Friday, October 29, 2010

Meeting Laurie Halse Anderson



I'm the tool who doesn't bring a camera to a book signing. And the camera on my phone, while somewhat decent, wouldn't have cut it. That being said, I love this picture of Laurie Halse Anderson that I found on line for the following reasons...
1.) She's wearing orange Chucks.
2.) She's smiling.
Heading into the signing at Brookline Public Library I really thought she was going to be this dark, quiet, serious writer. And I was blown away by how completely opposite she is. I blame the pictures I saw of her online for going in thinking that (she's not smiling in them).

These are the things that struck me during the talk. Laurie queried for four years before she finally got some success. FOUR YEARS. Now I don't feel as Debbie Downer-ish about my own querying experience. I've been querying on and off for four years now so by that math I should be due for something to come through soon. Second, Laurie gets ideas through weird mediums like I do(basically I feel it validates my belief that I'm not crazy). For example, Melinda, the main character from "Speak" came to her in a dream, woke her up, and forced her to write right then in the middle of the night.
The yet-to-be titled YA book I'm working on now was much the same. I woke up last February a few nights in a row and thought I saw a ghost standing beside my bed (I blame my overactive imagination). As the nights passed he got closer and closer until I woke one night and he was looking down at me. While to some that might be terrifying, I have dreams like this fairly often so I wasn't scared. So I created this whole story in my head about how his name is Rupert and he came to me because he was trying to tell me something that only I could know. And that gave me the idea for the book I'm currently working on.
Anyways, the whole point is that I'd never discussed with another writer how ideas come about and it was wonderful to hear that I'm not the only one who gets character or plot ideas through weird ways.
I was so excited to see the different ages that came. There were three women in front of me to get books signed that were all teachers in their sixties. And then there were little preteen girls and a few boys. It was amazing. And Laurie just blew me away. She is, in a word, amazing. She's funny, she had everyone laughing during her stories of growing up, and she's just a regular person. I mean she was wearing Chucks and sweatpants! Awesome.
Sadly, I hadn't prepared anything to ask her so when I got to the front of the line and she asked if I had any questions my mind went completely blank. Completely blank. Why hadn't I spent the entire week preparing something??? Regardless, it was amazing meeting her and hearing about how she became a writer and how the ideas for some of her books came to her. I was just in awe.
Now to the second highlight of the night. I MET ROBBY!!! I can't even tell you how excited I was to meet him, like fangirl excited. For starters I adore him and am pretty much in awe of him. If you're late to the game, you can check out his fantastic book blog over here. He was a ways ahead of me in line so when he finished talking to Laurie and was leaving I made Olivia stand in my place and I booked it out of the room after him. He is absolutely adorable! I think we were both overwhelmed at meeting Laurie and so we just gushed about how great she is.
Anyways, all-around fantastic evening. Thank you to Olivia for coming with me and keeping me entertained while I stood in line for 45 minutes!
Currently reading David Nicholls' "One Day" and all I have to say is that I completely, head-over-heels, in love with this book.
Have a great weekend and happy reading!
~Stephanie
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1 comment

  1. IT WAS SO FUN I WAS SO GLAD TO MEET YOU I WANT TO READ ALL OF HER BOOKS RIGHT NOW (And "One Day" as well). I was gushing about it the whole way home, until I fell asleep.
    PS, you are a brilliant writer. You will find the right agent, you will find the right audience, and you will rock their worlds the way you've rocked mine.

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