On Saturday I was able to go to a local book signing for Kiersten White! I was so excited she came to Utah since she doesn't live here. It is a rare treat to get non-Utah authors in Utah! And I think more of them should come cause we have a HUGE YA author fanbase here!
Anyway, it was fabulous Kiersten is so cute and funny!
For those of you who may not recognize it, Kiersten's debut book PARANORMALCY came out August 31, 2010. It's about Evie (pronounced eh-vie, one thing I learned at the signing. I called her ee-vie). Evie works for the IPCA - the International Paranormal Containment Agency. She thinks she is a normal girl with a special ability. When her world gets thrown upside down and she may not be as normal as she thought. It is funny, cute, witty with just enough romance to make you swoon. Seriosuly buy it, read it, love it! If you want more info on PARANORMALCY check out our review here.
Kiersten had a great turn out! So many authors and friends. I LOVE going to events here in Utah the atmosphere is amazing! She was given this amazing quilt which won her contest on her blog. It has "Easton Heights", the cover, Mr. Tasy, so many great things, it was beautiful!
Kiersten then told us a bit about her publishing story. I love hearing these, each author has such a unique experience!
PARANORMALCY is Kiersten's first published book, and she has been writing seriously for about 5 years. She said that was ever since she became a mom and really needed something that was just for her to keep her sane (I understand that!). The first book she wrote was middle grade. She said "I love middle grade! I 'm just really really really really really bad at writing them!" So she tried her hand at YA, and got her agent.
That first book sadly, didn't sell to editors (it happens more often than you'd think!) and one of her good friends encouraged her to write her own version of a vampire story, and here came Evie. Bagging and tagging a vampire that she could see past his glamour to his nasty corpse body. And from there Evie wouldn't get out of her head.
So Kiersten wrote that, edited it and sent it out and they had offers from several major publishing houses in 2 weeks!
These are my favorite parts of the author story, the success!
Then Kiersten read us from the chapter called "There's No Place Like Home" when Evie goes on a "bag and tag" mission and finds herself in a room full of vampires. I love this chapter! Kiersten was a great reader too. I love hearing the cadences of the text in the voice of the authors who wrote it. Magical.
Then Kiersten did some Q & A.
Q: What can you tell us about SUPERNATURALLY (book 2)?
A: (Answers are paraphrased from my notes) SUPERNATUALLY if finished and in edits. It will be out in the Fall 2011.
In SUPERNATURALLY we get a lot of what Evie thought she always wanted. And she realizes that what she wanted is hard and not as great as she thought it was. We also will see more of the fairy mythology and realms. There we learn more about Evie's past.
Also, SUPERNATURALLY brings in a new character named Jack, who Kiersten said is perhaps her favorite character she has ever written! (so that is exciting!) Someone of course then asked, is there going to be trouble with Lend? And in the end Kiersten had to say, well the problem with plot and books is if everything is happy, there is no story. But she also said she is NOT a fan of love triangles. So she won't do THAT to us.
Q: Is Evie's fascination with teenage culture a reflection on your own teenage experiences?
A: Well Evie's fascination with what she thinks is popular normal culture comes from television and teen magazines. She is trying to grasp at her idea of "normalcy". In HS I was against most popular things just for the sake of being different. I have since learned that the best way to be yourself is to like what you like whether or not other people like it. If you likes something that is popular that is okay! Like it, be you! It is okay to like things that other people like.
Q: What is your favorite Paranormal creature and why?
A: That is a good one. Lots of people ask me which Paranormal creature I would want to be, and my answer is really, none of them! But if we're just talking about my favorite in terms of who they are and researching them, I like traditional folklore creatures the most. Right now I'd have to say Hags. A close second is fossagrims or kelties. Pretty much I like the ones that hang around water and then lure people in and drown them. My Paranormal characters are pulled back away from the pop culture view of them and back to the more traditional creatures they originally were.
Lastly, I really liked this question.
Q: What do you read?
A: When I was younger I read anything fantasy adventure. The Red Wall Series was my favorite. When I became a teenager there weren't really any YA books out there. The genre wasn't big there weren't a lot of options like there are now. So I read a lot of high fantasy. Reading for me was an escape from my real world.
In High School I took myself far too seriously. I read things like Steinbeck only. I went on to do English in college and after the program I was done with literary fiction. There is a lot of great literary fiction out there but I was sick of it.
Now I read almost completely young adult, a lot of contemporary YA. And as I have said before I love a great Middle Grade book. I think they are the height of humor, creativity and story.
It was such a fabulous day! Kiersten was a pleasure to meet! I am so excited for SUPERNATURALLY and for her success! Congrats Kiersten!