For months, I was so excited to see Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi at Book People. If I had one of those big desk calendars (instead of being all technological with my online gmail calendar), I would have circled April 26th with big, happy hearts. These two ladies are extraordinary authors. Tahereh is the author of Shatter Me, and Veronica is the author of Under the Never Sky. I read both of their books and fell in love with their worlds and characters long before April rolled around.
I helped Katie at Mundie Moms live tweet the event, so the fun facts I’m going to share with you below are from the event that we tweeted under the #IntoTheFuture hashtag.
Fun Facts about Tahereh and Veronica:
- Both lovely ladies write full time. They agreed that there is so much more to being a writer than writing.
- They also love to write the romance parts of their stories. (Gee, I wonder why… *cough* Adam *cough* Perry…)
- Wrote about Juliette’s fight to find out who she is. Juliette is trying to take back what’s been stripped away from her.
- Juliette’s story didn’t come out of no where, but from questions Tahereh asks about the world that bled into the story.
- “Writing is such a solitary experience, talking to people in your head who don’t exist.”
- Fan mail makes her life and she always tries to respond.
- When asked who she would choose to play her characters in a movie, she said, “It feels strange saying who the characters would be because everyone’s idea of beauty is different.”
- She needs endless amounts of tea to write. Somedays writing is like slow dancing with a wildebeast.
- When she’s stuck and needs to think, she takes a shower to help her with her writing.
- Warner is derived from the word WAR. Warner is his last name and we will learn his first name in book two, which is totally different than his last name.
- Chose Juliette and Adam’s names before she began the story.
- Warner has a fascination with clothes and we’ll get to learn more about him in book two, Unravel Me. She sees pieces of herself in Warner via his fascination with fashion.
- Sometimes writes romance scenes that don’t make their way into her books because she just wants to see what happens. (Anyone else anxious to read these?!)
- Loved when we used the word “y’all”.
- Says authors get inspiration from every where. Listened to a conversation on a plane and thought it would make an interesting story.
- Character Kenji’s comments come from her brother. A specific conversation in Unravel Me is from something he said. Tahereh doesn’t think her brothers realize how much she pulls from them.
- Juliette’s strikethroughs won’t go away in book two. She’s entering a new world so she (Juliette) will have reservations. The strikethroughs bleed into her inner monologue and stem from her self-censorship.
- There is freedom in being able to work from anywhere.
- When asked about Under the Never Sky becoming a movie, she replied, “I would like the characters to be real artists, even if the story evolves differently, if made into a movie.”
- You shouldn’t get discouraged when [the writing] doesn’t feel like it’s flowing.
- Her writing process (drafting) involved a lot of thinking and note taking and took 9-12 months to draft.
- Thinks a name is a significant thing – a name tells you a lot about a character.
- Didn’t base her characters on anyone specifically.
- Had a sense for the name Peregrine and Roar was named after her favorite wine.
- Went to art school! Like her art, there is a little bit of everything in her stories.
- Had real life inspiration for the setting: a Central CA beach, a bay in central CA, rugged and very dramatic.
- We explore reality through our senses and that led her to explore super natural powers with her characters.
- Her story began as a story of contrast.
Now it’s time for recap photos and a few GIFs… one in which it may or may not look like I’m trying to eat Tahereh. :-/ You be the judge.
Below: Katie surprised Tahereh and Veronica with delicious cupcakes. YUM YUM!
Below: Katie from Mundie Moms with Veronica and Tahereh
Below: Two of the sisters from The YA Sisterhood with Veronica
Below: Jennifer (of Novel Thoughts) brought in an ARC of Shatter Me to have signed. Tahereh drew a picture of Juliette on the cover so it would match the finished copies.
Below: My friend, Heather, as she waited patiently to have her books signed (left) and Tahereh happily drawing Juliette (right).
Below: Tahereh and Jennifer together.
Below: My “normal” picture with Tahereh. Things got a silly after this…
Below: We decided to do silly faces, but as I’ve mentioned a few times this week, I’m kind of terrible at them. It definitely looks like I’m about to eat Tahereh. She genuinely looks scared for her life. HA!
Below: My normal picture with Veronica…
Below: We tried to be silly, but we just laughed and my facial expression, again, looked weird. You can fill in the blanks for how to describe that one.
Below: Just thought you guys should see Tahereh’s finished drawing of Juliette.
Below: Jennifer and Veronica together!
Below: This last photo was taken with my iPhone. Photo bomb, anyone?
Thanks so much to Katie for having me along! To Veronica and Tahereh, thank you for spending the evening with us in Austin. I felt like my two best friends left when the event was over. However, I felt incredibly inspired to maybe (one day) write one of my own stories (even if no one ever reads it). Thanks for sharing so much about your work, your characters, and yourselves with us!