The time we got library cards

Posted June 17, 2014 by Stacee in Signings | 4 Comments

When the Fierce Reads spring tour was announced, I eagerly awaited to see the dates and who was coming. And yay! The first date of the second leg was at the San Diego public library, so Michelle and I made plans to go.

On the day of, I ran around picking up books. When we went to the Marissa Meyer event at the library, the set up was a bit odd for buying books and then getting them signed, so we decided to have our books already with us. I met Michelle at the library early and we started our pre-game with some delicious carne asada at Lolita’s. From there, we went into the library and got some library cards before wandering around.


We found things like the library made out of Legos…

And then we found the teen center which housed the YA section. It had signs like this…

After we wandered around all 3 stories, we went back downstairs to wait for them to open the auditorium.


When Michelle ran off to the library store to buy things, I stayed with our things to set up my post. Around 5:10 or so, all four ladies came walking by. They stopped to do a quick photo shoot {and I got hellos from Emmy and Leigh} before heading inside to meet with the designated blogger. Molly, the Macmillan publicist also stopped and said hi.

They let us into the auditorium at 5:45. Michelle and I grabbed front row and settled in to wait a bit. The projector was still showing the promo stuff for Cinder.

The event started just after 6pm. There was a moderator from the local high school. She introduced each author and asked each author to talk about their book before asking her questions.


What character in your book do you relate to?

E: Dean who is the MC and Josie who is like a mother figure. I relate to Dean because he’s an outsider and an observer. I wanted to make him feel real, I think I put a lot of myself in it.

J: Kurt because he’s really academic and so was I. Kelsey does some really awful things, but she cares desperately about fitting in and I felt that way in high school.

A: The MC, laurel. I drew a lot upon my real life growing up when writing it. There’s a lot of me and my relationship with my family.

L: I’m going to cop out because I feel like it depends on the scene and the book. The trick for me is that there’s a little bit of me in all of them, even the bad ones.

What are you currently reading?

L: The Red Fortress 

A: Monument 14 and I can’t wait to get back to it.

E: I’ll tell you what happens in it.

J: I’m reading Counting by Sevens.

E: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Describe your MC in 5 words or less.

E: If we pick Dean: caught, honest, teenager, outsider, hot. That’s not true but I’m trying to get people who are on the fence about reading it to pick it up.

J: Survivor, real, slut? Killer?

E: You could say hot.

J: Okay, hot.

A: Sensitive, funny, courageous, kind. I think four is good.

L: It depends on the book. Insecure at the beginning, prickly all the time, power hungry by the end.

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If you could be a character from another panelist’s book, who would you be?

A: I want to be the sun summoner.

L: Can I be a dead person, but not dead?

J: I would love to be the tailor from Leigh’s book. I could make the eye circles go away.

L: There are a lot of characters I love from Monument 14, but I wouldn’t be good in that situation. I love Laurel and May, but their lives? Ugh.

What advice would you give to aspiring YA authors? 

A: I used to work with Stephen Chbosky. He told me that you’re a writer if you write. You don’t have to be an aspiring author. If you do the action of writing, you’re a writer.

L: The first book doesn’t have to be The Book. I started a lot of books and it wouldn’t go anywhere. Write your crappy book first, just finish it. It doesn’t have to be the book that starts your career, it just has to be finished.

E: You can’t judge your work while your working on it. It’s like trying to drive a car while pushing on the gas and brake at the same time. Don’t sit down and read everything you read the day before. Just get it out.

J: Read for pleasure. Never ever let anyone make you feel bad for what you want to read. Also, put your phone away and start spying on people. A lot of my writing muscle was from staring out the window on family road trips and wondering what people were doing.  Who lives in that house on the side of the freeway? What are their lives like?

What makes you fierce?

E: o=Obviously our hair.

{So at this point, there were more questions, but I started searching for the secret quote that Leigh posted in order to get a prize. Sorry. I really wanted the prize…}

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Did you keep journals when you were young?

E: Yes. I have a friend who will be going through them when I’m dead who will go through them for my kids.

J: I journaled a lot until I was about 12. I don’t do it any more.

L: Last night I actually read some of my diary. It’s the most boring book. When I was in high school and college, I journaled a lot. The only time I do it now is if I need to work through something.

A: I also have a very large collection. One of my favorite things to do was to write down song lyrics.

For those of you who have written trilogies? Any advice for pushing through the third book?

E: First off, congratulations. What’s nice is if you’re new territory. You want there to be twists and turns and honest surprises in all of the books. If you’re stuck, I would look through what you’ve written.  I find that if I’m stuck it’s because I’m making the characters do something they don’t want to or something that doesn’t make sense and my brain won’t let me.

