Traverse City National Writers Series: Coming hot on the heels of major Young Adult (YA) hits like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight, critically acclaimed author Maggie Stiefvater is poised to become YA’s Next Big Thing. The New York Times best-selling author, who first became a literary star when her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (consisting of Shiver, Linger and Forever) gained a rabid national following, had another recent major hit with her supernatural thriller The Scorpio Races. With film adaptions of both projects currently in the works at Warner Brothers, the 30-year-old author is now focusing on the next step in her path to YA domination: The launch of an exciting new series called The Raven Boys, a supernatural romance about a boy on the hunt for a vanished Welsh king.
On Thursday, September 27, Stiefvater will visit the National Writers Series at the City Opera House in Traverse City for an exclusive discussion about her life and best-selling works. The event is one of only two stops in the author’s national tour in which she will also give away a guitar, affectionately called the “Sharpie Guitar” because of its detailed marker drawings personally inscribed by the author, to a lucky audience member. In advance of her visit, MyNorth spoke with the warm, feisty author about the inspiration behind her new series, the upcoming film adaptations of her novels and why 40-year-old women in Czechoslovakia are going as crazy for her books as teenagers in the Midwest.
MyNorth: Your new novel The Raven Boys is the first in a four-part supernatural romance series rooted in Welsh mythology. What was the inspiration behind the series?
Maggie Stiefvater: The inspiration began a long time ago— and I mean a long time ago, when I was a little girl. I was reading the middle-grade fantasy books then, and I was particularly obsessed with Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series and Lloyd Alexander’s The Black Cauldron. Both of those stories were retellings of Welsh mythology, and it made Wales seem like this magical place to me. I not only dreamed as a young writer of writing a story involving Welsh mythology, but of writing a longer series like those books, where you got to spend time with the characters and really get to know them. I started a draft of this book when I was 19 and in college, but I just wasn’t a good enough writer then to handle the characterizations and root the mythology in the real world.
MyNorth: What made you put the draft away at that time?
Maggie Stiefvater: I got stuck. I used to get stuck a lot back then. Before I got out of college, I actually had 30 unfinished novels, because I couldn’t come up with the end of a series and so I’d write myself into a corner. Sometimes I would write that aliens came down and killed everyone, just because I needed an ending. (laughs) But with this book, I stuck the draft in a drawer and decided to come back to it. I realized later while writing history papers in college that if you had the ending first, the thesis so to speak, the rest of the writing came much more easily. That ended up working well for my novels, and for this series – having an ending in mind and writing to it.
Don’t Miss the Event Tonight!
An Evening with Maggie Stiefvater
September 27, 2012 | City Opera House, Traverse City
Doors at 6 pm; Event at 7 pm
$15 in advance, $20 at the door
$28 Premium Package: includes ticket, premium event seating, signed new hardcover copy of The Raven Boys, pre-show reception with author (pending author availability)