Thursday, May 30, 2013

Judy Blume & Son, Lawrence Blume, Talk Adapting 'Tiger Eyes' To Film

How can I express the excitement I felt on May 30, 2013. it was a Thursday that I was going to meet the iconic author, Judy Blume! Yes!!! One of a few authors, of which I grew up reading her books. It's just so amazing that through generations (kids, preteens, teens, young adults and adults) consider her books favorites to this day. Hence, Mariah (my daughter) and I made another trip out to the Los Angeles, CA area...specifically,to the Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica, where this auspicious event took place.
Display of Judy Blume's books at the entrance
This was a wristband event, meaning that in order to be able to to the event, one had to purchase the book that the event is promoting to obtain a wristband. Of course, there is also an advantage to being a Barnes & Noble member...priority wristbands are given to members, usually on a first come basis. These wristbands are limited, so for many popular events, members would make the purchase as soon as the doors open.Because it was a school day, I had to wait for Mariah to get out of school before making the drive out to Santa Monica.  Luckily, I was able to purchase Tiger Eyes over the phone, resulting in the reserving of my priority wristbands.  Yay!!! And, yes, the freeways weren't too congested, so we made good time; and we even had a couple of hours to spare before the event.Being our first time to this branch of Barnes & Noble, we decided to check out the event area. I definitely did not want to get lost with an event scheduled. We made our way to the second floor to the event room, and found the event coordinator, Shane, setting up. He even informed us about where to line up and what the rules were.  We were the first ones in line...haha!!! 
Inside the event room

Soon enough, we all were let in to the event room to take our seats. t was amazing at the different generations that attended. As soon as Judy Blume and Lawrence Blume (he went by Larry) arrived, they did the Hollywood press thing with all the photo taking before the event started.  That was an awe-inspiring moment. 
Judy Blume and Larry Blume arriving

Press time

More press time
After the press session, the event began.  To start off, we had the opportunity to watch the trailer of Tiger Eyes.  Although I have already watched it from the website,, it was pretty awesome to watch it on a bigger screen! Then, after the trailer, we were again treated to another clip from the movie, the fight scene. So far from what I've watched, this film looks amazing. I am definitely looking forward to seeing this.Please check out the trailer if you haven't already done so, I think Judy Blume fans and others will not be disappointed. 
Larry setting up the trailer 
They started the discussion with talking about what it was like to work together on the screenplay of Tiger Eyes and how much fun it was to film on location in New Mexico. Judy also mentioned that the swimming scene was filmed in Miami, FL. Talk about location, location, location! Here's a fun fact, after Judy's kids finishd elementary school, they moved to New Mexico in which is the setting for Tiger Eyes.  A fan also asked Judy and Larry if they ever clashed/disagreed on anything when working on the screenplay and film.  For the most part, they both answered that they had fun working together on this project. 

Yup! Larry Blume was Judy's "fudge" (SuperFudge)
Lawrence "Larry" Blume
What was interesting to find out that Judy Blume's books were all made up stories at the time she wrote it.  Judy then went on to admit that after writing these stories, she did realize that these books were loosely based on her life experiences and/or those of her family.  She also mentioned that Superfudge was loosely based on her son, Larry Blume. Yup, he was her "fudge." Too funny! Too cute! 
Luke Tarsitano as "fudge", at 4 yrs old
What was also amazing was that the little boy, who played "Fudge" in the 1995 TV Series Fudge, was also at the event. Yes, Luke Tarsitano, all grown up since he played "Fudge" when he was 4 years old, was at the event.
Luke Tarsitano, all grown up, he's now 23 yrs old
Judy continued on to say that Tiger Eyes was about losing a loved one, and she related it to when she lost her beloved father when she was 21 (years older than the 17-yr old character Davey). She also spoke of those years living in Los Alamos, NM were not happy years.Another fun fact, as mentioned earlier, Judy Blume was pretty much not aware that she was writing about her own feelings/experiences and those of her family.  Although she made up these stories, she soon realized afterwards that many of her stories are based on her real life and those in her family. 
Judy Blume

