So the venue was lovely. It was a quaint little Starbucks which meant the atmosphere that was created by the event was really nice. It wasn't too overpacked either which meant that we could actually enjoy the event and not have to worry about anybody else that was around. The lovely team at Seven Stories had decked out one of the worktops in Emily's books and even had attached some posters that we were greatly encouraged to fill in. Before I hear you ask, yes they were linked to the books! There was an awesome poster for writing down famous lies such as 'Of course I read the entire book before entering the exam' to 'Oh no, sorry that was my last piece of gum.' I thought this was a really neat idea to have and when it was compiled with the other poster where we were encouraged to write down out road trip playlists it worked really well.
So when Emily arrived she greeted our small gathering and began to discuss about the reason she was there as well as promoting elements from her book 'How to be Bad' co-written by Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. She went into great detail about how the book came to be and I tried my best to get all of the notes I could down. In the reimagined words of E Lockhart:
'How to be Bad came about during the days of MySpace when you could create groups and include as many people as you wanted. Very similar to Facebook now a days. Lauren (I believe?) had created a group for all of her author friends to join and Emily was one that was invited. One day Sarah (don't quote me) wrote a post about being interested in a collaboration or something to that effect and E responded with something like "anytime baby" and left it at that. Not too soon after E received a message from Lauren enquiring about this secret collaboration, half-heartedly furious that she had created the group in the first place and that she wanted in. After lengthy discussion with Lauren about doing it, they decided they'd actually get in contact with Sarah and enquire about whether she was serious, because they genuinely were.'
E went on to explain how when she was younger she found a special connection with people in drama camps and felt that those were her people when she was growing up. Actually the idea for 'Dramarama' came from this experience, as well as the book 'The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks' after Emily had signed a publishing contract for a book about a drama camp and the other for a secret society before even having the slightest idea about the story. She ill advises the idea of taking the money before you even have the concept for either of the stories. Be confident in your ideas!
Emily also discussed her writing process, stating that she tries to get her stories to be built up from the idea of major changes and then links that to how the characters could adapt around it. Her advice to writers is that you don't always need to have such extreme experiences to be able to write about them. Not everything E writes about in her books has actually happened to her. Create your own experiences in your head, put them on paper and then match your natural instincts to them. That is the way she advises that experiences will seem realistic to the reader because you just need to envision how you would handle the situation.
Now we got the chance to ask some questions both in the question segment of the evening but also while E was signing our books. My questions were as follows, and here are E's responses:
Q: Did you have the events of the ending of We Were Liars planned out specifically or did you just know there was going to be an accident and then build it up from there?
A: All of the events at the end of We Were Liars were planned out specifically. I knew what the accident was and how it was going to occur but I didn't know Cadence's full story necessarily, I had to built it up slowly around that.
Q: If you could go on a road trip with any character from fiction who would you choose and where would you go?
A: (E mentioned something about somewhere in Canada - somewhere she hadn't been until recently. Sorry my memory is terrible!) I would take Scott Westerfeld's character Scan from his upcoming novel Zeroes. Scan has this amazing ability where a voice inside him says whatever you want to hear. The character has no control over the voice and it speaks it's mind a lot. It can land him in some very difficult situations but I think he would be a fun character to take on a road trip.
So there you go guys, there is a very brief round up of the E Lockhart 'How to be Bad' event in Newcastle. Next time I'll remember to take some actual photos and note down what the authors are saying on a pad as they're saying it so that I don't forget. I'll leave you with a lovely picture of myself and the wonderful E Lockhart!