inkpop_editor : Alright inkpoppers! Just a few ground rules before we begin.

1) Please don't answer questions posted by users. The questions are for Claire (obviously) so lets allow her to answer. 2) Lets try to avoid excess chatting. Woohoos! And tend to clog up the chat and make it hard for us to see everyones questions. 05:01 PM differentcenturies : Hi everyone. 05:01 PM inkpop_editor : Now I'd like to present Claire LaZebnik author of Epic Fail. Thank you for joining us today Claire! 05:01 PM Claire LaZebnik : My pleasure! 05:01 PM Shattered Doll Parts : Greetings, Claire! 05:01 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Hello Claire. Thanks for being with us (: 05:01 PM inkpop_editor : I'll start it off. Kita91 wrote on 08.15.2011: 1. What was the hardest part about reinterpreting such a well known story? 05:02 PM Claire LaZebnik : Staying true to Austen's spirit but making it very real and believable for now. Everyone loves P and P. You want to honor that 05:02 PM inkpop_editor : Kita91 wrote on 08.15.2011: 2. Where did the idea for Epic Fail come from? 05:02 PM Jami Montgomery : Hi Claire ! 05:02 PM Claire LaZebnik : I always say I was inspired by Amy Heckerling's movie CLUELESS, which is loosely based on Austen's EMMA. It's such a brilliant update! Made me want to try doing something similar with P and P 05:03 PM Katherine : Hi Claire. 05:03 PM Claire LaZebnik : Hi, everybody! If you haven't seen CLUELESS, watch it. I love that movie 05:03 PM inkpop_editor : How did you come up with the title for the book?

05:03 PM Angeni Mai : Good day, Claire. Thank you so much for being here today 05:04 PM Claire LaZebnik : My husband's niece was living with us for a year. She and my son used to bleat "FAIL" at each other about everything. "Epic Fail" was of course reserved for true moments of embarrassment. I just liked the term. 05:04 PM Shattered Doll Parts : Clueless used to be my favorite movie! 05:04 PM Claire LaZebnik : And the word "epic" is nice to work in! 05:04 PM Jami Montgomery : I used the word fail all the time too lol 05:04 PM Claire LaZebnik : I really think Heckerling is a genius 05:04 PM possiblythere : I say "epic failure" 05:04 PM Claire LaZebnik : And I love Paul Rudd who stars in CLUELESS 05:05 PM inkpop_editor : Does anyone have any questions for Claire? 05:05 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Wow, just goes to show inspiration can come from anywhere! 05:05 PM inkpop_editor : or should I keep posting the pre-posted questions? 05:05 PM Jami Montgomery : What was it like when you received your "yes" letter from an agent? OR did you write straight to the house? 05:05 PM Claire LaZebnik : absolutely, Melissa 05:05 PM Shattered Doll Parts : A lot of people say "Ooh! Epic fail!" in my town. 05:05 PM inkpop_editor : Good question Jami What was it like when you received your "yes" letter from an agent? OR did you write straight to the house? 05:06 PM

Claire LaZebnik : I submitted the first few chapters of EPIC FAIL first. My agent sent it around and Harper wanted it so it was good news to get the go-ahead--but meant I had to finish writing it! 05:06 PM Jami Montgomery : Thank you (: 05:06 PM Shattered Doll Parts : Who are your writing inspirations and why? 05:06 PM Jami Montgomery : That's amazing. Finding an agent is so hard! 05:06 PM Claire LaZebnik : Well, Austen--obviously, I guess--because she just GETS romance, like no one else Bronte is amazing, too--so passionate and raw 05:06 PM Zoey Day : Do you have a specific reason why you picked to write a modern version of "Pride and Prejudice?" 05:06 PM Claire LaZebnik : I love Dickens because he tells a good story and makes you want to be a better person just by reading him 05:07 PM Shattered Doll Parts : No Poe, or Hunter S. Thompson, or William S. Burroughs inspirations? 05:07 PM Claire LaZebnik : I honestly just love P and P SO MUCH. It's always been one of my favorite books. And I think there's so much there that works now. Some books feel dated. That one really doesn't (or at least not on an emotional level) 05:07 PM MrRaccoon : Is it harder to do a rewrite of such a well known and loved piece than it is to just write an original, do you think? 05:07 PM Claire LaZebnik : Nope, I'm sort of a 19th century kind of reader. Did my college thesis on JANE EYRE 05:07 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Exactly. P and P is timeless! 05:08 PM possiblythere : When you were writing, were you ever worried people might think that you were trying to out-do the original? 05:08 PM Claire LaZebnik : I'd say it's easier to update a classic than come up with your own story IN SOME WAYS. But you definitely feel the ghost of the original author breathing down your neck! 05:08 PM Jami Montgomery : I actually haven't read it. I've tried, but I just can't stay focused on it. 05:08 PM

