Wednesday, January 21, 2009



"Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan, a gifted harpist who regularly plays for weddings and other events, has the kind of stage fright that makes her physically ill before a performance, which is an inauspicious way to start a romance; but while vomiting before a competition a gorgeous boy comes into the restroom to hold her hair. He is Luke Dillon, a flautist who proceeds to accompany her in a truly stellar performance. As four-leaf clovers start appearing everywhere, Deirdre develops telekinetic powers and encounters strange, unworldly people who seem to bear her ill will. Her best friend, James, also a talented musician; her beloved grandmother; and her mother all are in danger, as Deirdre is targeted by the queen of Faerie. Deirdre eventually discovers that she is a cloverhand, a person who can see the denizens of faerie, and Luke, not the only immortal who has her in his sights, is a gallowglass, an assassin assigned by the queen of Faerie to kill Deirdre but who falls in love with her instead. This beautiful and out-of-the- ordinary debut novel, with its authentic depiction of Celtic Faerie lore and dangerous forbidden love in a contemporary American setting, will appeal to readers of Nancy Werlin's Impossible and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series." - Booklist, starred review.


James took my hand in his written-upon ones and turned the ring on my finger, absently. It reminded me of Luke’s hand on mine, earlier. How can two hands feel so different? “And the clover? The one that you moved this morning, with your brain? Do you still have it?”

“Thought I moved,” I corrected. I shook my head. “Yeah.” I shifted my weight so I could pull it from my pocket.

“So move it.”

I looked hard at him.

“Well, if you can’t move it like you said, it won’t move, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore, will you? But if it does – well, then you’re a freak.” James grinned. He plucked the slightly crushed clover from my finger and set it in the sparse grass beneath the tree. “Go go, magic clover.”

“I feel foolish.” I did. We were like two kids hunched over a Ouija board, part of us hoping for something strange to happen, proving the world a mysterious place, and the rest of us hoping desperately for nothing to happen, proving the world safe and free of monsters. I cupped my hand like earlier that morning, a little goal for the clover to shoot into. “Come on, clover.”

Breeze kissed the sweat on my forehead, and the clover tumbled end over end into my hand.

James closed his eyes. “It makes me frigid when you do that.”

“It was the breeze.” It was just the breeze.

He shook his head and opened his eyes again. “I always get cold when I get one of my weird feelings, and that just about hit glacier-cold on the weirdness chart. Do it again, you’ll see. Next to my leg, where there’s no breeze.”

I picked up the clover and set it down in the shadow of his leg. Cupping my hand, I said faintly, “Come on, clover.” The clover and several other leaves rustled and then skipped across the ground into my hand, a huge dry collection of leaves the color of summer pressed against my fingers.

James’ voice was as soft as the rustling of the leaves, and when I looked at him, I could see goose bumps standing on his tanned legs. “Telekinesis. Suddenly the world seems a lot more interesting.”

What it seemed was a lot less ordinary.


Please answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of LAMENT: THE FAERIE QUEEN’S DECEPTION , or pop in to chat with Maggie!! She's cuddling a cute puppy in her photo, so she must be easy to talk to!

If Maggie had the power to move one thing in this world by telekinesis, what would that one thing be?


Chris Eldin said...

Good morning everyone!

I love Maggie's unflinching style and humor!!

I posted this a bit early, so let the games begin!

Llehn said...

Hey Maggie,

I have a question for you. How much research do you actually do when you are trying to write from the POV of a character that you know absolutely nothing about i.e. an albino juggler in a circus? Are there any shortcuts that you frequently use?

Love ya!


PS Woo hoo! I'm your second poster!

Chris Eldin said...

No Llehn, you're not the second poster. You're the first.
I don't really count 'cause that would be cheating.
Welcome Everyone!!!

Llehn said...

Yay, woo hoo!!

Does this mean that I am Maggie's number 1 fan???

Amber Lough said...

I guess I can settle for being Maggie's #2 Fan. ;-)

bleuberi21 said...

Hey Maggie!! I absolutely cannot wait to read Lament. I keep hoping it will magically appear at my door, but that's not gonna happen until I have the extra money to buy it, lol.

I love reading all of your stories on Merry Fates, so I have no doubt Lament will hook me, too.


wldhrsjen3 said...

::waves:: Hi, Maggie! Here's a question for you: Can werewolves drive tractors? :P

But seriously, I'm wondering how much time you spend writing every day.

And if you could move something with telekinesis, I'd say it would be...pots and pans. 'Cuz cooking and cleaning up could be so much easier! :P

laughingwolf said...

welcome maggie :D

using telekinesis maggie would move shrubya... oops, the american people already did :O lol

in that case: maggie would move the sun a tad further out, to ease global warming :)

Llehn said...

