The time it was about feathers

Posted September 21, 2015 by Stacee in Signings / 1 Comment

I devoured The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore. I was completely enraptured by the story telling and the characters and the everything. As soon as I finished, I stalked found Anna-Marie in all of the places and randomly found out that she was going to be signing at a Barnes & Noble near me.

Of course I recruited Michelle and Keiko to come with me. We got to the store early and found that the cafe had special drinks themed for the book.

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We just sort of wandered around until they set up the event area.

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Anna-Marie got there right at 7 and started out by giving a brief synopsis about the book. She mentioned that she had discussed with her Twitter friends what scene to read and then did just that.

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Talk about your inspiration for traveling shows.

Two parts: a story about performing mermaids in Florida that my dad told me. I knew I wanted to write about it, but I didn’t know how. I have a photographer friend and I was wearing these enormous wings and even though people knew I wasn’t a fairy, but people were staring and I knew it needed to do something with mermaids and wings.

Have you written a series?

I have a new book with St. Martins. It will be something new, but I can’t really talk about it. It will be the same sort of magical realism. This is a stand alone.

How long was it from query to publish?

I was already working with Taylor. It was about 2 years. Stories take a long time, but I worked with a lot of great people.

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Can you describe your writing process?

I tend to go by what I want to do in the day, not by hours. Where am I going to take the story today? It doesn’t always go that way, but it’s good to have a map.

Do you outline?

I do. I do very detailed outlines and about half way through, I throw it all away.

Where do you write?

We just moved. We have a sofa that I write on. We’ve been in studios for a while. I have a journal and I like to hand write.

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What age group is this for?

The publisher calls it 14 and above. I know a lot of readers in that age group and a lot of adults who love reading YA. I think it’s more about the age of the characters.

Diversity in YA? {I didn’t catch what this actual question was.}

I’m so proud to be debuting and having a diverse book. I loved talking about how magical realism comes from living in oppression. There’s still that idea of being queer or being of color and how you have to lift yourself out of it. How you find magic where you wouldn’t expect it.

The magic is part of the culture, not the individual. Expand?

There are a lot of books I love with characters who have special powers. But with magical realism, it’s a force, an undercurrent in a culture. That’s also what’s sort of scary about it. It’s like water. You can’t contain it.

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After that, the signing started.  We were lined up by row, so of course, we were first up.  I got to Anna-Marie and told her my Twitter handle.  She stood up and hugged me and said that it was good to meet me.  I started petting the book and told her that I wanted to roll around in them.

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While Michelle was getting her book signed, we started talking about the awesome necklace she had on {which was a feather that matched those on the cover of the book}. She told us that it was a gift from Mackenzi Lee and she had it custom made.  We chatted for a minute or so and then thanked her.

The Weight of Feathers is definitely one of my favorites I’ve read this year. If you haven’t picked it up, do it immediately.

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