Melissa (fairytaledreams) : That kind of ties in with my question: Did you feel any pressure modernizing such a well known classic and by the brilliant author Jane Austen? Did you feel that there were going to be high expectations for your novel? 05:08 PM Claire LaZebnik : Possiblythere--I never ONCE worried about that. No one can out-do Austen and I knew it going into this. I wanted to have fun with P and P, but I knew I couldn't come close to touching it. 05:08 PM MrRaccoon : Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I'd always be worried because the classics are so fantastic. 05:09 PM Shattered Doll Parts : What things around you inspire you to keep writing? Like when you get writers block. 05:09 PM Claire LaZebnik : I think people got that this wasn't something wildly ambitious or overreaching. Just a fun project. 05:09 PM Jami Montgomery : It turned out okay for you (: 05:10 PM Claire LaZebnik : It's funny--when you're a writer and you don't have the energy to write, you're really aware of it. If you have a different kind of career, you just go ahead and do your job, but when you're a writer, you get to complain that you have writer's block and wander away from your desk! I try to push though and rewrite when I'm feeling uninspired and then when I feel wildly inspired, write new material 05:10 PM inkpop_editor : Luan Li wrote on 08.15.2011: How was the reception of your book, based on critics? 05:10 PM Claire LaZebnik : (thanks, Jami!) 05:11 PM Shattered Doll Parts : What made you want to be a writer? 05:11 PM Jami Montgomery : I do that too. If one project stops working for me, I start on something completely different. That's how my newest book was born. I got a major writer's block working on one and started writing this one. It was like the characters wrote it for me. 05:11 PM Claire LaZebnik : It's been really positive and I'm so grateful for that. I was worried people would criticize me for taking on Austen who is truly one of the greats or think I was repeating stuff that had already been done. I'm so glad people take this for what it is: a fun, romantic update of a great novel. SDP--I always wanted to be a writer, from the time I was a little girl. I read all the time when I was a kid. And the truth is, I'm not good at ANYTHING ELSE. I had no other options, really. I like writing different kinds of things though. I've tried my hand at almost every kind of writing 05:12 PM

inkpop_editor : Kita91 wrote on 08.15.2011: After 'Epic Fail' will you re-write another classic story? 05:12 PM Claire LaZebnik : Yes! I just handed in a draft of another Austen update to my editor--should be out next fall/winter 05:12 PM Jami Montgomery : that's amazing (: 05:12 PM inkpop_editor : What book did you update? 05:12 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : That's great! 05:13 PM Claire LaZebnik : Mansfield Park. It's a little easier to take on because people don't know it as well. P and P is SO iconic! can something be "so iconic"? I think I hear my English teachers yelling at me. 05:13 PM possiblythere : Is there any part of writing that you think you're best at? Your writing "talent"?Like for me, It's making people cry when they read my writing. Do you have anything like that? 05:13 PM Shattered Doll Parts : I've always been writing since I was younger. I feel the same way, the only career I feel of making it in is either writing or my music. So may I ask, how does one get published? 05:13 PM Jami Montgomery : I've tried rewriting something classic but it never works for me. I'm better with new ideas. 05:14 PM Claire LaZebnik : possiblythere--I think I'm pretty good at funny dialogue. My first novel was made into a TV movie--I think my books can translate well to film or TV because the dialogue is there 05:14 PM inkpop_editor : Hmmm...good point Shattered Doll Parts. How did you break into publishing? 05:14 PM Jami Montgomery : You are so lucky. What movie? 05:14 PM Claire LaZebnik : SDP--I got published by convincing an agent to represent my work 05:14 PM inkpop_editor : Did you query a lot of agents or just one? 05:14 PM Claire LaZebnik :

