I wasn't planning on recapping this event. I've seen these particular authors a zillion times and I figured it would be nice to actually just sit back and listen without having to take notes. And then I had a couple of people tell me that they couldn't wait to read my post on it.
Sooooo. Lets see what I come up with, shall we?
I got to Mysterious Galaxy early to meet Michelle for Starbucks. I was there first because traffic was horrible the day before when we met up, so I wanted to avoid it. That left me ample time to people watch. And get "Joanne" yelled at me multiple times.
We got into the store around 5:45 and there were already people sitting down. Thankfully, we were still able to get front row.
After securing our seats, Michelle and I ran over to Starbucks. On our way out, we ran into the authors who were going to interview with Ava. We said hi to everyone quickly and then went back to the store.
The event started promptly at 7pm. The chair situation was bit odd, so they all decided to stand around the podium. Veronica started by saying they would do an introduction of themselves and then a brief synopsis before just opening it up to a Q&A session.
When it came to Tahereh talking about her series, she said there was: "Lots of kissing for a girl who can't touch anyone." I really loved that.
With the angst between Juliette and boy toys: will there be improvements in her situation?
Tahereh struggled to answer at first, the question was sort of worded oddly. The girl who asked the question kept trying to reword it before she finally said:
Will we see anything about her sex life?
T: Can we get a mic drop? YES. There will be a big finish.
Ransom then commented about the teaser from book 3 that had been released. Tahereh told a story about how Chapter 62 in Unravel Me made her editor sort of uncomfortable so they had made copies of the chapter and passed them around the publishing house. Apparently, there is a part in book 3 that her editor is passing around again, but it's not public.
For Anna & Cynthia: both gave an exhale about the series being complete: glad to be done or what's next?
A: both? A bit of mourning. Is working on something new, but thinking about bonus material. Really digging into new book helps.
C: Goes through waves. Up and down due to having to come back to it.
C: Can't say anything because it hasn't sold yet
A: A duology, first book titled Blackbird. Mysterious thriller set in modern day LA.
R: Sequel to Miss Peregrine. Takes places during London blitz.
T: Working on book 3, waiting for revisions. Hopefully will work on a new project.
V: Almost done with 3rd book. Working on something every exciting but can't say anything.
What song best describes your writing process?
V: "Hotel California"
T: Listened to rainy mood.com, needs to be depressed while writing book 3.
At this, Tahereh decides to spoiler something from Ransom's second book. The fact that he coined the phrase "softly crapping". Ransom's response was "there's a lot of birds in the book."
A: "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"
What is your theme song for you book?
R: "People Are Strange" by The Doors
A: "Howl" by Florence + the Machine
C: "Human" by Civil Twilight
T: "Sometime Around Midnight" by The Airborne Toxic Event and "Hurt" by Johnny Cash
V: "Shine" by David Gray
For Ransom: In the second book, will there be scenes in Wales?
Some leaving of wales. Maybe some horses. Softly crapping.
For Veronica: Loved the romance between Roar and Liv. Will the shocking event be changed? And will there be more novellas? [The second part of this question was something like that]
There will be more novella. Obsessed with secondary characters. Can't just write someone who walks across the room. As for the shocking event question, chooses to take a pass.
Most drastic thing you've done for a deadline?
R: push it by a year
V: A few all nighters. Check into a hotel, becomes gollum of writing. Been hungry and drank coffee creamer. Mixed sugar it's not so bad.
A: Saw a strawberry with a face, went to eat it and took a picture to share on twitter. Now it's out there. What sort of mind set would think that was okay to share?
C: Normally doesn't drink caffeine. Will have a whole tower of iced tea bottles. Writes in the Pepperdine library and is surrounded by other people constantly nodding her head and saying "okay".
T: Gets obsessive pockets of writing and shuts herself off. Survives on tea and whatever is around. Lived on pita bread for a week. Probably just a couple of days.
Are you willing to have your books turned into movies?
