It all started out innocently enough and then the vandalism began. :D Instead of standing behind the podium & using the microphone stand, Maggie moves it all out of the way & takes the mic in hand. Naturally, being a storyteller and all, she has to be moving around to effectively engage the audience. I'm sure the 7 hour car ride from Decatur also made for an energetic author.
Maggie told the audience a few anecdotal stories about how wolves have affected her life. She told about her nerve-racking experience of being stuck on a plane when she got the phone call about Linger being #1 on the NYT bestseller list. (A small PSA here: as per NASA, when they tell you turn off your electronic devices, it really is because it messes with the gauges in the plane. So TURN THEM OFF!) Then she told us about a group in Minnesota that traps, tracks & monitors wolves. This is where she got a few ideas that come out in Forever.
Even more awesome though was when she was on world tour in Hungary (a phrase she never gets tired of saying) and got to meet Zoltan the wolf man (an animal trainer specializing in wolves) and his furry friends. They provided her with 2 raincoats & purple galoshes... with ducks on them. If you've never meet Maggie, you might not know that she's the kind of gal who wears work boots & black clothes. A lot. So ducks aren't exactly her thing. Back to the story, Zoltan asks Maggie if she's ever heard a wolf howl up close, naturally being from Virginia she had not, and so Zoltan the wolf man got the wolves to howl. Each member of the pack chose 1 single note to howl & they sounded like a choir in harmony. There was something so primal about it, that while Maggie was not scared, the hairs on the back of her neck stood up & there was a nasty little voice whispering that she was going to die. Of course she didn't, but the experience was profound nonetheless.
Then we moved into the q & a where people asked a lot of really great questions about her writing style, the Shiver movie, & her best & most interesting moments as an author. Quick & dirty:
- Shiver has been optioned for a movie, there is a screenplay & a director, but Maggie is not involved in any way, shape or form & has no more information than that.
- She enjoys writing from multiple points of views (mainly different characters) because she feels like she can write a better story when we can see everything for different angles. It also allows her to use the character that will move the action forward the fastest.
- Her best moment was when she realized that the kindness she had shown to a foster facility really had impacted at least one of the kids in a really positive way because he was writing an English paper about it & his teacher was contacting Maggie to get some details.
- The most unique & interesting thing that has happened to Maggie on tour was in Bulgaria. The last event she was attending turned out to be a masquerade ball & they presented her with Bulgarian bagpipes... and asked her to play them. (For those of you who might not know, Maggie played the Scottish bagpipes competitively in college. It's a good thing she tells the truth on her blog, because she never really knows what may come from it.) She succeeded & ended up having a mosh pit moshing to her notes.