I began to examine the way I constructed sentences and established tone and ended chapters (if there's anyone who knows how to write a page-turner, it's Jodi). My writing has a long way to go to be anywhere close to her caliber, but thanks to her, I am much better than I was two years ago.
On the days and hours leading up to meeting her, the husband kept asking me if I was excited.
Me: I'm nervous.
I'm not entirely sure why I was, but I suppose when you put someone on such a high pedestal they're bound to fall short of your expectations. But Jodi did not disappoint.
She talked about the research she did for Lone Wolf, which included learning how to howl. Three audience members were invited to the stage and she taught them how to howl like a pack. It was fantastic. (The husband and I have since been annoying our dogs by breaking into spontaneous howling. They want no part of it.) She read an excerpt from her novel and then answered questions.
I found myself bobbing my head in agreement like a bobble-head doll as she talked about her writing process, how the voices of her characters are constantly talking inside her head, how the character's take over and often surprise her. I may not be a best-selling author, but it was awesome sausage to know that Jodi and I share a lot of novel writing characteristics. In way, it was validation that I really am a writer (even though I haven't sold one book yet*).
When it was time for the book signing, I started to panic because of course I did. What should I say to her? I didn't want to tell her I love her books, because that's what everyone says and duh, would I be there if I didn't love them? I didn't want to tell her that I am a writer too because if I was her I'd be like uh huh, yeah, sure you are.
So, I waited in line and panicked and sweat, and panicked some more. When it was finally my turn, in usual "me" fashion, I nearly collided with the woman coordinating the event. It helped me relax...which meant I rambled like a crazy person on crack.
Jodi (after I nearly ran someone over): it's crazy in here. How are you?
Me: I'm wonderful. This has been a dream come true for me.
Jodi (incredibly genuine): Wow. Thank you.
Me: I tried to go see you at the event yesterday, but it sold out within an hour. I must talk about you a lot because everyone I know was texting me that you'd be here today.
Okay, it might not seem like I said a lot, but I spoke a mile a minute. And there was much waving of the hands and text-miming with my thumb. I'm sure it was as awesome for her to meet me as it was for me to meet her.
|Me and Jodi, hanging out.|
|Best Friends Forever|
I don't believe in writer's block. Writer's block is a function of having too much time on your hands.
You can edit a bad page but you can't edit a blank page.
If you haven't read one of Jodi Picoult's books, I strongly recommend that you do. (However, I must warn you, it won't be light reading. Nineteen Minutes is about a school shooting and other book topics include things like suicide and rape.)
All in all, it was amazing and writing about it will never do it justice. In fact, I'm rather annoyed by the lackluster way in which I did write about the most exciting day in the history of ever. But I am exhausted and my brain has stopped working and excuses, excuses.
*For those of you inquiring about the status of my novel John and Darcy (working title)...
First of all, thank you! You have no idea how happy it makes me that you are interested in reading it.
Secondly, it was scheduled to be released via Smashwords and other e-publishing sites for some time in April. I'm not sure if that is still on track. It is in the hands of my editor now and I'm currently working on the fourth round of revisions. When I feel it is the best it can be, I will publish it. And I promise you'll know as soon as I do. For those interested in a preview, you can click the My Book tab at the top. Please note that what's included there is what I wrote before the fourth edit. I foolishly thought three edits would suffice.