A: Be willing? If they begged me.
C: It's very common to sell the rights.
Do you ever find yourself restructuring the scene with a movie in mind?
R: Need to show, don't tell
Ransom then asked: Do you think about the geography of a scene?
A: Drew a map and layout of rooms. Need to be able to see the layout in minds eye to be able to write with clarity.
V: Fight scenes: likes to make sure it's very clear what's going on. Doesn't want to have readers confused with what is going on.
How much of yourself do you see in your characters?
C: Little pieces of herself in all of the characters. Sort of a beginning writer thing. Versions of themselves, but better.
A: To write well, you have to understand the motivation. Tends to put pieces of friends within the evil characters.
R: Not self aware enough to realize. Probably doing it, but not on purpose.
T: Echoing everything else. Inspired in part by everyone she's met. She has 4 older brothers. At Thanksgiving, one of her brothers had just finished reading her book. Adam has a bird tattoo on his chest. So does her brother. He was supremely concerned. Kenji is an amalgam of all of her brothers and mom.
V: Doesn't try, but there's a limit to how well you can know yourself. Tries to create individuals. Doesn't base on people she's knows. Gets essence for what makes them tick: desire or insecurity. Never looked at family and thought: I'm going to make a character out of you.
For Tahereh: Did Warner always start out the same as how he ended up on the page?
T: No. Doesn't outline, finds out what happens when she's writing. At the end of the first book, she knew what was next.
What makes a good villain? Who is your favorite villain?
C: Needs to be more than 2D, vulnerable. Fun to write. Loves Snape.
A: Darth Vader. Likes a villain you can understand. Real life is the greatest inspiration.
R: Depends on the story. With a horror story, it has to be what you can't understand. Not everything needs a villain. Likes really smart villains like Moriarty.
T: I should be taking notes. Mobsters who could be a family man. Think they can live a normal life, It's just the family business. So interesting that can be so loving and nurturing and then turn around and kill someone.
V: Loves dark heroes. Loves when there's a real struggle.
R: No villain thinks they're a villain.
How did you come up with the plot?
C: It's all a mystery. Very intuitive.
A: Comes up with patches and outlines. Will revise if she finds that she's making her characters go somewhere that isn't organic for them.
R: Hard to have entire story in the head. Knows the beginning and the end. Makes balsa wood puppets to act out middle.
T: Intuitive. Trust yourself. Doesn't outline or plot. Likes the story to be fluid, lets character decide everything.
V: Process is similar. Combo of plotting but if characters go somewhere else, go off road. Editor will help in process. Wrote the ending of book 1 2 weeks before print.
There were a few more questions after that, but I just got tired of typing. The Q&A went on for over an hour When they concluded the talk, Michelle and I headed to the end of the line because I was getting a defaced copy for Jaime.
It took about 30 minutes or so for us to get to the front of the line. For me, I only had Anna's book, but I had two for Tahereh and two for Veronica. I said hi to Cynthia and chatted to her and Anna for a minute. Then I handed Tahereh Jaime and Erin's copies of Unravel Me.
While Tahereh was working on Jaime's book, Michelle and I were chatting with Veronica. We started talking about all of the places we had seen each other and all of the places I've traveled for book signings. I said that I really wanted to fly out for Elizabeth Norris' launch party for Unbreakable, but that Hubs wasn't having it.
And that started us on the conversation of books to read. Michelle said Eleanor & Park and I said Unraveling and Unbreakable. Veronica told us that she had forgotten to grab a book and that she always needed to have one for down time. I gushed about how fantastic Unraveling is and she said she was going to buy them!
After saying goodbye to everyone who was there, Michelle and I left. It was a loooooong night, but so worth it. All of these authors are just so much fun.
Edit: As I read through this the next day, I realize that the charisma and humor these authors have doesn't even remotely come through. Let me assure you, they are amazing. Don't judge them by my shoddy notes and lazy fingers/editing.