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Watch > Episode > Maggie Stiefvater - Bad Teen to Badass Author

Maggie Stiefvater - Bad Teen to Badass Author


In this London Real episode, New York Times Bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater stops by to talk about why she thinks publishers are an appropriate gateway for budding authors, her insane work ethic and how it helped sell two million books in her “Shiver” series, why she loves the danger of rally car racing, and how she thinks the current school system can potentially stifle creative types like herself.

Maggie Stiefvater was raised in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, surrounded by nature and a rich tapestry of folk traditions. Growing up in a family of artists and musicians, she was immersed in a creative environment that fueled her own artistic pursuits. Stiefvater’s early passion for storytelling and music laid the foundation for her future career as a writer.

Stiefvater made her literary debut with “Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception” in 2008, introducing readers to her gift for blending the magical and the ordinary. However, it was with the “Shiver” series, starting with “Shiver” in 2009, that she garnered widespread acclaim. The series, centred around werewolves and a poignant love story, resonated with readers worldwide. Stiefvater’s ability to infuse supernatural elements with relatable human emotions set her apart in the young adult fiction genre.

One of Maggie Stiefvater’s most celebrated works is “The Raven Cycle,” a four-book series that commenced with “The Raven Boys” in 2012. The series weaves a rich tapestry of magic, mythology, and complex characters, following a group of students on a quest to find the mythical Welsh king, Glendower. Stiefvater’s intricate world-building and lyrical prose captivated readers, earning her critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

A hallmark of Stiefvater’s writing is her ability to craft complex, multidimensional characters. Whether exploring the dynamics of a werewolf romance or unravelling the mysteries of an otherworldly quest, her characters undergo profound growth and transformation. Stiefvater’s nuanced exploration of identity, love, and the consequences of supernatural abilities adds depth to her narratives, resonating with readers across age groups.

In addition to her literary pursuits, Maggie Stiefvater is a musician, contributing to the atmospheric experience of her novels. Her synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon where senses intertwine, allows her to perceive music in colour. This unique perspective infuses her writing with a vivid, sensory quality, creating a distinctive reading experience.

Maggie Stiefvater’s musical talents extend beyond personal enjoyment. She has composed and performed original music, often collaborating with other artists. The synthesis of her literary and musical endeavours adds a layer of richness to her creative output.

While enjoying literary success, Maggie Stiefvater has been open about the challenges she faces as a writer. She has spoken candidly about the pressures of meeting reader expectations, grappling with creative self-doubt, and navigating the evolving landscape of the publishing industry. Stiefvater’s willingness to share her experiences humanises the creative process, offering aspiring writers insight into the complexities of the author’s journey.

Maggie Stiefvater’s contributions to young adult literature go beyond crafting captivating stories. Her ability to seamlessly blend fantasy and reality, explore the depths of human emotion, and create immersive worlds has left an indelible mark on the literary landscape. As a storyteller who invites readers to explore the magical and mysterious, Stiefvater continues to enchant audiences with her literary magic and remains a celebrated figure in the realm of young adult fiction.


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