So Much For Normal

2 Oct

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.)

Borders in Allen, Texas


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.)

There's Kiersten! (…and the line where we waited.)

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.)

The fabulous Sophie Jordan…

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.

…and the adorable Kiersten White. (Along with some Dublin Dr Pepper, because every Dr Pepper fan should try the original.)

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.

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19 Responses to “So Much For Normal”

  1. Agatha82 Saturday / 2 October 10 at 2:26 pm #

    That’s nice you got to meet them both. It’s always nice to hear about writers and what motivated them or how many novels it took before they got published etc. Don’t throw something at me but I’m not familiar with either book. I’ve checked them both out on Amazon. They sound interesting but are not quite my cup of tea though I’m sure they’re brilliant. I just tend to read different kind of stuff but I wish them all the success in the world because it’s nice to see new authors in the NY Best Sellers list.

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:18 am #

      Haha, I won’t throw anything at you! Except maybe some chocolate, but that would merely be tasty, not painful. :)

      In your comment on my next post, you mention that you only read horror and vampire books. Is that what you’re writing, too? Or did you venture out of the stuff you tend to read and write something totally different? Just curious! :)

      • Agatha82 Monday / 11 October 10 at 12:50 pm #

        lol about the chocolate…yes, I am writing about vampires…anyone who knows me, is not suprised at all about this, they consider me a bit vampiric anyway, not sure why, maybe because I’m pale, don’t like sunlight and wear lots of black (but don’t go around in a cape and I don’t dislike garlic)

        My vamp boy, is very special, hence why, he’s under wraps and I do not even divulge his name

  2. J.C Saturday / 2 October 10 at 2:34 pm #

    sounds like an awesome event! I remember I started reading Kiersten’s blog a couple years ago, so it’s cool to see that sometimes all that hard work pays off! very inspiring, she seems like such a nice person.

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:21 am #

      Yes! It was a great night. My husband came with me and we had a good time chatting with both authors. They were both natural and very kind. Of course, it was their first tour stop after a few day break, and they were both feeling refreshed. :)

      I’ve only been following Kiersten since the spring, but even that has given me a good glimpse into the Wow, this is all happening! of her life. It would be neat to have seen that process all the way from two years ago.

  3. Megs Saturday / 2 October 10 at 7:53 pm #

    Sounds so lovely! I’m glad you were able to make it there and have fun (and of course, glad for the authors). It’s always exciting to meet people traveling our same course and conquering.

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:23 am #

      It was! I couldn’t believe the event happened within driving distance from me. Of all the places, Allen, Texas seems like a very random place to go.

      Oh, and don’t worry about being long- or short-winded. I’ll take my Megs comments any way they come. :) Get some rest!

  4. Megs Saturday / 2 October 10 at 7:54 pm #

    Eventually, I’m going to get a little longer-winded too again, but I’ve been soooooooooo sleepy these past few weeks. It’s nothing personal, just me. :grins:

  5. Laura Best Saturday / 2 October 10 at 8:58 pm #

    Sounds thrilling! :)

    I have not yet met an author I didn’t like.

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:28 am #

      It was great. I’ve been to two other signings – both were bigger than this one. One of the authors was fantastic, the other acted a little uppity. Both were super-famous and had huge crowds.

      This one was different – personal, intimate. Great for debut authors (well, Sophie has published other books, but this is a debut in the YA genre). I felt lucky to be there. The experience made me think wow, these people will probably have huge crowds one day, too, especially since Firelight and Paranormalcy are both first books in series that will most likely explode in popularity.

  6. uninvoked Monday / 4 October 10 at 10:15 am #

    Is that GLASS BOTTLE Dr. Pepper? Where do you get those? *awe*

    And I’ve never heard of paranormalcy, but I’m intrigued and will now go and buy it.

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:32 am #

      Hey! Good to see you again, uninvoked!

      Why yes – that IS glass bottle Dr Pepper! It’s Dublin Dr Pepper, made and bottled in Dublin, Texas. There are a couple of reasons why it’s special – the Dublin bottling plant is the oldest Dr Pepper bottling plant in the world, plus they still make the drink with its original recipe (using Imperial Pure Cane Sugar!)

      Here’s a link to the website. You can order it online (in glass bottles or in cans) if you really want to try it!

      Hope you enjoy the books!! :)

  7. Elena Tuesday / 5 October 10 at 9:37 am #

    That’s great that you went! I’m in the middle of Paranormalcy. I agree whole-heartedly that you have to write what you love. I’m working on my third novel too, and it’s the first one I really enjoy reading.

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:34 am #

      I think it would be hard to persevere through all the work a novel requires if you wrote something that bored you. I’m so glad your third is so enjoyable! Best of luck with it, and hope you enjoy the rest of Kiersten’s book!

  8. Dayana Stockdale Tuesday / 5 October 10 at 3:49 pm #

    Great post. It would be fun to meet the authors I read so much about. Just got Para from the library. It is next on my list. Kiersten is very inspiring. I’m ready for the long road to publication, no matter how many books it takes! I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life, so why fret right?

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:35 am #

      Hey, Dayana! Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving a comment! So – I take it you’re writing a novel, too. Are you writing your first book? Revising? I’m curious. :)

  9. Liza Kane Tuesday / 5 October 10 at 8:08 pm #

    I wanted to comment earlier (silly paythebills job takes up so much of my time!) I’m so envious that you got to go and meet them! I SO want my local Borders/Bookstore to host author signings! (I ought to petition publishing houses about this…)
    Thank you SO much for sharing! :)

    • Kayla Olson Friday / 8 October 10 at 10:39 am #

      It was sheer luck that they ended up near me, I’m convinced. Allen, Texas?! Weird. I live in North Texas, and there are a lot of other places that seemed more logical to me. (Then again, that was before I went to Allen. The bookstore and location was a pretty cute little shopping area. I’d never been there before!)

      My local store wanted them to make a stop there, but since they’re with such a major publisher, those things have to be handled at a much higher level. Some author events, though, you might be able to arrange through your local store!

      You’re so welcome! :)

  10. Michelle Flores Saturday / 23 October 10 at 7:50 pm #

    The event was really cool. I saw you at the signing but I didn’t know you ;( Hope to see you in another event in TX. Good Luck with your novel ;)

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