Have you ever met someone you admire and like, only to find they are a truely wonderful person and walk away feeling inspired and excited to achieve what they have achieved?
Today I did that.
L.A. Weatherly is the author of the ‘Angel’ series – Angel, Angel Fire, and Angel Fever. It’s a brilliant YA trilogy where angels are coming down from Heaven to Earth to live amongst humans. The catch? They’re also sucking the life force from the very humans who worship them, eventually causing their death. If you’re touched by an angel, you can only see them as true and good. Which leaves those who haven’t been touched by angels left to fight for the human race. Throw in some half angels, and a less than straightforward romance, and voila! One very thrilling post-apocolyptic trilogy. Highly recommended.
Lee has been touring the UK the last few days, visiting Waterstones stores and signing books. The great thing is you didn’t have to have bought her book from Waterstones to get it signed! She just wanted to meet fans, promote the series in store, and talk about her new trilogy (out next year). This was brilliant as I bought the last two books in Foyles.
Upon meeting Lee, I decided she was lovely. I’ve exchanged a few tweets here and there on Twitter before but she was genuinely lovely in person. We chatted for a minute about her new series, and she signed my copy of Angel Fever, and I got a picture. She was giving away badges, and bookmarks, and chocolate. Definitely worth the 45 minute tube journey to get there. I left happy (and bought Neil Gaiman’s ‘America Gods’ from Waterstones as well).
In another store I found a little Christmas badge. It was an angel made of tinsel with flashing lights embedded in it. I couldn’t resist. I bought it and went back to find Lee chatting with a staff member. Cautiously interrupting the conversation, I presented my find, we figured out how to get it flashing and she promptly wore it.
And then we talked for 20 minutes.
My original impression was spot on. She was absolutely lovely, great to talk to. I dropped in that I was a writer and she instantly asked what I wrote usually, what I was working on, how it was going, and how far along I was with editing. I explained the basic outline of We All Fall Down. (I’m not great at explaining it to normal people, explaining it to a published author who’s work I like is a lot harder!) But! she said she liked the sound of it, and that it sounded a great concept. WINNING!
I mentioned NaNoWriMo and how it got me started on novel writing, and we discussed the importance of having a supportive background. I’m very lucky that my family have always been supportive, and Boyfriend is too. As much as he jokes about distracting me from doing NaNo, he’s aware I’d be very upset if he actually prevented me from writing. And he’s super supportive of my editing.
We talked about non-writing too. She told me about the road trips she took for research and I talked about my job and working on a summer camp in the States (summer 2011, Minnesota).
I also got general advise. Lee suggested looking into finding a suitable writing group to get further support, help, and ideas. She also said how important it was to just keep going, even if you get rejected, to not give up. Which is absolutely right. Stephen King used to collect rejection slips on a nail on the wall of his bedroom. He used it to drive himself until it was successful, and look where he is now! If you want something badly enough and are willing to put in the time and effort, you will eventually get it. I fully believe this.
Overall, a great way to spend part of my Saturday.
Lee, it was an absolutely pleasure meeting and chatting with you. Buying that little flashing angel was a great decision. If I am ever published and get to do signings, I’m going to be as lovely to my fans are you are to yours. You’re an inspiration.
Have a good weekend everyone!