Regan: I couldn’t make it to the Scott Westerfeld signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers Oct. 25, so my twitter friend @ChelseaFought kindly wrote a guest post. Check out her awesome experience with Westerfeld:
Chelsea: So last night I ventured out to the amazing Joseph-Beth Booksellers to meet the fantastic Scott Westerfeld, the author of the Midnighters, Uglies, novels as well as the more recent novels Leviathan, and Behemoth which are part of his most recent trilogy.
I’ve been reading his novels since Uglies first came out (no I haven’t read Midnighters yet, but it’s been on my “to-read” list for a very long time) so when I found out he’d be in Cincinnati I knew I couldn’t pass up this chance. The crowd was full by the time he was supposed to come out, and everyone was super enthusiastic, and one (awesome) girl even dressed up as one of the characters from his new series – Deryn/Dylan – as well as painted their hands, or made a “steampunk” watch.
When Scott finally came out, the crowd was pumped and ready. He started out with answering a question that I’m sure was on most of the audience’s mind “Where did you get the idea for the Uglies series?” To make a long, yet hilarious, story short, his friend Sam lived in LA and went to a dentist where at the end of his appointment she asked “Where do you see your teeth in five years?” his friends response was “In my mouth?” – Laughter erupted in the audience but the point of the story is that the doctor was looking at it from an aesthetic point of view, normal teeth vs. the blindingly white “Tom Cruise” (as Scott put it) teeth. She wasn’t asking him about health so much as about the looks. Thus the idea for Uglies was born – a universe where doctors want to make you pretty rather than treat you for an illness.
In the same vein he discussed how Uglies was actually the inspiration for Leviathan, or rather they were the reason that there are pictures in the Leviathan novels. Another long story short, in Japan when Uglies was released there were images inside, and he posted them on his blog and his American readers were outraged. They wanted to know why they didn’t have pictures in their novel. That lead him to think about how once upon a time there were pictures in novels (his examples were of older prints of Jane Austen novels). So he decided he would include drawn images in his Leviathan trilogy. An interesting fact is that he is the one paying his illustrator (Keith Thompson). Another is that in his contract there were only supposed to be 30-40 illustrations in Leviathan and there were over 50 (same with Behemoth).
(And yes, he did have a wardrobe change in the middle of the Q&A – he has a freaking awesome reversible jacket.)
Otherwise there was some questions about his books being a television series (which there is, but it’s been sitting for a while now) or a movie (Uglies has been optioned, but it’s been sitting there for a long time too) and lastly about his novels becoming graphic novels (which he let us know that one of them is, but he can’t tell us which one until next year, any guesses?).
One of his last questions was about his “writing tricks” and two of them that are my personal favorites were “When the plot gets slow, somebody jumps off of something” and “When in doubt, overthrow the government”. If you’ve read any of his novels, they’re completely true.
Overall last night was made of total awesomeness, and I was so glad that I finally was able to meet Scott Westerfeld, if you ever have the chance to meet him go for it, his Q&A was one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve experienced.
You can win a SIGNED copy of Leviathan, the first book in Westerfeld’s steampunk series, on Chelsea’s blog, “Books Turn Brains.” Click here to enter.