Jami, it was an ABC family movie called "Hello Sister, Goodbye Life"--they changed a lot from the novel, including the title (which was originally Same as it never was) 05:15 PM Jami Montgomery : Wow. That's fantastic! Is it weird when screenplays change from the writing? I've never seen a movie that was as good as the book 05:15 PM Claire LaZebnik : Believe it or not, it was my THIRD agent who actually got me published. I had had two previous agents for two previous manuscripts. Never give up, guys. If you want to get published, just keep hitting your head against that wall. Eventually it will break down! 05:15 PM Zoey Day : What was the best part about writing a modern version of a classic? 05:15 PM Shattered Doll Parts : How did you get in contact with publishers? 05:16 PM Claire LaZebnik : Jami, I think the process works against the final result. Too many people with too many different ideas. It muddies things. 05:16 PM Jami Montgomery : That makes sense. 05:16 PM Claire LaZebnik : Zoey, the best part was knowing where the story needed to go! 05:16 PM Angeni Mai : You know what they say. "the third time's the charm"! 05:16 PM Claire LaZebnik : I guess it's true, Angeni! 05:16 PM inkpop_editor : Shattered Claire said her agent submitted her writing to publishers. That's fairly typical 05:16 PM Jami Montgomery : I've queried about twelve agents and keep getting rejections :/ I'm not very good at query letters, summing up my book in three paragraphs 05:16 PM Claire LaZebnik : Yes, once I had an agent, I didn't deal with publishers again until they wanted to publish something I'd writen 05:17 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : I was wondering what the issues are in regards to copyrights when you re-write an existing novel. Can you explain? (Does this make sense?) 05:17 PM Claire LaZebnik :

query letters are important. They need to be fairly brief and businesslike but still interest people. I think there may be a talent in writing those that's its own thing! 05:17 PM Jami Montgomery : I know there is! I know I'm way better with novels than I am with queries 05:18 PM Claire LaZebnik : Melissa, I don't know much about that, I'm sorry. I think so long as you change enough, you're kind of free to "borrow" from the classics. People also use characters from novels to create their own novels. 05:18 PM inkpop_editor : shootforthemoon17 wrote on 08.14.2011: What do you think makes a classic, a classic? 05:18 PM Claire LaZebnik : If it survives the test of time, I'd say And if people from all different walks of life can read it and love it I do wonder what books being published now will be classics in the future. Harry Potter, of course 05:19 PM Jami Montgomery : Do you think writing a classic is harder these days? It seems a bunch of nineteenth century writers wrote classics, but that there haven't been "new classics"' You totally just answered that question too 05:20 PM Claire LaZebnik : What's interesting looking back at the past is that the most-read authors have rarely been the ones who've survived the centuries. Some of them (like Dickens) do but others (like Mrs. Radcliffe, who was a contemporary of Austen's, I believe) don't. Popularity doesn't necessarily lead to classic status 05:20 PM inkpop_editor : shootforthemoon17 wrote on 08.14.2011: How do you think Jane Austen would feel about your book? 05:20 PM differentcenturies : Do you think it's hard getting romance just right? 05:20 PM Claire LaZebnik : it's one of the hardest things to do, differentcenturies 05:20 PM possiblythere : I'm pretty sure that "technically" a classic has to be 10 years old to be a classic, which is why it'll take a while for classics from this year to BECOME classics. Do you think that's true? 05:21 PM Claire LaZebnik : Watch any romantic comedy movie and the odds are good you'll see the romance being done badly I certainly don't think you'd know in less than ten years whether a book's a classic or not--and you'd probably need another ninety or so to be sure! 05:21 PM Jami Montgomery :

