Bestselling author speaks at library

Bestselling author speaks at library

By Carrie Knific

As a young girl, Elizabeth Kostova was introduced to the legend of Dracula by her father, although it wasn’t until years later that she realized he had gathered most of his tales from the 1931 movie.

Those experiences of her youth were enough to inspire her to write her bestselling novel, “The Historian,” which she discussed with faculty members and students at Snell Library last week.

“They were so creepy and wonderful, so I associated these stories with these old European cities and a father figure telling them,” Kostova said at Snell Library last week, where she was on hand to discuss the book.

Kostova read the first chapter aloud and answered questions from the audience, shedding light on the 10-year research and writing process she dedicated to the novel.

“I learned a lot of patience from this book,” she said.

“The Historian,” Kostova’s debut novel, was a bestseller in 2006. It is currently being published in 37 languages and she is promoting it in an international book tour. Kostova won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-In-Progress at the University of Michigan for her work on “The Historian.”

Kostova also said her novel may soon hit the big screen, as Sony’s Red Wagon Studios is in the process of making a major motion picture slated to hit theatres in 2007.

The novel describes a family’s fictitious quest to find Dracula in the 20th century. It follows the perspective of a young girl as her father tells her stories of his own terrifying research on the legend. In a chase across Eastern Europe, the girl learns about the mystery behind Dracula’s whereabouts.

Kostova said her favorite part of doing book tours is having the opportunity to connect with readers.

“I love meeting people who love books. I feel a lot of kinship with them. I’m also an instructor so I love being in the environment,” she said.

Kostova also said she is one year into the research for her next novel, which will be published by 2010.

The event was sponsored by Snell Library and the Northeastern Bookstore. Maria Carpenter, a library advancement and communications officer who helped organize the event, said Kostova was chosen to speak based on a suggestion from a bookstore employee.

“I could tell a lot of students read the book. I was really impressed,” Carpenter said. “Some of the students asked some really good questions.”

Kyle Kerr, a junior business major, said he was was impressed by Kostova’s demeanor.

“She was very passionate about it,” he said. “She spoke very eloquently about the writing process and how she went through with the book.”

Kerr said the event was one of the better programs he has attended in the library, adding, “You can really tell when a person is into her book, and she definitely was.”

During her lecture, Kostova offered advice for aspiring writers.

“Work hard, be patient, do it for yourself,” she said. “Get a good critique, but don’t let anyone else change what you do.”

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