50% OFF – A Novel About Love in The Age of Packaging

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Little unknown factoid:

I started off as a novelist.

My very first published book was this funny romance novel I wrote – back in the 1990’s. I typed it up on one of the very first Macintosh home computers ever made.

Another unknown factoid:

My passion for writing this novel is what inspired me to quit my job in advertising – to be a full time writer. 

By coincidence, the novel stars a girl who works in advertising – but she’s not me. I made up the dysfunctional love story – which features topics like the art of Wiccan, the history of music, the power of belief and the dangers of illusions. I called it “50% OFF” because the lead character, Sasha, is in the ad business. Plus, this is how she feels without a man – like 50% off – half of a person – marked down merchandise. There’s a famous Plato quote – that we’re all half of a being divided by a curse – and through love – we have to pursue our other half. Well, this is how Sasha feels when her fiancé breaks off their engagement – like half a person. Her mission: find a way to feel whole again!

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 5.34.21 PMThe actress Marisa Tomei wound up reading and loving my novel so much that she brought to Miramax – who optioned it for a movie to star her!

I wrote the screenplay – which looked like it might be filmed into a movie – but – in the end it was not “greenlighted.” Happily, Miramax next up offered me a TV development deal to work on TV shows for them.

Another quirky factoid:

Jon Stewart, the comedian, also read and loved my novel. So much so, he gave me a “blurb” for it. Here’s what Jon officially said about my funny writing:

“Karen Salmansohn has the spirit and sass of a stand up comic.” – Jon Stewart

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 5.34.58 PMPlus, Jon thought my writing was so funny, he invited me to be a test guest on his TV pilot – for his first talk show – which wound up launching him into great fame.

More unusual factoids:

My agent sent out this novel on a Friday to editors at publishing houses to read. It was summer. He included a towel and a bottle of sunscreen – suggesting they read it on the beach. We got an offer the very next Wednesday from St. Martins Press – that they wanted to buy it!

The novel received lots of raves in Cosmo, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Self, The Philadelphia Inquirer – and then some.

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