Did you ever think you would have a hard time breaking into the industry with the big "paranormal" phase that's going on right now? I write Historical Fiction, and it feels like there's no market for it right now. 05:21 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Good question Jami! 05:22 PM Claire LaZebnik : Jami, when I sold the first few chapters of Epic Fail, my editor warned me this wasn't what was selling now, that it's all about the paranormal stuff 05:22 PM Jami Montgomery : Thank you Melissa (: 05:22 PM Claire LaZebnik : So every time I submitted a draft to her, I would subtitle it "A book about vampires." EPIC FAIL: A BOOK ABOUT VAMPIRES It made me laugh. I don't know about her My daughter doesn't like the paranormal stuff. She likes the realistic romances so I write what I know SHE'D like 05:23 PM Jami Montgomery : that's what i was thinking. i'm personally tired of all the paranormal. Aside from PC Cast, who's books are EPIC, it just feels like nothing else is big right now. Vampires have all been done. I'm ready for something new. 05:23 PM inkpop_editor : That is good, but now you'll have to change the subtitle to Dystopian Novel 05:23 PM Claire LaZebnik : by the way, I have a dog on my lap and my cat is about to jump on the computer, so if it goes haywire, you'll all know why 05:23 PM inkpop_editor : Since that's what's selling 05:23 PM possiblythere : Do you think that "happily ever after" books are better? I, myself, don't write books with happy endings, because I focus on cruelty in life and the bad, but do you think there's a higher rate of getting readers/published if it has a happy ending? 05:23 PM Claire LaZebnik : ha, that's true! 05:23 PM Jami Montgomery : Lauren Oliver was the first Dystopian I read and I loved it! possiblythere - you and me both! I'm a Nicholas Sparks girl all the way 05:23 PM Claire LaZebnik : possiblythere, I'm a sucker for a happy ending, whether I'm reading, writing, or watching I just like romance and seeing the guy and gal head off into the sunset together 05:24 PM

inkpop_editor : Megthatsme24 wrote on 08.14.2011: Do you think rewriting a novel and fanfiction are similar? How are they and/or how are they not? 05:24 PM Claire LaZebnik : life is sad enough I've never written fanfiction so I don't know all that much about it, but my sense is that when you're rewriting the entire novel, you're trying to create a complete new work, but with fanfiction, you're working off of what's there and people have to read the original to enjoy it. Does that sound right? 05:25 PM possiblythere : I'm pretty sure that's it. 05:25 PM inkpop_editor : Very true! 05:25 PM Jami Montgomery : I like sad endings sometimes. Lauren Oliver's Delirium didn't have a happy ending. I like the truth behind it, that not all endings are happy. 05:25 PM inkpop_editor : Jami Delirium isn't finished 05:25 PM Claire LaZebnik : I can deal with ambiguous endings like GONE WITH THE WIND 05:25 PM inkpop_editor : new novel comes out in spring 05:25 PM Jami Montgomery : Yes, it's a trilogy I know 05:25 PM inkpop_editor : might be happy after all 05:25 PM Jami Montgomery : But the first one ended sadly for her 05:25 PM Claire LaZebnik : Without spoiling anything, I'll say that I thought the Hunger Games trilogy ending was exactly what it needed to be without exactly being happy 05:26 PM Jami Montgomery : I can;t wait to read more! I love Lauren Oliver's work. I devoured both of her books in about three days 05:26 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : It depends on the story, I guess 05:26 PM Jami Montgomery :

