Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Yep, Another Signing!

I totally lucked out living in a city that gets SO MANY AMAZING AUTHOR EVENTS! I feel like I'm going to one every week!

This past Friday I got to meet the authors of the Castor Chronicles (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness) for the release of the third, but not final, installment, Beautiful Chaos. As always, it's fascinating how different each author's publishing story is from the next, and these ladies... let's just say they don't call themselves accidental authors for nothing.

In bulleted note fashion, here's a very paraphrased version of how Beautiful Creatures came to be:

  • Kami Garcia was an English teacher, and she led a book club for her students (Margaret's daughter was one of them).
  • At one of their meetings (in 2007), the kids were griping about too many werewolves, vampires, wimpy and whiny female main characters, and generic story locations. 
  • Kami and Margaret had lunch and discussed what the kids pointed out, and they started to dream up a world that broke the mold, and soon had a rough outline of BC on a napkin. 
  • Their story idea was from a male POV with the female as the parnormal, with a setting in South Carolina.
  • Margaret went home and told her daughter that she was writing a book with Ms. Garcia, to which her daughter replied, "Yeah, right, Mom. And in three days you'll be onto something else."
  • Kami and Margaret took it as a challenge and wrote about 30 pages very quickly, then gave it to M's daughter who said, "It's okay... what happens next?" 
  • Soon, all seven teens in the book club were chomping at the bit for more, desperate to know what happened next. The ladies kept writing, just for these kids, no expectations other than wanting them to enjoy it. 
  • When they finished the story (Then called Sixteen Moons), they talked about creating a web page where they could post the story for all to read. When Kami told a friend--who was an author--about it, he said, "YOU ARE IDIOTS! DON'T DO THAT!"
  • Said friend sent their story to his agent without telling them, after which Margaret got a phone call from her gushing about how much she loved their story. M had no clue who she was exactly, why she had their story, or if they had an agent now... she never sent them anything to sign... they were afraid to come right out and ask--they knew NOTHING about the publishing industry. Bloggers know more than they did! 
  • That agent got their story sold to a publishing house, and the book went to auction (which they thought was a bad thing, because the runt pigs no one wants are auctioned off). 
  • The book went on to be on Amazon's list before it was even officially released, it was nominated for awards, it just went CRAZY with popularity, completely blowing the ladies away. 
  • ON WRITING: Margaret writes a chapter, Kami takes it and deletes what she doesn't like (a lot of commas), and they pass it back and forth about ten times, changing words here and there until eventually every sentence is a mix of both of them. Then Kami writes a chapter and they do the whole thing over again. 
  • Kami types with only THREE FINGERS on her right hand. Three hovering fingers. 
  • MOVIE NEWS: The final script has been accepted by the studio (the people that made The Blind Side), so they're one step closer! 
Pretty amazing story for two ladies writing a story written for seven teens. Have you read this series? 


  1. Very cool! I'm reading BEAUTIFUL CREATRES right now, and it's not my favorite. But I'm trying to finish it since I have the next two books in the series. haha But I like the Southern setting a lot. It's a little stereotypical, but I'll give it to them that they tried. haha

  2. Thank you for sharing this interesting story! I love reading posts like this.

    Hmmm...looks like I'll have to check this series out!

    We're lucky you live where you do so you can pass information like this along to your readers. Thanks again!

  3. WOW, stuff like this really happens? This sounds like something from TV!! I'm in shock (and a little jealous). But how cool! Good for them! That really is amazing. Thank you so much for this story, Kristin. So interesting.


  4. Wonderful covers - and how lovely that you get to go to such great book signings!