Monday, September 24, 2012

Out of this World Teens Tour Post!

As some of you may have seen I went to the Books of Wonder Out of this World Teens Event Saturday September 22nd.  This was pretty awesome for two reasons: 1) I've never been to Books of Wonder and 2) I got to meet several authors I really enjoy.

Des and Me
I went to the event with my friend Des and we had a blast!  Malindo Lo (Adaptation), Jessica Shirvington (Entice), Sarah Beth Durst (Vessel) and Karsten Knight (Embers and Echoes) were all on hand to answer questions (of which I had none, as per normal), read from their books and autographed their books for everyone who showed up.

First let me just say Books of Wonder is a gorgeous gorgeous store.  This is the kind of store I would have lived in as a kid--fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, fairy tales....this is my reading life.  Plus there's an entire wall of old and rare books, vintage artwork, a friendly staff and so many books I needed.  I found a wishlist book actually (Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt).  I love it.  I will go back.

Second, I went into the event with the acknowledgement that a) I had to get over my anxiousness when meeting authors.  You'd think after the dozens and dozens of authors I've met in the last 7 years I'd be over it by now, but ahahaha no.  Please excuse the photos, Des did the best she could, but we weren't in optimal seats (my fault).

Our panel (l-r): Malinda Lo, Jessica Shirvington, Sarah Beth Durst, Karsten Knight

So the panel began with Peter (you can see his hand peeking around the corner there on the right XD) introducing all the authors and giving a brief bit about their books.  Meanwhile the authors did their best not to be bowled over by the enthusiasm (Peter is a boisterous man).  I was busy trying not to openly stare like a gaping fish.

Karsten began reading from Embers of Echoes (yes I owe a review), after stating it was hard to find a non-spoilery spot to read from (I'm sure--hell the first sentence is a spoiler for the ending of the first book!) and chose a fun (relatively speaking, given the book) passage about Ashline and Aurora indulging in some...shall we say...illegal pursuits?

Sarah then read several sections from the beginning of Vessel that nicely encapsulated not only the world, but also the kind of character Liyana is.  I admit as much as I like Karsten's voice, I enjoyed Sarah's reading quite a bit because she would change her intonation just enough when reading as each character that it gave it a fun feel.  Point in note, Des was hooked from her reading.

Jessica, instead of reading from her second book (which I am given to understand from Tegan is a massive spoiler for everything ever in Book 1) told us how she came into writing and also how Embrace, the first book, came into being.  Given her accent I would have listened to her talk about grass and be happy, however it was a fun way to kind of see how things came about.

Karsten very seriously letting us know he wants Wildefire: the Musical to happen
Next came the Q&A portion, which began a bit rocky, but soon was under way.  I think the most fun was hearing if the panelists would like their books to be turned into movies or tv shows.  As many probably know Shirvington's series was picked up by the CW for possible release as a show.

Karsten said he wanted a musical because there is a wide dearth of those on Broadway about Polynesian Volanco Goddesses.  He also said if anyone knows anyone in HBO to hit him up and he'd be happy to see his books made into a mini-series.

Jessica mentioned discussing with a scriptwriting friend about what its like and said the process looks much harder.  I'm paraphrasing, but it came down to the fact that a novelist rises or falls based on how they write their novels.  A scriptwriter could have a TERRIFIC script, but then there's some many other variables (director, special effects, actors) that can influence the final product, it could all turn out as crud.

Sarah said she wouldn't be opposed to the idea, but isn't sure there's a budget out there for her books (unbreakable glass dragons anyone?) since they would require a hefty special effects budget.  Though she'd be happy to see any of them made--good or bad, just to see them come alive.

Malinda, who I didn't know used to be an entertainment journalist, said she'd love to see her books done, though it would have to be a mini-series.  Karsten interjected that a movie wouldn't work because every time something got cut he'd cry.  Malinda thinks however that Adaptation would be best since she wrote it with a TV show in mind (X-Files) and tried to bring that sort of atmosphere to the book.

Not pictured: Karsten is doing a tap show on the table
A few more questions were asked.  Malinda was asked why she set Adaptation in the nearish future of 2014 and she joked that her book could not take place in a time when Obama is President.  Her book is set in an alternate future where Obama loses 2012 campaign and that it might have something to do with why things are going badly for everyone (hear that? Romney brings about the end of times. Tell your friends).

They're current book they're reading was asked (Sarah is reading Throne of Glass!  Karsten is reading The Diviners!) and then a very interesting question about series vs. stand alone.

Everyone on the panel has at least a duology out, with only Karsten having a trilogy (who's third book isn't out yet) and Jessica with a quartet (which all the books are released in her native Australia and only 2 here in America).  That said only one of them has a stand alone title out and that's Sarah, with 4 of her 6 books released currently being stand alones.

Malinda was quick to point out that Adaptation is part of a duology, market.  She has dozens and dozens of pages of notes filled with information remember from book to book so she doesn't forget a single character or event.  Sarah said that her duology (Into the Wild and Out of the Wild) were an accident because she just didn't want to stop talking about the characters.  Karsten said while he enjoys the series, he's going to look at the stand alone for a bit (he came to a depressing epiphany about sequels and readership).

Then came the signing portion!  Des very kindly offered to take pictures with the authors for me.

Me and Malinda, I've wanted to meet her for a while now--ever since her Diversity Tour with Cindy Pon last year--so I was happy I finally got a chance.  Ash is possibly one of my favorite retellings of Cinderella ever.

Me and Sarah, I had a nice long chat with her about how much I enjoyed Ice (which I bought a shiny new hardcover of since my paperback fell apart) and just how awesome I think she is in general.  She is so bloody cute!  And her necklace, which you can't quite see, is a glass dragon from her husband (she had an amusing story about the fangs necklace he bought her for Drink, Slay, Love XD)

Me and Karsten, I look a bit derp here, but I love the fact we were wearing similar patterns (I adore that jumper seriously).  Anyhow I made awkward conversation, though I had a bit of trouble hearing (woo being partially deaf).  Isn't he precious looking?

You may notice I don't have a picture with Jessica--I felt so awful.  While I have my own gripes about her books, she's simply wonderful and Tegan adores her books beyond measure.  She just forgot to give me said books so I could get them signed for her and I didn't have the money to buy both again.

Afterwards me and Des were coordinating plans with friends from outside the store to hang out and someone came over to say Hi.  Now mind I recognized hmm no one on sight (I'm not good with faces), but she explained who she was and I was like 'omg hi!'.  Her name is Leah and she's the Sourcebooks editor for Leanna Renee Hieber--we met last year at Book Expo and had a good long talk.  Anyhow we caught up and she was talking to me about her recent reads (including a series Sarah is working on, but hasn't been picked up yet to her knowledge) and a book she thinks I'll find very interesting (Southern Gothic Suspense Paranormal).

She's simply fabulous as well and the two of us were nudging each other towards similar wants (namely Authors After Dark next year) so we can hang out.

This be our friends, the Asian Entourage...I felt left out w/o glasses
After Books of Wonder we went to meet up with our friends and spent the rest of the day wandering around with them (including going to Alice's Teacup).  In all a great way to spend a Saturday!