I went to what felt like my first legit YA author event on November 9: Leigh Bardugo at Parnassus Books in Nashville! It’s about a 45 minute drive for me and it was completely worth it! (Not to mention that I got to pick up a slice of my absolute favorite cheesecake before I headed home… but anyhow…) Last year I saw Kat Zhang at a local Barnes & Noble when she was part of a local author signing, so I got her to sign the first two books of The Hybrid Chronicles, neither of which I had read yet at the time, and chatted with her briefly. This event was more like what I have seen other bloggers post about, and I was glad to finally have one of these experiences of my own, especially since I just came to love the Grisha trilogy so much this year!
Some bloggers take good notes during these events, but I didn’t, so here’s just a quick recap:
- She shared about what her younger self thought via some of her old diary entries. I have to say that was brave; I can’t imagine sharing my old journals with a crowd of people like that! But then again, maybe I would share a snippet or two to make a point, just as she did. She used it as a segway to discuss…
- She talked about why she’s proud to write genre fiction. One thing younger Leigh pleaded with older Leigh was to remember how important young people are, which I thought was so neat for someone who grew up to YA fiction. She talked about how while, yes, genre fiction may be escapist, really so is ALL FICTION. She talked about how readers of genre fiction are the ones who will always be waiting for that letter from Hogwart’s or looking for the door to lead to Narnia, and considering when I was younger I was always hoping to find that door to Narnia, that really resonated with me. Some people (probably not anyone reading this now though) might think that’s silly and childish, but it’s about imagination. Anyhow, I just really appreciated it.
- She read a decent-length excerpt from Six of Crows. It was hard for me to pay attention to the whole thing just because I’m bad at listening to things being read in general, but the concept is definitely interesting (a heist in an underworld trade society within the Grisha universe) and I’m looking forward to it.
- She answered questions about characters and writing. I don’t have anything specific to note here, except it’s always nice to hear authors share their struggles with writing.
When it was all over it was time for the signing part! So, if you follow Leigh on social media you know about the dice you could get if you bought one of her books from the hosting bookstore. So of course I wanted to get on that, so I bought another PB copy of Shadow and Bone as a present for a family member. Well, apparently everyone else who was buying their books did it beforehand (smart), but since I waited until after, I ended up the back of the signing line. BUT I did get the dice, which is important, and I still got to meet Leigh and get my stack of books signed plus other swag, also important! I had not really thought of what to say to her, but I decided at the last moment to mention my Grisha wedding inspiration post that I knew she had seen (thanks to tumblr), and she remembered it and said she loved it! I told her it made my day when I saw she liked the link, and she said it made her day when she saw the post! So that was a cool moment. (Then recently I tweeted her a link to the other posts because she said she wanted to see more and she tweeted me back saying she loved them all!)
And of course, pictures or it didn’t happen…
Have you ever gotten to meet one of your favorite authors? What’s your favorite memory from an author meeting?