Monday night I had the opportunity to go see a panel with Garth Nix and Veronica Roth. Even though I covered some of it through twitter (@Read2Distract), I figured I’d share some of the highlights here:
Moderator: What were your favorites growing up?
Garth Nix: Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, classics and more.
Veronica Roth: Garth Nix! (laughs) The Giver, Madeline L'Engel and Marilynne Robinson
Moderator: What’s the most important aspect to becoming a successful writer?
Veronica: Write, write, and write. Attack every day! Then get lucky.
Moderator: What is your writing process?
Garth: Recently, sticking to the 9-5 work schedule. Working the same hours as other folks adds another level of focus.
Veronica: DESPERATION! Desperation to get it done, but above all else a burning desire to tell the story.
Moderator: Has your relationship with your characters changed over time?
Garth: I try not to go back! It’s almost as if they grow and become their own being after the book is published. It’s almost like letting go of an adult child.
Veronica: No, I try not to go back either. So much so I actually forgot some of the plot lines! It’s like, “Who wrote this? Good job old me!”
Moderator: What's editing like?
Garth: It’s painful. You’ll often completely reject things the editor will cut out, but realize 12 hours later they’re absolutely right.
Veronica: Agreed, it's like going through the stages of grief. Denial. Acceptance. Confirmation.
Moderator: How did you celebrate your first contract?
Garth: Banging my head against a bookcase… Well, drinking beforehand may influenced the reaction slightly!
Veronica: A bath in marshmallows. Here’s the video!
Moderator: Your new releases (Clariel and Four respectively) are both prequels, are they new ideas or old notes?
Garth: The story line was inspired long ago, but truly new content.
Veronica: Tobias was actually the main character at the beginning, but I quickly realized the story line didn’t feel urgent enough. Switching to Tris’ perspective quickly made it clear I was onto something more.
Hope you enjoyed a few of their thoughts! This was a great event to attend.