The first time Maggie Stiefvater attended BEA, to promote her 2009 Scholastic release, Shiver, a fan rushed up to her as she sat huddled in a booth with her editor, exclaimed, “You’re Maggie Stiefvater,” and fell down. “She actually fainted, looking right at me,” Stiefvater says, recalling that her shock was magnified by the realization that the woman had pronounced her surname correctly.
Stiefvater is back at Javits, this time at BookCon, to introduce her readers to a spinoff of her Shiver trilogy, Sinner. A stand-alone novel (Scholastic, July), Sinner is the intimate story of Cole and Isabel, first introduced in Book 1 of the trilogy., who have now moved out of the woods of Mercy Falls to the big city, Los Angeles, “where they learn how to be grown-ups” against a Tinseltown backdrop.
“It was such a blast writing this novel,” she says. “Cole and Isabel are so terrible and so wonderful with their hard edges and sharp tongues.” Stiefvater admits to having similar qualities herself as a teenager.
Besides wanting a vehicle to focus on Cole and Isabel because she’s “always loved” the two since she first imagined them for Shiver, Stiefvater was inspired to write Sinner because she wanted to set a novel in a city that emanates mystery and magic, even under a blazing sun. Stiefvater recalls the first time she visited L.A.: “I despised it, I could not comprehend how anyone could live or work there.” But the next time she visited, she loved everything about it. “I could not believe the magic trick that this city had performed on me,” she says. While doing research for Sinner, Stiefvater, her family, and a few friends spent several weeks in L.A., where she didn’t do anything but scout locations. “Setting is important to me. I want readers to actually feel like they’ve been to a place,” she explains, insisting that every place mentioned in the book actually exists.
Stiefvater will be doing an autographing at Table 2, 10:30–11:30 a.m., today (tickets required from the Autographing Ticket Booth). At 1 p.m., in Room 1E07, she will participate in a panel on the topic of epic storytelling with two other YA favorites, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.