Again, don't ask about my sleeping patterns because it was crazy the night before, as always. I have to admit that I've only read a handful of New Adult novels and I was so curious to know how my encounter with the trio will turn out and surprisingly I had a lot of fun!
There were lots of swooning and screaming that happened when all three of them walked in and then we started the Q&A. My question was for all three authors, which was:
You’ve co-written a book, can you share with us what the experience was like and will you consider doing it again? And if you ever want to collaborate with another author, who would it be and why?
Tarryn: It was the easiest thing (with Colleen). We just get along. I feel like we're both low maintenance. We pretend not to be. She pretends that she's annoyed with me but it's not the truth. So it was a really enjoyable experience, we did it for fun and then we thought we'd share it to the readers. I dunno that I can co-author with anyone else. I think she may be it for me.
Colleen: I paid her to say all of that. No, it's true. It really was an easy experience, you know. It wasn't something that we have on deadlines so we just kind of you know, we kind of just send back and forth as we finish our chapters and we don't rush and it's been a lot of fun to work on and we're still working on it and the third one releases in January so, we're hoping in the future to do it again. We had so much fun so why not?
Tarryn: Yeah, we just wanna do one book next time. We had a good series this time but with contract limitations and publishers so, we really would like to do just a novel next time.
Colleen: Oh, if I could co-write? I dunno that I could either. I feel like it's very, very hard to rely on someone. Even when I wrote Maybe Someday and I had to rely on Griffin and we got along really, really well but I feel like I lucked out with Griffin and Tarryn and that does not always happen. I see other authors who co-wrote together who now don't speak, it's that stressful. I wouldn't wanna risk any friendships.
Christine: I don't think I can co-write right now just because my schedule is crazy and I can't go by someone else's schedule. It has to be by my schedule because I don't really have time to do much.
For Christine, writing is a lonely process and so is self-publishing. You need to have your own resources and do it all on your own. It's a good experience but it's one that you have to do by yourself.
For Tarryn, self-publishing is kind of bad-ass. People initially told them that they weren't good enough but they just went ahead and did it anyway and it was successful. It's a defiant movement where they got to create their own success. It's what Tarryn loves about self-publishing, doing it on her own and showing people that she could.
For Colleen, self-publishing is a life changer. A lot changed because of it. What's vexing in it is for new authors to get noticed. There are a lot of NA books being released every day and it's hard to break into it these days.
November 9 has the biggest twist since Hopeless. It also releases November 10th. :)
On writing New Adult:
Colleen didn't know what she was writing, she just wrote a book. When she writes she doesn't know what genre it's gonna end up in and leaves it out to her publishers. What's important for her is to write the story she's interested in writing and the characters in it. Genre doesn't matter. Colleen hasn't even heard of NA when she started self-publishing. She thought NA means "Not Applicable". :3
Tarryn was told six months into the release of her book that what she wrote was NA. Tarryn just writes what she wants and determine what the genre is after.
On their writing processes:
Tarryn waits to feel something and just goes with it and a whole book seems to form around those emotions. She tries to set aside a few hours and write every day. Tarryn likes to get in the minds of her characters and live it out, makes it authentic.
Colleen is manic when she writes and lock herself up in a room for several days. She doesn't really have a schedule and she says she's disorganized. Colleen cannot end her writing with a sad or depressing scene because that's how she'll end up feeling until she finishes writing, so she writes until her characters are happy. As her books are mostly sad, she tries to put humor in every once in a while so she can stop writing.
Christine writes whatever it is she's feeling. She reads the end of every book she's written. Christine knows how she wants her books to end and she moves backwards.
On character names:
The names of the characters in Christine's books have meanings. She'd look up names on the internet and what they mean. Every last name has a meaning. She doesn't go by what clicks in a name, every name has to have a meaning for her.
When Tarryn writes, the name just falls in her head. She'll be typing and it just happens. Tarryn never think hard about the names.
The names are the most important part for Colleen, she cannot start a new book until she had a character's name and their personalities. Colleen currently has a severe case of writer's block because she doesn't know the name of her female character so she can't write a story though she has an idea for a book. The name shapes the scenes for her. What's important in NA is to pick a name for a boy that no one else has as you want the guy's name to stand out.
Trivia: Sydney is a filler name for Colleen's book, Maybe Someday.
Carving a niche in the market:
Luck is not enough, for Colleen, it's also timing. Any one thing you can do to stand out from the rest is a combination of working hard and putting everything out there, writing a good story and trying to market it as best as you can (without being annoying) and hoping it sticks.
Tarryn doesn't agree with Colleen, because Colleen is being humble despite being an excellent storyteller. You have to have a combination of believable characters, tell a good story and do it with really strong, beautiful words. The readers respond to that. It is not luck. Developing a style is also important and reading as much as you can then incorporating what you love to your own style.
Try to take a new perspective on something that's been done a million times before. Only you can see the world like you see it, according to Tarryn.
Christine just writes and that's it. She tells the truth.
And probably the most important thing any author has mentioned (courtesy of Colleen Hoover): "I try to make myself happy. I feel like if I can't make myself happy and I'm not happy with the characters in my book then I don't care if it's the New York Times or it sells a lot of copies, it's not gonna matter to me."
And here we go with the photos!
With my lovely blogger friends, because they're awesome:
And the tradition continues as I again attempt to take a Kai selfie. See the progression below. I apologize in advance because I have zero skills in photography. :D
Before we took the "perfect" shot, where my face wasn't even shown, in this case:
I tried. But whatever, at least you can see Tarryn, Colleen and Christine there.. somewhere. Up top? I think. :D
Bonus: a video with such heartfelt messages from Colleen, Tarryn and fellow Filipina, Christine!
Again, thank you so much National Book Store for being so amazing and always giving us the opportunity to interact with such great people even for a short while. This event definitely made me want to read more NA books because they had such amazing authors I didn't even know exists. I had a lot of fun talking to my fellow bloggers and sharing such a once in a lifetime experience with such wonderful people. Wow.
How was your signing experience? Share it with me! :)