On Monday, Feb. 14 the Academic Resource Center welcomed Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the co-authors of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness. They chatted with the 7th and 8th graders during class meeting about how they came to write their first book and the unexpected world of publishing.
The idea came to the two authors over lunch at the El Cholo restaurant in Santa Monica. Garcia and Stohl even remember which booth they were sitting in when they created the list of “rules” for their Southern Gothic novel. The rules included such things as the narrator must be male, the novel would be set in a small town in the South, and the powerful spell-casting character would be female. In the end the women attribute most of the novel getting finished to a dare by Stohl’s daughter, who didn’t think her mother would see the project through. Throughout the writing process Garcia and Stohl would submit chapters to Stohl’s then thirteen year-old daughter and her friends who hungered for more and more of the story.
After talking about the process, Garcia and Stohl entertained questions from the 7th and 8th graders. Every question was rewarded with a small trinket such as a Beautiful Darkness keychain. The questions ranged from “How do you deal with writer’s block?” to “Where do you write?” Garcia and Stohl explained that their writing success was due, in great part, to their honest friendship. They noted that writers need friends who can be honest, even brutally honest when needed.
During lunch the authors signed books and answered individual questions.