L: Every single book is different. I thought it would get easier, but it’s not. You’ll get a new idea and think the new idea is sexier than what you’re working on. Laini Taylor said that you should look at what is so appealing about the new idea and apply it to what you’re working on.

For Leigh: you’re writing The Dregs, it’s in the same world. Will any of the same characters be in it?

I just turned in the first draft and for now, there are references to many of the characters. There’s a possibility we will meet them again.

a aa

What is the most drastic thing you’ve ever done for a deadline?

E: Sky on Fire took me 2 years. They wanted a book a year and I raced to do it. I had eye strain from staring at the computer so much. I started writing long hand and then outsourced them to a lovely woman to type them up.

J: I’m very hyper compliant with deadlines because I have to manage my time so well. I have a reward with frozen yogurt when I hit 10k words.

L: I just came off deadline and I’m not in normal person mode yet. I eat the same thing every day for breakfast. But then I’ll forget to go shopping so I’ll have a hard boiled egg and a pineapple ring for dinner and think it’s a great idea. It’s like going into the bunker. I don’t leave my house for months. I go to sleep thinking about the world and wake up thinking about the world and I leave myself notes on my cell phone.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Are you plotters or pantsers? Do you have word counts every day?

A: My process for this book was pretty messy. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just had to figure out who these people were and what they wanted to tell me. Then I had a draft that I let a few people read it. Writing prose is such a thing of discovery for it. Now I’m writing the screenplay and it’s so different.

E: Since my books have so much plot, I have to outline a lot. I also got burned. I wrote 150 pages with a proposal for the rest and submitted it to ten and nine said no. But you only need one person to say yes.

The proposal I had with the endings for book 2 and 3, my editor told me that all the endings had to be in book one. I left to go to Colorado and I wrote almost 600 pages. I got the contract and it said they only wanted 235 pages and then the second book set up the same way.

I learned to outline after that. I outline extensively and my editor and I discuss it. Her advice is invaluable.

J: I always have the end in mind, but what I tend to do is have a loose plot. My characters become real in my mind and they like to surprise me.

L: I work on the screenplay structure. There are 12 beats on a page and it’s the entire book. I start to build in what I know. I try to avoid daily word count. There’s always a process of discovery. I will say to choose your critique partner or beta readers wisely.  Pick someone you trust, but someone who can leave their ego in check.

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What was your first piece of published work? 

L: I wrote poetry for my middle grade newspaper. Does that count?

A: Mine was also a poem. This book is the second thing that’s been published.

J: I used to make my own newspaper with stories about my dolls. My first published piece was in Cricket magazine. I won a contest when I was in 5th grade.  I wrote something about a gorilla dancing in the library.

E: I typed out a story about an alien named Grog. The letter was a plea for help because he had just mated with his wife and on his planet after they mate, the wife eats the husband.  So the letter was a cry for help and the end was, “Help m…”

Around 6:45, we headed outside for the signing.  Michelle and I were first in line because we didn’t stop to look for the hidden post-it notes in the surprise giveaway.

We got to Leigh first.  She signed my blogger box lid and book and I asked about the prize I won.  Leigh admitted that she forgot to pack it, but would send me a prize and include some polish.

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I then went over to Emmy.  She stood up and hugged me, saying that it was so nice to see me again.  I told her that I was really excited that they came here again, but that I was willing to travel again if it would have been necessary.  When she opened my book, she said that she remembered how to spell my name and wanted to impress me by knowing.

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After Michelle got her books signed, we stopped to talk to Molly.  We chatted with her about the SDCC schedule among other things before thanking her for another great event.

As always, the authors on the Fierce Reads tour are always so delightful.  I can’t say enough good things about them. Definitely go see them {either together or separately} if you get a chance.


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4 responses to “The time we got library cards

  1. I still haven’t had a chance to check out the new central library downtown. Maybe Wednesday before SDCC Preview Night I’ll swing by and check it out. Sounds like this was a great panel and I’m bummed I missed it! Thank you for providing coverage of it. =^.^=

    • Stacee

      The library is gorgeous! And if you like Mexican food, Lolita’s is a block away and probably the best carne asada I’ve ever had.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  2. This sounds like an amazing event, Stacee. I am so sad it was too far for me to go. And ironically I will be in SD the day that Fierce stops in LA. Boooo. Hopefully I will still catch some of these lovely ladies at ALA or SDCC.

    • Stacee

      Ha! I don’t have preview night, so I might try and make that LA event to see Anna Banks again.

      As always, thanks for reading and commenting, Thuy!!

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