Cool thing the first:
Today I spoke for the first time with the folks at Recorded Books, who will be making the audiobook of Blackbringer. So cool! My agent has managed everything with them thus far, and now that the deal is all concluded, it's on to the creative part: casting the voice talent. It makes me a little giddy. An actress is going to be acting out my book, doing voices and accents, rendering it into drama. This kind of talent amazes me. Next week I will get to hear samples of a few different actresses reading a few pages of the book. We've agreed a Scottish accent is our choice, and I'm so looking forward to hearing what we hear! After an actress is selected, I will have some input into rendering of particular characters' voices, but I don't know how much. Anyway, they're the experts. I'm just looking forward to the experience of hearing my book in a new voice. It'll be the nearest way to hearing it "fresh." I've read on Shannon Hale's blog about her experiences hearing her books on Full-Cast Audio for the first time, in some cases three or four years after she has last read the book, and how it feels all new, like it didn't even come from her. Sounds like magic!
By the way, Shannon Hale and Libba Bray are coming together to Powell's (the Beaverton one) on January 26th. Can't wait to go and be a fan-girl and get them to sign my books!
Cool thing the second:
Yesterday in the dark of dawn, I drove across the Columbia River to Washington to speak to three creative writing classes at Mountain View High School. I had a blast! The kids were really cool, and the teachers too, and I begin to think maybe I can get to like doing school visits, and possibly even one day be good at them! Hearing Marcus Zusak a few months ago was an inspiration -- the way he kept the whole thing very conversational and fast-moving, and focused on exciting subjects (like robberies and getting revenge on his brother) that teenagers might find interesting. Well, I didn't talk about brother-vengeance, I kept things to the topic of writing, and since these were writing classes I think there was more interest in that than there would have been to a general assembly of students. May I say, we had no creative writing in either of the high schools I went to!
I did show a silly slide show on my lap top, and I think in the future I will beef that up and use it as a mainstay, because it's a good way I found to keep my place with telling stories without having to have notes in front of me. Also, I think it's cool to show kids pictures of publishing offices and editors to demystify them a little. They are real! And, to show pictures of my glamorous writing life (bundled up in pajamas, on the couch, with my feet on the dog and my computer on my lap. SO glamorous!) Of course, I also gave out "Not A Robot" buttons, and was pleased to see one student left me a comment there! I also have some new MySpace friends. (Hi guys!)
So, that was great fun, and I'm less afraid of teenagers now than I was before. Ha ha! I'm not really afraid of them. I'm afraid of boring them. But with the exception of a few eyeballs fluttering shut here and there, they didn't seem super bored. Yay, me!
Having a shut-in writing weekend. (Big shocker there). Hope all is well out there!