On Saturday, March 4th, I attended V.E. Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light book tour.
And yes, it was as awesome as you imagine it would be…
Oh would you look at that! I matched the books… what a completely unplanned coincidence…
Schwab came out and opened up with a Q&A session, which lasted for an hour, but could have gone on much longer. There was a steady stream of questions without any type of awkward pausing. Schwab was very down to earth and charismatic. You can tell her fans are very important to her.
I often find it difficult to organize info from an author Q&A session into a cohesive post, so like I have done in the past, I am going to share with you what I learned in bullet point form.
» The first thing she ever wrote was a 7 page short story when she was 12. It was about two brothers, the angel of life and the angel of death.
» Schwab is neither a planner or a pantser, but rather a “connect the dotter.” She plots out 5-10 plot pointes, then arranges them accordingly.
» She always knows how a book is going to end before she begins writing it.
» She writes her stories in her head, then types them out on the computer. The moment she feels blocked, she will switch to paper and pen to play out different scenarios.
» The character name comes first, then she can come up with the character’s personality.
» Schwab’s roots are in poetry.
» There are two types of world builders: The “door writers” who give the reader full access into their world, and the “window writers” who give the readers limited access and let the reader infer. Schwab is a “winder writer.”
» Writing a book is a spiral of self doubt.
» She never rushes into a project. She will sit on it until she is ready to write it. She has never abandoned a project that she has started in the past 10 years. Of course she has wanted to, but she doesn’t give into those feelings.
» Every time she finishes a book she always says that she will never do it again. Writing is an insanity that she would not trade for anything the world.
» She writes for herself first.
» She has a middle grade series coming out next year that she scalped from her first book idea.
» She cautions aspiring authors to not have writing quirks. The more quirks you have, the more they limit you as a writer.
» Schwab likes to write for 30 minutes, then take a short (10ish minutes) creative break (reward) where she will watch TV, listen to music, etc.
» She has been dabbling in other mediums such as comic books, graphic novels, and screen plays. She would love to write a screen play for a film adaptation for someone else’s book.
» She has a short story coming out in July in collaboration with Jesse the Reader. He will be writing the introduction.
» Schwab is contracted through 2021. She is looking forward to a short nap in July of 2019.
» Always write EVERY project idea down. You WILL forget it if you don’t.
On the Shades of Magic trilogy…
» The Shades of Magic series is her “love letter to Harry Potter.”
» Why did she choose to set them in London? Two reasons… (1) London is the most overused setting in fantasy. (2) Her Mom is British. When she visited London, she fell in love with all the history.
» The Shades of Magic series is adult fantasy, but she paced it like YA.
» More often than not, authors have no control over book titles, covers, or marketing. Coming up for the title for the first book was a 4 month battle. They went through 70-80 titles before A Darker Shade of Magic was selected.
» She did not come up with the title for A Gathering of Shadows.
» A Conjuring of Light is the book that she has had the most creative influence over with regards to design. ACOL was the first title she suggested.
» Schwab was asked what the character’s favorite fruits were = Rhy would enjoy something decadent like candied plums, Kell wouldn’t like any fruit just to spite people, and Lila would like whatever the most expensive fruit she could steal.
On life…(and reading)
» One of the craziest things she has ever done was skydiving. She has discovered that once she realizes she has a fear, she must conquer it.
» When she was 18, she backpacked through Europe and was arrested in France for hitchhiking.
» Her strongest emotional reaction to a book was to A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. She found herself crying throughout the entire second half of the book. It is very rare for a book to give her such a strong emotional reaction because she considers herself “fairly soulless.”
» She recommends Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher.
» She is a huge Neil Gaiman fan. Her favorite book of his is Neverwhere because she loved the villains and the overall tone of the book. The Graveyard Book is the book she wishes she would have written.
» Her favorite Hamilton song is Guns and Ships.
» Her favorite place in the world is Edinburgh, Scotland. She says that it feels like home to her. This is actually where she wrote the first lines of A Darker Shade of Magic.
In case anyone was wondering, V and I hit it off and are basically BFFs now. We have so much in common! We are both 29, grew up on Harry Potter, are lactose intolerant, love Neil Gaiman, love peanut butter… really the only difference is that she is a best selling author and I am… not.
See? If that isn’t a pair of best friends, I don’t know what is. Call me anytime V 🙂
Do you attend author events?
Have you read the Shades of Magic trilogy? If so, what did you think?
Comment below and let me know 🙂