Sometimes when you meet an author, they’re nothing like you think they’ll be, but Rainbow Rowell, author of YA masterpieces Eleanor & Parkand Fangirl, is just as funny, smart, and full of stories and insights as you’d expect. To celebrate the release of her new book, Landline, she appeared last Tuesday night at the TriBeCa Barnes & Noble, where she read briefly from Landline then spent the rest of the evening answering questions and talking expansively on books, music, writing, expectations, and… C-sections (it was fascinating), and the Sparkitors were there to FREAK OUT AT FANGIRL LEVEL DEF CON 5! Here are just a few things a couple hundred hyped-up fans learned about Rainbow Rowell:
1. She wrote Harry/Draco slash fic to prepare herself for writing Landline‘s dual narrative. 30,000 words of it. What’s a girl got to do to get her hands on that manuscript?!
2. She feels she has to apologize for how different each of her books is. ”All my books are different, and it makes me nervous. People tell me they loved my last book and I immediately start saying, ‘Well, you’re not going to like the next one at all!’”
3. When writing Eleanor & Park, even she didn’t want to spend time at Eleanor’s place. “I just wanted to go to Park’s house and try on eyeliner.”
5. Don’t worry, we won’t be running out of Rowell books any time soon. She has five or six plotted books on deck, and is also working on two graphic novels. One of which features a magic portal.
In which the Sparkitors are each crafting their own fanfic in their heads about hanging out with Rainbow WHILE HANGING OUT WITH RAINBOW (NOTE HER AMAZING LOBSTER NECKLACE AND MERMAID HAIR!):
6. She does not read fanfic of her own work. But she’s aware that most of it is written about Simon and Baz. No surprises there.
7. Music is just as important to her as you think it is. Related fun facts include: 1) While writing the emotionally wrenching climactic scene of Eleanor & Park, she had to play a particular Wild Beasts song to get in the mood, 2) “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” (which won a mention in Landline) plays when her mom calls, and 3) she loves the Taxi theme song.
8. She writes from life. All those great parent characters didn’t come from thin air: her mom appears in some form in every book Rowell writes.
9. What were the three words on the postcard Eleanor wrote Park? Says Rowell: “Want me to tell you? Too bad.” (Though she did offer two suggestions: “Smell you later” and “Get a job.”)
10. She spent seven or eight years writing her first book. ”You have to give yourself permission to write something terrible. Just finish it.” *wipes forehead* Another piece of advice for aspiring writers that we loved: “Don’t talk about writing and not write.” Listen to the woman with four books on the shelves and more on the way.