On June 11, 2013 I attended my first ever author signing and the first ever (but hopefully not the last) Fierce Reads event to come to the Memphis area. Featured at the event were four amazing Macmillan authors: Anna Banks (Of Poseidon, Of Triton), Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm), Jessica Brody (Unremembered), and Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14, Sky On Fire).
Needless to say, I was on Cloud 9. Not only was it my first signing, but I had the honor of meeting some of my favorite authors and some of the most intelligent, hilarious, and amazing women I’ve ever known.
When the day arrived, I spent all of it pretty much freaking out. I sat at work from 6:30am until 2:30pm literally shaking and imagining everything that could possibly go wrong. Pathetic, right? My co-workers probably thought I was on crack. But ANYWAY, 2:30pm finally arrived and I took off like a bat out of hell. I knew I had to make the hour drive to my house to change clothes and finish crafting the gift I’d been working on for one of the authors. Then I had to drive 20 minutes back into the city to pick up my husband from his job, and we’d be on our way. So of course I ended up being late and then the husband couldn’t figure out where I’d parked (which was right in front of the hospital, for the record) so we didn’t get on the road until a good 30 minutes after my goal departure time. Which of course meant that by the time we walked in to The Booksellers at Laurelwood, we were about 5 minutes late and the event had already started. This made me even more nervous…and then the cherry on top was me attempting to take a picture of the author panel and forgetting my phone wasn’t silenced until the extremely loud shutter sounded off in the middle of Emmy talking.
I could have died.
But things got so much better afterwards that soon my nervousness was long forgotten. The event moderator started by having each of the authors talk about their stories. This was incredibly informative and interesting because while I’d heard of them and their books, I knew very little about the plots for Emmy’s or Anna’s. And hearing Jessica and Leigh talk about their plots was interesting as well because it wasn’t just some blurb from the dust jacket – I was getting to hear the authors themselves tell me about their stories and it was amazing.
After the introductions, the moderator opened the floor for questions. My hand immediately shot up and I asked the question I’d been preparing for all day: “My question is for Leigh. How did the idea for the Darkling come to you?” Before she could answer, I was awarded with a bottle of blue Siege and Storm nail polish for being one of the first 5 people to ask a question. In addition, Jessica Brody announced that I had also won a flash drive with some special extras for her book, Unremembered, including a never-before-seen sneak peek of book 2, Unforgotten because I was the first to use the code word for the event (Darkling)! (You can see the swag I won in the picture over there < < - nail polish, flash drive, a bookmark from Leigh made by Hebel Design, and a triton charm from Anna also made by Hebel Design.)
Did I mention Cloud 9??
I was so excited that I don’t even remember how Leigh responded – or what Jessica, Emmy, and Anna said when Leigh asked them to talk about how they’d come up with their main characters. Thus we learned our first Rookie Event Goer lesson: next time we’ll remember to bring the flip cam for recording! I did manage to take notes on a few of the questions however.
Q: If you were going to use one word to describe your story, what would it be?
Q: If you hadn’t become an author, what would you be?
Emmy: A midwife! Jessica: A midwife..? Wha…why? Emmy: Because I love babies and children!
Jessica: I’d be a pro poker player.
Anna: I’d be in NASA.
Leigh: I’ve always been into makeup and graphics so I’d probably be a special effects makeup artist.
Q: If the apocalypse happened, what would be the one thing you’d miss most about the world as it is now?
Emmy: Hot baths…
Jessica: My iPad.
Anna: Fried chicken. *laughter* Leigh: Fried chicken, really? Anna: What? I love fried chicken.
Leigh: Hmm…well I’m going to go with Project Runway. I’ve recently become addicted so yeah.
Q: If you could time travel to any time period, what would it be?
Emmy: Shakespearean England.
Jessica: I’d go to the time of Marie Antoinette….but before she made the heads roll. I’d skip out on that.
Anna: I’d go to the 1700s because pale, chubby chicks were considered attractive then.
Leigh: I’d go to the future. We pretty much already know what happened in the past – I want to see what’s to come.
Once we wrapped up with the questions we were able to get in line for cupcakes, punch, and book signing. THREE OF THE BEST THINGS ON THE PLANET. Jason (the hubby) and I somehow ended up at the end of the line but it moved quite quickly so it wasn’t bad. I knew I probably needed to be at the end of the line anyway because I had about 50,000 things for the authors to sign. As soon as I reached Leigh and presented her with the gift I’d made her, she knew immediately who I was; but if that wasn’t awesome enough, Anna, Jessica, and Emmy all recognized me too! Talk about a confidence booster. It made me feel really good that our conversations via Twitter were memorable enough to forge connections between us. I finally got to tell Brody about my undying love for her (I’ve been a fan since her first book, The Infidelity Files) and she pretended not to be totally creeped out. And did they SIGN ALL THE THINGS?? Yes they did.
Which means I have awesome stuff to giveaway because, you know, I’m awesome like that.
BUT FIRST: PICTURES! (Click to see larger versions.)
Making the 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Memphis was beyond worth it; even my husband (who knew nothing about these authors before the event, other than my harassment about him needing to read Shadow and Bone) had a wonderful time. When we got home he went straight in and added all of their books to his to-read list and started Shadow and Bone that night! I was so proud! Now he’s almost done with Siege and Storm and I’m just jealous because he has more time to read than I do…CAN I PLEASE JUST CATCH A BREAK?? *ahem* Sorry. Anyway, now if I could just get him to write some reviews for the blog, he’d be like…the perfect husband. Ok, ok, he’s already pretty perfect. But he’d be even perfecter then. *side eyes hubby*
As you can see in the pictures I did a bit of crafting for this event – the mini-wreath I gave Leigh and the shirt I wore were both made by me (with some help from the hubby – he designed the stag antlers!). Both Leigh and Emmy have suggested that I should start an Etsy store selling these items and after some careful consideration, I’ve decided to do just that! I’ll be announcing it here on the blog when everything goes “official” but, in the meantime, if you’re interested in either item you can feel free to contact me for a price quote!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
One lucky person will win a signed copy of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, signed swag (including a sneak peek booklet of Unremebered and a temporary tattoo) from Jessica Brody, and signed bookmarks from Emmy Laybourne and Anna Banks!
Contest is open to US residents only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends at 12:01 am on August 31, 2013.