Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Signing with Bree Despain!

I was lucky enough to go to a book signing for Bree Despain at my local Barnes and Noble on January 16th! It was so so much fun!

Beforehand I went over to my friend SpeedReader (of My Favorite Author)'s house and we painted our nails with the official Dark Divine nail polish which she got with her ARC!

Barnes and Noble was packed! They had 75 books in stock at the beginning of the signing, and only 5-6 were left at the end! THE DARK DIVINE is just flying off of shelves! (I'm in the second row there, furiously taking notes!)

This is me and my friend waiting for Bree to show up! I was beyond excited, can you tell? We were joined in our excitement with lots of other bloggers (hooray for getting buisness cards and sharing blog urls!) and fans.

Before the signing Bree talked a little about herself, the book, her path to publication, etc. Here are the highlights:
  • Bree didn't play when she was little, she directed play.
  • After a really bad car accident she said there are two things she would have regretted most if she had died; never finishing a novel, and not being with her family - this is when she got serious about writing full time.
  • Her inspirations for TDD were having read SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson (she called it "heartwrenching and beautiful"), an experience she had with a sudden encounter with a friend she had as a child who came back and she didn't recognize him anymore, and an experience when a conversation between Grace and her brother came into her head while driving one night.
  • When she first wrote TDD it was contemporary
  • She got sucked into the Buffy-verse (Yay for Buffy the Vampire Slayer!) and finally embraced the paranormal aspect of the book.
  • The paranormal element allowed the book to be about redemption without being too didactic.
Then Bree read to us a conversation between Grace and Daniel on page 103. This made me even more excited to make room for this book at the top of my pile!

Having teased all of us with the magnificent Daniel Bree took questions. Here are some of the cooler Q's and A's. (these are not direct quotes most of the time...these are just from my notes.)

Q: Were there any other working titles?
A: Tons. But one that it had for a long time was Daniel Divine. However, that connotated Grace and Daniel were actually brother and sister, and that was just creepy. Her writer's group voted on a list and chose The Dark Divine...which was Bree's fave anyway.

Q: How was the cover created? (It's so pretty!)
A: My publisher asked me if I had any thoughts on the cover. This is very kind of them to ask because the author usually has little to NO say on the cover. Bree wrote back a 2 page letter with ideas of what covers she likes, what concepts she doesn't like etc.

ARCs were going to print in a few days and they finally sent her a cover that she HATED. It was everything she said she didn't like. It ends up that they had gone through so many covers they had just settled. She called her editor in tears and said she would not have picked up that book, he agreed he didn't like it and he went through thousands of images online until he found this one. They added the purple color scheme and voila!

She loved it! However, at the time there was no purple in the book! So She added purple in -- because it would have drove Bree nuts if the cover didn't make sense! And there it is! (The ARCs did not have the purple in them!)

So then Bree signed our books! (And handed out official TDD nail polish! How cool is that???)

She was so much fun to talk to and I'm so glad I got to go and support this wonderful book! So many more fun things happened, like cardboard cut outs, talk of the Trophy Husband etc. There was just so much that I just gave you the highlights!

I hope you all take the time to check author blogs and bookstore websites to see when signings are coming near you! They are SO worth it!

I am looking forward to much more from Bree in the future! And hey, maybe we can get her over here when she's not too busy for an interview and/or guest blog! ;)

Happy Reading everyone!


Lea said...

That looks like it was so much fun!

Ratliffs said...

Sounds like a great time!! I'll have to check out this book!

Olivia Carter said...

Hey! I got your card from that signing. I'm the one in the pic with the purple baseball shirt & purple headband.

Great review of the book & of the signing!

Eli said...

That's so awesome that you got to meet her!! LUCKY!

You have an award at my blog:


Marcia said...

This looks so exciting. I love the nail polish idea. Interesting title and cover art stories!

Jami said...

That's so cool you got to meet her! I loved this book!