Despite the gloomy weather, I arrived early with a friend at the venue so we had some time to kill. And by that I mean figuring out how the coffee machine works, what kind of coffee there was and deciding whether we should have tea or not, all while we chat and catch up with each other.
Lang arrived around half an hour later and that familiar nervousness when you meet an author face to face was back. Despite having an early start to her day, she was still all smiles and said hi to everyone and was so excited to talk to us!
|What a pretty smile!|
The question and answer part started and I've always loved this part of a blogger's event. We get to find out more not just about the book, or the inspiration behind them but also something about the author in the process and it was a very fruitful encounter between Lang and the bloggers with the questions coming in one by one.
Needless to say, I found out a lot of things about Lang, her art and her poems in those 10 minutes we were talking to her.
When asked what her techniques are in writing such simple but emotionally deep poems:
Lang doesn't have much of a technique as she writes from instinct. Over the years her writing has developed in which she tried to make her writing more compact but to leave all that emotion still, which has been something she has been honing for the last few years and now it almost comes naturally to her.
How Lang is able to balance her time for her several passions such as fashion, art and of course her poetry:
Lang thinks there's a common misconception that she is doing all of it at once. She did fashion many years ago and got into the arts some years ago as well but the last few years has been about the illustrations for her books and she's been focusing on her writing projects. Writing has really taken over for the last couple of years for her.
When asked what her writing process is like and the inspiration for her poetry, especially for both Love & Misadventure and Lullabies:
Lang doesn't really have a writing process. She writes when she can and when she feels like it, which is generally at night (which is more for creativity!) but she doesn't really have a set rule for it. As for her inspirations, because she has spent a couple of years with her poetry online and interacting with all her readers, it comes from all the stories they have told her. She gets a lot of sad stories, and her inspiration comes from that.
With the success of Love & Misadventure, did it make writing Lullabies easier for Lang:
Yes, it did. Because by then Lang already has a publisher and she didn't have to go at it alone, like when she self-published Love & Misadventure. In terms of writing, she was already writing anyway, as she likes putting out new material for her readers and pretty soon she had enough material for another book.
If there was ever a time when she had to make a choice between artwork and poetry:
In terms of choices, Lang has always gone with her gut feeling and what she felt was working for her. When her writing started taking off, it became clear to her that that was going to be the forerunner because the response that she got with her writing was much, much bigger than what she ever had for her artwork. And it's great that she has done the two as she likes to put them side by side and she thinks it's really complimentary.
And a question from bestselling author Ms. Noreen Capili, where she asked Lang if there was ever a time when she finished writing and she felt like she has written it before (a line or a poem) and if she did, how does she reinvent herself without compromising her distinct voice.
When you write a poem you do get that feeling of deja vu sometimes, according to Lang. She just had to weigh it up and down and sit and think if it was something she had ever said or done before or if it's something someone else has said before. She just has to find that balance, looking at it and making a call.
What can we expect from Lang in 2015:
Lang has another poetry and prose book being published in 2015. She's also halfway through a novel but she doesn't know if it's going to have a 2015 release date. It's just some of the things Lang is working on, but there will definitely be a third installment of a poetry and prose book from her.
What Lang feels when someone reads her poem and comes up with an interpretation far from what she means:
She really loves it! She thinks it's fantastic how someone can take a poem and look at it in several different ways. That is the beauty of poetry. You are the protagonist. You can put yourself into that poem.
If there was ever a specific person or a moment that inspired Lang to start writing poems:
It's just something Lang has always done. And it's normally if she's going through a hard time. Before her poetry went viral, writing poetry was just a way for Lang to get her feelings out. She tends to be more prolific when she's going through a tough time. As an example, in 2007 her best friend's mother passed away and that was a really tough year for her, so she drew a lot from that for the sadness, as that person was like a second mother to her.
If there was a piece of art or poetry she most attribute to her success as an artist and poet:
It's a combination of a lot of things. Her most popular poem ever, Souls (the one about "goodnight") was something she really liked now than when she first wrote it. Lang was also surprised by its popularity. She wrote Souls when she was still in a long distance relationship with Michael (Faudet) as he was living in New Zealand and Lang was in Australia and every time they spoke on the phone, after they hang up there was always this horrible silence and a void and that was the inspiration for it.
Lang's favorite saying or wisdom that she always bring with her:
There was a time in her life where she was writing and she didn't feel like herself. One day, a lot of things happened all at once and everything just came crashing down and she just sat inside her room at her parents house and started writing again for the next six months, poem after poem. It made Lang feel like she was herself again. So she always say to people: Words are your power. Never forget your words.
You can listen to the whole thing below:
Amazing answers from Lang. I think I fell in love with her works just a little more with this awesome insight in the inner workings of her brain. Wow.
And as always, my blogger friends and I took time to take photos with each other while we wait for Lang to sign our books.
Afterwards, we went to the public signing to check how many people were there. There were only 500 slots for this signing, and imagine my surprise when we saw the state of Powerbooks. There were so many people, and technically it's not even store hours but the place was already crowded!
We met a few friends along the way, and we had to ask for permission to get a photo (we had to circle around the crowd to get a good shot of the place). It was around half past 10 am and my friend has already spotted someone with a number in the 300's which was amazing.
Short and sweet, that's how I will describe my experience for this signing. It might be because the day was early, but weirdly enough, it felt like a "full" experience. Lang Leav is such a mesmerizing person, not just because of the stories she shares, or the poems she's written. It was a swift and quick meeting but I'm glad I was able to see her. And we had a really short conversation too because of the photo in the upper right of your screen. So cute!
@amaterasureads sneaking in a quick nap 😁 hehe, lovely to meet you x
— Lang Leav (@langleav) December 7, 2014
I say thank you again and again to National Book store for a memorable signing to cap off this wonderful year. You guys are the best!
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