Sunday, October 21, 2007

Libba Bray Rocks!

Hey all!

Thanks again for all the congrats -- while this has been the longest week of my life, it's also been the most amazing and I'm so happy I got to share it with y'all!

One of the things that excited me so much when I heard that the pre-empt was from Delacorte is that Delacorte published Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy. Every time I peruse the YA section, I can't help but stare at A Great and Terrible Beauty -- it has an amazing cover. And when it finally reached the top of my TBR pile, it blew me away. The writing is exquisite, and the story is just fascinating. I love how Libba was able to capture these four girls' lives right on the cusp.

I don't want to spoil anything and there are so many different themes and plots interwoven, but one aspect of the book is that these four girls all are beginning to face what it truly means to be an adult woman in their time (late 20th Century). I'm sure they've always known abstractly about their place in society; they are, after all, at Spence so they can be polished into proper, marriageable ladies. But for the first time they're really realizing what it means to them personally -- to their dreams.

Libba captures this moment so brilliantly that it made me ache. Not only for them, for everyone who comes to these realizations in life. And it's a moment that we all share over and over again as we grow up which is why I think this book works so well for readers of any age (and why I can't wait for my mother and sisters to read it).

I'd just finished reading A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels has just arrived in the mail when I heard about Delacorte's pre-empt and so I was like "Holy cow -- I might be published by the same house as Libba!!"

And THEN to top it all off, I peruse over to Libba's blog and realize that she's in in my city this weekend! So naturally JP and I drop everything and go listen to her participate on a panel of children's and YA authors (which was very interesting and Libba had the crowd roaring with laughter). As the crowd shuffled into the auditorium where the event was held, JP and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how old the kids were and who would be my target reader (some of the authors were for much younger kids so the crowd ran the whole gamut). I think JP and I stuck out like a sore thumb because we were the only "adults" there without kids.

Anyways, while we were standing in line after the talk to get our books signed, these two girls in front of us were talking about Libba and trying to figure out what they wanted her to write in their copies of her books. We'd already struck up a conversation when I lent them a pen, and so I asked them what other kinds of books and authors they read, trying to do a bit of market research. These girls so rocked -- their faces lighting up when they talked about Twilight and reading. If every reader of mine (!!) could be like them I'd be a lucky author.

Libba was amazing in person -- so personal with each fan! I definitely can learn a lot from her (well, in a few years when I have readers that is...).

So I was getting totally nervous to meet her and then it was my turn. I told her I'd just signed with Delacorte and she was so excited that she jumped up to give me a hug! She'd already heard the premise of The Forest of Hands and Teeth from my awesome friend Diana, and she was just so energetic and excited that I was beaming (and she was quite clear on which side of the zombie/unicorn debate she falls). It was such a wonderful moment for me -- a moment in time when it all felt so real.

The moral of the story is: Libba Bray just totally rocks as an author and as a person and I was thrilled to be able to meet her in person.


Jessica Burkhart said...

I'm soo jealous, Carrie! :) I love, love Libba's book and lucky you for meeting her. That's so cool!

Diana Peterfreund said...

Nineteenth century? ::evil grin::

You people are losers. Unicorns are totally badass.

Patrick Alan said...

Is there really a difference between the 19th and 20th century? I mean, what's a hundred years among friends.

Patrick Alan said...

Unicorns make me think of that Tom Cruise movie...

Diana Peterfreund said...

they won't for long...

Carrie Ryan said...

Gah-- I almost even put the actual date of 1895 and still messed up. I tell you -- I made the same mistake on a test in 8th grade and it kills me to this day! Yes, it takes place in 1895, the 19th Century :)

Jessica - it was totaly happenstance that I just lucked onto her blog two days before the event. I would have been so upset had I read her blog today and realized I'd just missed it!

Zombies rule, Unicorns drool!

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is, I read "20th Century" and thought "oh, the late 1800's". Gah is right! Must run in the family.

I ordered it today for arrival Wednesday. Can't wait to read it!

Carrie Ryan said...

Odd, Chris, because I thought I'd left it with you. Hmmm... wonder where it is? Mom must have it.