As part of her blog tour to celebrate the release of her new book, The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon–and me, Ruby Oliver, E Lockhart has agreed to stop by and give us a guest post today, about writing. And one lucky winner (who resides in the US) will win a set of the Ruby Oliver books! Read on for details.
Finishing a large writing project is always bittersweet, because you’ve gotten attached to the characters and to the world you’ve created — and now you have to leave them. I never knew I was writing a series when I started The Boyfriend List, but halfway through I had an idea for a sequel. Then once The Boy Book was out, I wrote other stuff for a while, but planned to write a third book if there was demand. I figured out the plot for the third book very carefully — and then abandoned it and wrote a completely different story, which became The Treasure Map of Boys. Then some of the elements of that abandoned third book went into the fourth — Real Live Boyfriends, out December 2010.
But the fourth one is the last. I am pretty sure. I have wrapped up my loose ends and found something close to a happy ending. So I should be glad, and feel satisfaction at having written a quartet.
Except, I am attached to Ruby, my heroine. I am going to miss her hugely. Or rather — miss expressing that part of myself hugely. Ruby is the most like me of any character I’ve written, even though she’s desperately and comically neurotic. Writing her is like writing out all my bad habits, all my quirks and anxieties. She’s also wittier than I ever could be in person: I work and rework her dialogue until she’s saying all the smart comebacks I wish I could say in social situations. So she is both my worst self and my best self.
The new covers for the books will launch with Real Live Boyfriends next December. They covers are really gorgeous — and you can see them throughout my blog tour, revealed for the first time! But for me, it is strange to see a model’s perfect face, representing the INSIDE OF MY OWN HEAD. Because Ruby’s over-dramatic life is pretty much what it’s like inside my brain: chaotic, ardent, wordy, complicated, analytical. And yet here she is, prettier than any normal human and smiling for the camera. I honestly don’t think I ever fully pictured how she’d look. Not in that much detail.
So I’ve seen her for the first time, just when we have to say goodbye.
Thank you, E Lockhart! That was really interesting! It’s neat to hear that you care so much about your characters.
Now for the book giveaway details:
One lucky winner who resides in the US will win a set of E Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver books. To enter, simply leave a comment below on this post, between today, Dec 10, 2009, and Dec 15, 2009. One winner will be randomly selected on Dec 16, 2009, and the publisher will send the winner the books. (Sorry everyone who doesn’t live in the US; it’s strictly a postage cost thing.)
You can find E Lockhart at the following blogs as part of her blog tour in the next few days:
December 11: Sharon Loves Books and Cats