Many Lake Tapps Middle School students were able to meet some of their favorite young adult novel authors at a recent book signing event at their school.
The school’s PTSA organized the event on March 10 and invited nine local authors to talk to students, discuss their books and autograph their works. “(The PTSA) really wanted to make sure that kids get to realize books are alive and well, and that things beyond technology are really viable,” said Superintendent Judy Neumeier-Martinson. “We were really excited to have this here for our kids.”
Kaetlyn Didjurgis was one of many students who waited in line to talk to the authors. She described herself as an avid reader because she loves everything about books.
“They take you to places where as a human being we can never go,” Kaetlyn said.
Some of her favorite books include the the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, who was at the event, and the Harry Potter series.
Authors in your backyard
Lorie Ann Grover and Sedona Capellaro were two of the authors at the signing, and only had to drive a little ways to get there. Grover was born in Miami, Fla., but lived in Sumner for 17 years and just relocated to Bonney Lake.
Her first novel, “Hold Me Tight” (2007), was written on the Plateau.
Grover said she mostly writes from her own life experiences, like in “Hit” (2014), which is loosely based off of her daughter’s best friend, who was hit by a car while crossing the street in Covington.
She said writing about such her experiences is very fulfilling.
“It helps you make sense of what happened,” she said. “You get a chance to revisit and work through it and find meaning that you probably missed by not stopping and really thinking about it.”
Recently, Grover branched out into writing about gendercide in her recent novel, “Firstborn” (2014), when she read millions of girls in China go missing.
Capellaro was born and raised in Enumclaw and moved to Bonney Lake six years ago.
She recently published her first finished full-length novel, “Rise of the Heroes” (2014), which she describes as a fantasy thriller coming-of-age story.
“I started writing when I was in middle school, which is why I wanted to speak to the students today,” Capellaro said. “Middle school is rough on everybody… and in order for me to get through it I was writing to get yucky thoughts out of my head.”
Writing like the pros
Many writers tend to have a routine or process for when they write, and Capellaro’s and Grover’s processes differ greatly from each other.
“My bedroom is my spot,” Capellaro said. “I sit in my bedroom, put my laptop on my legs and I’ll have the TV on in the background as blurred noise.”From there, Caellaro said she writes everything that is on her mind, stream-of-consciousness style, to get everything down.
“I go back and re-read it, and I pick pieces,” she said. “It is a process of elimination, or elaborating on a point that I made.”
Grover said her process involves a lot of clearing her environment and her mind.
“First I clear out social media and email and tidy up so it’s not distracting, and then I go for it,” Grover said. “I’m recently empty-nesting both of my daughters… I have a lot of alone time so it is a time to pour into my work.”
Words to write by
Every writer has unique tips and tricks that work for them, so Grover and Capellaro had plenty of advice for the students that talked to them about writing.
“Don’t worry about imitation,” Grover said. “Try, and that is how you will find your own voice.”
Grover also said that most writers just need to sit down and crank it out.
Capellaro said that writers should start by writing what they know.
“And write about what you don’t know, but what you would do to find the answer,” she said.
Upcoming book events
Pierce County Libraries will be holding a meet the author event with Daniel James Brown and his book, “The Boys in the Boat” (2014).
Brown’s book details the story of the 1936 University of Washington crew team and how they worked their way to the 1936 Berlin Olympics to compete against Germany.
The book is a New York Times bestseller and earned a 2014 Washington State Book Award.
The book signing will be at 7 p.m. on April 24 at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College.
The event is free and books will be available for purchase.
Reach Ray Still at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058. Follow him on Twitter @rayscottstill for more news, pictures and local events.