The opportunity to meet one’s favourite authors should never be passed up, not only for the networking opportunities but also because they have so much to impart. I can learn more from them about the craft of writing as well how to actually get published.
Madeline Miller is a high school teacher specialising in Greek and Latin, as well as directing Shakespeare plays. The Song of Achilles is the result of ten years spent working on the same manuscript, correcting draft after draft. She is kind and sweet, hugs like she means it and is truly a book lover in the truest and best sense of the word. (She highly recommends Watership Down, by the way).She answered our questions (as posed by Lood and interrupted by me) with a simple joy and readiness. There is a lovely warmth about her, and how beautiful it is to see someone so dedicated to the art of teaching. She also heads up the Gay-Straight Alliance at her school, which is wonderful. She was surprised to hear about the article mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly (as discussed here) about YA authors being told to straighten out gay characters. Thankfully, no one told her that Achilles and Patroclus couldn’t be in love.
It really isn’t the best picture of me ever (I look like an orphan) but how lovely Madeline is! And she signed my copy as well with a proper message, not the usual ‘Dear X here’s my signature’. I wish her well on her travels with her stunning book, and I look forward to more of her work in the future. You can follow her on Twitter and at her website.