Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fierce Reads Tour 2013 Recap

Ever since my sister told me about how the awesome Fierce Reads tour will have a stop in our state, I have been anticipating the event. Fast forward a few months and feel my despair that it might not happen. Long story short: my parents are the best and did everything to make sure I got to go.

Hopefully you will hear my appreciation and giddiness in the next sentence: I MADE IT! Excuse my jumbled up thoughts as I try to process these great moments in my life. So I arrive, get some good, on the end, front row seats that is RIGHT in front of Leigh Bardugo. The authors file in and there I am, grinning like a fool, but doing the thing where you try not to smile and end up looking pained resulting in an awkward smile.

The best example of an awkward smile.
They each introduce their book and then we get into a Q&A. Since I wrote as quickly as I could instead of recording the conversation this time, I'll just give you a rundown on what I learned:
  • When asked how they felt about trilogies and if it was the publisher's or their choice: Jessica Brody said it was a little of each. Gennifer Albin said that she has only thought of stories in three parts, thanks to Star Wars and Indiana Jones (because there were ONLY ever three of those) and it made sense for her to do a trilogy. Leigh Bardugo stated at the end that if you look, trilogies are a myth and stand-alones rule the New York Times bestseller list. 
  • When asked about their crush-worthy male leads: LB said she doesn't set out to write a love interest. She doesn't care if anyone likes him, she just values competence. "He just has to do his job! All of my male love interests have a life outside the protagonist and that's all I want." (Note: GO BARDUGO!) JB doesn't set a list of all the qualities her love interest has to have. Like LB, she gives him an agenda. EL (Emmy Laybourne) wants an honest character and hopes that's what a reader is attracted to. AB mentions abs...which made everyone start amen-ing
  • Anna Banks is working on a Sasquatch romance. 
  • When asked how old they were when they were published and when they seriously wanted to write: EL said she wrote her first novel at 38 and advised to measure in depth, not time. JB wrote a fantastic story about a puppy and a kitten when she was 7 and when she "published" it, she knew that's what she wanted to with a real book and first sold a novel at 26. "Everyone has their own timeline," she said and rewrote her book 4 times. AB agreed and started after writing a letter to the editor. GA sat down and wrote when she had nothing left to lose when she and her husband lost their jobs and was published right before her 30th birthday (happy birthday to Gennifer!). LB said she was 38 and while she wished she had written sooner, she knew that it was the best time. 
  • When asked if they were genuinely friends: LB, "No." EL, at the same time, "Yes." Then of course, the funny JB chimed in, "We're all good actresses." Note: They were all really funny together and acted as if they were lifelong friends.
  • When asked if they read other YA books and how to avoid plagiarism: AB said she hasn't read any of the great mermaid books out there just to avoid plagiarism while writing her series. GA agreed and said she can't read Divergent while she writes and reads ARCs that are out of her comfort zone. LB says that when she reads amazing YA books, she feels like, "I'm a hack and want to live in a shoe if I read something really good." 
  • When asked if the Sophomore Slump is actually hard or if they are raring to go: They all pretty much agreed that they dream about writing a standalone now. AB said the 2nd book wasn't hard for her, but the 3rd one harasses her. 
  • When asked if they would let Hollywood "trash" their novels by making them into a horrible movie: LB said that not only does Hollywood make great movies (for example: Catching Fire looks amazing), but the authors don't really have a say. Shadow and Bone is optioned by Dreamworks and she has to trust them because she has no control. EL chimed in and said it depends on the author's status. 
  • When asked how they feel about negative feedback: They all agreed that they tried not to read it. JB said that if she does read it, she goes to one of her favorite books on Goodreads and finds a crappy review on it. LB suggested to "fake it till you make it." All in all, they were unanimous in  saying that there will always be negative reviews and you just try to avoid them. 

Now for my favorite part: the meet and greet! I My mom and I got to go first and Leigh Bardugo was the first author so when we met her, my mom mentioned Shelver and Bardugo excitedly chatted about her. I was also there to get my wonderfully sweet friend Jen (from Starry-Eyed Revue) a signed Siege and Storm so when I told Bardugo that it was for "Starry-Eyed Jen," she exclaimed, "OH! Starry-Eyed Jen? I love her!" My smile was so wide, I felt like I was Jen. Then it came time to tell her who I was and I was slightly nervous because what if I said that we talked before and she doesn't remember me? But she did! She even proved it by saying that I was the giraffe. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. Since I always make things a bigger deal than it is, here is a picture of not only myself with Bardugo, but also my face.

She was extremely nice, chatting with me, offering buttons, and even a really cool bookmark. Of course, she also signed my pile of books. I would show those pictures, but my computer is being extremely stupid and slow so just get the best metaphor you can think of for "slow" and times that by about ten.

Then we move on to Gennifer Albin who has a really cool-sounding book, but I unfortunately haven't read it. However, she was also really sweet and even chimed in on our giraffe conversation. And right next to her was Anna Banks who I haven't read her series either, but as you can see, I was so happy from the event that I couldn't even keep a complete straight face.

Jessica Brody was the third and one of the nicest people I have EVER met. I come up, tell her who I am, and she was the one who was excited. We had been talking on Twitter and was just as nice (if not more so) in person than she was on Twitter. She instantly gave me hug (huggers unite!) and took a picture with me. 