Oh wait ... I just realized that I forgot to answer the telekinesis question. Hmmm ... if Maggie were to have that power, I would say that she would use it to move Love Slave's sexy butt so that she can get him to do things for her.

Can you tell that I am so stalking this blog? :P

strugglingwriter said...

"If Maggie had the power to move one thing in this world by telekinesis, what would that one thing be?"

I would say the snooze button on the alarm clock. That way I wouldn't have to raise a hand out of the covers into the frigid morning air.

strugglingwriter said...

Oops. We were supposed to answer from Maggie's point of view. Hmm. Same answer, just switch all the "I"s in my answer to Maggies. :)


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hi guys! I just got here -- sorry I'm late. Thing 2, my three year old, has been a preschool-cryer-when-Mama-leaves since September (of the barnacle attached to my leg variety) and this week we'd bribed him with the promise of a toy motorcycle if he didn't cry.

Well, he didn't cry. You better believe I just whipped over to get a toy motorcycle. Hence the lateness. I will be more coherent in two minutes once I've warmed my tea and shrugged off my coat!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Okay -- in order! Lesley -- yay, hi, person!

This is actually a really pertinent question, because right now, for LINGER, I'm writing a character who is a complete departure for me. He's the ex-frontman for an electronica band, a chaser of highs and lows, and as I'm neither of those things (unless cookie dough and sweet tea count as highs)(and emo bands count as lows), I'm doing a lot of character groundwork first.

Sooooo. Motivations are a big thing. If a character is doing something that I haven't, I need to know why they went that direction with their life. Which, since I write YA, usually has a lot to do with the parents. So your albino juggler must've had a pretty strange home life to get him to run away to the circus, right? So I'd want to write all that stuff down first.

And I'd want to go to the circus. I don't believe in going to crazy lengths to get in character, but the closer you can get to the real experience, the truer it will ring. So if you can't get to a circus, then at least visit the zoo to see what an elephant smells like. If you can't be an albino, at least learn to juggle so you can figure out how to write the weight of the balls in your hand.

This feels like it must've been a very long comment . . . whoo, it is! Look at all those words! Did that help, Les?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Amber, you may certainly have #2 fanspot, if you don't mind sharing it with my cat, Moose. He's very needy. Emotionally. Basically, this is Moose.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Nikki, magically appearing copies of LAMENT is what this Roast is all about. :)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Jen, werewolves can absolutely drive tractors. Even under the full moon. The only circumstance where my werewolves from SHIVER would be tractor-impaired would be when the temperature dropped below, say, 38 or so. Which is when fur happens for them. Then the lack of opposable thumbs would get in the way.

As to how much time I spend writing every day -- surprisingly little. Even though I'm technically "full-time" now, I still have Thing 1 and Thing 2, and they take up a lot of time. They're in preschool three days a week now, though, which means that technically I have 3 6 hour days to write. Really what happens, though, is business/ promo stuff for a lot of that time, and about 3 hours of writing. And when I'm in the early stages of a book, I spend most of my time brainstorming rather than writing stuff I will later regret.

Brainstorming = lying on the living room floor with music playing.

Yes, it's a hard life.

Which would be eased by the ability to move pots and pans while brainstorming.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Laughingwolf, it is 22 degrees in my fine county right now. I might be inclined to telekinetically invite the sun over for tea at this point. ;p

Llehn said...

Hi Maggie,

Thanks for answering my question. It certainly is something to think about. How about the kind of research you look up on the net and in books? How in depth do you actually do those?


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Les, I must admit that I have very few complaints as to what L.S. does with his sexy butt. He is Disgustingly Helpful most of the time. I do like the idea of moving him telekinetically though . . . all sorts of practical uses.

*wicked eyebrows here*

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Paul, that's okay, because I think your answer applies to me as well. To think I used to be a morning person . . .

Kelly Fineman said...

If Maggie had the power to move one thing by telekinesis, I hypothesize that she would choose to move foodstuffs from wherever they are to wherever she is. And/or she'd stir pots, a la Mrs. Weasley.

Question for Maggie: When worldbuilding, how much of it do you do ahead of the writing, how much of it is done during the first draft, and how much of it is an afterthought/revision process?

Llehn said...

Sigh. You certainly are a lucky one Maggie. Think I can borrow Disgustingly Helpful LS sometimes? For totally chaste reasons I assure you! There's a stack of dishes in the sink that needs washing ...

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Kelly, YEAH! Moving foodstuffs is a great idea . . . I'd actually thought about putting my workspace in the kitchen to make the tea-to-mouth trip shorter.

