From Boston to London to Munich (and George Michael)

Earlier this month, I went to London and Munich with my friend Sarah Rodman, a music and TV writer at The Boston Globe. We saw George Michael cover Rihanna at Earl’s Court (amazing), devoured noodles at Wagamama in Piccadilly Circus (tasty), drank real German beer in a Munich brewery (heavy), and sipped Butter Beer as part of the Harry Potter Studio Tour (sweet).

We also met the UK and German publishers of The Singles.

In London, where the book is called The Wedding Guests, we dined at Penguin’s UK offices with friendly, British book bloggers Jade Craddock, of Chicklit Club, and Laura Parish (with me in the photo below), of Novel Kicks.

Meredith and Laura, of Novel Kicks, at Penguin's offices in London.

Later, in Germany, I was quizzed by Diana Verlag publishing folks about why men don’t talk about their feelings. It was amusing. (To see the interview, click here and then hit the “buchtrailer” tab.)

I learned during my trip that there aren’t many advice columns in Germany. There are a few in women’s magazines, but they’re not taken very seriously. Maybe I should open up a Love Letters bureau over there.

While in London, I got the fantastic news that The Singles will be published in France. I’m thinking that a trip to Paris might be in order. Yes? Oui? Of course.

I ate my book

Harvest, a Harvard Square restaurant run by Chef Mary Dumont, had a dinner inspired by The Singles on Wednesday night as part of its Harvest Review tasting series. The night was a culinary challenge for Dumont, mainly because there’s almost no food mentioned in my book. (Sorry, Mary.)

But Chef got it done.

The menu was:

“Save the Date” salad with smoked bacon vinaigrette
Maryland crab cake with Old Bay aioli
Syracuse “Dinosaur BBQ” with fried green tomatoes
and …
wedding cake with Jordan almonds and raspberry jam.

Each dish was paired with wine. My favorite was the Gianni Gagliardo, Villa M.

So tasty. So cool. Always eat while reading.

About those cake pops …

I had a lovely book party at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common a little over a week ago. It was sort of like a bat mitzvah. (Some have called it a book mitzvah.) I wore a pretty party dress that I found at Sarah Campbell. This is me signing a book (not Tebowing) in said dress:

The party at the Ritz got people excited about The Singles (I hope), but I have to admit that there was just as much buzz about the food, specifically the cake pops. Thank you to the Ritz’s executive chef, Andrew Yeo, for making them. And thanks to the Ritz for making the whole night so memorable. These are the aforementioned ridiculous cake pops:

I must also thank The Sports Club/LA. The folks over there supported the event and donated passes to raise money for Globe Santa. We raised a few hundred bucks for the cause during the night because of the Sports Club’s contribution.

Winston Flowers also added to that raffle. And the Winston staff made the room at the Ritz so beautiful. I saw a few of my family members stealing the flowers at the end of the night. Super classy.

What a lovely night. No plus-ones were necessary.

A soundtrack for ‘The Singles’

I listened to a lot of music while I was writing The Singles. Some songs influenced the book more than others.

Here’s a short list of songs that I played frequently during the writing and editing process (according to my iTunes). I think these songs actually make a nice soundtrack to the book.

There’s a lot of Liz Phair, of course. She’s in the character in The Singles. Sort of.

Enjoy.

- Meredith

Cold War Kids, “Audience”

Joe Jackson, “Happy Loving Couples”

Imogen Heap, “Wait It Out”

S. Carey, “In the Dirt”

Liz Phair, “Never Said”

Bombay Bicycle Club, “Shuffle”

Ingrid Michaelson, “The Chain”

Bob Dylan, “Love Sick”

Ray LaMontagne, “I Still Care For You”

Justin Timberlake, “Love Don’t Love Me”

Liz Phair, “Whip-Smart”

Miley Cyrus, “See You Again”

How ‘The Singles’ will look around the world

One of the coolest parts of this whole I-wrote-a-novel thing has been getting to see the book’s many covers.

The Singles will be sold in Italy, Germany, the UK, China, and Brazil over the next year or two, and every few months I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a new book cover featuring another artist’s take on the story.

Penguin’s gorgeous American cover was designed by Melissa Jacoby. I love it because it reflects the mood of the book, because the type is just so pretty, and because the woman sitting in that golden chair reminds me of my very attractive colleague at The Boston Globe, Yvonne Abraham.

The Singles: North American book cover

Last month, German publisher Heyne Verlag sent over its own cover for the book and I just can’t stop looking at it. It borrows from a darker storyline in the novel and as you can probably guess, it’s not called “The Singles” over there. I’ve been told by my German-speaking friends that Besser so als anders means something like “It’s better this way” or “Better like this than like that.” It’s a fitting expression for my date-less wedding guests. If you speak German and can give me a better translation, please do. The novel comes out in Germany in August. I’m pondering a trip there to celebrate.

The Singles: German book cover

As for the UK cover, it’s a party, isn’t it? It borrows from some of the more amusing parts of the story, and it makes me giggle. The Wedding Guests, as it will be called over there, comes out in June. Makes me want to go over there too and celebrate with a martini (and cake on the floor).

The Singles: UK book cover

Twitter
I have my 10-year anniversary at the Globe next month. Traditional gift for the 10th anniversary is diamonds. So, you know, we'll see.
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RT @ClaireCookwrite: Research question for next-next book: What petty little husband/boyfriend habits drive you craziest? Thank you!
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@GlobeRodman Especially you. I will inform our superiors.
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This is the kind of day that makes me want to tell Love Letters readers to bail on work to make out with strangers. #70degrees
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In Love Letters, the rule of threes. http://t.co/kn33JYOB Anybody have a song of the day for that one?
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RT @JoJoistheway: You make me want to make you a grilled-cheese sandwich.
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I wish my name was Taylor Kitsch.

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