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Category: Author Event

Meeting a YA Legend

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.


Andersons Annual YA Literature Conference

Andersons Annual YA Literature Conference

Today was Anderson’s Bookshop’s Annual Young Adult Literature Conference.

I was all excited about the line up. Some great new authors and some old favorites were coming including people like Bill Willingham, Ilsa Bick, Lisa McMann, Paul Griffin, Sharon Draper and many many more. I was armed with books I had at home by these awesome authors and told myself I’d only buy a book or two, but no more.

You can guess how well that worked. I ended up with four, which isn’t too bad, but still.

So, the morning started off great. I bumped into Sheila from Penguin, who I love and adore and she introduced me to author Paul Griffin, a fantastic man who works with incarcerated teens and has three fantastic novels – Orange Houses, Ten Mile River, and Stay with Me. And we ended up chatting about books, reluctant readers, and the kids we work with. It was great, probably the highlight of my day and what a way to start off! I even got a picture with him after he signed all my books:

Then the Theodore Boone group came and did a little skit about the books, which was hilarious and well done.

The first breakout session I went to was Urban Voices, which feature Coe Booth, Paul Griffin, Torrey Maldonado, Paul Volponi, and Jacqueline Woodson. It was fantastic to hear about their views on urban fantasy and talk more about their books.

The second breakout session I went to was New Voices, which included the awesome authors Michelle Hodkin, Elizabeth Miles, Anna Perera, and Bill Willingham. I loved hearing more about their inspiration behind such books as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Fury, Guatanamo Boy, and Down the Mysterly River.

Then we had some great speakers when we got back from the breakout sessions: Mike Lupica, Anna Perera, Lisa McMann, Patrick Carman, and Sharon Draper. The last session I attended was about Broken Worlds and included three awesome authors – Ilsa Bick, Jeff Hirsh and Lisa McMann. Overall, it was a fantastic day and I feel my love of literature completely renewed. I can’t wait to start reading some of the books I picked up today. 🙂


Still Can’t Believe It Happened!

Still Can’t Believe It Happened!

So, on Wednesday Drea, Kristen, and I met up for the “This Is Teen” event at local indie bookstore. (Well, kind of local. It’s a great meeting place for the three of us — almost right in the middle of all of our homes!)

And we got to hear the always wonderful Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, and Maggie Stiefvater speak about their books and tell us stories, and yes, we even played Mad Libs!

But…having Meg Cabot there, for me, completely overshadowed EVERYTHING. I read “The Princess Diaries” right before the Disney movie came out. (Book is better!) And Meg Cabot has been one of my idols since I was an actual teenager!

Anyway, I brought a vintage (!) Princess Diaries book, bought at a Waldenbooks, to be signed for my sister. (We shared books when we were little and once they re-covered The Princess Diaries books, I gave Laura full ownership of the old copies.) And after Meg signed the books, I managed NOT to say anything too stupid and somehow wound up behind the table and MEG CABOT HUGGED ME.

Sigh, guys, did this really happen?

Oh, yeah, thank GOODNESS Drea took a picture for proof!

(The picture is slightly blue, but that’s my camera’s fault!)

Best day ever? I THINK SO!

Lucky/Unlucky Book Signing Event

Lucky/Unlucky Book Signing Event


Last night, there was this awesome event at Andersons Bookshop called the Lucky/Unlucky Tour. 9 awesome authors were there promoting their books. The best part, besides meeting these awesome authors was hanging out with Erica from The Book Cellar and Kristi from The Story Siren (who was in town for a conference, talk about great karma!).

It was full of fun and hilarity. I haven’t read most of the books, but I bought them anyways (bad me) and got them signed. Here’s who was there and what they wrote:

(from the right side)

Sara Bennett Wealer, author of Rival.

Courtney Allison Moulton, author of Angelfire.

Leah Clifford, author of A Touch Mortal.

Lisa & Laura Roecker, authors of The Liar Society.

Saundra Mitchell, author of The Vespertine.

Sarah Rees Brennan, author of The Demon’s Covenant.

Julie Karr, author of XVI.

Christine Johnson, author of Claire De Lune.

If you live near Chicago, make sure to stop by Andersons for signed books if you’re interested in one of these awesome authors!

I was astounded that Saundra remembered me from the Debs signing a year or so ago, which was awesome. I also got to hang out with Kristi after the signing which was awesome. I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since I saw her last.

It was a lot of fun and I even got to meet an upcoming debut author – Scott Tracey, whose debut Witch Eyes comes out in September.

I’m looking forward to seeing some more awesome authors at Andersons this summer, including Libbra Bray, Meg Cabot, Maggie Stiefvater, Amy Plum, and many more! 🙂

Veronica Roth Signing

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

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

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.

nametagWe 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!