I am still a little star struck this morning! Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Beautiful Creatures book signing and discussion held at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was so much fun! The crowd was small and intimate and we were able to talk freely with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I was also sitting beside.... Carrie Ryan- the fabulous author of The Forest Of Hands And Teeth and the upcoming The Dead Tossed Waves which is releasing March 9th! It was amazing!
The event started with introductions and then Kami and Margaret took the floor. They gave a brief summary of Beautiful Creatures and spoke about why they wrote the book. Their road to publication was not your typical one. They said that they wrote the book because of a dare! Margaret's teenage children and a few of Kami's students dared the two of them that they couldn't write the book. Both authors said that they aren't ones to turn down a dare (actually a Double Dog Dare!), so Beautiful Creatures was born! Kami then read an excerpt of chapter one to the audience. It was amazing to hear her words come to life with her voice. Frequently asked questions were covered next, which included:
- What is your writing process?
- What was your inspiration for writing the book? and why the South?
- Movie/ Sequel news
- Opened the floor for questions
The explanation of their writing process was fascinating! They write together in the same room (Margaret's home office) surrounded by walls of white boards that outline the entire Beautiful Creatures series! (Wouldn't you LOVE to get a sneak peek at those boards!!) They alternate chapters ( Kami may write chapter one and Margaret write chapter two), then they switch and take what the other wrote and write over it, add to it, reword it, or scratch through it. In the end it is a total collaboration of the two authors. Margaret said that some sentences may have five of her words and seven of Kami's. If you read the book, you will see that the writing is beautiful and seamless- a testament to how wonderfully their writing styles mesh!
The inspiration for the book seemed driven by their love of stories in this genre and a desire to write a book that the teenagers in their lives would like to read. Kami and Margaret both agreed that they chose the South because it provided the proper setting and tone for the book, and it is the place that they feel magic can still happen. Kami grew up in North Carolina and is very familiar with the ways of small town southern living (like myself!) and wanted to write a book that could reflect her southern roots. Margaret said that although she isn't from the South, she found a lot of similarites in the small town she grew up in out West. Both authors did lots of research into the Civil War for the book. Fortunately, Kami's family contains some true Civil War buffs that helped out too!
I was excited to hear that the next installment in the series will be out this year! The book (title not released yet) is set for release in December. Most of you probably already know that Beautiful Creatures is set to hit theatres! Kami and Margaret said that Warner Brothers has optioned the book. No news on casting, but I can think of a few good candidates! I am also happy to announce that Beautiful Creatures was a finalist for the ALA William C. Morris YA Debut Award 2010 and was named Amazon's #1 Teen Book of 2009 and was #5 on the Editor's Pick of 2009 list! Congrats to Kami and Margaret!!!
The evening was over too quickly! I talked to Kami and Margaret and gave them the bookmarks I made for them (inspired by the book of course). I was happy to see that they liked them and even posted about them on their website. I was able to chat with Carrie Ryan for awhile too (interview about her upcoming release will be coming soon!! Yeah!!). I also met Vania from Reverie Book Reviews and Caster Girls! She posted a picture of me, Kami and Margaret at Castergirls and a picture of the bookmarks I made. Thanks Vania!! What an AMAZING night!! Books were signed and pictures were taken and then it was time to go. Thanks to Kami, Margaret and Carrie!!!
Me and Carrie Ryan!
Signing my book!
The Beautiful Creatures bookmarks I made for them.
If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures yet... GO GET IT!! You can read my review here.