The time our seats were reserved

Posted October 8, 2014 by Stacee in Signings / 2 Comments

I had always planned on seeing Becca Fitzpatrick at BN in Huntington Beach and when it was announced that she was going to be joined by Christina Lauren {AKA Lo & C}, it was a sure thing.

Michelle met me at 3 and we hopped in Lucy and headed up to Huntington Beach. We got up to the shopping center around 4:30 and of course the only solution to kill time was to hit Cheesecake Factory. After gorging on delicious morsels, we got to the store.

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The event manager, Jeanne, so nicely offered to save us some seats, so after getting books, we were all set in the front row.

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We settled in to wait, but there were a lot of book friends around to chat with, so time went by fairly quickly.  The ladies came out just after 7pm.  Lauren came around the table and said that they were each going to talk for a bit and then all 3 of them would answer questions from the audience.

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L: We met online writing fanfiction. We liked each other’s stories, so we wrote a few together. And then we decided to write a book.

C: Because it’s just that easy.

L: The first book we outlined was the most depressing thing ever. We had been reading a lot of YA and outlined a new book. It’s a labor of love. It took a year of working on it and querying and getting rejected.  The book Spellbound  had just come out, so they said they loved it, but didn’t take it.

Lauren gave the synopsis of sublime.

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L: One thing we always get asked how we came up with the idea.

Christina has always loved the Wordsworth poem Lucy Gray and the urban legend of the woman in white. I have my degree in neuroscience and I was doing a lot of research.{Insert science-y things here, because I didn’t catch any of it.} One day my boss walked in and said that it was like the kid in Nova Scotia who fell in the water and was there for 3 hours.  After he was pulled out, he was fine. Turns out it was an urban legend. People on the internet really think that it’s true and then we started thinking about what that kid would be doing for that 3 hours.

C: This is our first YA event and it’s a bit different from our adult events where people are a bit rowdy. So let’s have Becca talk.

Becca came out and talked about the synopsis of her Hush Hush books and then the synopsis of Black Ice.

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B: One of the questions I always get is where the idea comes from. It’s such a hard question because inspiration comes in all forms. For Black Ice, I actually tracked the idea down. When I was in high school, we moved to Idaho. I didn’t have a senior trip planned, so my parents planned to have a trip to the Tetons. I got sick and had to stay home.

I ended up getting in the middle of a Lifetime movie about a woman who was being held hostage and she figured the way to get away was to act like she was falling in love with him. Was she really in love with him or just faking it? And that question always interested me.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was how I became a writer. You don’t have to get one specific degree to become a writer. Everyone has their own story and their own journey. When I was 8 years old, I watched Romancing the Stone. It’s about a romance writer who has to go save her sister after getting kidnapped and taken to Columbia.  She goes on this big adventure and finds treasure and falls for this tall, dark and handsome man.  I remember when I finished watching it that I told my mom that I was going to be a romance writer because I thought every writer did that.

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In college, I wanted to be a spy and I applied to the CIA twice, but never heard from them. I didn’t start writing until I was 24 or so. My husband had enrolled me because he always saw me journaling. Everyone in the class had degrees in writing. One week, the teacher told us that he had to write a scene about humiliation.

When I was 16, one of my teachers called on me and asked to describe my perfect mate.  Well, it was high school, so that was pretty embarrassing.  And the cute boy behind me kept poking me in the side saying, “Yeah, Becca.  Describe your man.”  Some of you may recognize the scene it became in the books.

I continued to write 3 chapters and then sent it off to NY. I didn’t realize that you needed to have the entire book. I kept sending it to NY and getting rejected. After 5 years, I got an agent and the book sold.

Why did you decided to end Finale that way?

B: I outline all of my books beforehand. I always knew the ending.

When are the movies coming out?

B: I did sell the film rights. I received the screenplay in April. I thought they did a good job, but I didn’t think it was the right time. Something didn’t feel right. I didn’t renew the film rights this time. They’ve reverted back to me. So, at this time, no plans.

