Monday 14 November 2011


Author event: Maggie Stiefvater at Foyles

Apologies for the lack of updates once more, I have been without my trusted laptop for the past few weeks. I am not entirely sure how I survived the ordeal, though it is possible there may have been ice cream involved. To make up for the lack of posts I made a little write-up of a wonderful author event I attended at Foyles book store last Saturday with Maggie Stiefvater (author of amongst others the Shiver trilogy and the new Scorpio Races) .

Let me start by saying that Foyles without a single doubt hosts the best literary events in London at the moment. I've been to a fair few in the past year and a half and besides having had a chance to listen to some of the most exciting authors currently out there the organisers at the bookshop also always ensure they make the event just that little bit more special. This ranges from dressing up in full zombie gear or, in this case, providing all attendees with proofs of an exciting YA debut called Fracture by Megan Miranda which won't be out until next year (I'm currently reading it, review will be up soon). So make sure to regularly check the Foyles calender of events to read about upcoming events.

I know you're all eager to start reading about Maggie now (I'll get to her soon, promise!) but before I'll tell you about her talk I want to briefly discuss the amazing Jonas and Plunkett (official site). I admit, I hadn't heard of these fabulous musicians before Saturday afternoon but I am now totally hooked. The short story is that Maggie had their song Spaceship on her playlist while writing the second instalment in the Shiver trilogy, Linger, they got in touch and they then ended up writing the beautiful Summer Girl set to the lyrics from Sam as can be read in Shiver. The duo performed both songs live at the bookshop, and you can find my videos below.

Summer Girl

Now, Maggie! In three words: Witty, interesting, animated. Animated you ask? Oh yes. Try taking a photo to grace this post without using a flash. Impossible. But she's forgiven because she was very funny whilst doing so. Everyone who was there was laughing out loud on more than one occassion as she told us about the first time she heard she topped the NY Times besteller's list or retelling a visit to a very British school during a previous tour. I'm always fascinated by the tales and woes of published authors and Maggie was no exception (also, she was funny! Did I mention that?). I won't write down the entire talk, instead I want to leave you with the 10 steps, according to Maggie, to writing a Maggie Stiefvater novel. And make sure to check her site for all the info on her novels, including the Scorpio Races, which sounds absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to start reading (based on an old Irish tale it centers around a race on deadly horses).

Steps to writing a Maggie Stiefvater novel:

1. You need to have a mood (Maggie's mood was that she wanted to make people cry, she's so lovely)

2. Get an idea (you can steal, but if you do so do it from the death it'll make you look educated)

3. Come up with the end (Maggie's theory was that the ending must make her hairdresser burst into tears)

4. Research (she visited cliffs all around the world for Scorpio Races)

5. Start writing (stock up on tea and cookie dough)

6. Something should be dead

7. There is no step 7

8. Time to put food in the book (make the reader and author crave something with carbs in it. Her particular desire was to once put something amazing in her books that's fictional so readers would never be able to eat it. Example: November cakes in her latest novel. It didn't quite work that way though as she herself spent hours in the kitchen until eventually she was able to make them)

9. External pressure leads to more research

10. Ignore everything in the list!


  1. Great recap! It was great event! I hope you enjoy The Scorpio Races I LOVED it!

  2. Thanks so much. Before going to the event I actually didn't know what the book was going to be about, but it sounds so fascinating - can't wait to start on it!


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