A fan asked Judy on how does she do it...write these books for different age groupings, since she just makes up these stories. She admittedly replied that she is still a "child at heart." And, Larry even replied that Judy has a remarkable memory...jokingly saying that she even remembers all the names of everyone in her third grade class...hahaha!! Several of Judy's adult fans praised her for the stories that she wrote since so many kids can relate to it. One in particular that was mentioned was Blubber, which touched on an issue that many kids are dealing with today...bullying,which was referred to as "victimization" then. Teachers did not have the awareness that we have today on how bullying can affect the young nowadays.
Larry Blume and mom, Judy Blume
Lawrence Blume 
Not to leave Larry out of the discussion, someone in the audience directed a question to him about his directing/filmwriting and noted his first directed feature-length film Martin & Orloff, which won several awards and made it's television debut on Comedy Central. Larry went on about other works and his post production company...and possibly getting back into comedy and/or other directing/writing projects.  From the sound of it, we will be hearing and seeing more of Larry Blume in the film out!!!
Soon her young fans started asking was all too cute! A young fan even asked how she got 90 awards when she only wrote 23 books (at the time). Another young fan asked if she could write two books at the same time.  Soon, they were asking the same questions, but different words...haha!! Too funny! But, Judy was so awesome, she had fun answering their questions. To note, Judy Blume has written 29 books so far...and she is still writing at 75. Yay!!!
Wow! That night just overwhelmed me with all the discussion about the movie and books! And, just being there to listen and learn about Judy incredibly talented author! She is A-MA-ZING!! To learn more about Judy Blume, her writings, her books and more, go to her site:
Judy Blume signing my copy of Deenie
After the fun Q&A session with Judy and Larry, the book signing commenced.  Since Mariah and I was in the second row, it wasn't too long of a wait to get my chance to talk to her. It was an incredible experience to chat a bit with Judy Blume! I'm just grateful that I wasn't at a loss of words...haha!! It was so much fun! But, of course, no posed pictures were allowed considering the time to get to everyone. At least, Judy Blume was so gracious to allow pictures with her from across the table. She is just too AWESOME! She even personalized every book that each person brought to the signing.  She is one amazing lady! 
Judy Blume signing my books

Jasmine and Judy Blume

Judy Blume books that got signed

I even asked Judy if Larry could sign my copy of Tiger Eyes since he directed the film adaptation. She was all too okay with it, she even told me to tell Larry that "his Mom said so." Now, how hilariously cool was that! And, so he did sign my copy of Tiger Eyes!
Larry Blume signed under where Judy signed! Yay!
Even got our pick with the director, Larry Blume! Yay! 
Jasmine and Larry Blume.  He even liked my shirt! LOL!

Mariah and Larry Blume
All in all, May 30, 2013, was a night to remember.  An awesome author that is a favorite generations over, Judy Blume, made time for fans of different generations to talk about working with her son, Larry Blume, on the film adaptation of her best-selling YA novel, Tiger Eyes. Not only was the talk about the movie, these special guests also talked about her other books, what inspires her, and how she writes and more. Not only that, we learned a lot about Larry Blume as a director and a filmwriter. It was an amazing night! And, well worth the trip to the Barnes & Noble i Santa Monica. Now, I need to reread Tiger Eyes before the movie is released on June 7, 2013. I need to refresh my memory of "Davey's" story.
Tiger Eyes movie tie-in cover
So, Judy Blume fans, let's support their film and watch it! For more information about the film and screening locations, go to: www.tigereyesmovie.comNot only will the movie be released in select locations, Tiger Eyes will also be available for Video On Demand, check with your providers (DirecTV, Dish, iTunes...etc.)Note: Tiger Eyes is now available to pre-order on iTunes.More photos can be viewed at: Movies, Shows & Books on Facebook.  

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