Veronica Roth talks Writing

I absolutely LOVE it when authors take the time to guide others into the world of writing. Getting advice from someone who has been there themselves really helps aspiring writers like myself…and perhaps you as well? A few days ago, author Veronica Roth (Divergent trilogy) discussed the world of writing and answered several interesting questions by readers on her tumblr theartofnotwriting.tumblr.com:

Do you have any advice for beginning writers who think they can’t get anything decent done?

My first piece of advice is stop thinking about whether it’s “decent” or not! Assessments of quality are stifling at the early stages of drafting in particular (and all throughout the writing process!)— just do the best you can at any given moment. And my second piece of advice is to stop worrying about getting anything “done”! All I did from ages 11-20 was write little broken pieces of stories that fizzled out after ten pages, twenty pages, fifty pages, three hundred pages…and then one day I found something that I thought was worth writing to the end. And after that I was able to finish things more often. But no time spent writing little pieces is ever wasted— Divergent was one of those pieces, for me, something I started and abandoned quickly after my freshman year of college and then picked up again four years later with a fresh perspective. I don’t really think any writing is wasted. Everything gets you where you need to go.

So, once you’ve stopped worrying about both of those things, try to just write because you love it. Write even when you don’t love it, too. And you’ll be fine.

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Book Review and Signing: And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)

I’ve been a fan of Khaled Hosseini’s work since high school, where my English teacher introduced me to A Thousand Splendid Suns. It was unlike anything I’d read before. I went on to read The Kite Runner and became enchanted by the world that exists within Afghanistan, a country of which I had only heard about in war-related news. By some stroke of luck (!!!) I was fortunate enough to win a special meet-and-greet with Mr. Hosseini in the green room thanks to Cammy at Indigo Events. I can’t describe to you how over the moon I was! The whole experience was surreal. As winner, I was allowed to take a guest along so I chose one of my best friends who happens to be an even bigger fan of his. It turned out to be an overall spectacular day.

Before the event began, my friend and I were treated to front row reserved seats and a fun V.I.P experience. We were led to the back where we met Mr. Hosseini. He was every bit as gracious and kind as I’d imagined him to be. He asked me about myself, my background, and where I currently lived. He wanted to know what I had written as my contest entry (the question was “Why is Khaled Hosseini your favourite author”) so I told him that I felt his writing and characters were real and grounding. So much so, that they make me feel grateful for everything that I have in my own life. I think one of the best feelings a book can give you is a greater sense of clarity, conviction, and gratitude 🙂

From left: My friend Parul, Khaled Hosseini, and myself

From left: My friend Parul, Khaled Hosseini, and myself

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Author: Lauren Oliver

Getting in touch with your favourite authors is hard to do, especially if they’re well-known and have an enthusiastically large fan base. Luckily, sometimes your favourite authors turn out to be as much in love with you as you are with them. They reach out to their readers constantly, through print and social media, and it makes you feel all sorts of happy :).

I adore many, many authors. I would love to be able to get in touch with everyone but some are more interactive than others (but they’re all still awesome!). And thanks to the power of Twitter, plus her lovely personality, I have been lucky enough to interact with Lauren Oliver, author of bestselling books like Before I Fall and the Delirium series.

Lauren and I have exchanged tweets over the past year, especially when she does one of her live Twitter chat sessions (#OliverChat). I end up sending her an onslaught of questions, mostly about the woes of writing, but she always replies back with great answers (my mini interview is included below). So, if you haven’t heard of her or read any of her wonderful books, drop those Turkish Delights and please leave Narnia immediately!

Lauren Oliver

Name: Lauren Oliver

Background Info:

Born in New York; has a sister

Graduated from University of Chicago (Literature and Philosophy), and from NYU with a MFA in Creative Writing

Both her parents are literature professors (she describes her home as one filled with towers of books – I think that would be my dream)

Worked at Penguin Books before taking up writing full-time

Currently lives in NYC with her fiance

Age: early 30s

Published Works: Before I Fall (currently optioned for a movie), Delirium (book 1; also optioned for a movie), Pandemonium (book 2), Requiem (book 3), Liesl and Po, The Spindlers, and Delirium mini stories.

Interests: reading, cooking, traveling, dancing, running, and making up weird songs (Lauren, it is my dying wish that you post a song – just kidding about the dying part – but please)

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Author: Emily Giffin

The first-ever author highlight – so exciting! There are countless authors that I’m in love with and would kill (not literally) to interview, but for this first ever attempt, Emily seemed like my girl.

The world has changed. No more letters by owl (poor Pigwidgeon), it’s all about Facebook, texting, and Skype. And while I won’t burst into a debate about the charm of letters versus the accessibility of emails, let’s just say that advanced technology has made connecting with our favourite authors a whole lot easier. When discussing which author was easy to contact and kept in touch with their fans on a regular basis, a lot of names came up. But one of my favs has got to be Emily. From giveaways to pictures, Tweeting, and playing trivia with fans, she has got the whole communicate-with-your-readers thing down.

So, I emailed her lovely assistant Kate and am able to give you some interesting info on Emily Giffin. If you weren’t a fan before, I seriously hope you will be now! ….in real life and on Facebook 😉

Name: Emily Fisk Giffin

Background Info:

Born March 20th; one of three siblings

Graduated from Wake Forest University, and then from University of Virginia School of Law (She’s a lawyer!)

Worked in litigation until she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and moved to London

Is married with three kids; twin boys (Edward and George) and a daughter (Harriet) — such royal names!

Lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is a NY Times bestselling author

Age: a very young 40

Books Written: Something Borrowed (made into movie), Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter

Upcoming Book: Where We Belong (read a preview here)

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