The time the ocean met the stars

Posted July 13, 2016 by Stacee in Signings | 10 Comments

I was “introduced” to Darcy Woods by Christina. I read Summer of Supernovas, fell in love with Grant the story and just happened to see that she was going to be at MG. So of course we had to go.

Michelle and I met up at the store at our usual time {aka early} and found ourselves running amok in the store.


Darcy, Marisa Reichardt and Sarah Tomp got to the store just before 7pm. They were introduced by Sam and then Sarah took over as the moderator. She started talking about how she knew Darcy and Marisa, then asked each of them to describe their books and read their first page. Sarah then picked a random number {59} and told them to turn to that page and read a little something from that page.


S: What came first?

D: Without a doubt, it was Wilhelmina. I was looking at the stars and wondering how many people were looking at the stars at the same time. I had a girl immediately in my head telling me that she could tell me what the stars said. Then I had an image of this quirky girl. I was interested to see what kind of girl puts astrology above everything else.

M to D: How long did it take?

D: The polished draft was about 6 months.

S to M: What about you?

M: I wanted to write something about a girl with debilitating anxiety. Everyone thinks the school shooting was first because it’s so topical, but it wasn’t. My husband is a teacher and my daughter would come from school and they would talk about lock down drills. It was hard to write. I would need get up from the computer and jump in the ocean.


S: What was the first scene?

D: I’m a linear writer, so chapter one is the thing that didn’t change much.

M: It’s the same first line and a very similar first chapter.

S to M: Please describe teen Marisa to us.

M: This is difficult because I have high school friends in the crowd right now. Teen Marisa was probably a bit naughty. She got in trouble a lot. She partied a lot and didn’t slow down until senior year. She finally got her shit together.

S: what was she wearing?

M: I had an Esprit ensemble and Nine West sling backs.

S: What was teen Marisa reading?

M: A lot of poetry and she was kinda into the classics. Teen Marisa thought she was really cerebral.

S to D: What about you?

D: I was geeky, but okay with it. I tried some acting, but I sucked. I tended to have a few close friends and a lot of people I casually talked to. I was a bit of a social butterfly.


S to D: Were you reading?

D: I read a lot of Nancy Drew. I always kept reading because I wanted to know if Ned and Nancy would kiss. I read Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

S: Are your characters like you?

D: I wrote a character that I wished I would have been. She’s very comfortable and okay with being a little different. She embraces it. I sort of envy her take it or leave it philosophy.

M: I think that’s the first question you get asked. People want it to be your life. My brother described it as “it’s not your life, but your life is all over it.” There are bits and pieces, but it’s not my story.

S: What I love about these books is that the characters are real. They both do things that some people would question.

In your secondary characters, who was your favorite to write?

D: Probably Irina. She just doesn’t give a shit. I kind of admire that about her. It’s tricky because she has such a hard interior, but she’s soft hearted. You want to make sure that people reading it will see the softness for her best friend.

M: My favorite was Morgan’s little brother, Ben. I don’t know that I could have written Morgan’s love and emotion for him if I wasn’t a mother. I love Ben because he’s very much what you see is what you get. He loves and encourages her because of what she is.


S: Describe your writing space?

D: Sometimes there’s a cat sleeping in my arms. I have to have a clear writing space. Sometimes it’s avoidance. If I’m stuck on something, I’ll clean and call it feng shui. I need to always be by a window so I can see something pretty. In the summer, it like to sit on my screened porch.

M: I think my space changes for whatever I’m trying to write. Sometimes I’ll write in coffee shops. For Underwater, I wanted to be in that same headspace, so the blinds were shut and it was quiet.

S: Are you a plotter or pantser?

M: Pantser. I plot nothing.

D: I’m a plotser. I’m good at coming up with the title and the tag line. I’ll usually come up with a 500 word outline. I’ll get the gist of what it’s about and the main conflict and I’ll slowly get going.

M: Yes. I’ll usually know 5 major scenes, but I won’t write them down.

D: If I get stuck, I’ll think of the worst thing I could do to my character and I’ll write that.


S: Do you think it’s good advice to say write what you know?

M: I’ve never liked that. I would rather say write what scares you.

D: I would say write what you want to know.

What sort of research did you do?

M: PTSD and getting the psychology aspect of it right.

D: I got a few books on astrology and I started getting hives. I had to back away and realize that I wasn’t writing a how to, but I wanted to make it accessible for anyone who didn’t know anything. There’s so much more than what I go into.

What motivated you in choosing the POV and how do you decide who that character is going to be with maturity?

S: You have to make your character as real you feel. While I’m writing them, they’re real. I start seeing them in public.

M: I think the farther along you get in the story, the more real they are. I’ve always just written in first person. Most of my characters are 17 with varying degrees of maturity.

D: For me, when I was a teen, I tended to have a certain level of maturity, but still prone to teenage idiocy. I’m not worried so much about the age. I don’t think about their age, I don’t worry about it as much as staying authentic to them.

S: I really wanted to write that point in time. Making those choices, leaving home and deciding what’s next. You’re taking all of your experience and deciding if you’re going to continue living that way.


There was a couple of other questions {including a really interesting and sort of heartbreaking story about Darcy trying to get published}, but I was getting final photos.

When I got up to Darcy, she came around the table and hugged me and thanked me for coming.  We chatted about the book and how Christina and I shared Grant.  I told her that I would apologize for our ridiculous inscriptions, but that I wasn’t even remotely sorry.

d1 d2

We also talked about whether or not Christina and I have met in person {sadly no, sobsobsob} and the sort of swag I needed to grab for her. And then I thanked her again for coming and tried so hard to tone down the flailing.

As always, the staff at MG is amazing and spoil us rotten.  These three ladies were fun together and I highly recommend their books.

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10 responses to “The time the ocean met the stars

    • Stacee

      I really liked Underwater as well! Darcy’s book is sweet and fluffy.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  1. This isn’t my usual type of book at all, but this post made me think about it. Hoping maybe my library will get it in so I can give it a whirl!

  2. danielle hammelef

    I won an ARC of Summer of Supernovas and read it and loved it so much that I bought the hardcover finished book. Then in my totally geeky way, I went to a local book signing just to meet Darcy and have her sign my book. She is adorable and sweet and talented.

  3. Yay for having an amazing time at this event :D I’m unsure about these books, but looking gorgeous. <3 All the authors seems amazing :) Thank you for sharing about this. <3 So glad you had a good time :D But aaaahh, I am so jealous of all the amazing signings you get to go to, haha :)

    Carina Olsen recently posted: Book Collection #20
    • Stacee

      I am quite lucky where I live…everyone always ends up in SoCal eventually.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

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