Tag Archives: WISH

Why you should care about Darien, Connecticut

My new young adult novel WISH takes place in the real-life town of Darien, Connecticut. Darien sits along scenic Long Island Sound on Connecticut’s ‘Gold Coast’ an hour from Manhattan by train. Most people who live in the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT, the bedroom commuter communities of Manhattan) have heard of Darien, Connecticut because it’s a desirable place to live, and the home of many rich executives and professionals who commute to New York City. A lot of people think Darien is a great place to raise a family, but you’re probably thinking why the hay should I care about Darien? I mean, seriously? But there are some very good reasons why Darien should be on your radar… here they are, in no particular order:

map_of_darien_ct

Moby is from Darien.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you may not know electronic singer-songwriter Moby. He’s had a number of wildly popular songs including “Go,” “Natural Blues” and “Porcelain,” from albums like Everything is Wrong, Animal Rights and Play. Moby where he was already making music with a band called the Vatican Commandoes. After he graduated from high school in 1983, Moby attended the University of Connecticut, where he studied philosophy. He dropped out one year later to pursue his budding music career full-time. Throughout the mid-1980s, Moby worked at a record store in Darien, played in local bands like Caeli Soul and Gin Train, and started DJing for local nightclubs to kick-start his music career. Moby first began to achieve success It as a DJ, performing gigs at various nightclubs. He moved to New York City in 1989 and signed a contract with Instinct Records. Fame quickly followed the release of his 1999 album, Play, which sold more than 9 million copies worldwide.

 

Both versions of the Stepford Wives were filmed in Darien.
I am not making this up.This film about a TV exec named Joanna Eberhart who comes to the quaint little town of Stepford, Connecticut with her family, but soon discovers there lies a sinister truth in the all too perfect behavior of the female residents…the wives are being replaced by robots–and she’s next. The word “Stepford” came into being because Darien is a “Step” away from Stamford, Connecticut.
Among the locations used for filming was:
Goodwives Shopping Center (Seriously! You can’t make this stuff up!) – where my mother did much of her grocery shopping back in the day.

Darien is in The Official Preppy Handbook.
When The Official Preppy Handbook first came out in 1980, people weren’t sure if it was a valentine, a joke or a prophecy. It pretends to be a studious field guide as it explains and satirizes what it takes to be a preppy person in the 1980s, parodying the lifestyle of the WASP elite. The Handbook reveals where preps go to school, where they summer, what brands they wear, and how they decorate their homes. This much is clear: It began life as a $3.95 paperback and stayed on the New York Times best-seller list for more than a year. Today’s asking prices for used copies can easily top $100 and sometimes exceed $1,000. Obviously people think it contains useful information… If you can get your hands on a copy.

I grew up in Darien.
Yes, it’s true and it was a great place to grow up. When I was young, we spent our summers fishing and catching crabs or hanging at the beach. After the ponds froze in the winter we went ice skating, but only after officer M., our local beat cop, deemed it safe (he’d personally test the ice first). However, I wouldn’t choose to live there now as an adult; in general it’s not recommended for anyone who needs cultural stimulation.

Darien, The Stats:
• Population: 20,732 (2010 census)
• Median Family Income: $250, 001
• Median home sale price (Q3 2014): $1,437,500
• An ambulance service, known as “Darien EMS – Post 53” is the only ambulance service in the nation staffed and run entirely by high school student volunteers (my youngest brother was one of them back in the day).

Interview with WISH Cover Model: Colette

The cover reveal for WISH has prompted a lot of curiosity about the featured dancer. This comes as no surprise; Colette is a lovely and talented dancer. Read on to find out more about where she came from and where she’s headed.
ColetteHeadshot
Tell us about your ballet background.
I started ballet when I was 3 at a little studio in Fairfax called DT7. I danced with them for 7 years and eventually joined their pre-professional program. I then decided to audition for San Francisco Ballet School when I was 10 and was accepted to their year round program! I then went through levels 5-8 at San Francisco Ballet School for 7 years. When I graduated high school at the age of 17 I was accepted to Indiana University and now dance with the Jacobs School of Music majoring in Ballet.
What were your initial thoughts about modeling for the cover of WISH?
At first I wasn’t positive what kind of book WISH was going to be, but I didn’t hesitate when I was asked and felt honored to be on the cover of WISH.
What were your favorite parts about modeling? Biggest challenges?
My favorite part about modeling is getting positive feedback from photographers. When I know the photographer is getting what they need then it makes me feel excited to see the final product.The biggest challenge for me while modeling is being able to relax my face and body.
How do you feel after seeing the finished cover? How is it different from what you imagined it would look like?
I really love it, I think it looks really mystical, beautiful, and almost erie. It is a very intriguing image capturing the audiences’ attention. I really like the black and white effect. I thought it would be much more blurred out around the corners and thought I would be farther back on the cover, but I really like the final product.
What are your current projects? 
Currently I am a sophomore at Indiana University and getting a Bachelors of Science with an Outside Field. The bachelor of science part is a major in ballet while my outside field is environmental management. My freshmen year I performed La Bayadere and this year I have performed two pieces for the fall ballet, a classical Balanchine piece, Emeralds and a modern piece, Dark Elegies. We are now working on the Nutcracker, as Indiana starts to go into the low 30 degrees bringing in the holiday spirit, unlike California!
A few fun facts:
Favorite treat: Banana bread/ Oreos
Craziest thing you’ve ever done: going to a school 2,000 miles away from home.
3 things that make you happy: Indian food/ My parents/ Performing
Favorite past time: hanging with friends/ watching the TV show Scandal
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in a professional company either on the West or East coast in the corps de ballet.
Anything else to share?
Although ballet is a wonderful part of my life and I am so blessed to have the most supportive parents in the whole world, ballet can be extremely tough mentally and physically. I feel very lucky to be able to go to college and get my education. Although I am dancing around 7 hours everyday, I have many fun activities outside of the ballet program. I love my academics and I feel as though if I get injured or ballet doesn’t work out in the end, I will still have a degree from a great university! I believe doing something you love in life and pursuing it is very important but at the same time to be open to other possibilities, as well as living life to the fullest.

 

WISH: Cover Reveal

Wish - eBookCover

Title: WISH

Series: Indigo Dreams #1

Author: Grier Cooper

Release Date: December 2, 2014

About the cover: This cover is a culmination of a whole lot of work, a big dream, more work, and several talented people. I am thrilled with the results and hope you like it as much as I do.

I had an idea of the look and feel I was going for when I began. I knew I wanted a ballet dancer on the cover –not just any dancer – but a REAL dancer. A friend put in me in touch with Colette Kerny (the  cover model) and we shot the original photo in a dance studio this past summer. I passed this off to LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations and she worked her magic.

Nothing quite describes the feeling of seeing the cover of your book for the first time. It’s kind of like having an inner hoedown: swirling bits of relief, revelry, exhilaration, and jubilee. If I had any fireworks laying around I’d light ’em. For now you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Stay tuned for the story of my cover model. Colette Kerny, and other tidbits and yummy nibbles from WISH in the next few weeks leading up to the official release!

Synopsis: 

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

WISH is available for pre-order…grab your copy now!

Amazon: http://ow.ly/D7yUN

Barnes and Noble: http://ow.ly/D7yx1

Smashwords: http://ow.ly/D7AIc

Google Books: http://ow.ly/D7zuh

Goodreads: http://ow.ly/D7Abn

Kobo: http://ow.ly/D7Ax9