Event Recap: Sarah J. Maas + Giveaway

 Throne of GlassCrown of Midnight

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Sarah J. Maas’ event at Blue Willow Bookshop. The lovely Kate from Ex Libris moderated and had us all laughing. We began by playing a game seeing if anyone could pronounce the names and locations from the Throne of Glass series correctly.

 

Sarah then talked about the origins of her character’s names. I loved her explanation for Celaena. It goes back to The Last Unicorn a classic fantasy novel by Peter S. Beagle and a 1982 film by the same title. There was a harpy named Celaeno trapped by a traveling witch in her midnight circus. The harpy was her most prized capture and the most dangerous of all the mythological creatures the witch had in her circus. Celaeno in Greek means the ‘Dark One’ so Sarah always thought it would be an excellent assassin’s name. Being a child of the 80’s that movie had a major impact on me too.

The Last Unicorn
Sarah spoke about her journey to being published and her writing process now. She said she doesn’t use outlines (they crush her creative soul) but she does use music, movie scores in particular, as a backdrop and inspiration. She said without knowing it she had been outlining to some degree with her song choices. She associates certain scenes with songs and so moves them up or down her playlist according to where it falls in the story.

Kate did an amazing job moderating and Sarah J. Maas was funny, incredibly likeable and personable. It was a blast. If you follow My Friends Are Fiction you’ve seen the Lego cover we did for Crown of Midnight. I had a few printed up and had them signed. Sarah loved it and totally recognized it when I went up to get her to sign my books. Was a really awesome moment. Of course I gave her one and am keeping one for myself…but I have one for a lucky giveaway winner.

 

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Houston Teen Book Con 2013

This was my first time to go to the Teen Book Con, and it was as amazing as I had anticipated. I got to meet some of my favorite authors (Leigh Bardugo, Morgan Rhodes…). I attended three of the four panels, Power to the People, Power of Memory and Take Me Away.

Power to the People
Cinda Williams Chima, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jennifer Nielsen, Caragh O’Brien, Mary Pearson and Morgan Rhodes

Teen Book Con 2013Houston Teen book con
Power of Memory
Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, Bethany Frenette, Claudia Gray, Dan Krokos, Lisa McMann

The Houston Teen Book Con Power of Memory Panel Claudia Gray

Memory Panel

This panel was hilarious–you could really see how much fun the authors were having. You know, I had no idea Dan Krokos is so funny. I immediately followed him on Twitter after this panel. My favorite question from the crowd was: “Mr. Krokos, do you know that you look like Doctor Who?” The crowd cheered. He really does.
Another question was which books inspired them when they were teens, lots of answers but the one I was most excited about, Leigh Bardugo loved the Dragonlance series. I grew up on these books! I read them in fifth grade and have read them every few years to this day. A lot of George RR Martin love too.

After the panel I had to run up and tell Leigh Bardugo how much I love Shadow and Bone and tell her how awesome I thought it was that she is a fellow Dragonlance fan. It was a really great moment for me to fan girl with one of my favorite authors. We  even have the same favorite three books in the series–kismet people!

Awesome Sauce

Three of my most prized books. I will never part with them.

Take Me Away
Lenore Appelhans, Tera Lynn Childs, A. G. Howard, Sophie Jordan, Stacey Kade, Shannon Messenger

authors at the Take Me Away Panel
Then it was time to stand in line for the book signing
Author Signing
Leigh Bardugo at signingSadly, my picture with Leigh Bardugo didn’t come out (sobs)
Shannon MessengerStacey Kade

Morgan RhodesAG Howard

Maureen JohnsonJessica Brody

Everyone was super nice especially since I become an awkward mess when I get up there to get my books signed. I forget everything I had tried to remember to say. I was also working on the biggest headache so that’s why I’m not totally smiling huge in the pictures; my excitement did not translate.

Thank you to the amazing authors and everyone that helped put this event together. Shout out to Blue Willow Bookshop, my favorite independent bookstore.

