The time it was about middle grade books {2}

Posted April 25, 2018 by Stacee in Signings | 5 Comments

Going to see Roshani Chokshi is always an absolute. Even though I don’t really read middle grade, I wasn’t going to miss a Roshani event.

Hubs and I got to Mysterious Galaxy at our normal time. He hung out and watched YouTube videos while I perused and debated on what lovelies I was going to buy. {I decided on a signed paperback of Scorpio Races because I’ve been covering that new cover.}

Michelle got down to the store and we perused more, got some food, and just hung out.

Roshani and Shannon Messenger came out right at 7pm. Shannon talked about being on tour alone and how she was only there to hang out with Roshani. She then started asking questions about Roshani’s new book.

R: Aru is the first book from Rick’s imprint and he wanted to focus on mythical stories. His background is a middle grade teacher and I could see that in his edits.

S: I don’t think a lot of people realize that writing is rewriting. My school presentation is telling people that my first book is actually the 19th version of my book.

You also write YA. Which is more challenging?

R: They both are challenging for different reasons. I can write YA much faster. My YA is very messy, but both demand part of my soul.

S: Do you think the public thinks middle grade is easier?

R: YES. I think what is challenging about writing middle grade and YA is that we’re always on the verge of self discovery. You can keep retelling things. {somehow this started a tangent about Roshani trolling her siblings by putting a pillow under her back and shuffling out like a hunchback when a sibling brings a new bf/gf home}

S: Where do your characters come from? I wish I could say that I know where they come from, but they’re just there.

R: For me, the world always comes first. The character has to be a product of that world.

S: You’ve been on tour for how long?

R: I don’t know. What year is it?

S: Have there been certain moments that have lingered for you?

R: It was having a young girl in my signing line who is also of Indian decent and she had tears in her eyes and said she had never seen herself in a book and she was really excited. These were the stories that I was desperate to read when I was younger. And now I’m writing these stories.

S: As a middle grade author, one question I get asked a lot is what Camp Half-Blood cabin would you be in?

R: Aru is a lot like me. Aru is a liar, like I was. Aru went to a private school in Georgia and didn’t fit in. Like me. Aru got facial hair before the boys did. {this prompted a tangent about Nair and facial burns.}

S: And the cabin?

R: Hermes like me because she’s a smooth talker and a used car salesman. {this cabin thing could be way off because I have no idea what they’re taking about.}

S: What is your writing method? Is there certain music or certain food you have to have?

R: I like to eat coffee grinds. Not used ones. I’ve been doing that since I was 11. It’s a texture thing. My best writing is done in the morning. I immediately put my phone on airplane and I don’t stop until 3 or 4 hours later and that’s only because my cat has jumped on the computer.

S: That’s the opposite of me. My prime writing time is 11p-4a.

R: Aru held middle school hours. At 3:05pm, right when the bell was ringing, she walked right off of the page. My super angsty and brooding Gilded Wolves wake me up at 3am.

What are some of your favorite books?

S: I recently read Not if I Save You First and I loved it. Ally Carter books are like candy and I love them. I read her Heist books every year.

R: Circe by Madeline Miller was devastating and The Cruel Prince was amazing and if you’re an adult reader, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

What’s your favorite trait of your main character?

R: Her imagination. When she gets caught in the lie, it’s her biggest flaw. She’s got a lot of empathy. {there was way more to this answer.}

S: For Sophie, she needed to learn to accept herself. She’s never fit in and is hiding things about herself and even in the magic city, she realizes that she’s still the odd man. And she needs to be okay with it.

R: It’s so hard. Self comparison is the hardest thing if you want to be a writer. The best advice I got from a second grade teacher and it’s “eyes on your own paper”. Someone else’s failure or success is not yours. You are not a jug of milk. You do not have an expiration date. Honor the stories you have to tell.

What do you do for writers block?

R: I either reread the books that I love so much or I reread the books that were so bad for me I was like “they’re getting paid for this? Me too.” Or I’ll watch films I love or waltz with my cat.

S: I like to play what if. I like to name things and see what would happens if…and the more ridiculous it is, the better works for me.

There were a few more questions, but I just didn’t get them. The signing started and as people were lining up, Roshani saw me and said hi and I went over to her and hugged her. We chatted for a second and then I got in line.

I went up with Michelle and Roshani thanked us for sitting in the front row and being there for her since she was delirious. I told her it was my favorite and that is why seeing her is always a must. We chatted for a second longer and told her we would do a drive by hugging at YallWest.

From there, we went through the line, flapping books and handing out post-it’s before hugging Constance a million times and heading out.

Roshani is a lovely writer and one of the most fun authors to see in person. This recap doesn’t even come close to capturing her charisma and adorableness…or her tangents.

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5 responses to “The time it was about middle grade books {2}

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    I’m excited to read this book this year–I love middle grade and finding great books for that age group to read helps me with my own writing too. Thanks for sharing this event–I love author talks, but have so few nearby.

    • Stacee

      I wish I could get into middle grade books. I’ve read a few, but they don’t quite call to me.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Eee, yay for loving this author :D And ahh, you NEED to read more middle grade books lovely. <3 THEY ARE THE BEST. And sometimes much better than YA ;) Haha. I have read so many great ones. I do own an ARC of this one, and I hope to love it so much :D Such an awesome event recap Stacee. <3 I'm glad you had an amazing time :) You are the best lovely. <3

    Carina Olsen recently posted: Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
    • Stacee

      i’ve read a few middle grade books, but they just don’t seem to captivate me. or at least, i haven’t found one that has.

      thanks for reading!

  3. La La in the Library

    I do read quite a bit of middle grade, but gods and goddesses reimaginings are not my thing so I wasn’t familiar with this book, but I know people how will love it so thanks for the heads up. For the same reason I’m not famililar with the Camp Half-Blood camps either. I always love when the authors give Adult Fiction reccomendations because I have been reading more of it lately. ?

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