This is a post I have been meaning to write for ages.
On 10th September 2011, I had the awesome privilege of meeting my favourite author, Maggie Stiefvater. I attended a seminar hosted at the QLD State Library as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival, Getting to the End: Writing for Young Adults. I have to say it’s one of the most informative and influential experiences I’ve had so far as a writer (it was after this seminar that I decided to set aside the first version of my story which stood at 140k words and still counting, and start all over again from scratch).
For those of you who do not know, Maggie Stiefvater is a YA author, responsible for creating such illustrious works as The Books of Faerie (Lament and Ballad), The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (Shiver, Linger and Forever), The Scorpio Races, and The Raven Cycle series (The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves).
Shiver changed my life. I remember the day I bought it, the exact moment I saw it. It was 2010. I was prowling the book section in Kmart when I came across a hardcover novel with the most beautiful cover I’d ever seen. Now, I never buy hardcover books, but this one struck me. And when I read the blurb and peeked at the first page, I was hooked – I had to have it.
I haven’t looked back since.
Maggie’s prose is lyrical, her characters sublime. And for the first time in years, I had tears in my eyes when I was reading the final chapters of a story. This is the kind of writing I crave to read, the kind of prose I dream of composing.
And Maggie herself is such a lovely person. She is friendly, intelligent and extremely approachable. On several occasions over the years I have messaged her with queries about writing and getting published and she has replied, sometimes within minutes. Her blog is chock full with advice and is an amazing read (her now-discontinued LiveJournal blog Words on Words goes all the way back to 2007 – you can follow her journey to finding agents, getting published, and uncovering inspiration).
Maggie Stiefvater is the kind of writer I aspire to be.
At Getting to the End, Maggie presented an eye-opening seminar on writing for young adults. I took some notes (I even taped the seminar – one day I will probably get around to typing up the transcript) and asked a barrage of questions. Unfortunately, my notes are very threadbare as I was relying on my cassette recorder to record all the details. But lucky for me, I was voted by my fellow seminar-attendees to receive Maggie’s seminar notes she’d scribbled on the back of her Qantas boarding pass.
And here they are:
So, if you haven’t read any of Maggie’s books (you know I’m going to say it) — GO READ THEM!!!