Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photos from Leatherheads Press Conference

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Cameraman in Salisbury Press Conference

Exclusive Photos Copyright 2008 MediaMensch Networks. All Rights Reserved

Clooney Signing Autographs in Salisbury, NC

Exclusive Photos Copyright 2008 MediaMensch Networks. All Rights Reserved

Hundreds of fans turned out today to see George Clooney and Renee Zellweger on their press tour for Leatherheads. Clooney and Zellweger arrived on a train which was used for filming in the movie. As they pulled up into the station, Clooney and Zellweger were waving from the window inside the train. As they exited the train a roar came up from the hundreds of fans who had been waiting for them for as much as four hours. The film was shot on location in Salisbury and the train museum and train were used in multiple scenes in the movie.

George and Renee were decked out in the 1920's attire. At the press conference, George and Renee both agreed is was so much fun to be in such a friendly small town. Renee actually thought being nice and smiling was a prerequisite. In real life Clooney grew up in a small town in Kentucky, while Zellweger grew up in a small town in Texas. This reminded them of home.

Clooney and Zellweger -- Audio Clip of Press Conference

Well, here is copy of the press conference with George Clooney and Renee Zellweger. I had the opportunity to ask two questions during the press conference and had a fun time with George kidding with me about my role in the movie.

Click here for Audio Clip of entire press conference from Radio Station WBT in Charlotte.

Exclusive MediaMensch Pics - Clooney on a Train Arriving at Leatherheads Press Conference

Exclusive Photos for MediaMensch Networks. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved

Charlotte Observer - Clooney and Zellweger at Salisbury Train Depot

Here are pictures of the Leatherhead's Press Conference from the Charlotte Observer. I had the opportunity to sit next to Lawrence Toppman who is the film critic for the Charlotte Observer at the Press conference.

Tomorrow on radio station WBT Charlotte with Al Gardner morning show the audio version of the press conference will be played and posted on their website. Click here to listen live.

Whistlestop Tour of Leatherheads with George and Renee

Today was one of those surreal days...I interviewed George Clooney and Renee Zellweger at the Leatherheads Press Conference in Salisbury NC today. The press conference was held at the same train depot and they rode in on the same train seen in the movie. Renee and George were dressed in the 1925 outfits they wore in the movie. They are the Hepburn and Tracy in this romantic comedy. Prior to the press conference there were over 1,000 fans outfitted in Leatherheads t-shirts and with other promotional items for autographs.

More later...

News from Amazon Breakthrough Novel Semifinalist

Julie Ann Shapiro's first novel, Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries just had it's first major reorder from Amazon. This comes on the heels of being mentioned in USA Today. This article has been picked up by at least 20 major media outlets, if not more.

The author's second novel, Three Drop Pennies was recently a semifinalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest. In a clever marketing development many of the semifinalists have come together to create a forum and a literary print magazine to which Julie will be serving as a flash fiction editor.

The ABNA Books Forum has united the semifinalists in the hopes of marketing their novels and attracting major attention from the publishers. For more information on the forum check out their recent press release.


Amazon Semifinalists Launch

Community Creates Literary Site for Networking and Promotion, an online showcase, network and marketplace for writers, was launched on March 1, 2008. ABNA Books is a place for writers to present their work, keep track of fellow writers’ news and publications, and get the attention of publishers and agents.

What began as a group of entrants and semifinalists in the “Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award” contest, evolved into the Association of Breakthrough Novel Authors on Through the Amazon discussion forum, participating writers grew into a community, working together to improve their writing and promote their books.

Brainchild of semifinalist Valya Dudycz Lupescu, establishes a more permanent home for ABNA writers and their works.

“Several writers and reviewers mentioned that they wanted a way to stay in touch and to find out about the publications of other entrants,” said Lupescu. “ provides us with the place to do that. The general public can also subscribe for a free monthly update about news and publications.”

Selected as a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Lupescu's debut novel, The Silence of Trees, gained more than 200 positive reviews from customers and reviewers. Lupescu and her husband, Mark, decided to create ABNA Books to maintain the community started during the contest, while at the same time providing the public with a place to track the manuscripts and publications of this talented group of writers.

"Since the manuscripts in have been pre-screened in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award competition and most have received positive reviews from Publishers Weekly, I can see it as a legitimate source of good literature,” said Enrico Antiporda, author of the Top 100 Semifinalist entry, A Light in the Cane Fields. “I foresee literary agencies and commercial publishers mining the website to add to their catalogue."

Julie Ann Shapiro, author of Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries, who’s second novel, Three Drop Pennies is an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Semifinalist has been an active participant on the Amazon forum. “This community of authors have novels that are top notch, peer-reviewed of the highest caliber and ready to be published. Book publishers should take a serious look at these manuscripts.“

With short synopses, lengthy excerpts, and prior publications, ABNA Books provides agents and editors a snapshot of writers’ projects and potential. The site also provides a place for comments and reviews, so that an author’s following and marketability may be glimpsed.

For more information about ABNA Books please visit


About ABNA
ABNA began as a group of entrants and semifinalists of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Through the forum, they grew into a community of writers working together to improve their writing and promote their books. is the next step in their evolution, a place to maintain that solidarity while promoting their work and perfecting their craft. ABNA Books is an online showcase, network, and marketplace for writers. It’s a place for writers to present their work, get the attention of publishers and agents, and help each other in the process of publishing and promotion.