Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beautiful Library + Fantastic Author = Magical Evening

Last Thursday, was a good day for me. 1) I got to meet Maggie Stiefvater and discover that she's just as great a storyteller in person as she is in print. 2) I was able to visit the lovely Cambridge Public Library. 

First the location. Below are a few photos of the newest construction of the Cambridge Public Library. It is filled with light and color - and books of course! I wish I'd been able to spend more time exploring the space itself, but I hope to go back someday soon for a visit. 

I didn't ask, but I'm assuming that the library has some pretty powerful UV protection in those windows, because books and extreme light are a bad combo. But it is a gorgeous space. 

This is the media collection - movies and cd's.

The Teen Room where Maggie Stiefvater held her talk. The library combines old and new construction, a feature that I LOVE, and this room is located in the older section. I didn't get any other pictures of this part of the library, but it just as beautiful. Also of note, those lights on the wall change color, so it was pretty much like we were in a club - with BOOKS!  

Here I am with my friends April and Jen, all Maggie Stiefvater fans. We got to the event early enough to sit in the front row. I felt like an overeager student.

The author herself, holding one of Gansey's Topsiders, which are a copyrighted brand and must be capitalized. Here she was talking about all the little research details that go into writing a novel, as well as how she built her characters.

Some of the things Ms. Stiefvater talked about (I'm sure this isn't all new information):
  1. She doesn't like to hug.
  2. She knows how The Raven Boys Cycle is going to end and certain plot points along the way, but allows for flexibility in how to get there. 
  3. She likes almost all paranormal creatures except for vampires.
  4. She was a full time portrait artist before becoming an author, and that has greatly influenced her writing. She said it's because when you're an artist you seek to capture a person's likeness in a way that only you can paint it, so even though it looks like the subject it also looks like you made it (she gave John Singer Sargent as an example of this). Ms. Stiefvater seeks to write books this way.
  5. Cole St. Clair is her favorite character. But she advised us not to try to date him.
  6. Ley lines are a real thing, and there is actually one that goes from Wales to Virginia. 
  7. She wants everyone to know that she picked the name Blue BEFORE Beyoncé had her daughter. 
  8. One YA novel she wishes was published when she was a teen is Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (I'd agree with this!).

Ms. Steifvater excels at public speaking along with every thing else. She was both engaging and hilarious. It felt pretty magical to listen to her talk as the sky darkened and evening came.

Ms. Stiefvater signed and drew pictures in everyone's books. I'm not sure what was up with the red tule, except to keep the visitors from picking up library books. But this is one well stocked teen room. They had at least 5 copies of The Diviners by Libba Bray sitting on the shelf, and the book has just been released (plus a bazillion of The Hunger Games). 

My most triumphant moment at the event came just before this picture was taken. After reading The Scorpio Races, my friend April and I were both convinced that two of the side characters in the story were having an affair, although there's nothing directly said about it. When we got to the signing table, we asked Ms. Stiefvater whether we were right, and she told us that YES it had been part of the plot but her publisher made her take it out. However, there are still some clues about that plot-line in the book. I LOVE getting little details like that from authors. (Can YOU guess what characters I'm talking about?)

For my glowing review of The Raven Boys, go HERE.

Thanks to Maggie Stiefvater and the Cambridge Public Library for a wonderful evening!


  1. This is awesome in a million ways. I'd LOVE to see her talk.

    I love Cole too! (but I haven't read Forever so no spoilers) But I love vampires.

    1. READ Forever. You seriously should do a month-long series finishing challenge. Or if you can't manage a whole month of that, spread it out and do a few a months (or a year).

      I like vampires too. I think she just believes they've been overdone. But Julie Kagawa said she'd never write a vampire book, and she did. SO maybe MS will surprise us too. Who knows.

    2. That series finishing thing is something to think about, although you don't UNDERSTAND (my fists are balled up right now) my feelings about putting the characters away. *hides face*

      HOW DID I BECOME THIS WAY. Did I eat the wrong foods as a child? WHAT?

      Maybe I need to do a super-secret list of my reading quirks. You would ROLL laughing at me. Because I am utterly ridiculous but I cannot get a grip on it.

