I am an unabashed fangirl of great writing, and have the photos to prove it here. So when I heard that Maggie Stiefvater would be nearby on her book signing tour for The Raven King, the fourth and last book in The Raven Cycle, the date immediately went on my calendar. Luckily, someone cheered on Twitter about getting off the wait list for an earlier stop on Maggie’s tour because…what? Sold out seats on a book tour? I found out when the tickets would go “on sale” (they were free but registration was required.) Good thing. They were sold out the next morning.
Tickets in hand, next on my “to do” list was catching up on my Stiefvater “To Be Read” list. I’d finished Shiver and The Raven Boys. I’d read The Scorpio Races at least two and a half times. But The Raven King is the fourth book in The Raven Cycle. I had 848 pages of The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue to devour in two weeks. All I can say is: thank goodness for audio books!
An Unlikely Story, the book store hosting the event, has a huge room above the retail space which was filled to capacity with over a hundred and fifty fans. Maggie didn’t disappoint. She spoke for forty minutes without any notes, relating and sometimes acting out stories from the tour (she stayed in a luxury silo and a haunted house in Connecticut while traveling), on research for The Raven Cycle (She visited Welch castles and ley lines while deathly ill), and of racing John Green on a dirt track in Minnesota (John Green crashed his car and it caught fire. He’s fine now. Maggie won.)
Maggie also relayed some writerly advice that I was sure friends at The Winged Pen and subscribers would appreciate. When asked about her writing process, Maggie said she spends a lot of time on research. “I’m not a very good writer. I’m a better thief.”
Hmm. I’m going to go to work on my thieving skills.
She related the story of selecting her undergraduate major. Maggie got into her first-choice college and knew she wanted “an extraordinary life” that combined her love of music, art, and writing. She auditioned for the music department at the college. She was rejected. She could not be a music major or even take lessons. She submitted her portfolio to the art department and was rejected. Maggie had already written several books and submitted her best to the English department. Again, she was rejected. Maggie majored in history and was not allowed to take a single class in music, art or writing while at college.
Maggie said she knew the “no’s” from the professors weren’t personal. She considered them a “not yet” and a challenge to come back with something even more impressive. Hitting the New York Times’ bestsellers list qualifies!
Thanks to Maggie for so many great books and for her inspiring story of perseverance! Find out more about Maggie on Tumblr.
REBECCA J. ALLEN writes middle grade and young adult stories that blend mystery and adventure. Her best story ideas come from her two crazy kids.
Unlike many writers, Rebecca did not write her first story at age eight…at least not fiction. She was the editor of her high school yearbook and wrote for her college newspaper. But her first fiction course scared the bejeezus out of her! Having overcome her fear of fiction, Rebecca loves see how much trouble she can get her characters into, and sometimes back out of. She’s on Twitter and her website is here.