Margaret was touring for her new book, Icons. Margaret is acutally from a small town in Utah. Since small towns are part of her first book, Beautiful Creatures, she just used a lot of experiences from Utah since Small Town is the same pretty much anywhere.
Then Margaret told the most “annoying” (her word not mine!) publishing story ever. It took her 12 weeks to write Beautiful Creatures. She wrote the book as a bet because her daughter said she couldn’t. She wrote it with her friend Kami and they had teens read it while they were writing it which gave them lots of feedback and collaboration. A friend of hers sent it out to agents without telling her and they got an agent. It sold fast, without much trying, and there were movie deals before it was even published. The end.
Then Stephanie chimed in and offered actual helpful writing advice. Lol. (I’m sure it was super helpful but I didn’t write it down or anything.)
Stephanie talked a little about her books and how she is moving on to horror since there’s been a lot of love and it’s time to kill some characters. She’s a huge movie fan like her character Anna and even interviewed local film critics because she thought their job was so cool (She’s right their job is so cool…I don’t know that I would interview them, though…). And a fun little bit of trivia – there are astericks in the foreign editions of her books for what fruit loops are.
Stephanie was hilarious and witty, but she had some serious advice that I really loved. Her professors would ask her why she wanted to lower herself to write for children. She struggled with writing for a while because she believed them. Writing became so much easier when she stopped trying to please other people. Lola and the Boy Next Door was originally an adult novel.
Stephanie would check out Princess Diaries in secret. But now she thinks it’s important to own what you love. Romance sells more than any other genre and yet it’s a “dirty word” in the publishing industry. Nicholas Sparks doesn’t write romance – he writes literary fiction or he’ll get sparky mad. I found it very inspirational that Stephanie writes young adult romance, loves it, and isn’t ashamed to say it. (I love Twilight! I always will! Just owning it right now while I’m all inspired and stuff :) )
There were tons of bloggers there and we got together for a quick picture. I linked everyone I could find below.