The time there were maps

Posted July 11, 2014 by Stacee in Signings / 3 Comments

I got an arc of Kiss of Deception from Macmillan and devoured it. As I said in my review, after finishing it, I started stalking following Mary Pearson to make sure I was at her launch party.

Michelle and I got down to Mysterious Galaxy early to have a pre-date snack at Starbucks. We got into the store around 5 to bother Rob peruse the signed books.   We ended up seeing Alethea and she told us how it was her birthday and driving down from Pasadena was one of her birthday presents.

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Mary got to the store around 6:45 and started setting up a snack table filled with awesome. We were also given raffle tickets for a mystery prize.

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Mary came out at 7:15 and said that she had a lot of different people in the audience.  She told us that when she said the name of a certain group of people {family, neighbors, writers, bloggers, friends} that we belonged to, we had to clap.

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She wrote Kiss of Deception because it was 180 degrees away from the Jenna Fox books and she wanted to try something different. She wrote down all of the inspiration before writing so she could answer that question when people asked. She sent off a list of about 15 items to her editor to see if there was interest.

Some of the items were: lack of technology, lost civilizations, women’s intuition, romantic at heart and believing in true love. She told a story about meeting her husband at 16 while at church camp and how he invited her to his parent’s anniversary party for their first date. She then gave the synopsis of the book.

She specifically kept the reader in the dark about the identity of the prince and assassin because she wanted everyone to give the characters a chance without their labels.  It was then opened up to questions.

This isn’t a question as much as a statement.  I’m really impressed with social media for not spoiling the ending.

Yes. And I’ve been thanking everyone for doing it. My publisher sent out so many arcs and it’s been great that everyone has kept the secret.  I didn’t think the ending was a huge twist, but I’m starting to see that everyone thinks it really is.

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Is this your first trilogy?

Well, the Jenna Fox books was sort of a series. I always said that I wouldn’t write a series, but it’s so fun. You have this whole landscape to work with.  I wrote 50 pages and then a synopsis and that’s what it sold on. I told them that it probably wasn’t going to be the same as the synopsis because I didn’t know most of the characters.

How did you come up with the world?

Well, first I came up with the characters. I have the world all in my head, but this is a spoilery question. It’s sort of a pseudo medieval fantasy. {There was more to this, but I was taking photos}

Have you set a release date for book 2?

No specific date yet, but it’ll be the same time as this, next year.

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Do you read your reviews?

I do. Sometimes it’s painful. I have to say that the bloggers have been so supportive. I try to avoid the bad ones, but you don’t know until you’re in the middle of it. I know that not every book is for everyone.

How do you go about the publishing process when you’re a new author?

Publishing has changed since my first book. I sold my first book in 1998. I didn’t have an agent and went through the slush pile. I don’t think you can do that now.  I would say to take your time. You only get to be a debut author once. Make sure you have the book that you’re in love with and then find an agent.

Did you have to find your voice for these characters?

Yes. It probably took me about 50 pages, but you get to know them when you go through revisions. I struggled with writing in past tense, so you’ll probably find mistakes in this book.

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What do you love most about Lia and why should the reader root for her?

She had a sense of herself. She knows her values and she isn’t a doormat.  My mom always told me to never be a doormat.  I love that she’s tough, but compassionate. I love that she’s kind of reckless.  She confronts people who are bigger than her, better armed than her, but doesn’t back down.

Women tend to hold back until they reach that certain point, until they’re really mad and then they roar.  My mom was that way.

Do you base your characters off people you know?

They are always a conglomerate of people. I have some great women in here who have that great attitude that Lia does, but she also becomes her own person.

Where do you come up with names?

That takes me a long time because it has to be right. I wanted something a bit plain, even though her full name is different. I look at baby name books, I also look at name origin websites. I’ve used the phone book too. I try to use different consonants so they don’t all sound the same.

Do you like the covers?

Yes. I’m always so nervous about covers because I used to be an artist, so I’m sensitive to it. I think I got really lucky. And look, it’s got a map!

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After that, Mary started to set up for the signing.  While everyone was putting their chairs away, she asked, “Who was the person who said they were going to roll around in the maps with me?” I raised my hand and she came around the podium to hug me and thanked me for coming.  {*squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*}

There was a pretty good crowd, so while we waited, Michelle and I ate some of the delicious cake pops.  We talked with Mary’s daughter who told us that the cake pops were made by a neighbor’s daughter {they were amazing.}

When I got up to Mary, I started unpacking the books that I had.  She confirmed my name and thanked me again for coming.  I had been going back and forth with keeping the arc or giving it away and finally decided to keep it.  So, she signed my arc {on the left} and shiny new finished copy {on the right}.

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While she signed, I loaded up on swag.  Then it was Michelle’s turn to get her things signed.  We chatted a bit more {mostly about Mary going to SDCC} before saying goodbye to everyone and leaving.

As always, the staff at Mysterious Galaxy was phenomenal and accommodating.  And Michelle was a lovely date.

Some of you know how picky I am about my high fantasy books…this one definitely hits my top 5 favorite fantasy books.  The fact that Mary is charming and so friendly just makes it better.  If you haven’t read Kiss of Deception, you’re really missing out.  I cannot recommend this book enough.

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3 Responses to “The time there were maps”

  1. Thanks so much!! I missed the party- I’d been planning to go for MONTHS and in the last minute I couldn’t go. Thanks for posting all the juicy bits I missed.

    • Stacee

      You’re welcome! Mary was delightful, I really look forward to seeing her again. Hopefully you’ll get a chance soon since she’s local.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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