As well as Tiffany Trent and Melissa Marr! I was trying to be unobtrusive with my picture taking, which explains why I caught Melissa in the middle of her sentence. :/
So! I found out exactly one week prior to this event that it was going to happen and that it was only a two hour drive from home. (And if you're like everyone I met that night, you're saying "Two hours?! You actually drove two hours to go to this thing?". Yep. I did. Never underestimate what one may do to meet a favorite author! Plus two hours is nothing. It was interstate driving the whole way, I had an awesome audiobook to listen to, and the time flew by! :)
This event was part of Virginia Festival of the Book and featured all YA authors. I was happy to listen to all of them, but the chance to meet DIANA PETERFREUND was the true draw. Which I did! And she was so, so nice! She chatted with me, signed my book, was willing to pose for a picture or two, and overall was simply awesome. Writers have to the best people ever! :D
This is the lovely lady herself. (And yes. I cropped me out of the picture. I'm just weird about pictures of myself. Which....I suppose she might be as well? Hmmm. A quandary. Do I leave it up or don't I? Guess I'll leave it and hope she doesn't mind.) Anyway, she was so warm and welcoming when we talked. I mentioned that Persuasion is my favorite Austen and how very much I loved For Darkness Shows the Stars. And she mentioned how nice it was to meet a fellow fan of Jane's. :) Which led to discussing Across a Star-Swept Sea and The Scarlet Pimpernel, which inspired it. (Hence why when I saw a copy of TSP last Saturday, I snatched it up.) I forgot to mention that I love her Secret Society Girl series unfortunately. Also, she was very kind in the face of my inability to be able to say full sentences that made sense. I guess I was a little starstruck and could only smile and wish I could act normal. (*sigh* Maybe someday I'll actually be able to accomplish that when meeting an author!)
The whole evening was fun. I really enjoyed listening to all three talk about writing and their books. I couldn't write down everything they said (although I wished I could!), but I did get a few things. Melissa had several pieces of advice:
- If you're passionate about it, write about it. Someone else will find it fascinating and want to read about it. Don't doubt yourself in that area. If you're interested in writing about a particular thing, then do it!
- Start every question with "Why not?". (For example: if you think you shouldn't write a particular thing, why not? If you think you can't do it, why not?)
- If you want to write YA fiction, write as the teen you were. Do NOT write as an adult talking to teens, that way you eliminate the possibility of talking down to the teens you are writing for. And teens always know the difference.
All three of them talked about writing itself and how anyone who is serious about writing will make it a priority. They all have extremely busy lives (Diana has young children, and Tiffany and Melissa both have adopted young children in the last year or two. Also Melissa's was a drug baby, so you can imagine the time and energy required of her! And she still has time to write and write some more.) Basically they said that if it's important to you, you'll make it a priority. Write what you can when you can. In other words, if you can be a full-time writer, then awesome! Do that. But if you can't, then figure out what fits your lifestyle and make it work. Do whatever you must in order to fit it into your life.
They were all so generous with their time and spent several minutes talking and signing books with each of us that hung around after the talk. I haven't read any of Tiffany's or Melissa's books, but having met the ladies in person I'm much more interested to try them. I bought Tiffany's The Unnaturalists that night and am excited to start that one! I've also heard lots of great things about Melissa's, so maybe one day I'll try one.
All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful evening! I'm so pleased I was able to experience it. :) Have you ever met a favorite author?