C: Our first book BB has been optioned and there’s a script and it’s amazing and better than the book. Our options were just getting ready to expire, but they were renewed. The producer really wants to do the story for the character in the second book, so we’re hoping they’ll make the entire series.

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What kind of research did you do?

B: I did go to the Tetons, but I didn’t do the backpacking trail. My agent has actually done it, so she was a good resource. I also talked to a man who trained the army in survival techniques. I did a lot of research, but I’m pretty sure if I was stranded, I would die.

How hard is it to make it in the world of writing?

L: Do you mean financially? Sanity? Most authors don’t make enough money to do it for a living. There’s only a few authors who can do that. I don’t want to say it’s luck, but it sort of is. It isn’t enough to write a great book, you have to have a great team behind you.  You have to have a publisher who is willing to spend money and bookstores willing to carry it.

There’s so many options now days. There’s the internet. There’s so many places you can publish stories for free. Or if you don’t need your book in print, you can publish through several places online.

C: Write the book you’re passionate about. If you write the book you think will sell, you’ll be super unhappy.

Do each of you have day jobs?

C: Lo and I both worked full time until this year. We put out 6 books this year and worked full time. Romance is different. You need to really put out things. It’s not like YA where you can do one book a year.

B: During the 5 years I wrote, my husband worked full time.

Is there every anything that you’ve written where you don’t want to let them change it?

B: I’m really easygoing, so no. It’s not the most important thing.  If you were trying to change my kids, that would be a different story.

L: When we talked to Constantine about BB, they knew that it was supposed to be silly. We don’t have any approvals for casting, or the director. We know how to write books and I can make a good quesadilla, but I don’t know how to make movies.

I want it to be different. It’s like a cover of a song, if it’s the same thing, why bother making the cover?

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Any general advice for writers?

L: Read a lot. Write down whatever is in your head and when you’re ready, show it to someone and let them tear it apart. Someone you trust.  Reading is the biggest. There is no right way to write. People get there different ways.

C: I didn’t start writing until I was older. I didn’t have a writing degree. The only way I became better was to write and things got better. The best idea that Lo gave me and that I hate is to write every day. For some people it’s easy, but for me it’s not. It could take me 8 hours to write 700 words and I’m like starfish on the floor.  I’m very flaily with my writing.

B: I struggle with dialogue. I like to eavesdrop on teens and make sure they sound like authentic.  I’ll go to coffee shops and listen in to make sure my characters don’t sound like me trying to act like a teenager.

What YA do you like?

C: Our favorite book is The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. It’s just an amazing book. I could never write that book.

L: I love Stephanie Perkins. I love the sweet fluff.  {There was another book, I think called Forbidden, but I’m not sure.}

B: One of my favorites is The Summer I Turned Pretty  by Jenny Han.

What kind of fanfiction did you write?

C: I wrote Twilight and Harry Potter. Lo has an amazing Hunger Games one.

L: I don’t have an amazing Hunger Games fanfiction.  I have Hunger Games and Twilight.

The fandom is such a weird thing. There’s like a secret shame spiral, but we’ve met so many amazing women and we’re all idiots together.

C: It’s just amazing to have so many people who are excited about something with you.  Or maybe not excited about how something gets done.  Fandom is amazing.

From there, it was time for the signing.  Jeanne had us go row by row, so Michelle and I were first.  I got up to Lo & C and Christina came around the table to hug me and then as I was walking by Lo, she had me stop for a hug too.  We chatted for a minute before Michelle got her things signed.

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Lo was signing my book while I was hugging Christina, so this was the only photo I got.

As always, Lo & C are delightful and with Becca, the three ladies were a lot of fun.  Huge thanks to Jeanne for being extra awesome.

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2 Responses to “The time our seats were reserved”

  1. So cool that you got to go to this one! I am thinking about reading Black Ice, so this was interesting for me to read.
    Thanks for recapping for those of us that can’t make it to author events :-)

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