Worldbuilding . . . it depends on the book. My LAMENT/ BALLAD books seem to be very by the seat of the pants. I start with Celtic mythology and a rough plot and take off. I really don't do any groundwork at all for them, and then I tidy up the rather grim first drafts afterwards.

But with SHIVER/ LINGER and my latest WIP, RE: MYSELF, they're only sort of fantasy. They're fantasy-ish books with scientific-ish explanations (kind of like PEEPS, by Scott Westerfield, I guess). It's really, really easy to get tripped up in the world/ rules/ mythology/ science. So I do a TON of planning beforehand.

Planning = lying on my living room floor listening to music.

I think that it probably depends on how integral your world-building is to the plot. Some plots sort of lay nicely on top of the fantastic world you've built. Other plots are all tied up and rely upon the rules of the world -- those are the ones that require nasty groundwork.

I will say that a lot of logic stuff gets cleared up in the revision process with my editors now, though. It's amazing how I can make a leap of faith that editors cannot follow.

Lucienne said...

Maggie, LAMENT sounds great! I don't know what your heroine would use telekinesis for, but I'd use it to move the traffic out of my way when driving. My mantra is "You, off my road," but the universe just laughs back at me.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Les - for research online and on the net, I go only as indepth as I need to. The more I research, the more inclined I am to put everything I find out in the ms somewhere, and no one likes an infodump. So I try to get just what I need (and maybe a little extra) so I won't feel obliged to use it.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thanks, Lucienne! And now you're talkin' . . . traffic gives me hives and with all of my book events I've had in Northern VA lately, I've become far too acquainted with it. A little zinging lift to the cars in front of me would certainly improve my mood.

Kim said...

Hey Maggie!

Congrats on getting grilled today. I have two questions for you:

1. How many manuscripts (for novels) did you write before you got one published?

2. How much time/money do you spend on promoting your book?

And here's the answer to the question:
If Maggie could move one thing with her mind, it would be the tea kettle. She wouldn't have to always be getting up to take it off when it whistles!

It's great to chat with you and have fun with the rest of the day!

laughingwolf said...

pretty much frozen here as well, maggie, about -8C [18F roughly]

i just meant overall....

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hi, Kim!! *waves wildly*

1. Um. A lot. I knew that I wanted to be a professional writer pretty early on -- early teens -- so I spent all my time writing these horrible, derivative, melodramatic things that ranged from time-travel romance series to IRA thrillers to MG Celtic mythologies. I didn't finish a lot though, because I never outlined. So if I take out the literally hundreds that I never got past 10K words on, I would say . . . (doing mental count) . . . at least ten. If I only count the ones that I did after I reached the age of Writing Wisdom -- college -- three. I made a lot of the same mistakes over and over again, and I'm really, really glad that LAMENT was the first to get published. Really.

2. Um. A lot. :) More time than money, but I do a lot of book store, library, and school visits, often for nothing more than travel expenses, and I blog a lot. I also read other people's blogs a lot. It's good for getting to know other writers, for learning a lot about the biz, and also for getting your name out there. I hate doing the hot and heavy sales pitch thing, though, so mostly it's like spending a lot of time making friends. Not odious at all.

Moneywise, this is the first year that I'm actually paying for some advertising. We'll see how it works out. I did buy business cards and two cases of my own book last year to give out to reviewers, and I cannot emphasize how much that has done for getting the word out. I'm not against spending money on promo (GO TAX DEDUCTION!) .. . but I'm also Scottish and stingy and it takes me a long time to decide what I want to spend it on.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Maggie!
Hope the motorcycle works!!! 'cause now he has the power. And he will use it against you...mwahahahahaha!
Just kidding!

I call mine Thing 1 and Thing 2 also. It threw me when you started talking about Thing 2.

Can't wait to read your book!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

And oi - Kim, you're right on that tea kettle. So much.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Laughingwolf, overall, yes, I think that sounds like a good idea. Or maybe smoothing out the ozone layer a touch. I hear it's a bit sketchy over New Zealand.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Shoot, Chris! I thought I was being so original with Things 1 & 2.

Another dream goes phhhbbbbbt.


alanajoli said...

Wow, the snooze button is a good answer (but a dangerous path to walk)...

I can't remember whether Maggie lives in winter climes, but if it were me and I could only move one thing by telekinesis, I'd want to be able to start my car from inside. Since I have a stick shift, I don't think I can get one of those fun little starters, so telekinesis it is!

I'm really curious about Maggie's answer. :)

I'd also like to know, Maggie, given how much music there is in your description, what role does making music (rather than listening while brainstorming) play in your life? And how do music and magic interact in your world?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Alana -- my husband's car will start from inside the house, although my hot car Loki, of course, will not, as he is older than me (and a stick shift) and scoffs at such things. So yes, the ability to get him all toasty before I got outside? Right now, sounds pretty appealing.

