Q&A (and brownies) with J.J. Murray discussion

Works in Progress > Something Like That (2012)

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message 1: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
I have finished the final edit of Something Like That, a novel loosely based on Working Girl, the 1985 film that starred Harrison Ford as the hunky businessman, Melanie Griffin as the Cinderella-like temp, and Sigourney Weaver as the evil boss.

I have added many touches from old romance films of the past (i.e. It Happened One Night), have set it in Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and Macon, Georgia, and had a lot of fun building the tension between my two leads ... and writing my first real "cat-fight."

The manuscript sits about five feet from me right now and won't be sent to NY until July. Thus, I have a few weeks to get some feedback from y'all.

If you have the time and would like to read a draft of this novel--and can get your feedback to me before June 15 (important!)--I can send you a Word copy (.doc) as an attachment to your email sent to:


The last time I did this was with ... ... Too Much of a Good Thing through IMRR (right, Mimi?). That feedback was extremely helpful to me.

I'd offer She's the One to you as well, but that one's getting ready for press. You know I'll hook you up with a copy eventually, right?

Here are some questions to consider when reading Something Like That:

1) Do the first few chapters, which include back story necessary to the rest of the novel, drag at any point? If so, how would you speed up these "speed bumps"?

2) Did you find that you had to suspend your disbelief too often? If so, where exactly?

3) Is Shari Nance a likable, believable character? (This is important!) If she isn't, how can I make the reader fall head-over-heels in love with her?

4) Is there anything I could add to Tom's character (or physique) that would make him more desirable?

5) Is Miss Ross (Shari's boss) too over-the-top? If so, how would you tone her down? If not ... cool!

6) Is the plot too involved? Do you get as lost as Shari does occasionally? Where exactly do I lose you?

7) Is the ending satisfying enough for you, or do I need to add another chapter? What would that extra chapter be about? Remember: Kensington doesn't do sequels, so this novel has to end completely somehow.

If I think of any other questions, I'll post them here.

message 2: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
Do you travel with your laptop, Eugenia? If so ...

Hmm. Laptop. Mexico. Sand. Customs.

message 3: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I am so down. Expect an email from me.

message 4: by Mimi (last edited May 24, 2010 11:04AM) (new)

Mimi Tremont | 53 comments JJ, you know I'm down for whatever you need me to do. I'm between new books presently so I have the time to work within your deadline. I believe it was your fan group (which had a ton of super active IMRR members in it) on MSN before they decided to get rid of groups, that did a beta read of "Too Much Of A Good Thing."

I wasn't an uber big fan of "Working Girl," I kept waiting for Melanie to get caught and I knew it was going to be awful when she was. *big cheesy grin* But I ADORE "It Happened One Night."

In the back of Mimi's mind she can hear Clarke Gable yelling, "Quit BAWLIN'!" at Claudette Colbert.

*sigh* I love that movie...the notion that you've played mix-n-match has me more intrigued than you know.

message 5: by Randi (new)

Randi (The Artist Formerly known as Guitar Chick) (GuitarChick) | 20 comments I'd be happy to! But.....I'm going to have to wait a little. I've got to get this movie I'm doing together. But I'll get to it as quick as possible.

message 6: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Mimi you didn't like Working Girl! I loved that movie and was singing carly simon for weeks. However I will agree Melanie's voice was hard to adjust to and the hair LOL.

message 7: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Tremont | 53 comments I don't think it was that I didn't "like" it so much as I kept wondering just how crazy was this chick to think that she could get away with what she was doing?....and okay, so I'm not a super big fan of Melanie. I'm always wondering how she's managed to keep Antonio all these years. Especially when you consider she seems to be always coming out of or going into rehab.

But, (and this is why I know I'm going to love what JJ's written) the same story done today, with the internet playing such a HUGE part in day to day life, never mind business, makes pulling off such a stunt beyond easy for someone.

message 8: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I don't know how she kept him either. That is just life. In the movie, she got away with it because she wasn't stupid just underestimated, if memory serves me.
I just got my copy. I never did this before so I am jazzed.

message 9: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Tremont | 53 comments Grab a bowl of popcorn and something to drink...."It Happened One Night": http://video.google.com/videoplay?doc...#

It won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay. It's screwball comedy at it's best.

message 10: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
AND watching that movie will help you get a deeper understanding of an important scene or two. Who said vegging with some popcorn was a waste of time.

