Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Guest Post on the FINALE Launch Party!

A guest curiosity?  I think that’s what I am. Also a reader in a writer’s world. I’m Katie and I have been a friend of Laura’s for eleven years.  Because of Laura, I have met and become friends with Ginger, Becca, and Suzanne. I’m a good friend. A very good friend you might say.  The kind of friend who says, “Sure I’ll write a guest post about Becca’s release party”.

When Hush, Hush was released I wasn’t able to go to Colorado with Ginger and Laura for the actual release party.  Nor was I able to race home from Las Vegas to a local signing, despite my desperate attempt.  But I had received an ARC from Simon and Schuster and enjoyed holding off the others while I read it!

For Crescendo, Laura and I drove to Portland to see Becca.  Books + friends+ Voodoo Donuts = joy.

When Silence was released I attended two events.  Provo Library in Utah with Lauren, my daughter, her friends Ashlie and Kelsie, plus my friend Linda and Cabinet Member Ginger.  We all had a great time!  I then flew to Boston and attended the event at Wellesley Library in Massachusetts with Laura and her daughter, Emma.  Sadly, all of my pictures from those events perished with my beloved blackberry.

This year Becca’s touring schedule was shorter, and to my surprise it kicked off in Utah at the Provo Library!  Knowing in my heart that Becca is a rock star, you can rest assured that I was there just after the library opened on ticket day. I tucked the tickets deep into my wallet for safe keeping and anxiously awaited Oct. 27th.  Had I read them more closely I might have figured out the dress code—as it was we all miraculously showed up in white, black and red!

Ashlie had a conflict this year, so I put out a Facebook message stating I had an extra ticket and was able to take my neighbor, Maddie.  I thought she was literally going to collapse with excitement!  The tension only went up when at dinner I mentioned that Drew Doyon, the cover model of Patch, would also be there.  We practiced a lot of “deep breath in, now breathe out” while waiting to enter the ballroom.
So many people dressed up and I got these two cute girls to pose for a picture.

When we entered the ballroom it was beautiful.  They had small drink tables set up through the room and an enormous red glitter chandelier. We each received a book jacket with a poster on the inside as we entered.  We headed for the Barnes and Noble table, where we purchased seven lovely new copies of Finale. We then staked out a corner of the ballroom with a bench and a windowsill for our books.

All of the servers were young men dressed in black with wings.  There was a lot of swooning going on!
This young man had stood in line with us, so I didn’t feel quite so creepy asking to take his picture.

They had a large Finale book cover on one side of the room, minus Nora and Patch.  Ginger and I got our picture taken there.

Then the long anticipated moment arrived and the authors entered the room: Becca along with writers Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark series and Arcana Chronicles), Tonya Hurley (ghostgirl and The Blessed), and Elizabeth Miles (Fury and Envy).  There was a lot of cheering and screaming!  It wasn’t a seated panel-type event.  The writers stood together at the front of the room and the guests milled about the floor.  Each writer was introduced and then they answered a few questions. 

Surprisingly, most of the questions were aimed at the writing process.  How do you keep your love of writing?  What did you do when you found out you were published?  Do you feel really emotional when writing an emotional scene?  If I were Laura, Ginger, Suzanne or Patty I would doubtless have written down the answers.  I’m Katie and I got caught up in the discussion and forgot to take notes.  Probably the last time they ever ask me to guest post!

Each author had their own signing area around the room.  We got in line to have Becca sign our books and my girls got in line for pictures.  Drew was also posing for pictures in front of the book cover and signing the posters.  (It about killed Lauren to get the picture, but I think I might want it for blackmail.) Maddie thought she had died and gone to well, Earth, with a fallen angel!

Becca was charming and funny and so sweet with everyone. The people behind us in line were so excited that she allowed pictures.  They had been to other book events where that wasn’t the case and were so grateful that she would accommodate that.  Becca takes a moment to listen to each person as she is signing.  If you still have a chance to see her, you should go! 

