Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"There is no one who is not a storyteller"
So says Melissa Marr, author of the Wicked Lovely series. I was fortunate enough to work an event for her newest book, Radiant Shadows (drop what you are doing and get thee to an indie bookstore to buy this posthaste!).
I've worked a whole lot of book events in my day (as you all know, a writer must wear many hats to make ends meet) and I say without reservation that Melissa Marr is the nicest writer with which I have had the pleasure to work an event. She brought us swag (you'll see me strutting around Boston sporting some hot bracelets marking me a faerie both solitary AND with the dark court, both of which match my new temporary tatt, which is just as pretty as the real one I'm getting in June) and treated us to a chill evening of real conversation about the series (!!!!), identity, and life as a writer.
I had prepped some questions before the event (being the huge lit/fantasy geek that I am). The first, the obligatory (because I'm always obsessed with what people are reading) "What are your influences" question was met with some interesting answers. Of course, we are all influenced by Neil Gaiman (because, hello!?) but when names like Faulkner and Browning were brought up, I immediately felt that I could see how and why the use of multiple-perspective, close-third works so well in the Wicked Lovely novels.
The second question, the one that I was hoping like the rub on the magic lamp, the key opening the door of the secret garden would help me figure out how to fix the pitfalls in my own work, was: "When you are working with adolescence and topics that are quite real, like rape and abuse and addiction, how do you negotiate what you write against cliche?" Marr said that what appears in her writing springs from real conversations and that she doesn't sugar-coat anything. Life is real and as a writer you have to do the honest thing.
A beautiful and real answer. I just wish it wasn't so hard.
(The pic is a shot of the Australian cover! So hot!)