Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Signing Report: Bree Despain!

I was SO happy that Bree decided to have another local signing, as I wasn't in town for her book launch party at another local indie bookstore. So I got to go to my local B&N to see her and get my copy of THE LOST SAINT signed!

I really loved one of the things read in her bio intro (the whole thing can be found on her website HERE):

"As a kid, Bree would staple folded papers to make her own "novels." As a teen, she wrote stories in notebooks while her friends waited for the next page to be finished. Her teachers told her she should be a writer. But Bree thought only special people could be writers, so as the years past, she settled into the idea of becoming a lawyer or something else just as ordinary."

I just wanted to tell Bree something. You are VERY special Bree! You are one of the most genuine people I have met, and I am so glad that I have. Your determination and talent inspires me.

Then Bree spoke a little about her journey to creating Grace and Daniel and how THE LOST SAINT came about. Here is where I will use bullets -- please note none of these are direct direct quotes as I was writing as fast as I could, but they are pretty close!

  • I thought THE DARK DIVINE was a tradgedy and a stand alone book. It wasn't until a mentor of mine pulled me aside and said, "You can't leave it like that, there is more!" Then I figured out TDD was a romance, and re-wrote the ending.
  • When I sold TDD I sold that and one other book that was to be determined...no one would tell me what that book was supposed to be until finally they said "We need a sequel and we need it in 4 months"
  • I freaked. I was paralyzed. It took me 4 years to write TDD.

  • Writing THE LOST SAINT was really hard. I started it over and over again.
  • So I went to a class and the teacher asked such a simple question "What does your character want?" Well I knew what Grace wanted in the first book, and I thought she got it. But I realized that she only got half of what she wanted, there is still something she desperately wanted, and then she started talking to me again.
  • I sound like a crazy person when I talk about my characters talking to me...but they do

  • When I started TLS was when lots of reviews were starting to come out for TDD and they were so positive. A lot of people would just be happy with that, but for me it was pressure. Pressure to live up to their expectations, to write that second book that is just as good if not better.
  • Sara Zarr, a local author friend understood when I said this. Then she gave me this advice (again this is me paraphrasing) "There are lots of kinds of authors out there. There are those that write one book and go away. There are authors that work for it, keep going, and write more. The trick is to write that second book."

  • Bree decided she could do it. She wrote a good book once, she could do it again, and TLS came into being!
  • Then she went on to Grace more, and how developing her character was different in this book. She said: "Grace is grace. She always has been. But in the first book, grace was forgiveness and mercy. In the second book grace is help -- she wants to help people, to be a hero with her new developing superpowers.
  • The frustrations I felt while writing TLS really bled into Grace's reactions and conversations, some of them are word for word almost conversations that I had with people while I was venting my frustrations about writing the book.
  • My frustration was because I knew I had the potential to write a good book, but it wasn't happening fast enough. Grace's frustrations were that she has the potential to be a hero but the abilities aren't coming fast enough.

Then Bree read us a bit from the book, and signed books and I had a chance to talk to her a little more. She said she is working on TDD3, no title approved yet. In fact she is working on finishing that AND moving at the same time. She is seriously super woman.

So everyone go out and check out this amazing author's books if you haven't yet! She is just great!


Sara said...

I have it, I just need to read it! Once I finish my current book, I will read this one right away. I'm so excited!! :)

Shari said...

Super post. I got to know her a little better. I love that! Now I need to get out her book and read it.

Speed Reader said...

Ack! I missed BOTH events! Thanks for the recap.

Sheena said...

It is so fun to read how these books came about! I got the ARC copies of both of these books at the book club white elephant (thanks Ang!). I have read book 1 and as soon as my library request stop coming in I will have to read book 2!!!