Ilona Andrews Book Signing at the Christiana Mall

On Thursday October 24, I was fortunate enough to be able to see the amazing writing duo Ilona Andrews at my local Barnes and Noble! For most of the signings I’ve gone to I’ve had to drive about two hours away to the Philly area, so I’m super excited that a northern Delaware book store is beginning to draw more big name authors.

For about the first hour, Ilona had to hold the floor by herself because due to flight confusion Gordon was showing up late (if it all). Hearing her tell the story of airport horror was highly amusing – and I’m glad she was able to smile about it because I would probably still be close to tears. Gordon did show up during the last about fifteen minutes of Q&A though so I’m glad he was able to get there for the signing part!

It was interesting hearing them talk about their publishing process as “bigger” authors. A lot of the previous signings I’ve gone to were YA authors, so hearing the perspective of adult romance was very different. Among the many things I learned, I had no idea that authors could pitch certain projects to a specific editor they wanted to work with. The talk about finishing out contracts before working on new projects, hearing how stories had to change or morph from the original shape to better fit a romance audience, and pitching projects to publishers that may never happen was also intriguing. (I would totally read a “pretty dark” YA fantasy series by Ilona Andrews if it ever ends up happening.).

I still haven’t read the Hidden Legacy series yet, which this book appearance was mainly for, so I can’t really relate to some of the questions that were asked regarding those characters. Gordon does apparently love sharing spoilers to fans who ask though.

Overall it was a wonderful night, and I’m looking ahead to many of the other authors coming to the area!

BookCon 2018 Day 2 Wrap-Up

Day 2:

BookCon Day 2 was a lot less packed than Day 1 (thank goodness!). My friends and I cosplayed as the Star Wars leading ladies. A lot of awesome bookstagramers came to say hello while waiting in line to get in and it was amazing meeting some of them in person. As soon as my friends and I walked onto the show floor, we also ran into V. E. Schwab and took a picture of her. I ended up wandering around in the morning and snagging some free stuff including some cool totes and a 20th anniversary Harry Potter pin.

While wandering, I managed to stumble on a Melissa Albert signing. The Hazel Wood is a book that I’ve been hearing so much about, so I was excited to get a signed copy!

My first official signing of the day was Laini Taylor and she was absolutely amazing. Strange the Dreamer was one of my top books of 2017 and I highly recommend it to anyone who hans’t read it yet! I still have not finished her other series, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but the first one was absolutely enchanting!

Kiersten White was my next signing . I’ve been a huge fan since middle school with the Paranormalcy series. I’ve been meaning to read And I Darken for a long time and haven’t gotten around to it. She was so lovely and I was so blessed to finally meet her. Although I wasn’t able to go to Marie Lu’s signing because it was at the same time, my friend was able to get Warcross signed for me, which was another one of my favorite books of 2017!

After finishing up, I once again wandered around and got lucky enough to run into Victoria Schwab signing ARCs of her new book coming out in August, City of Ghosts! I was also able to picked up a signed copy of The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi which is one of the books I’ve been meaning to add to my collection. It was especially awesome because there was not even at BookCon, so I wasn’t expecting there to be signed stock! There was also a great sale on books for the end of the last day, which is where I picked up The Bone Witch.

After two days of lugging books around and shuffling around the show floor, I was ready to face plant. In fact, on the way home I tried to get off the bus at a red light because I was so exhausted I thought it was my stop! (Yes, I will be forever embarrassed by this moment and it is burned into my memory.)

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BookCon 2018 Day 1 Wrap-Up

I was able to meet so many amazing people and authors at BookCon this year! Being able to attend both days was certainly an experience (and quite exhausting/stress inducing).

DAY 1:

I was able to see so many amazing authors this day, in part thanks to the kindness of strangers for giving me an extra autograph signing ticket!

Early in the day, my friends had tickets for Tahereh Mafi signing so I decided to just wander the show floor and stumbled upon an in-booth signing by Ashley Poston. I haven’t read Geekerella yet although I’ve heard amazing things about it, so I’m super excited to have a signed copy of my own now.

I was also able to meet and get all my Renée Ahdieh books signed. She was such a lovely person and I’m glad that I was able to get both her series signed completely! They had the newest book in her Flame in the Mist series out a few days early for those that attended her signing to purchase. I will admit that I still haven’t finished any of her books, but I’m halfway through The Wrath and the Dawn right now and am absolutely LOVING it!

The extra ticket that a stranger gave to me was a joint signing for two authors that are fairly new and that have been on my reading list for a while now, S. A. Chakraborty and R. F. Kuang. Chakraborty has a book that I started a while ago and put down, The City of Brass (even though I love it, you know by now I get super distracted by new and shiny books). It’s a fantasy based on Islamic mythology inspired by 18th century Egypt and written by an own-voices Muslim author! R. F. Kuang just recently released her first book, The Poppy War, which is getting such rave reviews right now. I’ve heard that it is pretty dark and includes some darker themes (parts were inspired by the Nanking masacre) but I’m excited to dive into this world too!

Victoria Schwab (V. E. Schwab) was signing copies of the rerelease of one of my favorite books, Viciousand I was one of the lucky few able to get at ticket for her signing line! They were also giving out tote bags to those in line that are also available as a preorder incentive for Vengeful, so now I have the set! I also brought This Savage Song to get signed, which is one that I haven’t had the pleasure to read yet but is definitely high on my list. Saturday I cosplayed as a gender bent Victor Vale (a character from Vicious) and my two friends went as Kell and Lila!

To cap off the amazing craziness of day 1, I was able to meet Brandon Sanderson! He signed my copies of The Way of Kings and my 10th anniversary UK edition of The Final Empire. One of my most shameful admissions is that I still have not finished a Sanderson book. This is another case of being distracted by new and shiny releases. I’ve previously gotten halfway through his YA book, Steelheart, and halfway through The Final Empire and I love his writing style!

My Saturday was absolutely jam-packed so after the exhaustion of running around like a mad woman I was looking forward to Sunday, which was planned to be a little more laid-back.

Check back tomorrow for my Day 2 wrap-up!

 

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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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