A Night(shade) with Andrea Cremer
by Tif Sweeney, Walrus Contributor
On January 17, I had the pleasure of attending an event with Andrea Cremer at the Saint Louis County Library Headquarters. Cremer is the young adult author of the popular Nightshade Trilogy, and was touring for her latest release, Bloodrose, the final installment of the series.
Cremer, a history professor specializing in early modern times, began her writing journey after completing her doctoral work, though the inspiration can date back much further to her childhood days of playing in the woods of Wisconsin. At the end of her education and prior to teaching, she decided to lease a horse for a summer. Unfortunately, the horse was spooked on one of her rides, causing an accident and resulting in a crushed foot. Her high hopes were dashed that summer being bedridden, and she instead spent her time re-watching all seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and playing World of Warcraft. It was during this time that she also began writing those characters she played as a child in the woods. Thirteen months later, her book was being sold in stores.
Cremer was blurry-eyed, thanks to the late-night tornado sirens, but bubbly as she answered questions for more than an hour. She talked about her writing journey, she shared her thoughts on agents and query letters, and she even addressed the hot topic facing the validity of young adult literature. (She believes the difference to be the point of view of the characters and it has nothing to do with the reading level or literary merit.) She also shared that her shape-shifting characters are based in physics, string theory to be exact, noting the hideous transformations of shape-shifters as portrayed in movies are simply ridiculous and take much too long.
The night with Andrea Cremer was filled with lots of laughter as well as information about the writing process. I leave you with Cremer’s four tips for the aspiring writer:
- Be patient.
- Force yourself through to the end.
- Write every day.
- Tell the story you are passionate about.