Thursday, October 27, 2011

I go IFOA-ing and Meet Lev Grossman, Erin Morgenstern and SimonToyne

So on tuesday night, though it was cold, rainy and generally miserable, I had the joy of attending a fantastic roundtable at the IFOA (International Festival of Authors).  Magic, Myth and Forces Beyond Reason was the topic and it was an amazing panel including: Lev Grossman (The Magicians), Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) and Simon Toyne (Sanctus), and moderated by the darling Lesley Livingston.  It was funny, intriguing and just the right mix of relaxed and personal that makes all the IFOA events so enjoyable (not to mention they're wildly affordable).  Though I was there mostly for fun I did take a few notes and took home some special treats for the Spooktacular Giveaway (see below).  Here are some of the things I found particularly interesting:

Lev Grossman wanted his magic to be really difficult to do, no wiggling of the fingers and TA DAH!  He thought potions in Harry Potter was too much like Home Ec and didn't get what was so hard about that.  Also, have you noticed that Harry Potter seems to have never read a Novel in his life??! (Astoundingly, so true! Outside of his Quiditch books of course).
His proudest moment was when Alice socks Justin in the face.

Simon says Ruin was very vague at first but then he put Liv on a plane to get there and it felt like she was on a plane to Mordor. Lev- Is that a direct flight?, Simon- NO, not at all, I'm pretty sure it has a stop over in Dubai.
As the city developed for him he got so detailed about it he wanted people to Google it.  They tried to do a Wikipedia page for it but those Nerds are fast! It was gone in no time!

Erin revealed that Celia didn't even exist in the first draft. The Night Circus evolved from NaNoWriMo one year where she got so bored with her characters that she took them to the Circus and then abandoned them and got lost in the Circus.  So for a long time the Night Circus had no real plot it was just her love of the circus, and lots of vignettes.  She was very inspired by The Prestige and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell.

Lev talked a little bit about his TV announcement, in the contract he's a Creative Consultant but he doesn't know how involved he'll be.  He imagines there will be a lot of new material in the show, but he feels really good about it.

Simon mentioned he's working on a sequel, but that it moves away from Ruin.

Erin told me one of her cats inspired the Circus kittens.  She developed this fancy summersault to get doors open, because she couldn't figure out to just push it open.

All three authors were more than charming, and in the signings afterwards were super gracious and friendly.  Most exciting for me was how into my little creative challenge they got.  I wanted something special for my international Spooktacular winners, and came up with library cards for their books (since mailing a signed book too, say India, would bankrupt me), but I wasn't sure how the authors would feel about this non-traditional signing.
Well they got so creative I'm now loath to part with them!

So make sure to stop by the contest and throw your name into the hat to win one of these Fab library cards as well as the accompanying book.

PS- It's always fun to say hi to the lovely Lesley Livingston, a local so I'm lucky enough to run into more often than you normally would.  She was a great moderator, and she had some exciting news about a new book she's working on!  I can't wait until she reveals it.  Let's just say that her fans are going to be thrilled.  Check out her amusing photo from the evening.

Check out the Torontoist for a cute little article on the talk, he caught one of my fav moments, Lev's "Jesus Christ, this cannot be it." moment, which had me laughing for the rest of the evening.

5 comments:

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