Before I Fall was like, .. a happy ending that wasn't exactly happy but it was right 05:26 PM differentcenturies : I think the sadness could make a book more realistic in a way. But I agree with Melissa. 05:26 PM inkpop_editor : So Did you feel a deeper connection with the Pride and Prejudice characters after rewriting the novel? 05:26 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : I meant in regards to the "happy ending" 05:27 PM possiblythere : DO you like half-endings? Like, not a happy ending, but an ending when the Main Character realizes it's going to okay? Not great, but that they'll still live? 05:27 PM Claire LaZebnik : Yes, I think the next time I reread P and P (which probably won't be for a little while, since I feel like I have it memorized at this point), I'll feel a real sense of ownership with those characters! Yes, I like half-endings--so long as there's a possibility for happiness in the future. i don't want devastation 05:27 PM inkpop_editor : tigerlilly14 wrote on 08.13.2011: " Do you think it is hard to make the novel modern?" Really, How do you connect the events from their time that no longer exist to ours? 05:28 PM Claire LaZebnik : I think Austen's characters are so real in their emotions that it's not difficult to update them--people's emotions haven't changed over time. Just their clothing You can't keep the details of the novel the same and be modern. You have to update all those kinds of things. It's the heroine's emotional journey that interests me. And it was fun finding a way for the Darcy character to be fawned on by everyone he meets--except the Elizabeth character 05:29 PM possiblythere : Do you enjoy what I call "abrupt" stories. When the author just BARELY clues you in to what's going on, and ends the story somewhat (SOMEWHAT) abruptly, so it leaves you wondering? in a good way, of course 05:30 PM Claire LaZebnik : Everything depends on the author's skill. Some authors can put you through the wringer but you trust them to lead you where you want to go. And others can make you miserable without any redemption 05:30 PM inkpop_editor : Yes I thought you made an excellent character choice making him the son of a movie star just made sense 05:30 PM Claire LaZebnik : Thanks! That was my breakthrough: realizing that Hollywood Royalty is the closest thing we have to someone highborn in Austen's day 05:31 PM Jami Montgomery :

very true 05:31 PM Claire LaZebnik : and I live on the West Side of LA so I know what I'm talking about! 05:31 PM possiblythere : What's your favourite book genre? 05:31 PM inkpop_editor : TnBabyGirl wrote on 08.11.2011: Which of the Austen characters did you find to be the most fun to rewrite? 05:31 PM Claire LaZebnik : possiblythere: I'd say fantasy, actually. I love Robin Hobb's books and many others as far as the Austen characters go, I'd say Elise was the most fun. Elizabeth Bennet is so great and smart and witty--I wanted to create someone just as bright and fun to spend time with you have to enjoy spending time with your characters--you spend a LOT of time with them 05:32 PM inkpop_editor : How many revisions of the manuscript did you go through before you turned it into your editor? 05:33 PM possiblythere : What do YOU think makes a dystopian? I've seen so many different definitions and would like to know others. 05:33 PM Claire LaZebnik : I revised this book a LOT. It was my first YA novel, so I needed to learn how to write for that readership. Up until now, I've been writing for adults. There's a lot of overlap, of course, but there are some differences 05:33 PM Jami Montgomery : Do you think historical fantasy is a good genre? Something set in the 1800s but a different world? 05:34 PM Claire LaZebnik : Yes, historical fantasy is fantastic--I say that because I am right now reading Susanna Clarke's THE LADIES OF GRACE ADIEU and it's the best thing I've read in ages! she's got an Austen vibe, but has magic and fantasy in her stories 05:34 PM differentcenturies : Do you think you'll keep writing realstic novels? 05:34 PM Jami Montgomery : Great, thanks (: That's my specialty 05:35 PM Claire LaZebnik : That's such a good question. I think I'll stick to realism. What's funny is that when I was younger, I was desperate to write fantasy--in fact, the very first full-length novel I ever wrote was fantasy. But it's stuck in a drawer somewhere I like to pull from real life, I guess. There's so much rich material in families and friendships 05:35 PM Jami Montgomery : Fantasy is amazing. Life can be whatever you want it to be in fantasy.

