Books & Books in Coral Gables hosted a reading and book signing event for Miami author Seven N Blue on Saturday, Nov. 1, and despite the chilly evening drew a crowd that filled all the seats.
Seven N Blue’s pen name is as remarkable as her debut novel, The Lunatics, which is an urban adventure tale that she said began as a young adult novel but grew to have broader appeal. Her voice, both in the writing sense and in the speaking sense, is compelling and alluring and kept her audience mesmerized for nearly an hour as she read aloud the first chapter of her book.
The book’s protagonist, 16-year-old Myla Blackbird, has what seems at first to be a chance encounter with an enigmatic stranger who seems able to read her mind, a charismatic man who patiently ignores her sassy attempts to rebuff and dismiss him and who finally convinces her that her life is about to undergo a radical change.
In a genre previously dominated by vampires and other pop supernatural icons, the author has crafted something different and original set in a borderland somewhere between the realms of sanity and madness. Her protagonist’s quest plays out across the cityscape of San Francisco,
which is appropriate since the author graduated from San Francisco State with a BA in creative writing.
After her reading, someone in the audience asked her what her creative process is.
“Typically what happens is that I get a title, the name of a book, first,” Seven N Blue said. “I got the name, The Lunatics, and from there the whole cast of characters just kind of materialized. I know some writers get inspired by dreams, and sometimes that happens for me, but mostly I get really inspired by music.”
The author said that with this particular project, which took her seven months to write, a major life event was what got her started.
“It was after the birth of my son,” she said. “For some reason it inspired me greatly. Before that I had written short stories and one full-length novel, but after having my son all of these characters started coming into my head. I felt almost invincible.”
When asked what advice she would give to aspiring writers, she thought a moment before replying.
“Writing is a really lonely process; it’s just you and your computer, but it’s so rewarding,” she said. “You just have to spend two or three hours every day writing, just go, go, go, don’t stop until you get to 60,000 words.”
Seven N Blue said The Lunatics is the first in a planned series of books. Signed copies are available at Books & Books. Information about her and her novel can be found at www.sevennblue.com.