The time it was not by candlelight

Posted January 10, 2018 by Stacee in Signings / 5 Comments

Seeing Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is always a sure thing.  I love these two ladies and their books and there’s absolutely no way I would ever miss them coming within 500 miles of me.  So when it was announced they were coming to Mysterious Galaxy for Unearthed, I couldn’t add it to my calendar fast enough.

Hubs and I met Michelle at Habit for our pre-game ritual before heading over to the bookstore.  We chatted up our favorite booksellers, wandered the store, and generally just ran amok as usual.

All of the ladies got to the store and started right at 7pm.  Maryelizabeth did a quick introduction and then Kiersten said that she was going to let them introduce their own books.  Amie first said that she was a bit upset that the store wasn’t in candlelight like it was the last time she was at the store. That sparked a small tangent about creating a mood.

Meagan said it was pitched at Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones in space.  {I’m not entirely sure I got that correct.} Amie talked about her and Meagan being in a hotel room and watching Indiana Jones and how they would get angry during every commercial break that there wasn’t a book like Indiana Jones in YA.

A: We kept saying “why isn’t anyone writing this” and it’s sort of embarrassing to say, but we’re going around on tour admitting it…but it took several breaks for us to realize that we could do it.

MS: It was like “Wait.  We’re writers.”

A: And so we just started.

A to ML: Tell me about this “bat man”.

Before Marie answered, Amie noticed there was a Batman finger puppet on the back of Marie’s display book.  Marie put it on her finger and Amie told her that she had to have the puppet answer all of the questions.

ML: My parents died when I was 8 and then nothing and now I’m 30 and super well adjusted. It’s basically an exploration of his life, when he’s 18.

K: In a way you both had partners and you had to decide what to use. Did you feel constrained?

ML: It was sort of freeing to know that there wasn’t a lot of him as a teenager. And when I asked, they said it could be anything, he just had to be young.

K: I’m always intrigued about co-writers. Did you know where you’re going?

MS: We do a lot of work ahead of time. It’s more about the characters and how they’re not going to get along.

K: That’s the sexiest.

A: We did get that one complaint letter about These Broken Stars. It was a scene with some kissing and then the next day someone is getting dressed.  We got an email from a woman who said she “thought she was safe” because it was a Disney book.  It took a lot of restraint not to answer her back and tell her that it was laundry day and they’re stranded with only one outfit and what was she thinking.

MS: We do a lot planning, but for the characters. For the Starbound books, there are a lot of threads and things from the first book that come back in book three. When we were done, we just wanted something fun.

A: But it’s us.

ML: There were a lot of things that I tried to put in, but I wasn’t able to. I wanted to put the Joker in, like as a valet and they were like NO.

A to K: And how about for Buffy?

K: It’s smaller. It’s not like we have Adam West Batman and Christian Bale Batman. There’s less canon and less research, but less wiggle room. The challenge was that I needed to make her stand on her own two legs, but make it feel like a Buffy story. It’s a lot of pressure because so many people already love these characters.

I’m like “no one wants this, so I’m going to write it.” {K points to A and MS:} You guys are like “no one is writing this, so we’re going to.” {K points to ML:} And you’re like “everyone wants what I write, so take it.”

A: Yeah, that checks out.

K: What’s next?

ML: The sequel for Warcross.

MS: We’re currently calling it Unrevealed because we can’t say the actual title.

{Then everyone went on a tangent on the cover  for Unearthed and how it was matte with shiny bits and the check mark wish list that they always wanted}

K: Book 3 is coming out in July. This whole series was a journey. I have the last pass pages in my inbox.

{This then somehow started a tangent on cats and pets.}

Why do you all write YA?

K: Firsts are always more exciting and scary. The tension between making those choices and people still telling you what to do is fun to explore.

MS: YA is about who they are and who they want to become. We’re always reinventing ourselves and trying to figure where we fit and YA addresses that.

A: I’m going to quote Sarah Rees Brennan and say that YA lit is about transformation. It might be your it might be your first date or your first date after a divorce. If we can just hang on 10 years, the teenagers will save us. The teens today are so smart and caring.

ML: Everything they said. Plus it’s just so much fun. It takes itself seriously when it needs to be, but everyone reads and writes what they love. There’s so much hope and I need that now. YA is so progressive and brings so many things to light.

A: Every writer I know has sent in an email to their editor that was either: “my book is late because politics” or “my book became more political”. We all thought we were alone, but everyone is feeling the same way after 2017.  It’s been hard to create.

MS: The community is the best. The readers and the authors are all so enthusiastic.

If you could have coffee with any fictional character, who would it be?

MS: Amelia Peabody

K: I think it’s sort of creepy to say that I want to hang out with a teenager. I’m at the point where I just want to be everyone’s mom.  I loved the boys from The Raven Cycle and I wanted to take care of them.  Not take care of them, but be their mom.  They needed that.

ML: Justin in the Rats of NIMH.

{This started a tangent about being attracted to rodents and/or cartoons}

A: Will Stanton from The Dark is Rising.

What is weirdest thing you researched?

MS: A lot of morbid things, like decomposition. I mean, we’re all on the watch list.

A: I want to be on the list. If I’m not, then it means that people can look for these sorts of things and it’s fine.  The weirdest thing I found is that you can be in the vacuum of space for 15 seconds before you pass out. And the liquids from your eyes and tongue will boil.  So within that 15 seconds that you’re still awake, it’ll feel like Pop Rocks are in your eyes and tongue.

K: People send me “facts” about Vlad the Impaler and I just want to say back “well, actually…

MS: For Hunted, I interviewed some archers and instead of talking, they handed me a bow and some arrows. Now I have an archery row in my backyard. In two years I went from worthless in a zombie apocalypse to the best person to have on your team.

ML: It was a bunch of things I couldn’t say. Like I couldn’t say Gotham. It had to be Gotham City. For TYE, there was something they would do to torture someone…they would tie someone down and pour salt water on someone’s feet and get a goat lick their feet.

{This sparked a tangent on how the conversation must have gone to figure out they needed a goat.}

From there, the signing started.  I said hi to everyone and Meagan said they had something special for me.  As she was getting it out of her bag, Amie told me that what they were giving me was super secret and that only her and Meagan have seen them or have them.  I am not allowed to share what it is just yet, but it is gorgeous and awesome.  Amie had me tell Kiersten the story of the Vegas wedding we were in when Keiko and I drove to see them for Their Fractured Light.

We chatted for a few minutes, talking about our HP houses and if/when I would see Amie and Jay and then I said that I had probably taken up too much time and would go. Meagan said she wanted to write a horrible pun in my book and told her to go ahead.  She then said that it was the first hardcover she had signed, rubbed her face on it and then told me that now I had her DNA.

Obviously, I love all of these ladies and it’s always fun to see them.  This recap doesn’t even come close to the hilarious stories they told and charisma they all have together.  If you get a chance to see any of them, do it.  Meanwhile, go buy all of their books.

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5 Responses to “The time it was not by candlelight”

  1. Jennifer Santucci

    Staceeeee! I love your recap! I wish I was there. It sounded so fun and I would’ve loved to meet Meagan. (I’ve met the other ladies and adore them.)

    Thanks for sharing this! Can’t wait to see what they gave you!

    • Stacee

      Thanks for the reminder about the prize. I just asked if I can share it now, so hopefully!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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