Music is a pretty big deal to me, both inbetween the cover of my books and in my real life. I play a few different instruments, and so do the rest of my siblings -- all through college I had various bands and did the touring thing (on a small scale, just VA-MD-DE stuff). I still play regularly and often bring my harp, Rory, along with me to book signings, and I also have tried to get into the habit of writing and recording music for each of my books.

Here's the tunes for LAMENT. I'm actually headed into the studio this Thursday with my sister Kate to lay down the track for SHIVER, which I'm really psyched about.

As to the music/ magic thing . . . I just think music is a very universal thing. It doesn't matter what culture we're in, we all have music, and we always have, in some form. It's what ties all the various centuries and cultures together and what really makes us human. At the same time, it's not really . . . explainable. What else does that sound like? Mmmmmmm. . . mmmagic, maybe? ;p

LurkerMonkey said...

Hey, Maggie. I'm a big fan of your blogola, and I'm very much looking forward to Shiver's launch ... and from thusly comes my question:

What was the revision process like? Did you go through lots of drafts, or was it mostly a cosmetic thing?

Now, what would you want to move with your mind? Hmm. You only get ONE thing? So unfair. What about yourself ... 'cause at least then you could fly!

Susan Adrian said...

Hi Maggie!

Don't enter me in the contest, because I already OWN a copy of Lament--it's near the top of my TBR pile.

Just wanted to join in the bonfire a little. :)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Susan -- Good on adding to the bonfire, because I can use all the heat I can get right now. Seriously . . . I am wearing so many sweaters right now, I'm losing circulation to my fingers.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Lurker Monkey -- hi! Flying sounds like a good idea. I used to have a lot of dreams about flying when I was a teen . . . dream analysis suggests that that meant I had a giant ego, which I suppose is possible. I think mostly I just liked to have dreams about flying astride trashbags (yes, this was a repeating theme).

The revisions for SHIVER were pretty intense, because it's such a big title for Scholastic. So it was a question of making sure the logic was 100% perfect ("why did this happen then? why did she do that?") and the pacing was even -- so it meant picking up entire scenes and shuffling them. Then came the cosmetic buff -- repeated words and awkward sentences and things like that. It felt like a huge amount of change, but when I looked back over the final draft, it felt like the same book, even though I had tidied up a lot.

Oh, there was also a lot of work on Grace's best friends. They went through a lot of different versions that neither I or my editors were satisfied with, and finally ended up looking like real people. It was a very different experience from editing LAMENT or BALLAD, but every time I do it, I learn a ton and hopefully learn to be tidier the first time around. Does that answer your question? Or did I just talk in a circle?

anachred said...

Telekinesis is good for getting coffee while typing away madly...

Or any caffeine of choice. I promote chai as well for the writing brain. ^.^

Maggie, do you find cold weather or warm weather more conducive for getting in the mood for writing, for you?
I've never thought to ask someone else this question, though I have an answer for myself...

Maggie Stiefvater said...

That's an interesting question, about the weather! How does it work for you?

For me, I write in all seasons equally . . . but I write better if I'm writing about the season I'm in. It's really hard for me to get into writing a summer book right now, for instance, or vice versa. I actually try to time my WIPs to coincide with the seasons -- I've put aside a WIP for the moment, because it's a summer book, and it just won't work writing about short-sleeved shirts and sweat until it's warm.

LurkerMonkey said...

Two things ...

I used to dream about flying all the time, too. When I was kid. Except I could only fly really slowly, and only about 15 feet off the ground. I had this recurring dream in which I was being chased by a zombie, and I could fly only barely faster than he could shuffle. I had to flap my arms madly just to stay elevated. (Hey, I was a kid. Flapping was the best I could do.) So if flying signifies a giant ego, I wonder what that means. Am I arrogant zombie bait?

And you answered my question totally. Thanks! I was curious because ... I have some experience with the Scholastic revision process (long story), and like you said, it was intense. I wondered if you had the same experience, being a big title and all.

Good luck! I love your writing, Shiver sounds great and I hope it's HUGE.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Lurker -- giant ego because you assumed zombies would want you? ;)

And if you want to talk revisions off-the-record, you can e-mail me.

JSB said...

Hrm...if Maggie had to move things with the power of her mind...

how about deadlines? :)

Much fun.


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh, Jana, YES!

strugglingwriter said...

Maggie - just saw your Monty Python quote on your blog post today. Bonus points for you!

