Performancing Metrics

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Scholastic Books' This Is Teen Event

Photo of Scholastic This is Teen Anderson's Bookstore Naperville with Meg Cabot Libba Bray Maggie Stiefvater

Last night, my friend Mary and I made the trek out to Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville for Scholastic’s This Is Teen event featuring Meg Cabot, Libba Bray and Maggie Stiefvater.  It was a total blast, and it was inspiring to hear from three authors so dedicated to writing good young adult literature.

Each of the fabulous ladies spoke for about ten minutes to begin the evening.  Stiefvater answered the eternal question, “Why werewolves?” Cabot spoke about why she didn’t study creative writing in school, and then Bray led the crowd in a hilarious game of Mad Libs that introduced the plot of Beauty Queens (which I was thrilled to finally get my hands on).

A twenty-minute Q&A then ensued on a variety of topics.  Here are the highlights:

On naming characters:
Book cover of Beauty Queens by Libba BrayAll three mentioned using baby name books!
Maggie said that after she submitted her manuscript for Shiver, her publishers told her she had to change Sam’s name because of the werewolf character in Twilight.  She begged and pleaded, but no dice.  She reluctantly began the second book with her werewolf character renamed Lee, but it wasn’t working – it felt like Grace was cheating on Sam.  Eventually, she got clever and checked out every single werewolf book she could find and documented how many Sams there were.  Armed with that info, she went back to Scholastic and was allowed to change the characters name back to Sam.

Advice to aspiring writers:
Meg C.: Keep working hard, no matter how often you get rejected.  She once received a rejection letter telling her that The Princess Diaries wasn’t fit for either children or adults.  Her best advice – “You’re not a hundred dollar bill.  Not everyone is going to like you,” according to her grandmother.
Book cover of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Libba B.: Learn to trust yourself and write what feels right to you.

On writer’s block:
Maggie S.: She had 30 unfinished novels before she ever finished one, so she recommends knowing your ending and where you’re going.  She also believes that writer’s block is your subconscious telling you to go back.
Libba B.: It’s a fear.  She believes writer’s block hits hardest right before you’re about to have a big break through, but that can be scary.  Libba suggested a writing prompt: “If I could tell you anything, I’d say…”
Meg C.: Know the final destination, or you won’t be able to get there

On book blogs – whether they read them, like them, value them:
Meg C.: She said she loves them, and especially likes how she can get good gossip from them.
Libba B.: She said she often gets so lost in writing that she uses book blogs to find out what’s new and good out there.

Other notes: Mary and I were extremely jealous of how awesome Meg Cabot, and in particular Meg Cabot's hair, looked.  Seriously, not only does the lady write great books, but she rocked that stage like a  supermodel.  Go Meg!
Book cover of Abandon by Meg Cabot

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these valuable thoughts. I'm glad you had fun:)

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