Last night I had the privilege to attend a signing by Scott Westerfeld on his Behemoth tour. He’d had a busy day visiting a local school and another school came by bus to see him at Blue Willow. The store was packed with kids armed with their stacks of books from his Uglies series, Midnighter series, Peeps and So Yesterday, as well as Leviathan and the new Behemoth.
Since his most popular books to date have been the Uglies series, that was still what most of the crowd wanted to talk about. Scott showed us a copy of a Japanese edition of the Uglies, illustrated manga style throughout the book. He said when his American fans saw that Japan had illustrations of this beloved book, they went nuts. Why, oh why, didn’t we get illustrations, they demanded. Scott went on to talk about the importance of illustrations in previous decades and centuries, pointing out famous examples of how illustrations influenced the public’s perception of certain stories. For instance, he noted that the Sherlock Holmes books never mention that Holmes wore a deerstalker cap, but the illustrator for the serialized stories drew him with one. Now the symbol for all mysteries is a deerstalker cap.
So when he came up with the idea for Leviathan, he wanted it to be illustrated. The fourth book in the series will be an illustrated guide, much like the Spiderwick Field Guide.
The third book will be titled Goliath.
Scott also talked a bit about his life as a writer. He gets up every morning, has coffee and breakfast and then writes for four hours. He starts by reading and editing what he wrote the day before, about three thousand words, so by the time he gets to that blank page he’s immersed in the story.
Favorite book as a child? Charlotte’s Web. He said he loves the idea that one written word can change a life.
Who inspired him to be an author? Hi grand-uncles, who spent every Thanksgiving after dinner telling stories of WWII, also, his high school literature teacher.
Who does he call his Plot Doctor? Holly Black.
Thanks for the vist, Scott and Blue Willow!
Today I got to see Rick Riordan. I’ll try to get that post up tomorrow.