Let me start by describing the weekend's Daria Events. On Friday, she spoke at UNLV where my friend directs this gifted program for high school students. So I got to meet her and listen to her presentation and Q&A with the students about writing and her book. Then we met up for coffee on Saturday (although neither of us were drinking coffee...). We talked for hours, and now I'm going to be the maid of honor at her wedding. Just kidding. She has a sister, so I'm just going to be a bridesmaid. Just kidding again. Seriously, we talked for like 2 hours at the coffee shop, and it was just very neat and Daria is super nice and humble and fun to talk to (kind of like what you'd imagine she'd be like when you read her book).
A few of my personal favorite highlights about her book:
- Before Daria came, one of the students told us that her mother took the book away from her and hid it. I immediately thought it was because she objected to some of the sexual frankness in the book, but then it turned out that it's because the student "wouldn't stop reading it." I hope those are the kinds of problems I have when I'm a parent.
- One of the students asked about how she dealt with the rejection letters. She said that when she got her first rejection letter, she went to the mall and bought a pair of Chanel sunglasses. I loved that story because that totally seems like something I would do, console myself with material goods.
- Daria also talked about how she hated getting this long editorial letter outlining all the things she should change about her book. I think the students were really interested in the entire writing, editing, and publishing process (as am I!), but I found this even more interesting because I wasn't aware of this particular phenomenon of a "letter" until recently. Justine Larbalestier wrote recently about how she loves to get her editorial letter. I think if I were a writer that my reaction would be closer to Daria's because who wants to go through the whole writing process and then face criticism and/or more revisions?
Okay, there was so much more said, but I hate to just repeat it all. Look back at our earlier online interview for some more fun writing tidbits. I especially like how she describes how much law school helped her to edit her book.
I thought the coolest thing about having this blog was when authors posted comments or did interviews, but this was way cooler. I'll soon be posting my travel schedule so that other YA authors can let me know when they'd like to meet up for coffee when I come to their city.