I was nervous, but they are so friendly that they put me at ease. They had incredible ideas that I never even imagined and they seem so excited and determined.
It’s still surreal that Graffiti Girl was optioned. It’s a big IF it will ever make it to a screen, but its a surreal dream that I’m experiencing step-by-step and it makes me smile.
Their love for movies really hooked me because of my own love for them. So it was fun to talk movies, directors, writers, and actors as a wish list. Lucy and Shelley’s vision for Graffiti Girl is awesome.
We’ll be chatting once a month and if things start to happen I’ll definitely keep you posted. Right now it’s just fun to dream.
About two months ago, I was contacted by a Professor of Liberal Studies in the Liberal Studies Department at CSU Monterey Bay about 25 miles from my neck of the woods. He taught a Latina Reading group! Yes, a group he put together himself to encourage and support some CSUMB Latino students as undergrads who want to become teachers. As part of this process they were reading a series of picture books and YA novels. One of their proposed novels was Graffiti Girl. He had recently had a visit by another local author, Ann Jaramillo, author of La Linea.
Of course, I was flattered! And truthfully, I was a little nervous and not sure what to expect. These wouldn’t be middle grade students, but adults reading my book, and I’m just a newbie author, who never attended a university…what could I bring to these students?
Well, I could bring chocolate! *grin* But this time I knew I wouldn’t be throwing around candy to get the group to open up. But there was no need, once I arrived Professor Miguel was so welcoming. He joked that Miguel in Graffiti Girl was him! And the group was so friendly, it really was like they were a family of cousins with mostly woman and two men.
The only part that made me nervous was the video camera. *grin* But the professor assured me it was for studying purposes so they might revisit the meeting. We went around the table and introduced ourselves, and the students each told me of parts of the story that they related to, what scenes touched a personal cord with them, and the themes that they felt were important.
I had never been to a group where the readers had each taken time to read my book and them discussed it with me. I tried to share my feelings about each scene and character and what made me write them. It was a very honest, and enlightening, and humbling experience. I was incredibly honored.
Near the end, they each described what their “tag” name would be and how it would look painted. That was very fun and creative! I followed up by signing a few books and taking pics. One of the students baked cupcakes and I took some home. *grin*
Professor Miguel has since sent me photos, a writing prompt from one of his students about what it means to be Latino, and mentioned they have now changed their name to the Latina Reading Crew! I wish the best to this wonderful group of Latinos. And like I mentioned, it was an awesome experience I won’t forget. 🙂
I know its been a long time no blog. 🙂
I hope everyone has been doing well! I just finished my latest proposal and turned it into my agent. I’m hoping there will only be minor edits this time around, but time will tell.
And I just had a fun experience yesterday….
I signed my film option agreement for Graffiti Girl!
Wow, I think the negotiating began in October of last year. My agent enlisted a co-agent who specializes in film contracts. Every detail you could imagine was discussed. If Graffiti Girl was adapted for television, cable or film. If it never gets adapted. If it goes to screen and plays so many times. It was indeed a whole experience for me and very exciting.
Now, it’s rare for a book to be optioned, even more rare for a book to make it to TV or a movie stage, but I’m wowed by the option no matter what happens. It is an accomplishment I never dared to imagine.
So at the moment I’m reading and picked up Rachel Vincent’s PRIDE. I heard so many great things about her series and I’m happily enthralled in her world. I will definitely be picking up the rest of the series. I also have a list of interviews and guest blogs I will be tackling this week.
What’s everyone else reading these days?
I feel like I need to sit back and take a breather. 🙂 🙂
Its been an incredibly busy week and with a book signing this weekend for Invisible Touch. I have to say I love being writer. Of course, it has its ups and downs and its hard not to worry about sales and numbers, but its a dream job for me. To be able to make up stories and characters in my head is a wonderful dream.
Something surreal and wonderful is happening lately…a number of California teachers are adding GRAFFITI GIRL to their classroom curriculum. Now, I don’t know if the entire class reads it at once or they have it listed as an option, but I’ve heard this a few times in the last month. A teacher spoke with a family member (without knowing I was a family member) that GRAFFITI GIRL was under discussing at a San Francisco teacher conference as being added to classroom middle grade/high school required reading. Then a local high school teacher said they just read GRAFFITI GIRL as a class assignment and discussed the book.
I was honored to discover GRAFFITI GIRL was being used for the BookUpNYC program, but I never thought GRAFFITI GIRL would be used in a classroom. When I wrote GG, there were so many things running through my head…art, having an interesting topic for kids to relate to, kids following their dreams.
Really, if I sit back and really take this news in, I am incredibly humbled. I wish I could thank every teacher for recommending my book.
Its been a year and a half since Graffiti was first published and only now is word slowly spreading through the education system. Yes, it takes this long for a small book to get noticed little by little.
Also, today my agent blogged over at Romancing the Blog about GG and what a RITA nom could do for a book. Check it out if you have a moment.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll hopefully have some pics to post from the signing!