Saturday, August 4, 2012

Surprises and Emily Giffin.

Emily Giffin came to Chester County Book & Music Company on Tuesday night for a book signing of her latest book, Where We Belong, which was released a week earlier. I decided at the last minute to ditch my night class (earth science…need I say more?) and attend the signing with Shari, who is a huge fan of Emily. I paid cover price for the book ($29, yikes!) because I bought it at the store the day of the signing (they’re super picky about that), but that meant I had a reserved spot in line for Emily’s signing.

We had really good seats for Emily’s talk. Listening to her talk about her inspiration was fun because I love hearing where other writers get their ideas. She said she wanted to explore the idea of a secret and whether or not “the truth will set you free.” Her process is definitely different than mine (I usually start with a character or specific situation instead of an overarching theme/idea of the story), so it was interesting to hear her take on it.

My favorite part, though, was when she discussed writing her first young adult character, Kirby. Without spoiling anything, Where We Belong flips back and forth between two different points of view: a woman in her late thirties and an eighteen year old girl. Kirby, obviously, is the teenager and the reason I picked up the book in the first place. YA is my favorite genre and the reason I’ve stayed away from “grownup” books. I’m not married, I don’t have a career, no kids…what’s the point of reading adult books I can’t relate to? (Sidenote: I’m getting better about this lately) So Kirby’s character was perfectly placed in the book for me and gave me something to grasp onto. Emily was worried about writing a convincing YA character at first, but she admitted Kirby has become her favorite character she’s ever written.

All you writers out there, has a character you’ve written ever become your surprise favorite? And readers, have you ever become interested in a character you didn’t expect to?

P.S. I spent ALL DAY yesterday reading Where We Belong. It's a good one!


  1. Yay, I'm so glad you liked the book! I've truly loved all of hers, but this one is absolutely my favorite. Even though I finished it on Monday, I STILL find myself thinking about the characters and what's next for them. With everyone asking Emily to write a sequel, I hope she'll decide to take that path for her next book.

    It's funny - I'm the opposite of you when it comes to book choice. I almost always go for women's fiction, but the few times I've read YA, those characters end up becoming some of my favorites. I never, ever expected to enjoy The Hunger Games, but Katniss quickly drew me in. And Kirby? She's my favorite character Emily's ever written, which is saying a lot, because I really like so many of the others, too.

    So glad you went to the signing and we got to share the experience together!! :)

    1. I remember beings so surprised when you told me you were reading Hunger Games. I guess it shows that the genre really doesn't matter, the characters are what make or break a story.

      Now that I've finished the book, I can see potential for a sequel! Emily definitely left enough ends open. I wonder if she knows what happens to the characters or if she does what I do: end a story leaving the readers hanging because you have no idea how to tie it all up! ;)

  2. I am trying SO hard to not start this book yet! I've been reading 5 books and just have to finish them before I start a new one. Thankfully the number has decreased to only 3 now! After they are done I cannot wait to tackle this book!!!!

    I'm so glad you and Shari had a great time at this signing! I also love YA books. <3 Favorite!

    1. I totally know what you mean, it's SO HARD not to read a billion books at a time, and it's so overwhelming! I'm reading three right now, and usually one winds up taking priority over the others.

      Let me know what you think of Where We Belong when you get around to reading it! :)


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