When I help my daughter walk up our stairs I always tell her she's doing the "department of silly walks". :)


BrigidsBlest said...

Hi, Maggie! My question:

Approximately how many hours in a day do you work on writing in some way or other? Research, revision, actual writing, anything related? Do you write every single day, or do you take days off for dealing with other things in life?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Paul, you make me feel like my childhood wasn't so odd. My siblings and I grew up on dead parrots and cheese shops and silly walks and it was very mystifying to me when I got to college (I was home-schooled after sixth grade) and nobody knew these things.

Right now, my cellphone rings with the theme from the Holy Grail. It allows me to instantly pick out the cool people in the room, when they smile.

Saundra Mitchell said...

Hi Maggie! The one thing I really, really need to know today is- on the nookie scale, what are you wearing?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hi BrigidsBlest!

My ankle-biters are in preschool three days a week, so I definitely use those for writing and writing business. About half of my time is used doing things vaguely promo or networking or business related (like being roasted on this site right now!). The rest of the time is divided up between brainstorming and writing.

I just can't sit down and write until it starts working, so for me, I spend a lot of time planning what I'll be working on, and then blast out several thousand words at a time. It's very difficult for me to write two days in a row because of that -- I'd rather write/ brainstorm/ write/ brainstorm.

I take every Sunday off and don't let myself do anything business related, no matter how busy I am. It gets me raring to work on Monday, and also preserves my sanity and gives me some downtime.

I'm pretty flexible on going places with my family . . . but now that I have deadlines, I really only like to take one non-Sunday day off a week.

Did that answer the question? I think everybody writes differently and the way we write reflects how we do everything else in our life. I do better with varied tasks every day and brief stretches of intense focus, and that shows in how I like to write. Some people are the plugging away variety, and that is how they write too.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Saundra, I am wearing weremittens.

hallways said...

hmmm. if maggie had the power to move something by telekinesis? it would be everything that vexed her out of her way! atleast, i hope.

i just want to add that Maggie is one of the awesomest authors i've ever come across, so nice and personable. :D i love her Merry Fates work! she's a real inspiration :D you rock, Maggie! <3

Maggie Stiefvater said...

i just want to add that Maggie is one of the awesomest authors i've ever come across, so nice and personable. :D i love her Merry Fates work! she's a real inspiration :D you rock, Maggie! <3


strugglingwriter said...

Right on Maggie! My daughter's only 2 1/2, so a little young for Python. That said, once she turns 3, I'll start her on The Holy Grail. :)

One more thing. Have you seen the official Monty Python YouTube channel? They have a pretty cool video with various comedians/actors talking about why they love Python.

OK, I'll stop hijacking this thread now. Good luck with your novel!


Barrie said...

I love this excerpt. And a starred Booklist review! Wow! And my answer.....If Maggie could move one thing in this world, I think it'd be book sales!! May your book fly off the shelves!

Chris Eldin said...

Book Sales!

LOL! Spoken like fellow authors.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thanks, Barry! It's been pretty amazing -- LAMENT's gotten three starred reviews so far -- two of them in the same week. It was pretty surreal! Thanks for the kind words!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

And yes, Chris! As my next deadline is April 1st for a rough draft, I will take all telekinetic powers anyone's offering.

Kim said...

Hey again.

About brainstorming: to what extent do you outline a story? Do you outline everything or do you start it and then let it go where it does (although obviously with some ending in mind)?

Was there ever a time when you had one thing in mind and your character(s) had another in mind and the character won out?

I guess what I'm trying to say is: how much flexibility is there in your outlining procedure?

Thanks and you rock! I'm really enjoying this Book Roast. :)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Good question, Kim! On a basic level, I'm against outlining, because I hate doing prep work. I mean, no one ever said "oh, I'm totally lost in another world, one of prep work." I always would rather be writing!

But I've found out that unless I have an ending before I begin, I will not finish that novel. I just won't. So I won't let myself begin to write until I have an ending now, bare minimum. That sort of evolved to "have a rough bare bones outline" before writing. So now, generally, for my stand alones, I like to do a two-page synopsis which has the beginning, some important scenes I don't want to forget to do in the middle, and the end. Most of the middle is composed of lies and utter lies, because it'll be changed, as you said, by character actions and unexpected scene twists. But I've never majorly changed the actual ending -- it stays the same.

I'm working on a pretty complicated time line right now with LINGER -- I'm trying to play with something that I've never done before -- and it's introduced index cards at a very early stage, with scenes written on them. Usually the index cards don't come out until revision time. I hope it's not an ominous sign. ;)

And I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'm trying to be entertaining! :D

Hey again.

About brainstorming: to what extent do you outline a story? Do you outline everything or do you start it and then let it go where it does (although obviously with some ending in mind)?