05:35 PM Claire LaZebnik : I'd like to write historical novels, but they require a lot of research and with four kids, I just don't have the time to be that meticulous--maybe when they're all grown up That's true, Jami I think that's why I like to read fantasy it's truly an escape 05:36 PM Jami Montgomery : Historical does involve a lot of research, I agree, but a lot of realistic novels do too. I wrote a book based in NYC and had to do all kinds of research on central park, streets, ect. 05:36 PM Claire LaZebnik : it's also why I admire Suzanne Collins so much--her fantasy has a realism to it 05:36 PM inkpop_editor : possiblythere had a good question: What do YOU think makes a dystopian? I've seen so many different definitions and would like to know others. 05:37 PM Amber Magic : What do you think was the hardest part about translating Pride and Prejudice into a modern day novel? 05:37 PM possiblythere : I think most of us start in fantasy- it's such a big, huge genre, and unlike other genres, there's no STRICT rules to what you have to do- you invent your own creatures, and unlike realistic fiction, you can make the MC's behavior a little off, and it won't be WRONG. Odd, yes, but not wrong. 05:37 PM Claire LaZebnik : My understanding is that it's a futuristic world that's deeply flawed. But maybe that's not the exact definition? I wonder why kids today are so fascinated by dystopian worlds 05:38 PM inkpop_editor : It's pretty close 05:38 PM Claire LaZebnik : I read 1984 as a kid and still haven't recovered! 05:39 PM inkpop_editor : we could explain more, but since it isn't Claire's area, we'll probably have to save it for a live chat with one of our dystopian authors we have a few 05:39 PM possiblythere :

05:39 PM Claire LaZebnik : yeah, I'm more a romantic reality kind of writer . . . 05:39 PM Rosabeth :

Oh, wow... my first live chat! Hi, Claire! 05:39 PM inkpop_editor : You guys should all get psyched for Kiera Cass's dystopian The Selection 05:39 PM Claire LaZebnik : Hi! 05:39 PM possiblythere : I'll do that! 05:40 PM inkpop_editor : beautifully anonymous wrote on 08.11.2011 "Besides getting inspiration from Pride and the Prejudice, what were other things that inspired "Epic Fail"? 05:40 PM possiblythere : Um..Why do you think people are drawn to happy endings, even if the majority (not all) are unrealistic? 05:40 PM Claire LaZebnik : Well, as I mentioned before, CLUELESS . . . and then my kids go to a school that has some similarities to Coral Tree Prep. So it was fun to get some (gentle) digs at that world in. 05:40 PM Rosabeth : I don't know if anyone asked you this... but was it difficult to translate events from that time period to modern times and events? 05:41 PM Claire LaZebnik : I know that I like a happy ending because the real world seems like a fairly sad place with very few guarantees of happiness--so when I read a book, I like to escape that sadness for a little while. 05:41 PM Rosabeth : And what's Coral Tree Prep? 05:41 PM Claire LaZebnik : Coral Tree Prep is the high school that the kids attend in EPIC FAIL 05:41 PM differentcenturies : Have you ever had to redo certain scenes? 05:41 PM Claire LaZebnik : And to answer your other question, once I abandoned the idea that I had to stick to every plot point in Austen, it really wasn't hard to make the book modern I redo EVERY scene, differentcenturies! I rewrite more than I write 05:42 PM possiblythere : But then a happy ending only sets you up for disappointment, because it's not that way in real life, letting you down. Or is that just me? 05:42 PM

Rosabeth : Where there any events that you had to change to fit this time? 05:42 PM Claire LaZebnik : Seriously, the first draft is only ten percent of the work 05:42 PM Jami Montgomery : I agree. I'm on the third draft of Knight's End and still not done! 05:42 PM inkpop_editor : It's true guys. The biggest part of writing is revising 05:42 PM Claire LaZebnik : Rosabeth, the biggest change is that things that were shocking in Austen's day just aren't shocking now, but I didn't want to push things too far, so I had to finesse the scandal part of the book 05:43 PM Rosabeth : Wow... that leaves 90%... that sounds impossible! What's your inspiration to get through it all? I HATE rewriting... 05:43 PM differentcenturies : I think third drafts are where I get writers block the most. 05:43 PM Rosabeth : I'm in the middle of my first serious book... D: 05:43 PM Claire LaZebnik : I kind of like rewriting. See, I write in little spurts. Like I said, I have four kids (and three pets) and I rarely get a big chunk of time to work. I have to run back and forth to my computer to get anything done. That's easier for rewriting than for the first draft where you have to remember what you were thinking! 05:43 PM Jami Montgomery : I am lucky. I have a great inkie helping me edit. She has made my book amazing 05:44 PM Rosabeth : Oh, okay. Thanks. How lon have you been working on this particular book? 05:44 PM inkpop_editor : Thumbs up to writing community support! Alright inkies, 15 minutes left in the chat! 05:44 PM Rosabeth : *long 05:44 PM Claire LaZebnik : Epic Fail? I can't even remember how long! I wrote the first few chapters ages ago! 05:45 PM Jami Montgomery : Did you ever feel like giving up on the project in favor of something different? 05:45 PM possiblythere :

