The time things were not recommended

Posted February 13, 2015 by Stacee in Signings | 6 Comments

I read Red Queen at the urging of Michelle and really liked it. Of course we had seen that Victoria Aveyard was going to be at Mysterious Galaxy and it was instantly a date.

We got down to the store early, bought books and ended up finding a lovely bakery which quickly became our new pre-date location. Best. Chocolate. Mousse. Ever.  We got back to the store, took over the squishy chairs, and waited

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Victoria came out right at 7:30 and started talking about the book.

This book started when I was in college. I had several screenplays finished and thought about trying to write a novel. I was interning at Fox Studios and was reading through the Amazon self-published list because my boss wanted to see if we could find the next Fifty Shades of Grey. I was reading a lot of things and some were really good and some just…weren’t. There were some that made me think that I could do better.


I’m a visual writer and saw the image of a girl who could control lightening and I thought that I was something I would read. I was staying on someone’s couch and called my parents and said I wanted come home and work on the novel.  My dad said that he would meet me at LAX and we made the drive from Los Angeles to Massachusetts in 3 days.  I wouldn’t recommend it.

It took about 7 months. I don’t know if you guys know the word counts for YA books, but the first draft was 160k words.  We had to cut about 40k words. The fact that I could cut that many means they were worthless. After another round of edits, we went to submission. I don’t recommend it. Two weeks into submission, I had an offer from Harper. I didn’t know what was considered a good offer, but it sounded good to me.

My dad thought the official email about my contract was fake and didn’t believe it until I was signing the actual contract in New York. Two weeks after that, Universal bought the option. This was all two years ago. It seemed like it was a lot of waiting until now and it wasn’t enough time. I feel like this is going to be the dream I have in a coma and I don’t want to wake up.

It was then opened up for questions.


Can you talk about the script that Stan Lee is attached to?

Yes, I write screenplays. It’s what I went to school for.  I wrote and action adventure about the Greek gods in modern day. We sold it to Sony and they have Stan Lee available to work on things.  He had a project that he wanted to do also with Greek gods, so they’re sort of meshing the projects and he’s working on it.  It’s like a dream come true.

Can you tell us about the title?

A lot of people think that it’s an Alice in Wonderland theme, but it’s based on an evolutionary theory that everything is evolving at the same time, even if you can’t see it.  And if one thing stops the cycle, it dies out. {There was a lot more to this and I’m not entirely sure what I have typed here is even correct.}

Is this what you do now?

Yes. Usually how it works is you become an assistant, but I have a temper and I forget, so it wouldn’t have worked. After working for 12 hours of getting someone coffee all day and then coming home to work on my thing? It wouldn’t happen. I would have a cocaine habit.


What is your writing style?

I hate outlining, but I have to do it. It was beaten into me at USC. I usually have about 5-6 pages. I know the first act and the third act. I knew the twist. It was sort of easy until I had to connect the two. The second book was the same.

What do you need to write?

I’ll have one playlist of about 40 songs and I’m sort of conditioned to write if I hear it. Sometimes I need silence. To procrastinate, I’ll make playlists and tell myself it’s work.

Is there any significance to the main character’s name?

No. They all just came to me. Some people think it means bone marrow. Sometimes the writer didn’t mean anything and they just meant the word blue. The green light in Gatsby was just green light. Oh, I think I’m about to be kicked out of a bookstore.

What are you reading?

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. I’m going on tour with her next week. The Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. She writes teenagers really well.


How do you feel about your book being turned into a movie? Do you feel like you’re giving up your baby?

It’s already been given up. There’s already a screenplay. I’m happy that I didn’t do it. I see it as a novel, not a movie so I wouldn’t be able to cut scenes or characters. My job is to write and sell books and a movie would sell a lot of books. The screenplay was written by {insert name here} and she worked on Breaking Bad, so I’m really excited about it.

What was your favorite part to write?

The end of the second act twist. It was like my carrot to keep me working. I was so excited to get to that scene. I have a book of quotes.  Sometimes I’ll wake up from a deep sleep and write something down.  Sometimes it’ll make no sense and sometimes it’s a gem.

If you could choose any power, what would you chose?

My favorite power hasn’t been shared yet. I would pick a whisperer.  That’s the one where you hear people’s thoughts and you can control them. It would suck hearing people’s thoughts all the time, but to be on the defense it would be the best.


How much of your marketing are you doing?

Epic Reads is amazing. They did a snap chat with Four holding a copy of the book.  You just can’t complain about that.

Did you know it would be a trilogy?

I knew that there would be more, but I didn’t know how it would end. Anyone who wrote on Lost or Star Wars didn’t know how it ended. They’re liars. As I started working on book 2, I started figuring out the ending. I don’t think it’ll be something everyone loves.  I know what it’ll be, I just don’t know if I can get there in 2 more books.

When will book 2 be out?

Probably a year.

Do you want to stay in YA?

I’ll go where the wind blows me. I would love to write a seriously epic fantasy, but I’m not there yet. Maybe when I’m 60 I’ll be able to.


How many hours did it take you to write?

Hours? I don’t know that.  It took me 7 months to write, but 1 month I didn’t work on it at all.  I thought it sucked and I was done. My parents and friends read chapter by chapter and they would poke me to ask what was next. That’s what kept me going.

What character are you most like and like most?

The one I admire the most is Farley. She’s not the strongest, but her level of courage is encouraging. She’s sort of based on my best friend, her middle name is Farley. She has the most beautiful hair and in the book I cut it all off.

As for the character, I would want to be, I would just want to be far away from what is happening.  Maybe watching it on the news or something.

From there, the signing was over.  Michelle was first in line and then I went up.  As I was taking my photo of Victoria signing, she looked up and made a face {which I couldn’t resist posting}.  Then she went back to signing.  I told her just to keep signing and she said, “No pressure or anything.”  Michelle and I thanked her for coming and then made the rounds before leaving.


Victoria is hilarious, but I don’t think the humor really came across in this post. If you get a chance to see her, I would recommend it.

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6 responses to “The time things were not recommended

    • Stacee

      It was a lot of fun and Red Queen was really interesting. I hope you enjoy it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Stacee

      She was hilarious. There were a few tangents that I didn’t even get down. I hope you enjoy Red Queen!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Stacee

      Everyone needs a Mysterious Galaxy in their life! They’re such an awesome bookstore!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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