Meeting a YA Legend

I should say again. I first met Tamora Pierce in May 2009. She was one of my first author events and I was too in awe/shock to say anything to her. After all, this was the woman who introduced me to strong heroines, fantasy, and YA. Her characters have been among my all time favorites and will always have a special piece of my heart. When I heard she was coming back, I was ecstatic! Here was chance to finally say what I wanted to. (And to get a better photo!)

I met up with my lovely co-blogger, Kristen and Katie, and another friend Renee right before it started. Tammy is always fun to listen to. The entire talk was mainly Q & A, which was fun. Most Q&A’s I hate, because people ask more about the publishing process than the books, but that wasn’t this case this time. Here are some of the highlights from the session:

  • We’ll be seeing Kel again! Tammy plans on doing books on her squire! And she said there might be a love interest for Kel by then!
  • Tammy fashions a lot of her characters off real people. Like Alanna was her sister, Tris is Tammy, and Beka is a young Jodie Foster. Some of the boys were fashioned after Spike, Noah Riley from ER, and many more.
  • In the original version of Alanna, Alanna married Jon. It was Alanna who forced the change, showing Tammy that she was not Queen material and needed someone who could love who for who she was/wouldn’t have to change

Perhaps the most touching moment of the night was when someone asked why she had chosen to tackle sexuality with Daja (circle books).  She talked about how there were two lines in Kel books where Kel mentions an island where people don’t care who you take to bed. Tammy said those two lines had fans in the LGBQT community coming to her in tears and thanking her. She said she realized at that point her fans deserved more than two lines. She had always known Daja was gay, but it was time for her to write more openly about it. That in their world it was no big deal, (just as it shouldn’t be in ours), but that it was time she represented all of her fans in her books. To hear an author talk about it that blatantly and openly, who is not gay, was moving. I’m pretty sure the questioner and I both shed a few tears over her response. (The boy who asked the question told her how much it changed his life.) It is authors like Tammy who make it okay for questioning teens to feel better about who they are.

The end of the night ended with autographs and the opportunity to do a photo. I finally got to tell her all I couldn’t last time, mainly that I’m a YA Librarian because of her and that her books have always meant the world to me. I also got this super cute picture with her. I wish I could have gotten more during the talk, but I was in the center of the aisle with tall people in front of me. Oh well, maybe next time!

 

All in all it was an amazing event and I can’t wait until she comes again.

 

Veronica Roth Signing

I know this post is super-late, but I wanted to write about the Veronica Roth signing. It seemed even more fitting since all three of us were there tonight! (And yet, we still walked away without getting a picture of all three of us!) I know Kristen mentioned this the other day, but the three of us actually met while standing in line waiting to get books signed, whenever we’re together for an event it makes me reminisce about that first meeting. Anyway…back the Veronica Roth event.

I was so excited about going to this event. I always LOVE telling an author in person how much I enjoyed their book. And Roth was no exception. And look how adorable she is.

She started off the night doing a reading. If you guys haven’t read Divergent yet, you’re in for a treat. Here she is reading one of my favorite scenes from the book.

After the reading, she answered quit a few questions and even gave just a few teeny tiny hints on what is to come. (Okay, she didn’t really SAY anything. It was more of what she wouldn’t SAY!) There were quit a few questions about the exact locations of the different factions, but I’m pretty sure that’s because we’re all local readers. Chicago is a stomping ground and we want to know where it all would be. FYI, she had a mind for some area, but nothing specific–at least not for the Dauntless or Abnegation.

The Q&A lasted about an thirty minutes or so, and then it was book signing time. I was lucky and was #5, which meant I was in and out of the line very fast. I did, in fact, tell her how wonderful the book was and thanked her for not having a love triangle! (So happy about that last part!) I also got to talk to her agent Molly O’Neill a bit, which was fun, too! I’m almost positive I rambled a lot about how the book is going to be huge and how my teens are going to love it as much as I do!

All in all, it was a very nice event. Roth will be signing again at ALA, so if you’re going to be there I’m recommend adding that signing to that list!

Question Tour with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Today I have a special guest on the blog! Please welcome Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful and the upcoming novel The Education of Bet. She has been doing a special tour where she answers one question a day, and today is mine! Here is the question I asked about The Education of Bet…..

Do you think a woman during this era could have truly done what Bet did?

I absolutely do. Females are incredibly resilient creatures. We’ve had to be: 1) to continually be the half of the species that regularly pushes babies out; and 2) to survive generations of being treated like second-class citizens, making incremental changes all the time, until we’ve reached the point where we are at today. We’re still not treated equally in everything but we’ve come so far just in my lifetime alone. Could all females in circumstances similar to Bet’s do what she does? No. But all it takes is one – one Susan B. Anthony, one Rosa Parks, one Hillary Clinton – to make changes and suddenly the world begins to change as well.

Thanks Lauren! And I fully agree, I think women have proved over and over again how strong we really can be.

Be sure to check back for my review of The Education of Bet in July!

 

Author Signing w/Julia Hoban

On Saturday I got the lovely opportunity to go see Julia Hoban and some bloggers in Valparaiso, IN. I’m only going to give a quick run down since Kristi, Kristen, and Erica have already given fabulous recaps!

Ok, so Friday night Kristen came down and crashed on my couch. I had a lot of fun talking w/her and keeping her up way too late. (heehee) We had lots of fun convos about books and blogging and would have totally kept her up later if she hat let me.

We headed off to Valpo around 11am and got there right around noon. We weren’t sure when Kristi and Erica would get there, so we decided to stop in B&N to see if we saw them. Walking in, I had a feeling that Erica was there because I saw a car w/her home state plates on it. But I thought it could be a coincidence! We headed in, checked out the signing spot and headed straight to the YA area. (After all, where else would YA Bloggers be?) We passed Erica, but I wasn’t sure it was her so we didn’t say anything. Luckily, Kristi was right up ahead so we called out to her and headed over.  And of course, Erica joined us seconds later!

We invited the girls to go to lunch with us, but Kristi already had plans to eat lunch with Julia! But, being her gracious self, she called Julia to make sure it was okay if we joined. Julia, who is such a sweetheart, said she would love for us to join her! She was only ten minutes away so the four of us headed over to Panera.

We had a lovely lunch (even though Kristi and Erica were very nervous) and it was fun hearing about Julia and her life. With about 15 minutes to spare, we headed over to the signing. After buying our books real quick, we grabbed seats in the front row. Julia came out, started talking, and get this…introduced us! She made sure everyone knew we were bloggers, what our sites were, and thanked us for helping make Willow what it was. We were all pretty shocked to say the least! None of us expected her to do that, but it was very sweet & cool of her to do! Julia read a couple of passages of Willow, talked a little bit, and then opened the floor for Q&A. Thankfully, people asked questions, but she still made sure each of us bloggers asked one, too.  (Thanks for pointing out I hadn’t asked on yet KRISTEN)

After the signing, Julia had about an hour before her driver came and was up for hanging with us some more. We went to the café and had some delicious pumpkin cheesecake. I know I’ve said this a billion times already, but Julia really is so sweet. She even invited us all to meet up with her again when we’re in NYC. (BEA!) We walked Julia out to her car for goodbye and hugs before she left to catch her plane.

Afterward, the four of us headed out to Chilis. We got in a lot more book & blogging & general talk. We must have stayed at least an hour or so before we headed back to B&N and went our separate ways. I am sooo glad I got to go and spend time with all four of these AMAZING ladies. I can’t wait to do it again!