readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October: Libba Highlights (from the chat, not chunks of her hair)

Here are a few, rgz. Read the whole transcript for the entire fun hour!

Highlights from Libba:

I am in my pajamas live on your internets! I am wearing super fancy Target sweats plus a Book Fair t-shirt. Glamour! Apparently, I also look like a drawing of a microphone.

It took me forever and a day to write them, Melissa. I am actually 402 years old now.

My fave book to write might have been Rebel Angels because I got to go to London and it wasn't either the first or the last. I just got to play.

Memorable fan moments. Loved the girls who dressed up as Beauty, Hope, Song at a signing in Ohio. Loved the sixth grade boy who begged me to take out my artificial eye for him. Good times.

Hey Rachel, I def. found it hard to write the ending of TSFT. I cried.

NO plans to write a fourth Gemma book right now, Deena. I have a new trilogy to write. Mwahahahhaa! *suspense*

Dia, I can barely find my socks. I do not outline or plot anything in advance. What I do do (heh-heh, I typed "do-do"...so mature) is do a lot of writing in notebooks for a year or two in advance, asking myself questions, sketching, if you will, seeing how things will take shape. I'm doing that now and have been for over a year for a new one.

Meg, my tantalizing hint is this: a new supernatural historical trilogy. But first, I am writing a crazy satire for David Levithan about a plane of teen beauty queens that crashes on an island. Think Lord of the Flies meets Lost but with a talent portion. And sequins. Lots of sequins.

Viv, the series was inspired by my love of Victorian and Gothic novels and creepy ghost stories. I grew up on them and wanted to write one. And I also thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to write a sort of Victorian Buffy?" I did lots of research including going to the British Library in London but I never feel like I do enough.

Great question, Meg. I wanted to write a complicated female character. All the women I know/have known have been so complicated and interesting and I wanted to do justice to that, not simplify. I searched my own soul and looked to the lives of others as well. But I always think you have to go inside and ask yourself the tough questions.

I like writing both male and female characters. The story dictates who will do the telling, male or female. It's nice to be able to inhabit both sexes on paper.

Cat, I had no idea how the characters would grow. That's the fun of writing--seeing where they take you. I can tell you that I changed right along with them. I had no idea that Felicity would become so vulnerable. Or that Pippa would become so evil. Or that Kartik would become...um, leafy. And I was glad that Anne broke out.

At this point Barry Goldblatt joined us in his jammies!

Thanks, Rachel. The book that launched me on my YA career was Rob Thomas' RATS SAW GOD. Awesome book. He created Veronica Mars, btw.

My fave book as a teen was The Catcher in the Rye. I also loved The Bell Jar. And Hitchhiker's Guide. Can't remember exactly when I read that but I loved it. I read a lot of plays as a teen, too.

Barry: For those asking, there's really very little happening on the film front. The first option has lapsed, and we're shopping the books around again.

I had lots of role models growing up. You're going to laugh, but I remember really liking Barbra Streisand because she was talented and strong and she didn't change her appearance to suit H'wood's narrow confines.

Aspiring writer advice? Read. Read, read, read. And write every day even if you don't feel like it. sound simplistic but you'd be surprised how many people don't follow that. And learn to hear your voice on the page. Learn to be as truthful as possible. Don't flinch away from the bad stuff about yourself--go there.

Barry: My advise to writers? Read a million books before you try to write one.

Writing rituals: I like a dark, funky cafe. A corner table out of the way. Coffee. Food product. headphones and a playlist. That's ideal.

Rachel, Most Important Role Model...Well, creatively I might say Stephen Sondheim. he's a stone-cold genius.

LOL. Lorie, I thought your question said, "Can you tell us about your favorite hubby?" Which seemed very "Big Love." My fabbity hubby is Barry Goldblatt, literary agent extraordinaire. He also does childcare and takes out the trash. But only if you're married to him. He's also the agent for Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Myracle, Robin Wasserman, among many other stellar talents. I like him and have decided right now to keep him.

Emma, I can write from both a man and a woman's POV. I've never found men to be that foreign--maybe it was having an older brother who spared me nothing. and lots of great male friends. (Hi, Les!) I think it's easier to write male rage and get away with it. This is because our society doesn't allow women full access to their anger, IMHO. Justine Larbalestier just wrote a whole post about how there seem to be double standards for female characters, that if a male character did something icky, he'd probably still be crushed on but a female character would get piled on for it. Thoughts?

Oh, I had lots of fave interactions, Isabella. That was certainly one of them. I loved Gemma and Miss Moore, especially at the well. I am partial to the scene between Fee and Gemma when Gemma finds out about Fee and they are alone in fee's room and G. comforts her. I enjoyed writing the hot scene between Kartik and Gemma. And I liked the scene between Gemma and Mrs. NW that comes at the end of Rebel Angels when we find out that humanizing bit about the old battle axe.

Libba Bray is my real name. Libba is short for Elizabeth.

Thanks again, Libba!

My website


Ellz said...

I love target.
I love stories about complicated women (deep characters)
I think I would love a supernatural historical trilogy. Thanks for the cliff notes on the chat.
Elie (Ellz Readz)

Erica said...

I loved the chat tonight! I was bummed when I couldn't stay for the 2nd half - my computer was hating the chat box and kept freezing. I'll have to read the rest soonish :)

Lacey J Edwards said...

My computer doesn't get along with the chat program either *pout*.

Libba Bray is one awesome woman! Thanks for this!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thanks for the input! Sorry the chat software was bumpy last night.

Input has been it works best with Internet Explorer or Mozilla.

So glad you all stopped in though!

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