|nurse log - a large decomposing tree trunk that has fallen, usually in a forest; the decaying wood provides moisture and nutrients for a variety of insects and plants|
The books she's written between the ones that have actually gotten published may not ever be loose in the wild, but they aren't without purpose. They led her to the books that have gotten published. She says as a writer, you always have to be working on something, and sometimes you have to write the wrong book in order to write the right book.
Do you have any nurse log books? I'd say the first "complete" novel I wrote was definitely one. It's mostly junk, but it was like one giant exercise in writing. I stretched my writer legs on it. It was my 5k leading up to the marathon.
Bullet Points of Interest from Gayle Forman's presentation:
-If I Stay was actually her third published book, but it's the first one anyone paid attention to.
-Never intended on a sequel for If I Stay, but the characters would wake her up at 3am saying, "What have you done with us?"
-If I Stay was inspired by a family of four that she knew that all died in a car crash. The 8 year old lived longer and was life-flighted. She was struck by that, wondering if he knew his family was gone and chose to go with them.
-She never thought If I Stay would have done so well. She's still shocked that this thing she wrote in the corner of her family room is read by people all over the world, and she gets emails from readers in places like Indonesia.
-If she had actually set out to write a book with a message to teens about how fleeting life is, it would have failed.
-As a writer/author, the only thing you can control is what you're writing now. You can't control who reads it, how it does, what happens with the movie, etc.