Okay...on to the good stuff!
As you all know by now, I'm giving away the complete Wake Trilogy--all of which are signed by the fabulous Lisa McMann. And the reason I'm able to offer that prize is because I went to this:
A signing and Author Presentation she did at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego
(psst--for those who don't know, the lovely lady to the right is Becca Fitzpatrick--but we'll talk about her another day!)
Now, I don't know about you, but for me, meeting writers is like the coolest. thing. ever. And Lisa definitely exceeded all my expectations.
She started with the story of the cover for Gone, which I will now share with you:
While she was on tour promoting Fade, her editor called with the idea of an empty chair being the main image on the cover of Gone, and told her to take pictures of any chairs she liked. She took one picture--with her cell phone, no less--of a chair she saw in a dark area of the hotel she was staying in. She sent it to her editor, and then kind of forgot about the whole thing. Until she got the cover proof and saw that they used her photo. Yes, it's been cleaned up and altered a bit, but it's the photo she took, and if you look at the photo credit in the back it lists Lisa McMann (and yes, I did check my copy)
She also did two readings, both from her upcoming projects. She hadn't planned to do two, but she made the mistake of giving us a choice, and naturally we pushed for both (I swear, I had nothing to do with it. *bats eyelashes*). The first one was from Cryer's Cross (and I apologize if I spelled the name wrong--I tried to look it up but couldn't find it on her website yet) and the other was from a dystopian fantasy called The Unwanteds. She read the first chapter from each, but I'm not sure if she wants me posting about them, so all I'll say is I DEFINITELY wanted to read more. Wonderful hooks in both, let me tell you.
Other tidbits I picked up:
- The top portion of page 68 of Wake is actually the first thing she wrote for the project--which I find amazing. Sure, she moved it to a different place, but the first thing I wrote for my current MS was total, unusable rubbish.
- Lisa describes herself as a clean writer. She doesn't generally do a lot of heavy revision, nor does she run into word count issues like *cough* some of us *cough*
- She actually wrote Gone twice, because the first draft "wasn't good enough" (those were her words, not mine) She said the reason it wasn't good enough was because she didn't let it all go. She held back too much, so she had to rewrite it, really putting it all out there and wrapping up the trilogy.
- Some of her favorite books growing up were Little Women and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the reason she liked them was because the kids didn't have it easy. And she mirrors that in her own writing. (If you haven't read the series yet, trust me--her characters do NOT have easy lives)
- She found a lot of inspiration from the song "Here with Me" by Dido.
She also answered tons of fan questions, but a lot of those include slight spoilers about the series, so I won't share. And she was SO sweet when I met her. Mind you--I have yet to meet a rude author (though I'm sure they exist) but she was very, very kind and easy to talk to. She said the best way to reach her is through Facebook, but she also tries to respond to @replies on Twitter (and I can testify to this, she's replied to several of mine)
Okay, that pretty much covers it, but basically I had a great time and I'm SO glad I was able to go. Oh, and she's still on tour, so if you'd like to meet her you can find her schedule here.
AND--since I love comments, and I love to give people a chance for entries in the contest--I will give one extra entry to anyone who leaves me a comment on this post. Just make sure you give me the name you entered the contest under, so I can match your name to the spreadsheet.
Oh, and if you're wondering if there will be a Becca Fitzpatrick contest in the future...well...yes, I do have a signed copy of Hush Hush to give away. BUT... I'm saving it for now. It may be my 400 followers contest, we shall have to see...