none other than Ms. Sarah Elmaleh.*

In addition to being my GFF, Sarah is a phenomenal voice actress of video games, commercials and radio dramas. I couldn’t have asked for a better voice to read for Cherry and company, especially as S has suffered through several years of crummy drafts before getting to read the final aloud. Stay tuned for more news, and maybe a few sample clips.

You guys. You GUYS. I’m so excited.

CHERRY MONEY BABY the audio book will be available from Brilliance Audio on CD and Mp3 the same day as the hardcover: September 10th, 2013.

You can pre-order now!

* And guess what, it’s actually her BIRTHDAY today. You should go wish her happy birthday on Twitter: @selmaleh

Whoo!! Starred Review!!

Check ‘er out. CHERRY MONEY BABY received a Starred Review in Publishers Weekly!

Author/literary agent Cusick (Girl Parts) gives Cherry a sarcastic and often profane voice. The supporting cast—Cherry’s blue-collar father, her chill boyfriend, and Ardelia’s caustic manager—round out a plot that continually surprises. Cherry is a highly memorable character, prone to violent outbursts but possessing a strong moral compass, a rare smalltown girl who isn’t consumed by anxiety over getting into college or out of town—even when she has the chance to dip her toe into the pool with some big-time celebrities. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)

CHERRY MONEY BABY a Junior Library Guild Selection

Man I love days like today.

JLG logoI just received a super exciting email from Candlewick. CHERRY MONEY BABY is a Junior Library Guild Selection! For those of you who don’t know the JLG, check them out. Over 3,000 manuscripts are submitted by publishers each year, and only an nth make the cut. I am so honored to have CHERRY selected.

CHERRY MONEY BABY Cover Reveal!!!

In case ya ain’t seen it…

CMB Final Cover

 

Things we can learn from the CHERRY MONEY BABY cover.

1. There is a girl with sunglasses on the cover.

2. There are trailers involved.

3. There is perhaps a girl named Cherry in it? And maybe something to do with money? And a baby. Definitely.

4. Awesome. Cars.

5. It was written by me. Or someone with my name.

6. Actually, hell, let’s just read the synopsis okay?:

Hollywood glitz collides with workingclass aspirations in this satirical tale of an impulsive starlet and a sharp-witted small-town teen.

Cherry Kerrigan loves her simple life, her family’s tiny trailer, even working at Burrito Barn. Forget college — she’s marrying her sweetheart from next door. But here comes Ardelia Deen, a glamorous starlet who sweeps Cherry into a world of fast cars and penthouse parties. Now Cherry’s small-town life just seems so . . . small. When Ardelia drops a bomb of an offer — one involving a baby — Cherry knows her life will change forever, no matter what she decides. John M. Cusick focuses his signature wit on Hollywood royalty and the wide-eyed dreams of Small Town, U.S.A. in a novel about discovering who you are . . . and changing your mind.

Coming September 10th! Pre-Order Now!

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Greenlight Bookstore