Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Maggie Stiefvater goes Scholastic!

You have no idea how long I have been waiting to write this post or how proud I am to write it.

This post is nothing to do with art and yet it is everything to do with art and how to be both creative and successful.

It's starts with a formal announcement yesterday. This was a very momentous event in the life of Maggie Stiefvater, my close friend and cyber chum who I talk to every day.

Maggie Stiefvater

I've written a number of times about Maggie on this blog (see below for references). That's because she's good - very good.

What I've written about are Maggie's approach to creating her art, doing business and organising her life so she has time to do everything she has to do AND everything she wants to do.

That approach runs through everything she does - whether it's her art or her writing which is her first love.

For anybody who knows and likes Maggie - read on.

For anybody who wants to achieve their greatest dream - read on.

For anybody who just wants to get more out of life - read on.

The Big Deal

Yesterday, Publisher's Weekly featured an announcement - Scholastic gets Stiefvater.
Scholastic Gets Stiefvater

Abby Ranger and David Levithan at Scholastic prevailed in a multiple-round auction for world rights to Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver in a two-book deal with Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown. This YA novel describes the first love between a 16-year-old girl and a mysterious boy who spends his winters as a wolf and is fighting to stay human as the temperature drops. The 26-year-old Stiefvater has a YA novel, Lament, just out from Flux, with a sequel to follow. Shiver will be published in fall 2009.
Publishers Weekly 15th September 2008

Scholastic is a global company and the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. In 2007 it published or distributed approximately 400 million children's books in the United States. Scholastic are also the people who publish JK Rowling.

This is A VERY BIG DEAL as in lots of zeros plus an extremely enthusiastic team at Scholastic who are all very pleased to have Maggie on board. Plus Shiver, the book which got her the contract, is getting rave reviews from everybody who reads it.

In August 2007, I announced that Maggie had got her first book deal with Flux for her first novel
Well somebody had to take over from JK Rowling - and I'm very pleased to announce that Maggie Stiefvater (website/blog) is now the proud owner of a contractual commitment to publish her first novel next Autumn/Fall 2008.
19th August 2007: Who's made a mark this week?
Like the Harry Potter series, Maggie's novels also deal with supernatural events in a real-world setting. However her books are targeted at a slightly older age group (14-18 years old) and follow in the romantic footsteps of the hugely popular Twilight saga.

Maggie now has FOUR novels under contract and, with this new contract, she has taken the decision to take the plunge and become a full time professional author. It may mean the end of Greywaren Art as a purely art blog but I guarantee your teenagers will be very happy...........

So how does Maggie do it?

Maggie is a lesson in how to achieve what you want to do in life.

Maggie achieves her goals through developing and maintaining very good habits which foster both creativity and output within the context of also being a young wife and mother and owner of numerous animals. She also writes extremely well! This is what I said about her back on 5th August 2007 when she got her first book deal.
...and finally
Congratulations to Maggie Stiefvater, fellow Fine Line Artist, on achieving one of her other goals in life. Maggie has been featured on this blog from time to time (like here, here here and here) in relation to her approach to art and the business of being an artist. However, we at Fine Line Artists have known for a very long time that when Maggie is not producing art she is writing her novels. She's as business-like about her novels as she is about her art (dedicated time/writing targets/working to deadlines/etc).

As of this week she is now in the happy position of entertaining a very serious and detailed offer to publish her first novel from a very reputable publisher and, at the same time, choosing an awesome agent to negotiate the details on her behalf. She's got
a projected publication date of Fall 2008 and I'm privy to a bit more information than what she has published on her blog (otherwise known as the juicy details) - BUT all I can say at the moment is that it's VERY EXCITING (and that's very much an understatement!).

...and I'd just like to remind her that she got her very first on-line writing award from me! This is what I said when awarding her the Amusing Musings Trophy as part of the Making A Mark Awards for 2006
Maggie Stiefvater has had a meteoric rise this year in terms of the development of her art and art business - most of which has been very under-stated in her blog Greywaren Art. I’ve written about her a lot partly because she's a friend but mostly because she currently confounds a lot of the doom and gloom merchants and some of the conventional wisdom about art, what to sell and how to sell. However I’ve maybe not highlighted her writing on her blog enough. She mostly provides daily blog posts and almost without fail demonstrates that the fresh eye which she brings to portraiture also applies to her take on the world as well. She has a very unique voice – in both words and image
Before she got the latest book contract, Maggie was a full time professional artist with a very faithful following.

What follows are references to my posts about Maggie and references in my weekly blog post to what Maggie had been posting on her blog and how she shared her approach to making art.

Maggie Stiefvater - The Greatest Hits list
Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren) swears she got strep throat from reading my blog! Anyway, she is also 'below par' and has only been able to post the first of a series of posts she planned for this week on working from photos -
16th March 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Maggie Siefvater
- (Greywaren) Original Works for Exhibitions (a contribution to the debate about the changes to the UKCPS competition rules)
9th March 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Author and artist Maggie "I've just finished the first draft of my third book" Stiefvater (Greywaren) has been having a series of blog posts about Marketing this week. She's responding to queries on her blog today (Sunday). Check out:
2nd March 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Maggie Stiefvater
in Virginia has been doing some very interesting posts about style. This is Maggie on Style Part 1, and Part 2 and Part 3.
10th February 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Last week Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art) asked people questions about reading art books and then gave us a resume of the responses in Thoughts on Book-buying. (For those also following Maggie's career as an author - she landed the agent she wanted this week!)
3rd February 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art) did a nice piece - Planning & painting - about her process for painting streetscapes in acrylic - with lots of pictures of different stages. While all the time reminding us, naturally, of how much we can speed up the processes used if we produce a new painting every day.
14th October 2007: Who's made a mark this week?