Don't answer that. It's a rhetorical question.

message 11: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments But I love vegging and natural popcorn. I went to the movies just to eat the very expensive popcorn.

message 12: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Tremont | 53 comments Let us know what you think of the movie Eugenia

message 13: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I never saw the movie before either. I thought it was quick, I think that they way they spoke was interesting. I always find watching old movies like that amazing. Considering the things we don't do no and the things they did.
Think about the scene were Gable and Colbert (who had the best eyebrows I have seen in a while) pretended to be husband and wife and he was yelling at her. The police didn't even attempt to calm him down or slip her a card for a hotline. They didn't even wince at his words.
I don't think a disturbing relationship like that would be looked over like it was normal.

I remember watching a twilight zone marathon and one show had a man stinking drunk, talk to a police officer, then get into a car and drive away in a zig zag of course.
Today the policy is one drink is too many if you are going to drive.

message 14: by Naomi (new)

Naomi James (goodreadscomNaomi_James) | 54 comments J.J. wrote: "I have finished the final edit of Something Like That, a novel loosely based on Working Girl, the 1985 film that starred Harrison Ford as the hunky businessman, Melanie Griffin as the Cinderella-li..."

I'd love to do a read of Something Like That if you still need people to comment on it.

message 15: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
Sorry for the long layoff. I am overwhelmed by so many things, not the least of which are all your heartfelt and wonderful ideas and suggestions for Something Like That.

I am holding most of your suggestions in reserve until my editor reads the manuscript next month. Why? If he is as perceptive as y'all have been, I will already have answers to his many "queries."

I have made Shari younger (but no less wiser!) and have fixed the Multicorp/Omnicorp confusion (what was I thinking? Was I thinking?).

Thanks again for all who contributed and know that I still have your ideas bouncing around in my head and saved in a file for future use once my editor sends me his suggestions. And since I have your names on all those suggestions, I'm sure I can squeeze your names (publisher willing) into an acknowledgments page. Sometimes they let me do them, other times ... (page count conflicts).

message 16: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Since I watched It Happened One Night online and read most of Something Like That, I am now getting a chance to watch Working girl on cinemax again.

message 17: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
I have posted the new cover for I'll Be Your Everything on my website. Click below to see it:

New Cover

Let me know what y'all think.

message 18: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I like it.

message 19: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
I have also posted a larger cover shot here at Goodreads as a photo.

message 20: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I am going to check it out.

message 21: by Winona (last edited Sep 16, 2011 08:37PM) (new)

Winona | 6 comments I think it's okay. It's just like the others, so nothing too shocking! I don't feel the gold that much, but it's okay. I can't wait to read it. Hopefully I'll get the book after I finish my thesis in March!

message 22: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
Winona, what's your thesis?

As for the cover ... I think Kensington is running out of color combinations. I like the Pittsburgh Steelers, but as colors for an IR romance?

message 23: by Winona (last edited Sep 22, 2011 02:12PM) (new)

Winona | 6 comments Well J.J. I haven't figured all the specifics on what I want to do for my thesis (I don't have to do it until winter quarter). However, I did a paper previously on the professional black woman in comedic films that I hope to expand for my thesis. I started at the 1970s( Women's Liberation Movement) and went through film and general history. The two films I focused on was "The Associate" (1996) and "Something New" (2006).

I want to add a few more films and sources to the research I've already done. It's going to be in the style of a scholarly article, so I hope to make it entertaining. African American women need more positive portrayals in film.

Oh no!!! Pittsburgh?!!! Ravens for life!

message 24: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Hello Winona,

Your thesis sounds interesting. I agree the portrayal of black women on the big screen and small is sometimes disappointing. Have you watched the show Up All Night and Suits? Those two shows on tv have professional black women, Maya Rudolph and Gina Torres. They are support roles but the ones in charge.

message 25: by Winona (last edited Sep 30, 2011 02:24AM) (new)

Winona | 6 comments Hi Jo,
I've heard of both shows. I'm getting my masters in Cinema Studies- and in class we've noted that TV tends to take more risks than film. I'll definitely check out Suits, someone else I know recommended that show.

message 26: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I agree tv does try to take risk, however in the end they always fall back on standards,for example the Tyler Perry comedies are still playing but the spy thriller/IDK staring Boris Kodjoe is gone. Of course it was a new show and new shows started out are long shots. I still feel it wasn't given a fair try. I don't even see it on Hulu.

It is from the USA network, they have the market on interesting shows hour long shows I think. The NBC show with Maya Rudolph is a comedy. Suits deals with the law and an upscale law firm.

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