Does writing a novel involve a lot of dedication? I know *I* had a WIP novel up on here, but took it down. I suppose it might be an Inkpop thing, because people are demanding for you to update, while when you're writing like you did, you only present it once you're ready to show it. What do you think? 05:45 PM Claire LaZebnik : And i wrote them on a whim. I was already a published author (non fiction and adult fiction) and wanted to try my hand at a YA novel. So I sat down and wrote the first few chapters when I had some free time 05:45 PM Rosabeth : Were you working on it consistently? Or did you go back to it in between other things? 05:45 PM deka : Hey, my first live chat, yay! Hi!! So my question is how do you keep your romantic book from being overly cheesy? 05:45 PM Claire LaZebnik : Jami, I always want to move onto the next project. The one you haven't started is always more exciting than the one you're working on! 05:45 PM Jami Montgomery : possiblythere -- all kinds of dedication, LOL. 05:46 PM possiblythere : heehee 05:46 PM Claire LaZebnik : Rosabeth, I've written four books over the last two years--two adult novels and two YA ones. So I had to go back and forth 05:46 PM Rosabeth : Oh, wow. Can you make a living just by being an author or do you need to hold other jobs? 05:46 PM Claire LaZebnik : deka, thanks for joining us. I think the key to keeping romance from being too cheesy is remembering that part of real life romance--a big part--is making each other laugh I'm very lucky--my husband supports the family so I get to write just for fun 05:47 PM Jami Montgomery : that is lucky! 05:47 PM Claire LaZebnik : I know it's a luxury and, believe me, I'm grateful for it 05:47 PM deka : So how do you motivate yourself to finish what you've started? Oh wow, hahahaha, what if the writer is not funny? 05:47 PM Rosabeth : Oh, okay.Would it be enough if you had to support it? 05:47 PM Claire LaZebnik :

Well, it helps to have a contract in place--once you've promised you'll get something done, you just have to do it, right? deka, if the writer's not funny, then I guess he or she just has to be very realistic when it comes to the romance, because you're right--it can turn cheesy very quickly! 05:48 PM deka : True. So a neat idea is to make a contract with myself. Thanks! 05:48 PM Claire LaZebnik : that's a cool idea-- a contract with yourself! 05:48 PM Rosabeth : deka-- haha. I might have to do that. 05:48 PM Claire LaZebnik : I'm ambitious enough to want to finish books once I start them 05:48 PM Jami Montgomery : I give myself a deadline for each book 05:48 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Talking to you makes me even more excited to read your novel. I¶m looking forward to seeing how you incorporate other P and P characters. I hope you added in Wickham! And possibly Lydia. 05:48 PM possiblythere : Does writing a novel involve a lot of dedication? I know *I* had a WIP novel up on here, but took it down. I suppose it might be an Inkpop thing, because people are demanding for you to update, while when you're writing like you did, you only present it once you're ready to show it. What do you think? 05:48 PM Claire LaZebnik : books are really like climbing hills: at first it feels like you'll never get through it, but somewhere around halfway, you start to see the end and it goes more quickly 05:49 PM Jami Montgomery : agreed 05:49 PM Claire LaZebnik : can't have P and P without Wickham and Lydia! (Webster and Layla in my version) 05:49 PM inkpop_editor : You couldn't write an adaption of P and P without wickham and lydia! 05:49 PM Rosabeth : When does this come out? Or has it? 05:49 PM possiblythere : I like how the names are similar. 05:49 PM inkpop_editor :

