“So have you read it?” asked Maggie Stiefvater with a smile, signing my sister’s newly purchased copy of The Raven Boys.
Anna: “I’ve never read anything you wrote.”
Yesterday, I dragged Anna with me to attend Maggie Stiefvater’s (author of The Raven Cycle) book signing in Oconomowoc. I had never been to a book signing before and really, how often does an author I recognize/enjoy/read make it to Wisconsin? Anna had never heard of her but kindly joined me. I will make a fan of her yet.
Maggie spoke for almost an hour, a one woman dialogue about an “average day” for her. Some things she said were funny. Others were…weird. I found her most engaging and interesting when she spoke off the cuff, answering questions from the audience. She is a very fun speaker and I was particularly amused by her description of herself in high school. She said she was a teen who wore all black and explained why with answers like, “I’m mourning the death of modern society.”
Statements like that make it easy to see The Raven Cycle in Maggie. I was drawn to The Raven Boys initially because of its wonderful blend of the paranormal, in-depth characters, and originality. Maggie seems to be all of this. Everything she talked about -from her Goth phase to her obsession with cars to her trip to Wales – carries the fingerprints of her story. She really puts her all into her stories, or at least this series.
Even though many of the attendees were like Anna or me, casual fans and dragged-along companions, there were several Major Fans there. The woman in front of me in line had read The Raven King 3 times already (keep in mind, that book came out April 26th of this year…aka, only 15 days earlier.) The girl behind me was juggling every book Maggie had ever written, hoping to get them all signed for various friends who couldn’t make it. People gushed. They laughed. They glowed at the chance to hear their favorite author.
All of this made me really think about what it means to be an author. I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine how Maggie creates such intense, wonderful characters, so much a part of herself, and then releases them into the world. That takes guts. But it also amazes me how much people respond to those characters. She really has an amazing gift in her ability to touch people with her stories. What a blessing and a burden.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading my signed copy of The Raven King! Ahhh! It was a fun event and I’m grateful I got to go and that Anna joined me.