Local author, ex-OWH columnist humbled, busy and blessed - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:43 pm
Local author, ex-OWH columnist humbled, busy and blessed

What: Rainbow Rowell will read from her new young adult book, “Fangirl,” answer questions and sign copies of her books.

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: The Bookworm in Countryside Village, 87th and Pacific Streets

Next month: Rowell will join young adult writers Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Millard Library, 13214 Westwood Lane.

Life is sweet these days for Rainbow Rowell.

The former World-Herald columnist is enjoying the release of her third book, “Fangirl,” after the modest success of “Attachments” and critically well-received “Eleanor & Park,” now in its 15th printing.

It looks like “Fangirl” has the promise of being another success. Rowell's publisher, St. Martin's Press, took out a two-page ad in The New York Times Book Review last Sunday. Early online reviews have been favorable.

Rowell laughs when the ad comes up during a recent telephone conversation. It was a shock seeing her face that big, she said.

But she's also humbled that her publisher has that much faith in her book and feels blessed.

“Fangirl” is a coming-of-age story about a college freshman, Cath, who lives more in the world of a Harry Potter-type character, Simon Snow, than she does her real life. Cath is such a big fan that she spends time she should apply to school and real relationships writing her own story about Simon and exchanging emails with fellow fans.

During the years Rowell worked on “Attachments,” there was no reason to believe she would be a successful author, she said. “I didn't feel anything was guaranteed.”

“Landline,” her fourth book which comes out in spring 2014, is like “Attachments,” a book for adult readers. “Eleanor & Park” and “Fangirl” are for young adults readers. “I like writing about teenagers,” she said. “I find them fun. I understand them.”

She hears from both readers and other young adult writers on social media and her website.

“The whole YA community is so fun,” she said. “Teens are really passionate. I get tweets in all caps at 2 (a.m.) about how they didn't like 'Eleanor & Park's' ending or something. They get so emotional.”

She said she responds to her readers and other writers, although maybe not at 2 a.m.

She doesn't have a lot of downtime. She has been traveling to promote her books and to address young people at schools and libraries. She also was in Boston recently to receive the Boston Globe's Horn Book Award, given for excellence in children's literature, for “Eleanor & Park.”

Rowell has discovered she is a fast writer, something she didn't know until after “Attachments,” which took her five years to complete. When “Landline” is released next spring, she will have put out three books in about 18 months — a prolific pace for an author, she said.

She has become a full-time novelist because it got too hectic trying to hold down a job while writing, traveling and being a mom to two school-age boys. She said she attempts to stick with a schedule of writing about four hours a day. It gets confusing though when she is traveling to promote one book, editing the next one and writing a third.

She will travel again to promote “Fangirl,” which officially launches today with an event at The Bookworm. Already on her schedule are trips to Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. She usually makes trips lasting two or three days instead of long book tours lasting weeks, so she's not losing too much time at home. “It doesn't disrupt the family too much.”

Her husband is a great support, she said. “He makes it possible for me to do all this.”

She really enjoys writing, she said.

“It's such an ideal job, to write fiction. That there are people out there who want to read it is so rewarding.”

Book review: Rainbow Rowell's latest just plain fun to read

Contact the writer: Carol Bicak

carol.bicak@owh.com    |   402-444-1067

Carol writes about community news, local profiles, the arts and books. She also covers the zoo.

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