And then realized that we never got a hugging picture so we did another one and this hugging picture is probably the best picture I have ever been a part of. Note: I would also like to add that she tweeted out to be not long after to post the picture. I have decided that we would be the perfect best friend pair. (Play along, Jessica!) 

By the time I got to Emmy Laybourne, there was a separate line for her and I couldn't wait because my mom and I had to travel to my grandparents' house (she didn't want to get there late and neither did I). However, as I was leaving, Jenna (from Jenna Does Books) was on the side and I got a quick photo with her.

It really is great that my icon was a giraffe considering that I'm 5'10". 
All in all, the whole event was greater than I expected. I was able to meet some amazing authors, snag swag, meet a nice blogger, and get my books signed. I might have even annoyed my mom on the ride to my grandparents' by chatting about the event, the authors, the pictures, and by dissecting everything I said along with what they said.

Technically, it was a recap, but even more so, it was my way of squealing and getting excited all over again by positing it on here. I thank you all for reading because if not for this blog, not only would I have not been able to have such amazing experiences, but I also wouldn't have an outlet to go to.

Happy reading! I suggest you read the Fierce Reads' authors' books! 


  1. OMG what a fabulous time! I love that you got a hugging pic. Jessica Brody was just here in May and she was so funny and awesome! Gennifer was here too but I didn't get a chance to see her. :( I look forward to meeting Leigh Bardugo next year! I swear I will read her books first. lol Thank you for sharing!

    1. Me too, Sara, me too ;) She really is! Yay, you better! I'm really excited to read Siege and Storm, I'm saving it for a special time just because I want to savor it.

  2. Um, YES, go Bardugo for her approach to writing romance! And how nice is it that the authors recognized you and Jen? I would have been thrilled.

    Also: your face! You look something like my loose mental sketch, although not exactly-your face is longer and more oval-shaped than I pictured (in a good way).

    This sounds like a great bookish event and you are so lucky you got to hug Jessica Brody! Haha. Thanks for sharing and I hope you get to go to many more equally exciting tours!

    1. That's what I thought! I wanted to whoop and holler for Bardugo. I was, I was beyond ecstatic and the blushing began.

      Haha! I love that you went, "Your face!" That's good then :) So you predicted right?

      I still wish I had gotten you a book!

  3. Okay, this is AWESOME!! Reading that both Emmy and Leigh wrote their first books at 38 gives me hope that maybe there's still some story inside me that is waiting until I hit the perfect moment to leap out.

    I will absolutely DIE if I ever get a chance to meet Leigh. She's one of my very most favorite authors of all time. So glad you got to do this!!

    Also, look how cute you are, my friend!

    1. YOU WILL! I know you will, Ems, and I will be the first one to buy it.

      And someday I know you will also meet her because she really is awesome! Thanks :)

      Aw, thanks, Ems :)

  4. Sunny you are so tall, I would look like even more of a hobbit if I was stood next to you! (I'm only 5ft 2 and a half!). I love that you had such an amazing time and got to meet so many wonderful authors! Thanks for sharing such a great recap with us! :)

    1. Haha! No worries though, Jasprit, because my best friend is about an inch shorter than you are so I'd be used to it ;) Thank YOU.

  5. I loved reading your post!! You can just feel the excitement seeping from everything you wrote :) I love Bardugo's response to the love interest topic. One of my huge pet peeves is when the love interest comes completely absorbed in the MC and has no other life. I also can't stand when the MC becomes completely absorbed in the love interest and then the cool plot I read about on the summary ceases to exist. For someone who didn't record the event, you sure did remember a lot of what they said! They seem like a fun bunch to go see. I wish there was a tour coming near me. Maybe one day. Your icon makes complete sense now! I'm 5'10 too! Tall people unite! :) So glad to see you could make it and had so much fun. Thanks for posting about it, too, for those of us who can never go to these things!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Christine, that means a lot! That's a big peeve for me too. I just wrote as quickly as possible, probably looking like a self-absorbed teenager. I hope you do meet them! YAY! Tall people rock (but so do short people, Jasprit;) I love that we're the same height, not a lot of girls are our height. Aw, happy to do it!

  6. This is such a fantastic post, Sunny! I am so excited that you got to meet all of these authors!! Great questions as well. Thanks for the recap. I'm with Ems in feeling inspired that several of them were in their mid to late 30s before they wrote their first novel. I have time to go! (not that I'm currently thinking of writing a book). But I hope I'm that ambitious all throughout my life.

  7. How fun! It looks and sounds like a great time. lol - the hugging episode with Jessica made me laugh. Yay for tall people - I'm 5'11. :)

  8. OMG, Sunny, you are FREAKING ADORABLE!!! I can't even...!! And this post is just proof that you really are the sweetest person EVAR! :D I love this recap, but my favorite part is learning how old they all were when they were first published. It leaves me feeling hopeful. =) I'm so glad that you had such a great time, Sunny, and that you didn't clam up...teehee.

  9. It's so nice to get to see you and connect a face to your words! :) Love the pictures, love the recap (I was excited about all the details you added), LOVE the post! :)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  10. SO glad you got to go, Sunny! That reminds me of how I was earlier this year at my first author event. I was literally nervous...but that moment when an author knows you who are? Man there's nothing better. It's SO fabulous that the ladies, especially Jessica, knew who you were. And the hugging picture is just adorable, girl. What an awesome time for you!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue