Last Friday, 13 August 2010, I met up with Danielle (Frenzy of Noise) and we drove into the wilds of Rhode Island to attend Rebecca’s Maizel’s launch party for her debut book Infinite Days. The event took place at Books on the Square in Providence, RI and I thought it was the cutest little bookstore! Their YA section isn’t bad either though it did lack some most excellent books (Sea,Brightly Woven, Shadow Hills, Rise of Renegade X, et al *le sigh*) Although they did have Angie Fraizer’sEverlasting, Lucy Christopher’s Stolens and Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere so they weren’t entirely lacking. 😉
The store was set up to host a large crowd and they weren’t to be disappointed as people arrived from all over New England to attend. There was also a HUGE spread of food for everyone who came.
And if all that wasn’t enough I came with a bag of some very delicious cookies handmade by the uber sweet and wonderful Victoria Schwab to celebrate the occasion. The cookies arrived the day before and after doing a very careful QC taste test I almost held back bringing them….you know…in case there was some latent poison or something mixed into the batter. I was only thinking of Rebecca and Danielle’s health in this decision…but they both overruled me saying they’d take the risk.
The store even had a chair set up for the reading that was fit for a queen, Lenah Beaudonte would have been pleased. You know, if she was real and could appreciate such things.
The event started about 20 min past 7 or so and took Rebecca’s sister ordering her to sit and do a reading. Rebecca was having a ton of fun greeting people and signing books. I also really wish I’d filmed this event because the interactions between Rebecca and her sister provided much comic relief. Seriously, these two should set up a comedy act if the whole writing thing doesn’t work out. 😉 Once Rebecca’s sister got her wrangled into the chair, Rebecca started by reading two sections of Infinite Days. She read from the opening chapter when Lenah becomes human again and then from a flashback scene that shows how Lenah became a vampire in the first place.
After the reading the floor was opened up for Q&A which I recorded as best I could. The questions and answers were all sent out rapid fire so any and all errors in this account are mine and mine alone.
Where did you get the name Lenah Beaudonte?
Beaudonte is an old medieval name and Lenah is just a name she pulled from her head.
Where did you get the idea for Infinite Days?
Rebecca has been asked this in a few interviews and really wishes that she had some funny story to go along with it. Like how she slipped and fell in a stair well and the story and characters just appeared to her. The reality isn’t so funny though, she was at a writer’s institute getting her master’s and began free writing one day and that’s when Lenah appeared. She had a very distinct voice and she just wouldn’t go away. The audio version of Infinite Days captures Lenah’s voice almost exactly as it sounds in Rebecca’s head.
How long did it take to write Infinite Days?
It took 8 months to write, which is really really fast for a book and certainly not the norm. There were also very little changes made to the overall story as well and what you have in print is pretty much how it was written. With the exception of how it starts. The original opening was a lot more bloody and violent as Lenah is trying to kill a librarian. The sequel for Infinite Days, which is currently titled Stolen Nights (18 Mar 2011), took over a year to complete and was a lot more difficult.
The entire story for Infinite Days was motivated by Lenah’s voice. But when it came to book 2 Lenah’s voice just wasn’t there. Instead it was motivated by a character named Vicken – who has a larger role in book 2 than in Infinite Days, where he is a bad guy.
How did you get Lenah’s voice back?
Did a lot of improv to find her again. Both acting parts out, out loud and in writing them out. She would also improv for villians in the book and highly recommends the process for when a writer gets really stuck.
What is your writing process like? How long do you write?
Rebecca writes from 7-10 am and then will take a break to go to the gym and do other errands. When she returns she’ll write for another 3 hours – along with checking Facebook, Twitter and email. So it should come as no surprise that she gets more work done during the first 3 hour block of writing.
Do you know how the Trilogy ends?
Yes, but she’s not entirely sure how she’ll get there. But she knows the last line and all the major things that will happen.
Ever think about writing a book from Rhode’s point of view?
Would love to write one one day as his voice is so strong.
Will all the books be told from Lenah’s point of view?
She can’t say. But she did let slip that the prologue form book 2 is from Rhode’s POV.
Did you always see the story as a series?
Her editor would like her to say yes.
What else are you working on?
She is working on a realistic fiction story that involves a 15 year old girl who pretends to be older when she meets a 22 year old guy.
*Rebecca is handed a note* Did you know your great great grandmother was named Lena?
No, she didn’t know that.
It was also around this time that Rebecca went off on a tangent and talked about Mercy Lena Brown, who was suspected of being a vampire in Rhode Island in the late 1800’s.
Do you have to be in any specific mood to write?
Not really. But when she does write she tends to choreograph scenes and doesn’t always write linerally. She tends to write the scenes that speak to her most and then figures out how they all work together. She’ll also sometimes use music to help choreograph scenes too. She’ll also take lots of walks and tends to write better after a run. And cupcakes, Victoria Schwab should like that.
After the Q&A even more food was brought out….including….you guessed it CUPCAKES!
These cupcakes where really really good and came in vanilla, chocolate and red velvet. Was so hard to eat just one! There was also a scrumtastic desert platter filled with lots of goodies.
As people were eating cupcakes and drinking champagne…yes there was champagne! Rebecca Maizel really knows how to host a launch party! lol Rebecca signed book after book after book. Some people brought books up by the armload and I think the store was worried they might run out!
After Rebecca finished signing she ate some of the delicious cupcakes and them schmoozed with the crowd. She is a bright and bubbly person who is quick to laugh and I was very glad to meet her. If she ever comes to your area you should make an effort to stop by, while I can’t promise that she’ll always bring cupcakes and champagne I can promise that she’ll bring a lot of laughs.