It's in bookstores now I read it in a night it's that good 05:49 PM Jami Montgomery : I want a copy 05:49 PM Rosabeth : Good thing I just bought P and P so I can compare it 05:50 PM Claire LaZebnik : possiblythere, I don't show my manuscripts to anyone but my husband and editor until they're basically ready to be published. Too many notes from too many people can be confusing thanks inkpop.editor! 05:50 PM Rosabeth : Did you get an agent first? 05:50 PM inkpop_editor : she did said above 05:50 PM Jami Montgomery : I like the feedback I get from other Inkies. While I don't do everything they suggest, they have been very helpful 05:50 PM Rosabeth : Oh, okay, thanks. 05:50 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Wickham and Lydia are musts, I agree. I¶m excited to find out how that goes down in a modern world« 05:50 PM deka : I agree. Inkpop community is pretty helpful! 05:51 PM Jami Montgomery : They've done wonders for Knight's End 05:51 PM Claire LaZebnik : oh, good. It may be my personality--I'm very quick to think something's bad so I can't open myself up to criticism too early on or I'd never finish anything! 05:51 PM inkpop_editor : Alright guys, almost time to wrap this up 05:51 PM Rosabeth : How do you cure writer's black? 05:51 PM Carmen :

How do you feel to have your book published? 05:51 PM possiblythere : Darn it! They don't have Epic Fail in my local library. They gave some of your other works, though. 05:51 PM Jami Montgomery : I'm pretty good at taking criticism, as long as you know what you are talking about. If you are telling me something I know isn't right, I question it. 05:52 PM Claire LaZebnik : Rosabeth, I push through by telling myself, "Get ANYTHING down on paper--it' doesn't have to be good." Once you remove the pressure of having to do a good job, you keep moving forward. And you can always go back and edit 05:52 PM differentcenturies : Did you ever listen to music while writing? 05:52 PM Claire LaZebnik : Carmen, it's a great feeling to be published! 05:52 PM Rosabeth : Is it weird getting praise for them? And have you ever signed books for fans? 05:52 PM Claire LaZebnik : differentcenturies, I do sometimes listen to music. You know, I created an iTunes playlist for my main character Elise Benton, if you want to see the kinds of music she and I both like! 05:52 PM Rosabeth : How much do you have written usually before going back and editing? 05:53 PM Claire LaZebnik : I always sign books for fans! If I don't see them in person, I'll send bookplates to whoever asks me (and gives me a mailing address) 05:53 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Good question Rosabeth! 05:53 PM deka : What kind of music do you listen to in order not to get distracted? 05:53 PM Rosabeth : How do people ask you? Email? 05:53 PM deka : I'm always carried away with the lyrics 05:53 PM Claire LaZebnik : I like to keep moving forward, so on any given day that I have some energy, I'll keep writing the rough draft. But if I'm feeling like my energy's flagging, I'll spend that day rewriting--it's easier to do when you're not feeling up to much 05:54 PM

inkpop_editor : Alright. Thank you everyone for attending. Claire, is there any place that the inkies can learn more about your books (website, facebook, twitter, etc? 05:54 PM Claire LaZebnik : I have a facebook page--please come join us on it claire lazebnik writes 05:54 PM Jami Montgomery : Deka -- if you listen to instrumentals, like a movie soundtrack, it isn't as distracting. I listen to the Avatar soundtrack 05:54 PM Melissa (fairytaledreams) : Thanks again for being with us Claire! 05:54 PM Rosabeth : bye Claire!!! 05:54 PM Claire LaZebnik : oh, that was weird--I wrote that before you asked, inkpopeditor 05:54 PM deka : Thanks for the chat! 05:54 PM Jami Montgomery : bye Claire 05:54 PM differentcenturies : Bye Claire! 05:54 PM Claire LaZebnik : Thanks for coming, everyone! And check out my FB author page! 05:54 PM possiblythere : bye! 05:54 PM Jami Montgomery : Thanks for the helpful information! 05:54 PM Carmen : Bye 05:54 PM inkpop_editor : Good job! Thank you Claire. 05:54 PM possiblythere : thank you! 05:54 PM Claire LaZebnik : my pleasure, truly

thank you! 05:54 PM Rosabeth : I'll check it out now!!! 05:55 PM Claire LaZebnik : great! I do book giveaways periodically and we have fun . . . it's a real community

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