How much is Maggie Stiefvater worth?
|Net Worth:||$7 Million
|Date of Birth:||November 18, 1981|
|Country:||United States of America|
Who Is Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Steifvater is one of those mind-boggling people who is very good at not one, or even two creative pursuits, but at least three. More if you count race-car driving as an artistic medium. She’s a New York Times bestselling author and has written (so far, anyway) three well-recieved young adult books series and a stand-alone novel.
If that weren’t enough, Stiefvater is also an accomplished visual artist in a variety of media. And she’s a musician. A Celtic musician, which is — from my point of view — the best kind. Also, she has a racecar.
The Life of Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater was born in 1981 and named “Heidi” by her parents. From sixth grade until graduation, she was homeschooled, and then went on to attend Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington), where she achieved a BA in history. She legally changed her name to “Margaret,” Maggie for short, when she was 16 (I couldn’t find any stated reason for this, but as someone who changed her own name by shortening it in an unconventional-for-the-time way around the same age, I’m intrigued).
Stiefvater, like many writers, has had a wide variety of jobs, including waitress, wedding musician, calligraphy teacher, and technical editor. Unlike some, she has been lucky enough to have made art her living since her early 20s.
Currently, Steifvater is a full-time writer, and makes her home in Virginia, “in the middle of nowhere.” She is married and she and her husband have two children and some dogs.
Art and Animation
Before making it as a writer, Stiefvater had a successful career as a visual artist. She worked din a variety of media, but specialized in colored-pencil portraiture. She is particularly know for her equestrian art, and her work is collected world-wide.
Though she is now a full-time writer, Stiefvater has not left the world of visual arts behind. For each book she has published, she had also created a book trailer, and all of the animation is her own work.
As mentioned above, one of Stiefvater’s previous jobs was wedding musician. She also started a Celtic band, Ballynoola, with which she toured the eastern U.S. She plays several instruments, including the highland bagpipes, which she once played competitively.
The music for her book trailers was composed and performed by Stiefvater and her sister. Fans can find the music for each book as free downloads on the official Maggie Stiefvater website.
As another way to combine her musical and visual arts skills, Stiefvater creates gorgeously-decorated guitars by drawing on them with a Sharpie marker. She has become known for giving away these guitars while on tour for her books.
Maggie Stiefvater’s Books
Stiefvater has a bibliography that should appeal to any fan of fantasy fiction and YA paranormal books. Here are her works.
Books of Faerie
Stiefvater’s first published novel was Lament, the story of a high school girl who turns out to be a “cloverhand,” someone who attracts faeries and can — sometimes — control them. The series so far is two books, with a third due out in 2013.
- Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception (2008)
- Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie (2009)
- Requiem (2013) — not yet released
The Wolves of Mercy Falls
To follow up Lament, Steifvater wrote a trilogy of werewolf novels. Beginning with Shiver, the series follows Grace Brisbane and her fascination with the wolves who live in the nearby woods. Shiver was optioned for a movie shortly after its release, but the option has since lapsed.
- Shiver (2009)
- Linger (2010)
- Forever (2011)
The Scorpio Races
Next is the stand-alone, much-praised novel The Scorpio Races. It’s about Sean Kendrick, race champion, and Puck Connolly, who never meant to race at all. This book has also been optioned for a movie, though the current status is unknown.
- The Scorpio Races (2011)
The Raven Cycle
Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, is the first in a series of a novels about Blue Sargent, daughter of a psychic, and the troublesome boys of Aglionby Academy. The Raven Boys has also had film rights optioned.
The Raven Boys starts off a new series from fan-favorite author Maggie Stiefvater, and boy does it start off well.
This is a nice, thick, meaty book, that somehow reads more quickly that its 400+ pages would suggest it should. It’s packed with great characters, beautiful imagery, and fascinating background information that never weighs down the forward thrust of the narrative.
Telling the Future
Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic, and the only non-psychic living in a house full of mother, mother’s best friends, aunts, cousins, half-aunts, half-cousins, and so on. But while she may not see ghosts of the future, she acts a sort of amplifier, turning up the volume to the otherworld, so her mother can hear better, so to speak.