Was there ever a time when you had one thing in mind and your character(s) had another in mind and the character won out?

I guess what I'm trying to say is: how much flexibility is there in your outlining procedure?

Thanks and you rock! I'm really enjoying this Book Roast. :)

Rebecca said...

If Maggie had the power to move one thing by telekinesis it would be to move herself up the status quo to being the Future Queen of America! :D

Here is my question for ya Maggie! When you talked about modeling characters from people who just happened by you, do you base the new forming character off of first impressions/vibes the person gives, or do you observe them for a bit to get a feeling of their acual personalties to incorporate in the stroy?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

LOL, Rebecca! I would prefer that my people loved me on their own, but heck, some supernatural interference never hurt anyone. Okay, so it did. But I'm a benevolent dictator . . .

As to your question, yes, I do steal from people that I see. The depth of stealing really has to do with how long I come in contact and how much of what I see is useful. I never go out of my way to find out more about someone to steal, if that's the question. For instance, I saw a guy in Circuit City the other day, and both his appearance and his . . . hmm, what to call it . . . attitude, that's probably right -- anyway, it was very other. He really looked out of place, and it thrilled me to no end, because that sort of stuff is intensely other. As was watching how other people reacted to him in real life. Since I'm always throwing strangeness at normal people, it's nice to see firsthand how it might go down.

Plus, I frankenstein people all the time -- take bits and pieces off all and glue them together with a bit of me.

Stephen Parrish said...

Hi Maggie. I just wanted to come over and wave. I'm pretty sure I first met you at Miss Snark's place. Those were the days.

I'm not going to answer the question because I'll lose. I always lose. It's a conspiracy. Oh, and have you seen the naked Italian guy? BookRoast is going to the dogs.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

YES! Miss Snark! How I remember . . . oh I was so wet-behind-the-ears then it is not even amusing. Of course, I'll probably say that about myself in a year as well, so I should shut up.

I never win any internet contests either!

The naked Italian guy adds some festivity, I think.

darbyscloset said...

Would definitely use her powers to clean the cat box and if I could borrow her powers I'd move the moles out of my front yard and into someone else's far away!
Thanks for the fun post!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Sam said...

Oh I love that expression 'Cloverhand' never heard it before!

Just one thing to move? That's a tricky one - I'd imagine lots of things to move. *sigh* If it were me, it would be the loud & obnoxious neighbor, but I don't know if Maggie has that problem, lol.

Hmmm. Maybe since she has pre-schoolers, the ability to move the babysitter instantly into the house?


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Darby, I would definitely practice first -- I can imagine telekinetically scattering felineturds all across my floor if my concentration got broken by the phone ringing or something!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh, yeah, Sam, babysitter transport is a good one!

Or telekinetically getting the neighbor's dog to shut up?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh, and "Cloverhand" was something I made up about halfway through LAMENT, when it became clear that I was going to have to refer to Dee as something other than "a girl who can see faeries without holding a four-leaf clover."

Which is not catchy.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very nice excerpt. Has a nice easy reading feel.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thanks, Charles -- it was very hard to find something short and self-contained for the excerpt, but I thought this one worked pretty well (although it doesn't include the homicidal faeries that populate the rest of the book).

Sam said...

Well, the skill was move, not shut up - but if you telekintetically move the dog to say, Alaska, then the barking will magicallly disappear.

Dave F. said...

I just stuck my head in to say HI and say it's an interesting book.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Sam, I like where you're going with that. Even if I just move the dog inside their house -- say, their bedroom -- it will muffle the sound.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thanks, Dave! HEEEEYYY! You're an Evil Editor regular, are you not?

Sam said...

That would only be fair to do at night, when the neighbors are home asleep.
During the day, when no one is around to appreciate your amazing telekinetic gift (of moving the neighbor's dog) it would be best to send the barking creature wherever said neighbor is working. (Imagines frantically barking dog appearing in the middle of a conference session.)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Sam, I do like the way your mind works! Why hide my light under a bushel?

donnas said...

I would say she would move all the cleaning products to work themselves, brooms, mops, dusters. I have to admit with a long haired cat it is part of my dream.

Your book sounds great. What appealed to you the most about faerie when writing it?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thanks, Donna! I've always been attracted to homicidal faeries, even since I was a kid -- I just loved the myths. In particular, I devoured Katharine Briggs' An Encylopedia of Faeries. It's a huge resource of a faeries, good and bad, and I loved the idea of a bad guy who was not so much bad as not good. Plus, they have a really strong association with music and nature, which to me was an unbeatable combination!

