Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Heart Jodi Picoult Part 2

So, I'd been thinking about going to see Jodi all day. Worried that I wouldn't get into town in time to hear her, worried that she would have to cancel - I needn't have! I arrived in Nottingham with an hour to spare, having time for a quick snack in Costa Alot, before meeting Frenchy Phil at the Broadway. After a brief introduction, Jodi read from her latest novel, Change of Heart and then proceeded to discuss the research involved in writing a story about the death penalty in America. Jodi is an immensely articulate woman who's stories ranged from the empathetic to the amusing. What then followed was a Q&A session and of course no-one wants to ask the first question, unless of course you're me! I asked the oh so original "I'm a quarter of the way through writing my first novel, are there any tips you could give me?" Jodi then answered with most of the stuff that I'm doing at the moment, which is good!
  • Write every day, even if it's only 20 minutes in the morning and the same at night
  • It doesn't matter what you write, as long as you write something
  • Shut yourself off from the outside world, that means no Internet, no TV, no phones and no conversations with your spouse etc
  • Even if you are a quarter the way through writing a book and you feel what you've written is a load of tosh, carry on writing until you've finished the book. You can decide after you have finished it, if you then want to scrap it. The accomplishment will be in the fact that you've actually finished what you set out to achieve
  • Join a writing class or course to gain criticism on your work, as this is something you have to learn to take as a writer

After the Q&A session, I then got to meet Jodi as she signed two of my favourite books of hers, Nineteen Minutes and My Sister's Keeper. I commented I nearly brought all of my books of hers to sign, but didn't think she would appreciate signing them all. She told me next time I come, to do just that and I replied that I definitely would!

And that was it! For £3 I got an hour of the lovely Jodi Picoult and advice on writing my novel, as well as 2 x signed books to add to my collection. I wonder if I will ever do a book signing????

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