All her life, Blue has had predictions made about her future, and they all say the same thing: she’s going to kiss her true love, and when she does, he will die. She never really worried about it until another half-aunt –a famous TV psychic — shows up and then Blue sees a ghost for the first time. It’s a boy her own age, and he’s going to die. Because of her.
The boy she sees is a “raven boy,” a rich, privileged student at the all-boys Aglionby Academy, so-called because the school crest is a raven, and all the boys wear it on their sweaters. Her rules in life are: stay away from boys, and especially stay away from raven boys. But of course, rules are made to be broken, even our own rules, and Blue soon finds out hers aren’t so easy to keep, under the right circumstances.
Four For A Boy
“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy . . .”
~old folk rhyme
There’s a lot of folklore about various and sundry people vanishing from Europe — especially the British Isles — and turning up in North America long before Columbus. Most of that folklore makes for pretty bad science and history, but it can be a great thing around which to build fiction. Stiefvater takes a Welsh folk hero, Owain Glyndŵr (Owen Glendower, in English), who rebelled against English rule and then seemingly disappeared from history, and uses his story as a motive for her characters.
Like King Arthur, and assorted other legendary heroes, Glendower is said to sleep, hidden away, to be be awakened in the hour of greatest need. Or else he’ll be awakened by whomever finds him first, to grant an unimaginably wonderful, and unspecified, favor.
The search for Glendower is the reason Gansey (who goes by his last name only, for reasons you’ll learn in the book) decided to attend Aglionby, and though the book is full of this quest and its symbolism, The Raven Boys isn’t really about the search. Instead, it’s about friendship, and loyalty, and making your own way, and a bunch of other things. Or, rather, those things are in it. Really, it’s about five characters — four raven boys and Blue — who are thrown together under peculiar circumstances, and have to figure out what to do.
Good Psychic, Bad Psychic
I had read Maggie Stiefvater’s first published novel, Lament, so I expected The Raven Boys to be a good story, and well-written. Yet it still managed to surprise me. While Lament was excellent, especially for a first novel, The Raven Boys is masterful. It’s very, very cool to see a writer you already like continue to improve at their craft.
The writing is fantastic. The settings are perfectly evoked in a way that made me able to visualize them, but that didn’t take over the book. The background detail and information, while occasionally a lot to take in at once, is skilfully revealed through the characters and the natural progression of the story. I didn’t notice any obvious “infodumps,” which can be difficult to avoid when there’s so much information that at least some of the characters already know.
But aside from the great writing, what really struck me was the characters. Stiefvater’s skill with characterization was especially noticeable in two very different raven boys: Gansey and Adam. She managed to show us both a boy so rich he’s clueless about money and doesn’t understand why always offering to pay for things can be insulting to those who have less, and a poor boy, working himself ragged to pay for private school so he can escape his poverty and live life on his own terms. There was one flashback scene at a grocery store that had me in tears — I’ve been there, and Stiefvater shows it perfectly.
Stories and Secrets (and Sequels)
Even if the only thing well-done in The Raven Boys was the characters, I’d still have to give it a high recommendation. But the writing, the sense of place, the dialogue — almost everything — was so well done it left me breathless. I’m trying not to gush too much, but The Raven Boys is a book I expect to see on a lot of “Best of 2012” lists.
On the other hand, though, for those who like a lot of action in their fiction, it may leave something to be desired. Even though a big part of the story is the search for the tomb of a lost king, it’s not an action-adventure book. And if you don’t like books that have loose ends at the end, well, you may want to wait until the rest of the series comes out.
Personally, I thought Stiefvater did a a good job of leaving plenty of unfinished business for the next books in the series, but still wrapping The Raven Boys up in a way that wouldn’t leave most readers unsatisfied. Yes, it’s definitely a series book, but it doesn’t end suddenly in the middle of things. Not too much, anyway.
Like many writers, Steifvater has also written a number of short stories. Some of these are collected in The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories (2012), and others of which can be found at The Merry Sisters of Fate, both of which also include the work of Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff.