Heading to BookCon 2018! Some Tips and Tricks

This year, I’m heading back to BookCon! Last year, I was only able to go to one day, so I’m excited to be able to attend the full weekend this year. Here are some tips and other things I learned from last year that I’ll pass on to you guys!

  1. Choose Your Experience

There is so much going on that it is inevitable that you will miss something you’d like to attend. It’s important before you go to figure out what you want to get from the convention. I personally like to prioritize author meetings and autographs and spend virtually all my time waiting in line for these events. I know others who spend their entire day trying to get as many free ARCs and other goodies. It all depends on what you’d like to do!

      2. Plan Out Your Day

By now, hopefully you’ve already got signing tickets! (In mid-May, tickets for the official signing area became available and the popular authors always go super quick!) Even if you’re a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, I’d recommend picking out some events or in-booth signings you’d like to attend throughout the day–and some back-ups too Popular panels WILL fill up, and ARC drops for popular titles WILL be absolutely insane. Events for each day can be searched on the BookCon website. It’s important to check out the rules as well, because some events require ticketing given out in the weeks before or in the morning the day of.

3. Stalk Social Media!

A lot of times publishers will post on twitter about last minute ARC drops, or possible author signings that may not be on the official schedule. Authors will sometimes post about where they are wandering the show floor if you’d like to go say hello.

     4. Refuel and Stay Comfy

It’s very easy to get caught up in all of the excitement, but don’t forget to eat and drink. If you’re feeling worn down, don’t be afraid to find somewhere to sit down, I promise that there will be other people scattered on the floor  (though try not to be a fire hazard!). On that note, it’s important to wear comfy footwear and clothes because you’ll be walking around all day.

       5. Have Fun!

Even if you don’t get to do everything that you wanted to, enjoy the experience of being surrounded by other book lovers! And don’t forget to say hello if you see me there, I’m going with a few other crazy friends and we will be cosplaying as Schwab characters and Star Wars characters respectively on the two days.

Meeting Bishop Briggs!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that one of my absolute favorite musical artists is Bishop Briggs! I have some wonderful and supportive friends who were willing to road trip with me to New York to see her  at a record store, Rough Trade on Tuesday, March 27. Yes, this was my seventh time seeing her in person and my fourth time hugging this amazing human being, and I have NO REGRETS.

Seriously though you guys, she has an absolutely AMAZING voice that you need to check out. Her official debut album comes out TODAY,April 20, but most of the songs are already on Spotify/iTunes from her EP and single releases.

If you love her, or are interested, she is also going to be the “mentor” on American Idol tonight (April 9), where she will be performing two duets!

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The Set List

The set was completely acoustic, which I was super excited about because I’ve only seen special “stripped down” ones live! (I may be missing a song, and know that Way I Do and Wild Horses are also amazing acoustic! Most of these can be purchased or listened to in their acoustic format on the usual sites.)

  1. White Flag
  2. Dream
  3. Never Tear Us Apart
  4. River

The Meet and Greet:

As I said previously, I’ve met Bishop Briggs/Sarah many times before, but she remains such a genuine and lovely person. Despite her amazing talent, she remains so humble and real. I always get super tongue-tied and have a huge smile like an idiot. I was able to get a signed poster to add to my collection, and this marvelous photograph (of Bishop, not of me with my worn down minimal makeup look)!

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If you haven’t heard of her before, definitely go check out Bishop Briggs! Her music is described as “soul mixed with trap music,” but anyone who appreciates a good beat and angelic voice will enjoy it. Here are some links:

Spotify           YouTube          iTunes

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Blank 2018 Bookshelf – Free A5 Printable!

While I don’t always advertise it on here, I absolutely love to journal and plan. It’s so relaxing planning out your weeks and crossing items off! One of my favorite things is finding fun new printables for my Travelers Notebook (TN) and A5 planner.

I recently purchased “book planner” printables for both my journals, and really loved the blank bookshelf I could fill with the books I’ve read! Unfortunately, this layout didn’t come in the A5 size so I took to the internet to find a free printout, and ultimately wasn’t able to for this design. I ended up designing one myself and decided I may as well post it on the blog and share the love!

I’ve created two designs in this PDF, one with just “My 2018 Reads,” and one with this title as well as the months written out. This key can be used to color code what month a book was read if you so desire. I’ve also left a few blank spaces for those people that like drawing in their own little designs.

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If you end up using this design, feel free to tag me in any pictures or posts! My Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all @emiesnook as well.

I’m offering this design for free rather than selling it on Etsy as a lot of other people do, so please be courteous (a like and a follow go a long way!). Feel free to use this for personal use, but do not resell or distribute this design as your own. I’ve included my name and blog url in small font in the bottom corner and would greatly appreciate it if you do not alter this. If you’d like to provide a link or share with others, please credit me (Emily from Emie’s Nook) with the original design and/or a link to this post.

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Making a TBR Jar

I’ve had a major problem recently making decisions on what to read next, even though I have a million unread books that I need to get through. I decided to repurpose a candle that I have that was almost completely burned, although you can use a mason jar or any other type of container. This candle is Tessa from Belle and Co. Candlemakers, based on the heroine from The Infernal Devices series (some proceeds from each sales from this shop go to the organization She’s the First, so check them out in the link above!). I thought the quote on the label was perfect for a TBR jar! IMG_1696

“One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” – Cassandra Clare

Cleaning out your old candle:

Because this candle was soy based, it was softer than those you may be able to get through large retailers. If you don’t have a soy candle or want to see the original instructions, check out the link HERE. To get the wax out I followed these three steps:

  1. Knife out all the wax that you can. If you’d like, you can save it to be reused later (if you love the scent as much as I loved mine!). It can be reused in a wax melter, or just left out to let the scent spread. Make sure you get the metal wick stand out during this step.
  2. Turn your tap on as hot as it will go and let the water warm, then fill your mostly empty candle up about 3/4 of the way. Try to keep your label dry if you want to keep it intact. Let this sit for a little while to further soften the wax, then scrub it out! It may be necessary to repeat this step a few times to get rid of a waxy film left behind. During later repetitions, dish soap can be used.
  3. Dry out the candle and then it’s ready for reuse! A TBR jar isn’t the only thing you can make it into. It can be a planter, a bookmark holder, the options are endless!

IMG_1700Making your TBR jar:

To make paper slips, I folded up an index card and cut it into pieces large enough to write things on. I’m trying to knock some books I already own off of my TBR, but I also wrote down some books that I’d like to reread this year. I color coded the slips with a slash of highlighter to remind myself if the book is a reread, a classic (read about my 2018 Classic Challenge HERE), or one that I need to pick up from the library.

Then all you need to do is pick out a title, and pick up a book! Hopefully this will help me get some more books read that are already on my shelves. I think a TBR jar is perfect for someone who is indecisive when deciding what to read next like me! Let me know if you try this out!

Bookcon 2017!

I had such a wonderful day at my first ever Bookcon! Even though I was only able to go for one day, the experience that I had was amazing and I was able to meet some of my favorite authors! My friends Maggie and Jess and I went cosplayed as the Archeron sisters from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas. We were all lucky enough to have scored tickets to her signing early in the morning! It was pretty rushed because the line had to be finished before her DC Heroes panel at 11, but it was still amazing to see her again and show her our cosplay!

There were photo-booths all around the show floor that were super fun. The Shadowhunter one was my favorite because of the fun rune props! I was also thrilled to have met Cassandra Clare!

I still can’t believe I was able to see some of my favorite authors, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo. My wonderful friends got me signed copies of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Windwitch by Susan Dennard and Vicious by V. E. Schwab from day one which I unfortunately couldn’t attend. I spent most of my day focused on meeting people rather than attacking booths for ARCs. Below is a pic of the haul of signed books/swag I managed to snag.

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Swag isn’t everything though; meeting, and even just seeing some of my favorite authors was what truly made the day wonderful. The experience of Bookcon was once in a lifetime, and I’m so glad to have been able to go for even one day. I even made the official Bookcon instagram page!

Sorry for the delay in the post! I’ve had a busy schedule the past few weeks! Thanks for reading!

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Coming soon to…BOOKCON!

With the end of Junior year (I still can’t believe I’m a Senior D:) my focus has now shifted to the AMAZING things that I have planned for the next month! In two weeks I’ll be shipping up to Boston for Maggie’s (@ Massachusetts Novel) graduation party. The week after that I’ll be going to Firefly Music Festival (and indulging in my Bishop Briggs obsession). But the thing I’m most excited for: for the first time ever, in just 7 days, I’ll be headed to BOOKCON!!!!!!!

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Bookcon has been a dream of mine ever since I first learned of it’s existence. I’m so blessed to be gifted with awesome friends who will be attending with me (love you Maggie and Jess) and who are fellow super fans that will cosplay! That’s right, we will be showing up on the show floor Sunday as none other than The Archeron Sisters from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. (Check back later this week to see a brief overview of my costume (which will hopefully turn out alright).)

I’m unfortunately only able to go on Sunday, so I’ll be missing some of my favorite authors–Laini Taylor, Susan Dennard and Rainbow Rowell. Hopefully my friends will be able to get some books signed for me!!! I was also super lucky in being able to snag autograph line tickets for both Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare! Bookcon did something different this year and made ticketing online to try and stop people from lining up at the door at 5AM. I’m super glad they implemented this, because I won’t be getting into the city until 8AM on Sunday and wouldn’t have been able to get the signings I wanted. This way, even those coming from out of town are able to get into signings! The big authors did sell out of tickets super fast though, with Maas and Clare running out probably within the first two minutes.

I never in my wildest dreams EVER thought I would be able to meet Cassandra Clare. Ever since I started reading The Mortal Instruments in middle school, Clare has been equated with greats like Rowling in my mind. Far away dreams of in-person fangirling that will likely never come to fruition. I’m still in shock that I will be seeing her in under a week, and having her sign one of my books!!!!!!!

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(Sidenote: The only reason Maas isn’t up there in the “far away dreams” category is because I was lucky enough to become obsessed early on, before there was enough people to cap signings. If you’d like to see a summary from Maas’ Q&A in Baltimore during her latest signing tour #ACOTOUR, click HERE)

I’ll keep you guys posted, both on my Elain Archeron outfit and my experiences at Bookcon. A summary post of my experiences should be up the day after. Check my twitter out on Sunday June 4 for an up-to-date feed!

Are any of you guys going to Bookcon? If you’ve gone in the past, do you have any advice?

Thanks for reading!

emily

Meeting Sarah J. Maas! (Again)

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to see Sarah J. Maas again at a book signing in Baltimore with Maggie from Massachusetts Novel. As always, she was a lovely and amazing human being, and I am so lucky to have met her four times now!

Some of my favorites from the Q&A session that occurred before the signing and was moderated by Stephanie Brown from No B.S. Book Reviews I summarized below. Because of the fact I was taking hand notes (and no videos were allowed) most are summaries of answers. Any direct quotes I’ve written in bold and clearly marked.


Q: What court are you in?

Sarah: The Night Court. I hate the sun, and burn very easily. I also couldn’t be in the summer court because I sweat very easily.

Q: What Harry Potter house are you in?

Sarah: Christine Riccio placed me in a house using Pottermore last year during a signing. (See the video HERE around 15:03). I always believed I was a Gryffindor, but I’m actually a Hufflepuff!  I was very distraught until I found out that the Hufflepuff common room is right next to the kitchen. Just think of all the stairs the Gryffindor’s have to climb to get a midnight snack.

Q: What would the inner circles Hogwarts Houses be?

Sarah: Cassian would definitely be Gryffindor. Azriel would be Ravenclaw. Sweet Elain would be a Hufflepuff. Nesta would be Slytherin. Amren would be Ravenclaw or Slytherin, although I feel she fits more in the role of the headmaster. Mor would be Gryffindor. Rhys would be a Ravenclaw. Feyre would be a Hufflepuff/Slytherin (like a snake with a pom-pom tail).

Q: Who is the unsung hero of the ACOTAR series?

Sarah: The Suriel.

Q: What is your favorite High Lord Power?

Sarah: No spoilers! I don’t know if it’s a power, but one of the High Lords (Helion) has a city of libraries like the city of Alexandria and I would love to browse through them all day. I’m really into Helion, like in a weird way”.

Q: What was your inspiration for Rhys?

Sarah: I read somewhere that people thought my husband was the inspiration. He doesn’t really represent Rhys other than they are both tall and dark haired. Rhys’ bond with Feyre is inspired by the bond I feel with Josh. It’s because of him that I can only really write about true love, because I have it every day. He takes care of me while I’m in the writing cave, feeding me and making sure I shower.

“Find someone who feeds you.” – Sarah J. Maas

Q: Can same-sex couples be mates? 

Sarah: Yes, and you can see some of that in both series. Don’t want to give anything away, but you may see this in ACOWAR when you read it. It’s also present in the Throne of Glass world. I’m super excited to write more about this, and already have a novel in mind about it.

Q: Some this or that: Is Rhys or Fenrys hotter? Would Cassian or Lorcan win in a fight?

Sarah: This might be cheating, but I think Rhys and Fenrys are equally hot. In any case, I would take them both. In a fight, I feel like neither Cassian or Lorcan would win. I think they would take of their shirts, then get drenched by a sudden downpour. After a bit of fighting, they would get tired and go get beers to talk about their women problems. So in the end we all win.

Q: Would Jamie Fraser (Outlander) and Rhys be friends?

Sarah: Definitely. They would get together and talk about their women problems. And then they would get caught outside in the rain. I feel like in my world there is that gloomy Carebear that drives around a rain cloud and just drenches all the hot men. It’s always a wet t-shirt contest in my mind.

Q: Are you more like Aelin or Feyre?

Sarah: I feel like I’m not like either of them because they are so awesome. All women that I write have a kernel of me in them, though. Out of all the characters, I’m most like Fleetfoot because I enjoy eating, sleeping, and being brushed by hot men.

Q: Do you have any advice for young writers?

Sarah: You have to pursue your dreams and work very hard. If you want to be a writer, you have to treat it as a career and not accept failure. Ever since I was 16, I worked like writing was going to be my career. You need to act seriously and take yourself seriously if you want other people to take you seriously as well. Don’t listen to the haters, and those who say you can’t do it.  Writing and editing and can be very hard.

“The hard is what makes it great…you gotta hustle.” – Sarah J. Maas

Q: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming books in the ACOTAR series?

Sarah: There are a lot of fairytales I would like to explore, although many of these ideas are not at all final. I started writing a story for myself during ACOWAR because I wanted to explore new characters and before I knew it I had 250 pages of a new project. I had dinner with my editor and had a few to many drinks, and ended up pitching her three novels and a few novellas in the world. I can say that each standalone will follow a different romantic pairing, both based after and before ACOWAR. There will possibly be a story about a snow queen, and I really like the story of Vasilisa the Beautiful along with Swan Lake. I’m excited because of how much I love romance series following couples in these same storyline.

Q: What’s your favorite Avatar: The Last Airbender Character?

Sarah: Zuko is definitely my favorite. I sobbed during the series finale. I didn’t really like how the romantic pairings ended up without spoiling the series for you guys.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming Chaol novel?

Sarah: This book will be a parallel to Empire of Storms, not a sequel. Kind of like “Meanwhile, in the Southern Kingdom…..” I sat down to write the Chaol novella (novellas are normally around 20,000 – 35,000 words) and the first day I wrote 100,000. Within five days, I finished and it was 193,000 words. After all the editing, it’s now just as long as Empire of Storms. Aelin and the gang are not in it, it follows the stories of Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene Towers who was in The Assassin’s Blade briefly. This is not a book that you can really skip before reading Throne of Glass #7. This is a continuation of the same story that has really important plot points, and you won’t know whats happening in #7 if you don’t read it.

“Some major shit happens.” – Sarah J. Maas

Q: Did anything really inspire you for Tower of Dawn?

This is one of my favorite books, and will always have a special place in my heart, along with Heir of Fire. The Mongolian empire was a huge inspiration for the book. I did a ton of research as background. I’m now Genghis Khan’s #1 fangirl. Genghis Khan literally changed the history of the world as we know it. He had Universal education for everyone in his empire and it’s really the Europeans that saw him as a horrible conquerer. I recommend reading Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford (add it to Goodreads HERE).

Q: What authors do you recommend?

J. R. Ward and The Black Dagger Brotherhood series if you’re into Paranormal Romance.

If you really like Faeries, read Karen Marie Moning’s Darkfever series.

If you like YA, check out Roshani Choski and her two books out, The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes.

(click on the above titles to go to the Goodreads page!)


Thank you guys for reading my BRIEF summary of the question session. I probably left a few questions out of my notes because I was scribbling madly. Let me know if you have any questions/anything is unclear and I will try and clarify!

You can view my full review of A Court of Wings and Ruin HERE (the first part is spoiler-free!).

If you love the series as much as I do, check out some of my Maas inspired bracelets on my Etsy Shop!

As always, thanks for reading!

emily