And yes, cleaning products. Ugh, housework.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Okay, roasters, I'm going to go pick up my creatures from school, but I'll be back at about 4:00. So don't think I've abandoned you!

Brooke Reviews said...

lol move things? Hmm to make coffee so she wouldn't have to stop writing! :D

laughingwolf said...

true enough, maggie :D

i see your celtic tale is really popular with the roasters, hope it's an indication how the sales are going, and will continue to!

laughingwolf said...

ooops... was gone for a bit when i finally fell asleep for a few hours... fighting some kinda bug causing me pain behind eye sockets, runny nose, sneezing, chilblains, appetite loss, etc.

but dinna fret overmuch, lass, i use both a firewall and virus barrier ;) lol

Badger said...

Hi Maggie!

So I have a few questions, three about the book and one to get a little perspective using your vaunted farming expertise:

1. How much research did you do into the mythos of faerie for LAMENT?

2. In certain strata of pagan culture, there are those who believe that the fae are not fiction. Have you gotten any feedback from people whose spiritual beliefs you're effectively writing about, regarding their feelings on your presentation of faerie?

3. I particularly liked the fact that your strong female lead was not a Stereotypically Plucky Strong Female Lead(tm) of the sort that often makes me want to throw YA novels across the room ("ooooh, I'm such a strong and independent thinker! It's why boys like me!"). Did you model her on women that you knew, or choose attributes you wanted and create the character based around them?

4. I've been considering your recent advice to me to plant springer spaniels instead of winter wheat this year. Now, I've consulted my Almanac(k) and it says that you should plant the spaniels head-up in a light clay soil no later than the first new moon after the larch begins to bud, but a band of roving lumberjacks in drag turned the only larch in Central Texas into matching heeled clogs last fall. What tree's budding do you recommend I use as the appropriate signal to order my seed spaniels from the online distributor?


msgrim said...

Dear Ms. Maggie: (XD)

Are you ever going to illustrate your own covers?

Love, me.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Brooke, yep -- but tea in my case. I like the smell and the idea of coffee, but not the taste!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

I hope so too, LaughingWolf -- I have great LiveJournal friends, too, that have followed me over here.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Badger (:D) -

1. For this book in particular, very little -- most of it having to do with gallowglasses. But faeries have been a particular obsession of mine ever since I was a teen, so the actual "research" time was hours upon hours upon hours of reading up on faerie lore since I was about thirteen or fourteen. I don't think I would've necessarily needed to do that much research if I was starting from scratch, but it certainly helped.

2. I've actually only met two people since writing it that believed in faeries, and my impression was that they overwhelmingly thought of faeries as helpful, benevolent creatures. I warned them that all was not sweetness and light in LAMENT before they bought it, but they laughed and bought it anyway . . . I have yet to receive any flaming letters. I don't think of my fae as out and out evil -- I just think of them as other. You'll notice the most evil character in the entire book was actually another human. That oughtta satisfy those fae action groups!

3. I have a similar problem with overly independent characters. While I can't stand the milksop sort that sit around and wait for rescue or never act, it's really hard to sympathize with someone so determined to do it on their own that they bite and mangle the fingers of any would be helpers. Dee is pretty strongly based on my sister Kate, who is by turns a nervous, anxious, normal teenager, and a smart, resourceful, incredibly grown-up woman pretty capable of taking over cities.

4.Um, Vic's not here? It's a simple case of non-presence?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

*grin* On the cover front, one day I actually hope to do a graphic novel (maybe even a graphic novel of SHIVER -- which would be pretty awesome . . . and time consuming)(but I have been inspired by THE ARRIVAL), but for the moment, I'm happy with just getting some input on the covers. Scholastic has been great about asking me about cover concepts, and recently, Flux was absolutely fantastic about working with me on the cover for BALLAD. As a blog reader, you'll see what I mean when you see the final cover!

niamhaevalnimue said...

I am halfway through Lament and I am loving it!

I'm wondering about your writing process, do you outline, or just go with it? Did you have an idea or a character first?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hi Niamh(et al) - Yay! I'm glad you're liking it.

With my post-LAMENT books, I always get an idea from something wacky -- a dream (which is when you get to process stuff subconsciously without that nasty common sense getting in the way), a weird e-mail, a strange guy -- and then I work it up first into a paragraph long plot summary, then brainstorm for several hours or several days until I can turn it into a two page long synopsis . . . which is basically like the novel in short story form. It's in the same voice as the novel, and is filled with lies and damn lies in the middle, as all that usually changes, but the ending stays pretty much the same (although I don't write the ending until I get there).

With LAMENT, I wrote the first draft of it a few years back, before I did these sanity-saving measures. As such it took four times as long to write and a million times longer to revise! It did start out with an idea first: the four leaf clovers appearing to someone and then "why would the faeries want someone to see them?"

kbaccellia said...