The Provo Library staff did a fabulous job!  Courtney has been wonderful and will be greatly missed!  This event was her last as she is moving.  She orchestrated a fabulous night.  People were happy and relaxed even while in line.

With that I’ll leave the writing to the writers.  It’s as hard as I’ve always believed.  Go and work your magic! Thank you, Becca, for all the nights I’ve stayed up reading to the wee hours to finish one of your books. I have laughed cried and ignored the pleas of my husband and children while reading your books. I love your dialogue and characters!  I managed to savor Finale; I read it in two sittings.  I loved the journey and the future.   I can hardly wait to read Black Ice

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dear Patch,

I know, pink is not your thing. Probably not cupcakes, either. You're more a brown paper bag and vending machine kind of guy. Too bad. Because today is launch day for FINALE, Becca Fitzpatrick's wrap-up of yours and Nora's story and I'm writing this post in honor of it and I happen to love pink. Deal with it.

I remember the first time I met you, lo these many years ago. (Eight? Nine? Suffice it to say that my age at the time had a 3 in front of it. Becca's age only had a 2 in front of it, but that's neither here nor there.) In any case, we were all younger. Except you, of course. You were the same age the first time you swaggered across a page I read. You were not, however, an angel at that time. You were just a boy with a lot of attitude and a mouth that made me laugh out loud every time you opened it and wish, just for a minute, that I was seventeen again.

In the midst of this busy day, I hope you take a minute to appreciate the writer who launched you. No one could have done you and Nora and Vee justice like Becca. You fought her on it. For years you and the others twisted and turned through every variation possible of your story. The one thing that stayed the same was your dark appeal and Nora's stubborn refusal to let you turn her away. And the dialogue: that crackling, sparking, quotable and fabulous dialogue that marks everything Becca writes.

Through rewrites and complete reversals and no after no after no after no . . . Becca never gave up on you. And look at her now--NYT bestseller, tour dates all over the U.S. and Europe, a book trailer release on USA Today's website . . . Did I mention I knew her when?

So, Patch and Nora, enjoy your day.

And Becca--we love you :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vermont Retreat Highlights

1. Dinner in Manchester, Vermont at a lovely little Thai restaurant, followed by a rapturous hour at Northshire Bookstore. Check it out. 

2. Stories From Touring, as told by Becca Fitzpatrick. As the only one of us who has toured thus far, her stories didn't have a lot of competition. But even if they had, I'm pretty sure entries re. Toronto and/or St. Louis would have won hands down. ("Do you want a hit?") In a related note, I'm not feeling confident of my chances to avoid humiliation when I'm forced to appear in public with my books.

3. Walking around Emerald Lake while Becca took photos of places to stash dead bodies. Usually I'm the morbid one, so it was a nice change of pace.

4. Bear damage. As in the sign at the entrance to the lake: "If bear damage occurs, call authorities." Seriously? People in Vermont have to be told to report--what? Being mauled by a bear? I know New Englanders are tough and self-reliant, but that's taking it a bit far.

5. Blissful hours of uninterrupted writing, broken only by the occasional question. "Does this make my character sound like a slut?" "If she's seeing ghosts, does she have to be seeing how they died or can they  just stand still and be spooky?" "What do you think of the name Skinny Bill for a bad guy?" "I'm eating ice cream now--anyone want some?"

6. Days with friends who I only rarely see in person. The kind of friends who instinctively understand you so there's no awkward feeling-each-other-out phase or excessive politeness. It was all very cozy and comfortable.

7. Crossing a river without my pants. I'm not sure it's exactly a highlight, but it will be long remembered. Fortunately there is no photographic proof.

8. Fresh apples and Vermont sharp cheddar cheese.

9. Rain on a day when the demands on us were limited to deciding if we wanted to go out to eat.

10. The only downside? It was over too soon, and we weren't all there. (Curse responsibility and chickens! Next year we demand you free Suzanne or we'll just have to kidnap her and hold her to ransom!)