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A Poster Girl Sneak Peek, and Some Favorite Things
raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens not included
To start: the first 40 pages of Poster Girl are available for you to read right now; check them out here.
I’m going to be talking about favorites today, so let me start with my favorite page of that excerpt:
These two characters know each other from a long time ago— and they hate each other now. I like this page because I like how their history bleeds through everywhere— he may hate her, but he’s comfortable enough in her space to go through her cabinets; she may hate him, but she knows what that ring he’s wearing means.
As to other favorites, I’ve noticed in the past two Instagram Q&As I’ve done (I do them somewhat regularly, follow me here if you don’t want to miss the next one) that a lot of questions center around favorites and least favorites— favorite character in X book, least favorite part of the writing process, favorite book I’ve written, least favorite tropes, favorite book I’ve read recently, etc. So I thought I would do a little round-up for you.
The thing about an author’s favorites, though, is that they’re probably not going to align with a reader’s favorites. My relationship to my work is as the creator, so I remember what was challenging, what was rewarding, what came easily and what didn’t, what required multiple rounds of editing, etc. What I love are things that are hard-won or that appeared in the book with unexpected power or brilliance, and if I do my job correctly, you actually can’t tell what those things are by the time the book makes it to you, because I will have integrated them well into the story. Just something to keep in mind when you hear authors talk about their favorites.
Book I’ve Written: this is actually a hard question, and the more I think about it, the less sense it even makes. Favorite in what way, is my question in response. No book will ever feel quite like your first, so does that make Divergent my favorite? What about the book that I worked the hardest on (Poster Girl)? Or the one that came together the most effortlessly (The Fates Divide)? The one that gave me the biggest rush of creative joy (Carve the Mark) or the one with the main character and world-building I was most proud of (Chosen Ones)? You get the idea. So no, I can’t pick one, but hopefully that list gives you some more insights.
Favorite Character I’ve Written: Tris, Cyra, Sloane, Sonya. (Yes I do love an “s” sound.) This answer may seem sort of boring, since they’re the main characters of my novels, but it’s true: I wouldn’t write about these women if I didn’t find them to be the most interesting, the most compelling. That’s not to discount the interestingness of other central characters, like Akos and Cisi from Carve the Mark, but these are the characters that carried me through the writing of each book with their interestingness.
Okay, Fine, But Aside From Them: I really, really love a complicated mother figure. (Evelyn, Sifa.) And a friend who’s not here for your bullshit. (Teka, Esther.) And I can’t wait for you to meet Knox, from Poster Girl. I can’t wait.
Book I’ve Read: seriously, can anyone answer this question?! I’m an author; I love books. I love a lot of books.
Book I Read This Year: okay, now we’re getting somewhere.
Refugee, criminal and linguist Sean Wren is made an offer he knows he can’t refuse: life in prison, “voluntary” military service – or salvaging data in a long-dead language from an abandoned ship filled with traps and monsters, just days before it’s destroyed in a supernova. Data connected to the Philosopher’s Stone experiments, into unlocking the secrets of immortality.
And he’s not the only one looking for the derelict ship. The Ministers, mysterious undying aliens that have ruled over humanity for centuries, want the data – as does The Republic, humanity’s last free government. And time is running out.
In the bowels of the derelict ship, surrounded by horrors and dead men, Sean slowly uncovers the truth of what happened on the ship, in its final days… and the terrible secret it’s hiding.
(More info here.)
As you can tell by the tiny quote on the cover there, I blurbed this book. In a nutshell, The Immortality Thief is a good time, full stop. I know I need that so much these days, and I’m sure you do, too. The voice was funny and immersive, the world was interesting, the action was nonstop, and yet somehow I still developed these really strong feelings for the characters, especially Sean, who must be protected at all costs. I really devoured this one. It’s out October 11th.
Okay, I think that’s enough favorites for now—I hope you enjoy the excerpt from Poster Girl!
P.S. Also, don’t forget I’m going on tour soon! I’ll be in Winnetka, IL; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Cincinnati, OH; St. Louis, MO; San Diego, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Beaverton, OR; and Edmond, OK. More info about each stop here!