Event Recap: Kristen-Paige Madonia and Hilary Weisman Graham

This past Wednesday, I was invited to a fun event at the Blue Bunny! Authors, Kristen-Paige Madonia and Hilary Weisman Graham were going to be there to read passages of their new books, and do a Q&A.

What was super fun was the cardboard Pea-Pod. Whoever wanted to could take photographs in it. So of course that means I got a photo of Kristen-Paige and Hilary in it, as well as getting Margie and me behind it too!

As always, having the authors read out sections of their works gives that added dimension that really brings the book to life sometimes. But what I loved best were some of the question and answers. So much insight into their personal writing process, getting a book published, and even what it’s like on the author’s end waiting to see what their book will look like! As someone who learned a bit of cover design in class, it was interesting to see how the turn around might be like for authors.

Here are just a couple of the Q&A questions that stuck with me the most:

Q: When you use the word[s] Hostess cupcake, do you have to get permission, legally, for that?

H: I had no idea when I was using it — I mean, I quote John Lennon in the book, and I mention some product and some stores and restaurants,  I mentioned Waffle House. They’re fine with all of it. I don’t know what the publisher does. Maybe you know what the publisher does.

One thing they made change was the girls have to stop at [a hotel]. There’s a hotel in Nashville called the Gaylord Hotel. I thought it was funny that the girls would make fun of the name, and stay there. And I sort of trash the hotel. I’ve never been there. My mother stayed there, and I know other’s who stayed there; my editor stayed there. I looked at it extensively, thanks to, y’know, the internet, [where] you can have video of the place. And I wrote about it, and she said, “Oh you sort of trashed the hotel, so why don’t you change the name?” So I changed it to the Gayweather, which is just not as funny as the word Gaylord.

Q: I just have a question about the outside of the books, about the artwork. How does that work? How involved you get to be in what’s on there? Or not …

K-P: We are not involved at all. Not really, especially as new authors. I mean, if I were, John Irving and said “I don’t want this” maybe, he might listen to you.

H: They would.

K-P: They would. But me, not so much. My publishing house was very lovely. They said– Well, they had the polite conversation “what do you think or envision”. And I personally did not want an actual person on the cover, that was the only thing I said. Because I felt like Lemon would look like a different person to you or to you, and I didn’t want to give the reader an image. And that was all I said. So, for months, all they told me was that they were working on something “outside of the box”. And that’s all they would say, and I had no idea what that meant.

And then for me, I didn’t even know it was coming. It just appeared in my inbox one day. And, it was this, essentially, exactly this. It didn’t change much after this. Everyone was really happy. The book opens in a tattoo parlor, and the idea of marking each other and imprints, in the title Fingerprints of You, is carried throughout the novel. And they loved that, and they got stuck on that.

So you have an art director. And my art director had this vision, and sketched it. [She] didn’t trust herself to do the final artwork, so they brought in a tattoo artist from San Diego. So he did the final artwork, which I thought was really cool.


Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publication date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Add on: Goodreads

Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with.

On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.

Kristen-Paige Madonia’s debut novel, Fingerprints of You, will be published August 2012 by Simon & Schuster and recent fiction can be found in Upstreet, New Orleans Review, American Fiction: Best Previously Unpublished Stories by Emerging Writers, and Sycamore Review. She was awarded a 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship and has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony. She currently lives in Charlottesville, VA where she is at work on her second novel.

Find Kristen-Paige Madonia:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository


Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publication date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Add on: Goodreads

1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

Hilary Weisman Graham is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and novelist. She lives in rural New Hampshire with her husband and son, roughly thirty minutes away from the nearest grocery store.

Find Hilary Weisman Graham:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Author: Kim

Everything can be made better with a good book or some relaxing knits. 😀 Find me on IG @kimberlyh12 or on Twitter @enervated.

Leave a Reply