Hi, Maggie!

First off, loved your book. But you already know that!!! Can't wait for SHIVER to come out.

Questions. Hmmmm.

Where do you come up with your ideas?

If you could have written any book, which one would it have been?

Kim Baccellia

Llehn said...

Hi again Maggie,

Thanks for answering my question! Good luck on your ex-frontman character. He sounds intriguing! By the way, what kind of reserach did you do on him?

Also, I was wondering how do you handle the supporting people that pop up when you don't plan for them like the guy down at the grocery store where your MC does her shopping?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hey, Kim!! Sorry for the delay -- I was making waffles!

Okay . . . ideas. I touched on it lightly before in one of the other comments, but they are always sparked by the smallest, strangest things. With SHIVER, it was because I was wracking my brain all day for a werewolf plot to submit to a werewolf contest, and I had a werewolf dream that night (most of the content doesn't make it into the novel, but the first line -- yes, my dream was narrated, how sad is that -- does). I have a WIP that was inspired by getting an email from my blog that said it was from me. Little things like that make me go "why would that be?"

And if I could've written any book, it would be THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. I love that book with a fiery passionate love unlikely to die anytime soon.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Les, the research on ex-frontman was the sort of google searching that makes the FBI come knocking at my door, like "side effects of ecstasy." I also looked for live concert videos from big techno and electronica bands -- and I might need more techno lingo than I have -- but this is one of those cases where I'm not looking for it unless I really need it.

And side characters can easily get too much time. Remember that nameless fiends such as the grocery check out boy are only there for three possible purposes:

1) to further the plot
2) to tell the reader something about your main character
3) to add atmosphere

Nameless dude does not need to tell us anything about himself, have any dialog, or otherwise call attention to himself in any way that doesn't do one of those three things.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Everyone,
Wow! This is a lively bunch, with lots of great questions!!

Keep your guesses coming in.....there's a half hour left in the contest. Sometime after 9pm(NY time), Maggie will announce the winner.

Thanks for playing along!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maggie,

If I could move things telekinetically, it would be the phone so it wouldn't be lost anymore. You have little munchkins - I suspect you'd do the same.

If my daughter who is reading to mock the Twilight series, will she like yours?

Kizmet from LJ

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh, that's a good one, Kizmet -- or my car keys!

And I've been told LAMENT will appeal to people who like TWILIGHT, but that Dee has more spine than Bella . . . but that's just what they say. Does that help?

Anonymous said...

It does help.

For the life of me, I don't understand reading thousands of pages of novels with characters you hate, but then, I'm not 14. Perhaps mockery is its own reward.

I'll steer her toward your book.


strugglingwriter said...

Hi Maggie. We need 100 comments here so I thought I'd ask a question.

Do you write long hand or type when you write?

I personally like the romantic idea of writing by hand in some special notebook, but have learned I can't work that way. I mess up too much :)


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Haha, Paul, thanks for lucky 100!

I used to write long hand in numerous blank books (LAMENT's first draft is in three blank books) because I thought they looked sexier (like you said, more romantic), but the sad fact is that I type 90 words per minute and deadlines just get met better that way! I still write out a lot of short stories (my friday fiction at Merry Sisters of Fate by hand. So those books are still put to good use.

strugglingwriter said...

Thanks Maggie for the answer. You kick it old school and new school.

Neil Gaiman does the first draft by hand in moleskine notebooks. Of course, he has an assistant that types what he writes by hand into the computer. I need to get me an assistant.


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Okay, I can't make up my mind to pick just one winner -- I hate having to choose -- so I'm going with three, one of whom will get a Secret Goodie as well.

Music-Major Kim, for suggesting that I would move the tea kettle to stop the @#$% whistling, because it's true, I hate the #$%^ whistling.

JSB - Because the deadlines thing just hit VERY close to home at the moment!

And Lucienne -- Because traffic is the bane of my existence.

Anyway, I will send all you guys a copy, just email me with your addresses.

And the rest of you guys, thanks sooo much for coming today!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

And Chris, thanks for having me!

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks for playing and taking time to say hello to Maggie!!!

And thank you Maggie, for hanging out with us at the grill!!

Congratulations to the winners!! You can contact Maggie and make arrangements from there....

See you tomorrow for Nathan's roast. It's very funny, I promise.

laughingwolf said...

grats to the winners!

and thx maggie... i'll be looking for your book here in the north woods ;)

Aerin said...

Yesterday was a hell day and I can't believe I missed Maggie. I have read nothing but wonderful things about "Lament" and can't wait to get my hands on it!