Upcoming on My Friends Are Fiction- two signed books I’ll be giving away in the next few months…

 

 

Victoria Schwab, Beth Revis and Carrie Ryan Book Signing Event

Last Saturday I packed up my bag of books and headed over to Blue Willow Bookshop to see Victoria Schwab, Carrie Ryan and Beth Revis…what a line up. These three ladies are all friends and it was great to see them interact. I have been a fan of both Carrie Ryan and Victoria Schwab for a while but I’ve not read Across the Universe yet. After meeting Beth it is high on my TBR pile. All three answered questions from the audience and teased us with tidbits of upcoming books, novellas and cover releases.

Schwab, Revis and Ryan at Blue Willow Bookshop

My take-aways:

  • Beth Revis is funny. She has a quick wit and mixed with Victoria and Carrie they all played off each other wonderfully…had the audience rolling
  • Carrie Ryan announced that there will be a new cover for The Forest of Hands and Teeth. We got a tiny sneak peek and the whole place said, ‘oooh, ahhh!’ It is beautiful! Stay tuned to Carrie’s twitter and website for the official information on release dates.
  • Victoria wanted to be a spy when she was 7
  • Beth has a black lab named Sirius Black (best black lab name ever)
  • Carrie has a lot of short stories coming out this year in various anthologies
  • Victoria talked about her next book Vicious, telling us its about super-villains (yay!)
  • Beth is working on a book but she’s sworn to secrecy.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth was originally a stand alone
  • Authors are not in control of their book covers or titles. Sometimes the title they have given their work sticks but it is often changed.
  • For The Archived series the titles refer to people not places
  • Carrie’s husband helped create the titles for The Forest of Hands and Teeth and its companion books.
  • When asked how she stays motivated to finish a book Victoria said she uses a connect the dot approach. She picks out certain aspects of the story and has them scattered through so she looks forward to getting to those spots and keeps her story progressing in the right direction.
  • Carrie was an estate lawyer
  • Beth Revis wrote for a decade before she got published with Across the Universe
  • Carrie Ryan drew a stick figure zombie in my book

Victoria Schwab signing my book Victoria Schwab and MeBeth RevisBeth Revis and MeCarrie Ryan drawing a stick-zombieMe and Carrie Ryan

Zombie Drawing

Thank you Beth Revis, Victoria Schwab, Carrie Ryan and Blue Willow Bookshop for  such a wonderful event. I have an interview in the works with Victoria Schwab so check back for that. You can read my review of The Archived here.

 

Marissa Meyer Signing

  Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer the author of the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet came to Blue Willow Bookshop last night to speak and sign books. Marissa is an excellent speaker and I loved hearing her talk about how she became inspired to write the Lunar Chronicles. She said she was in that in-between stage of wakefulness and sleep; she got this vision of Cinderella running down the stairs at midnight and tripping. As she lay sprawled at the bottom of the stairs instead of a glass slipper laying on the steps she saw a metal foot. She had previously written a fairy tale set in the future for a writing contest so taking Cinderella to the future and making her a cyborg just felt right. This idea blossomed and Cinder was created.

 

It is apparent that Marissa Meyer has done a lot of research into fairy tales and how they originated and changed over the years. If you’ve not looked into the original Grimm Fairy Tales you really should, its as intriguing as it is disturbing. We also got to hear a small amount about the next two books in the Lunar Chronicles: Cress and Winter. Cress will introduce a new character based on the Rapunzel fairytale and Winter will be Snow White. The new characters will join the cast we are already familiar with and love. I can’t wait to see where this series is going because Scarlet was even better than Cinder to me. The more characters Marissa creates and adds the main story arc the more you can really see her skills as a writer and story teller.

Some of the questions asked by the audience included how the cover art was picked and what role Marissa had in it. As with almost all of published writers she didn’t get to have any influence into the cover art but she loves it and can’t wait to see the next two covers. She also explained where the names for her main characters originated, Cinder–obvious from Cinderella, Scarlet- scarlet meaning red, Cress-she said this is an interesting aspect of the older telling of Rapunzel. She didn’t get to explain it fully because of time constraints but she did say that Rapunzel and Cress are both types of lettuce and this is part of the original fairy tale. My interest is piqued, I will be researching this today. Winter- Snow White, winter and snow.

The last little tidbit we were left with was a teaser…a magician may or may not be part of the next character cast for her next series.

 

Check out my reviews for Cinder and Scarlet

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