Sunday, October 26, 2008

want to see something you'll never forget?

Okay, so I don't know if I said everything I wanted to say about yesterday's SCBWI Writer's Day in Thousand Oaks, but now I don't think I can remember everything, either. But I will try.

I remember that in my speech, I also gave my What Would Liz Do? story, about how influential and empowering my editor has been over the years (years???) I have worked with her, and I think that boosted a lot of the aspiring authors' hope for their own progress. Afterwards, I spoke with a group of writers who seemed stressed out by a widely-held idea that once you write your first book, the pressure of coming up with subsequent novels was so great that most writers couldn't do it.

Well, again, I have to say that I really don't know anything about anything, but I do remember that when I wrote Ghost Medicine, that I kind of believed that I wouldn't be able to write another book... like I was emptying myself in some way, and I wouldn't ever be filled up again. The truth is, though, that the next books I wrote came easier than Ghost Medicine, and they are completely different in every way imaginable: tone, setting, voice, and structure.

Again, I do not believe that writing is easy at all. It's a complete pain. And I did confess to Jamie at the conference that I believe the way I write is pretty self-destructive... that there is a physical and mental emptying out that actually takes me two or three months to recover from. So I wouldn't want to write more than, say, two books a year, because I think it would literally (no pun intended) kill me. But, yeah, I think I can manage getting two out. So, I'm on my second one of the year, and when I get all the research finished and arc the story out it will be back into the manic, self-destructive phase for Smith.

Yeah. I'm looking forward to it.

The cool thing about the conference was that Feiwel and Friends had sent a big box of books and freebies to SCBWI to use as prizes, and everyone was so appreciative of the great stuff my publishers sent. But that's how they are, and it seems like everywhere I go in the writing biz, people keep telling me how incredibly warm and kind the folks at Feiwel and Friends are.

But I've known that for years.

Okay... best part of my weekend:

I got home pretty late last night and I was incredibly tired (never sleep very well in hotel beds). So I went to sleep early. When I woke up this morning, I saw that I had received an email during the night from Jean Feiwel herself.


Two things: Wait, three things:

1) I am a total nervous dork when it comes to Jean Feiwel because I am so in awe of her.

2) The email came in very late... so I think she must have stayed up late at night reading the final version of in the path of falling objects. This is a good thing.

3) I am not going to put what she said on my blog, but she said the most amazing, incredible, flattering things about this book of mine that's going to be coming out next fall.

Hell yeah.

Thanks, Ms. Feiwel.

So that explains the title of this blog post. It's a quote from the first page of in the path of falling objects. And like I replied back to her... just wait till you see the next stuff.