  2. AAHHH YOU MET MAGGIE! I AM SO JEALOUS! I hope I get a chance to see her talk sometime! I love this post though and all the wonderful things she shared with you and I THOUGHT THEY WERE HAVING AN AFFAIR TOO! (It's been awhile since I read the book, but we're talking about the buyer from CA who becomes a good friend of Sean's right?) Anyway, off to check out your review of TRB! :D

    1. I sent you an email about WHO!

      I haven't really met any authors until this month and now I've had an EXPLOSION of them. They're seriousIy more exciting to me than celebrities. Maggie Stiefvater is particularly engaging. She told all sorts of stories and was pretty hilarious and expressive. Like a one woman show.

  3. Haha, no....we didn't ask about George Holly and the sister...but I forgot about that little side plot too! Wish we had gotten confirmation on that as well!

    1. Oh that was totally going on - George Holly and Dory Maud's blind sister. I think he was going to take her to America too. Plus she'd had an affair with Malvern before, which is why they weren't getting along. SO much intrigue in that story. Bet your 7th grade book group didn't pick up on it all ;).

  4. Awesome Summary! I was there for her signing. Maggie is so awesome, and I completely agree with your review of the Raven boys. :)

    1. Wasn't it a great event? She was fantastic to meet. And I love that she doodled in all our books too! Yes LOVE The Raven Boys.

  5. How much do I love this post?? Let me count the ways:

    4. She writes books like she creates art. YES! Love this and I totally GET it.
    3. She loved Code Name Verity
    2. She allows room for adjustments as the story progresses

    And the #1 reason I love this post and Maggie Stiefvater:

    Her favorite character is Cole St. Clair. YEEESSSSSS...... I KNEW IT:)

    Awesome post. So jealous. You and your friends are adorable and if I were you I would frame that pic of you and Maggie:))

    1. OH, email me the two characters that were hooking up in The Scorpio Races! I *think* I know but am not sure....

    2. I will send you an email! MS was pretty fantastic. I also LOVED what she said about art. And I'm going to post my Code Name Verity review on Monday in honor of how much I love that book as well.

      I was not even clued into all the authors visiting my area until recently. Actually, Libba Bray, Sarah Rees Brennan and Holly Black were speaking locally the next night, but I didn't find out about it until the day before and had plans that I could not break :(. I'm KICKING myself for not seeing them too. But I'm going to see Erin Morgenstern this coming Friday (and wearing black and white and red), so I'm slowly making up for that loss.

    3. sorry you missed seeing that awesome trio!! Maybe there is some easy way to find out about local events? In the south we have Southern Book Bloggers website and they update southern bookish events. Wonder if there is a Northeast equivalent out there?

      Have fun w/ Erin Morgenstern! I started The Night Circus but didn't finish it before returning it to the library...I just wasn't feeling it. But I hope to give it another shot soon:)

  6. Hahaha...okay:

    1) MS is a hipster for saying that about the name blue (but I would to were I her).
    2) Ley lines are real?!
    3) I love the side character affair confirmation (I want to know who this is too--I don't remember it well enough atm! DM me. :P)
    4) I want desperately to work in that amazing library.
    5) I freaking love her book doodles.

    Love this recap, thanks for sharing! =D

    1. Yes. MS did not make up Ley lines, and she did a ton of research about them before she wrote the book. As for how *real* they actually are (as in whether the energy flow and connection is scientific), I don't know the answer to that.

      YES This library is particularly amazing. And I was so jealous of the awesome Teen librarian.

      Her doodles are great! I got a horse In The Scorpio Races. She must have strong hands to do them over and over again!

    2. HAHAHAHA on the hipster comment! This is why I love Heidi.

  7. Not sure if you'll see this - I stumbled upon this post by following those "You might like" links, but now I am incredibly curious - are the affair-having characters you're talking about Peg Gratton and Gabriel?

    1. Ahh, thank you! My Mum is going to be so pleased with herself for calling that, (She doesn't tend to read my books that much, but I raved so much about Scorpio that she decided she had to read it for herself) and when we were discussing it afterwards, that was one of the points she made. I love how - even though the focus is very much on Puck/Kate and Sean, details like that make all the other characters feel so... real, reminds me that they've all got lives going on behind the scenes. Like, yeah, this is Puck and Sean's story, but Gabriel has his own story too, it's just we don't get to share in it.
      Anyway, thanks again. :-)


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