Saturday, December 22, 2012

Beautiful Creatures Panel: Miami Book Fair International

**Originally posted November 17, 2012**

The Miami Book Fair International takes place every year from the second Sunday of the month to the third Sunday. This year is began NOV 11 and ends tomorrow (Nov 18, 2012). It's a week long affair that celebrates a specific theme, a different theme chosen every year. This year at the book fair, the celebration centered around writing from Paraguay.  But authors from all over come out along with booksellers, retailers, publishing houses and tons of fans! 

This year I discovered two of my FAVORITE authors were going to stop by the Miami Book Fair International: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the authors of the Caster Chronicles Series. Since I am an OBSESSED fan of the series (along with Bridget), I was SUPER excited they were coming to town! Not only were they signing books but they were doing a panel with two of the actors from the upcoming Beautiful Creatures film, Alden Ehrenreich (who plays Ethan Wate) and Zoey Deutch (who plays Emily Asher). They were also going to show clips from the film so I was definitely DETERMINED to go!

Here are the highlights from the Beautiful Creatures Panel that was held today at the fair (where I got to be in the front row *hehe*).

Behind the Scenes of Writing Beautiful Creatures

*Kami Garcia and Margret Stohl hadn’t planned on actually publishing the first book to the Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Creatures. They had written the book after a challenge Margaret received from her daughter. Kami, at the time, had been the teacher to Margret’s daughter so when Margaret had disclosed to her daughter they were teaming up to write a book together, Margaret’s daughter scoffed and didn’t take it seriously since her mom never finished anything. Margaret told her she’d take her challenge and set out to finish writing the book.

*Kami and Margret wrote the book for their children and their kids friends. They were actually planning on creating a website and publishing the entire book Beautiful Creatures for free on the site. Before they got the chance to though, a friend of Margaret’s who was a published author, gave their finished book to his publisher without them knowing and the rest progressed from there.

*When they were working on Beautiful Creatures, they would ask their kids and their kids friends what they would want to see in the book. The kids gave them four stipulations: 1) No vampires 2) No werewolves (they were tired of books with both those paranormal creatures) 3) Tell the story from the male point of view because they were tired of the guys always being jerks 4) Have the girl be the one with powers because they were tired of the girls always being the weak ones and guys getting to have all the powers. Kami and Margaret agreed.

*Link and Ridley didn’t originally play big roles in the books until Kami and Margaret’s kids along with their friends demanded to know what was going on with Link and Ridley so they added more scenes to their characters.

*When writing the book together, they approached it with complete openness. They would split sections of each chapter between each other, write their part up, and then switch with each other. They would edit what each other wrote without asking for permission and then move on to the next chapter. The idea was to always move forward until they were done writing the book and by the time they got down, only what really mattered to the story stayed.

*Margaret and Kami have a great sense of humor. Kami is also really sweet and Margaret is down to earth. She kept the crowd pretty entertained. They have a really great bond together.

Movie Scoop

*Alden Ehrenreich took on the role of Ethan because he liked the way the director, who also wrote the screenplay, placed in humor into the movie. He liked the way the movie shows what boys really go through when they’re trying to court a girl.

*Zoey Deutch who plays Emily Asher in the movie, was very quiet and shy. She didn’t speak much during the panel. But she did tell us she was able to work with Viola Davis and hang out with her in between scenes. She said Viola was such a sweet person and was open to helping all of the actors settle in. She is also really funny. Viola started her career as a stand-up comedian before turning to acting.

*Margaret said one of the things she loved about what Director Ricahrd LaGravenese did with the movie was the fact that he had every actor have a different Southern accent that matched where the characters came from in South Carolina. Both Kami and Margaret were amazed at how much the actors sounded like the characters from the book. They were particularly amazed with Alden as Ethan because he fit Ethan’s character so well (Margaret turned to Alden as she explained and told him he really is a good boy. But she sure he doesn't want her telling people that since it would ruin his reputation). The first time they stepped foot on the movie set, they got to watch Alden do a scene with Jeremy Irons (who plays Racon) and felt it was such a surreal experience since they looked and sounded so much like the characters in their heads. They were also taken away by the set because it reflected Ravenwood so well.

*We were able to see a special featurette of the film where we got to watch the scene of Ridley changing into a Dark Caster and an extended version of the trailer as well as the new movie trailer. As soon as Ridley is changed, she sees three books walking past her and uses her Siren powers of persuasion to have him walk toward her. He stops in the middle of the train tracks and just stares back at Ridley like a zombie. Ridley just watches him as the train slams into him. 

Meet and Greet

Chesszing it (and looking like a total nerd) with Authors Margaret Stohl (right) and Kami Garcia (left).

Signing my books & movie poster. Kami commented how impressed she was how well I took care of my books ;)

Zoey and Ethan signing the copies of my books. They were also laughing because when Kami passed on my copy of Beautiful Creatures to Alden to sign, she pointed out to him the library binding on my book and how well I took care of it. Alden laughed and asked if I stole the book from the library. I explained I hadn't, I just take very good care of my books. He smiled broadly and agreed that was a good thing =)

Chesszing it with Alden and Zoey. They were both very nice. Alden also confessed he hadn't read Beautiful Redemption as of yet after seeing my copy of it.

Beautiful movie poster which they each signed.

Kami was the one who drew the heart. Margaret signed it with "Annabell is a  . . ." leading into the title Beautiful Creatures.

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