Maggie Stiefvater is doing a double act with Casey (watch for them commenting on each other's blogs) and also offers some very good advice on her blog on the same topic (art fairs) in "Sit Pretty".
How do you become a best-selling artist? How can you find more time for your art? Bottom line - what are the "secrets of success" to juggling all the various demands and responsibilities that threaten to engulf you so that you can really 'make it' as an artist?

....In summary, Maggie's "secret" guidelines are:
  • if you want something you make the time
  • set goals - at the beginning of each year and each day
  • making your goals specific makes them easier to accomplish
  • watch how you spend your time
  • focus on your goals
  • reward yourself
  • schedule your week
  • schedule time off
  • choose your battles wisely
  • if your spouse is not supportive get another one!
Maggie Stiefvater: how does she do it? March 07, 2007
Guess Who
ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" (coloured pencil on film)
Copyright and all rights reserved: Maggie Stiefvater
  • Her cat Moose, as captured and related by Maggie in her blog Greywaren Art, also won Best Animal in an Illustrated Blog Award and the award was instantly renamed "The Moose" - Blogging Art in 2006 - The Making A Mark Awards (I'm getting good at spotting people who should win prizes! :D ) Those of you who own a Moose original should hang on to them - they could become very valuable!
  • Maggie Stiefvater makes her mark (December 2007) is all about her success in the equine art field.
copyright Maggie Stiefvater - all rights reserved
  • Art Calendar and "a painting a day" is about an article in the October 2006 edition of Art calendar which both Maggie and I contributed to.
  • I wrote From ACEOs to powerseller in September 2006 when it was quite clear to me that Maggie was a bit of a phenomenon. It's a recap of her first year of selling art and first six months of being a full time artist.
  • This is my very first interview with Maggie on this blog - Maggie Stiefvater - two of everything in which she summarises her approach to making art and making time for it.
I've come to know Maggie very well and admire her hugely. She has done what a lot of people only dream about doing – handed in her notice at the day job, started a career as a full-time artist and become a collected artist. However, Maggie did all this while producing and raising two babies under the age of two.
Maggie Stiefvater - two of everything
One of the reasons I really like Maggie is that she and I both share a strong commitment to sharing information and promoting learning. It comes as no surprise that Maggie is now actively involved in inspiring a new generation of writers and helping them learn from her mistakes. She's recently begun visiting Virginian schools and libraries with an eye towards giving teens the tools they need to begin writing books.
I did so many things wrong when I submitted manuscripts as a teen, I want to help motivated teens from making the same mistakes.
Maggie Stiefvater
Books by Maggie Stiefvater

You can read about Maggie's new journey as an urban fantasy novelist on her blog Words on Words which is about writing, folklore, and the creative life. It's featured in my 'regular reads' blogroll.
Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore
Book Cover of Lament
courtesy of Flux
The books are:
This is how Maggie's agent Laura Rennart describes Shiver
A "can't put me down," bittersweet love story, SHIVER does for werewolves what Stephanie Meyer's TWILIGHT does for vampires. In cold northern Minnesota, Grace is inexplicably drawn to a wolf who watches her from the edge of the woods with golden eyes. As Grace and Sam meet for the first time with him in human form, the attraction between them is powerful and near irresistible. Yet, there are forces arrayed against them, not the least of which is the winter itself. All of the wolves eventually lose themselves to winter, never returning to human form. This year, Sam is slipping, slowly succumbing to the cold -- it's his last year as a human and both he and Grace know it. But Grace doesn't want to lose him forever, and in a race against the dropping temperature, she must figure out what she's willing to risk for the chance to be together.
Does it give you goosebumps too?

If you have a young adult nearby, impress them in months to come by telling them that you heard about Maggie Stiefvater and her books ages ago!

Maggie's next plan is to record an album of her music.............



  1. Wow! Katherine, thank you so much for this post. I feel very . . . celebrity!

    And yes, I still remember the emails we exchanged way back when I was selling LAMENT. You said "the world needs a new J. K." or something like that and I was all caution: "now, now, Katherine, 99% of authors don't get those sorts of deals . . ."

    And you proved me wrong, because here I am with Scholastic and with one of those sorts of deals! I think you do have some sort of magic eye for picking newcomers!

  2. I do seem to recall I did predict a few things that came to pass! ;)

    However I don't know that I picked you so much as I couldn't miss what you were getting up to - quality speaks you know! I just decided that it was worth sharing your insight and approach with others who're trying to be successful too.

    I don't find it at all surprising to me that all the successful people who are good at writing tell their story and explain their approach using the same basic messages - but each tells their story in a way which is unique to them.

    That's what makes people like you successful... You're not a copy, you're an original!

  3. I love success stories and this is one based on logic, commonsense and hard work.

    Its lovely to see someone do so well in a number of areas and to say 'I knew them when...' when they reach the pinnacle.

  4. I know - it gives you a nice warm feeling!

  5. Congratulations Maggie, Katherine what a lovely tribute towards your good friend.

  6. Thanks Cindy - I maybe went a bit OTT yesterday - but I guess it's by way of a swan song - or it would be if I'd ever managed to stay mute on the topic of Maggie before! ;)

    I don't think I'll ever get to write about Maggie and her approach to being an artist ever again.........

    Mind you I do think she could do a great illustrated novel! :)


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