Do I even need to site a reference for that quote?
By now, surely you’ve at least heard of Kiersten White’s PARANORMALCY, which is where the title quote comes from. (If you’ve only heard of the book, and have not yet bought it and/or read it? Please do so. Now-ish.)
Last night was anything but normal. Sophie Jordan (author of the equally beautiful FIRELIGHT, which I am currently reading) and Kiersten White visited the Borders bookstore in Allen, Texas. I live within driving distance, so, YAY. My sweet husband and I braved the Texas-OU traffic (which, trust me, is daunting) and headed to the event.
Both authors took questions, answered them, and proceeded to throw York peppermint patties at those who asked. Only one guy was seriously injured.
(Correction: I think Kiersten was the only one doing the throwing. Sophie must have been exempt from athletic duties since it was her birthday.)(Oh, and by seriously injured, I mean lightly-pelted-in-his-shoulder-and-no-actual-injuries-occurred.)
Sophie and Kiersten were adorable.
Andrew and I waited in the long-enough-to-be-a-great-turnout-but-not-so-long-our-feet-started-hurting line. We then chatted (briefly, but not in a rushed sort of way) with Sophie and Kiersten, both of whom were utterly natural, totally fun, and completely worthy of the adverb over-usage in this sentence. They signed our books, we took pictures, yada yada yada. Then it was over.
Short, but sweet. (The event, I mean. Not just Kiersten.)
Among many other encouraging snippets of awesome I took away from the night, I think the main thing is this: both authors worked their you-know-whats off to get there. And by work, I mean both actual writing work AND the difficult work of being patient with the business itself.
For example, did you know PARANORMALCY was Kiersten’s third novel? Her first was a “mind-numbingly boring MG book,” (her words, not mine) and her next featured an 18-year-old main character (In YA, “18 is the new 80,” apparently. Also according to Kiersten.) PARANORMALCY, the third written, was the first to sell. Of course I’m inspired that PARANORMALCY turned out so well for Kiersten. But: I’m equally inspired by the fact that she invested heart and time into two prior novels, patiently (Or not-so-patiently. I’m not sure on this one.) waited for the YA book to sell, and kept right on writing. Not only that, but she wrote something she liked — yes, it fit in with commercial expectations, but by and large? It was for her own fun. A three-week, no-pressure project to take her mind off of everything that comes with being on submission.
That just-for-fun book was the one that sold, debuted at #7 on the NYT Bestsellers List, and brought her all the way to a bookstore full of fans in Allen, Texas.
Hard work, patience, determination, and heart.
I’m proud to have met two (NYT best-selling!) authors who demonstrate these things so well, and am excited to see their hard work pay off.
Thanks, Kiersten and Sophie, for being adorable and inspiring.