Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Signing Recap- Hooray for Books Author Panel

So I did something really crazy. I drove a total of 7 hours in one day for a book signing (well, and also to do taxes at my parents' place but the signing spurred the idea). I was up early and back late, but it was so worth it. I loved seeing my parents for a bit and meeting a new author (Megan Shepherd) and seeing many others another time.

The signing was for Jodi Meadows, Meagan Spooner, Megan Shepherd, and Lenore Appelhans and held at Hooray 4 Books in Alexandria, VA. This is my fourth time meeting Jodi, so I had both her books signed already (as well as my copy of Dear Teen Me). I had met Meagan at BEA and she signed my copy of Skylark then, so I only had books for Lenore and Megan. When I showed my ARC of Level 2 to Lenore, she kept being like "Didn't I sign this already?" I had gotten my copy at BEA, but had only told her I'd gotten a copy but she didn't sign it at that point.

I got to the signing a bit before it started, but there were already plenty of people there. I was able to grab a seat and be my usual shy self by having my nose in a book (Skylark, to be exact, since I hadn't yet read it, which I still feel terrible about since Meagan helped so much in securing me a copy at BEA last year). Ellen Oh bumped into me while she was trying to find a seat, and we did a half-hug. It was great seeing her again. Lenore also came and visited me in the audience before the panel started and it was great to have a little chat with her. She was caffeinated and even more witty than she usually is.

The panel started and the authors introduced themselves and their books, then we attempted to launch into a QnA, but the bookseller wanted a reading first. So they answered the first question, then there was a little game where someone in the audience gave a page number (out of 288, as that was the length of Lenore's book; the others are longer) and the author would read a short bit from that page. It surprisingly worked out well and then we went into the QnA session. Jodi and Lenore bribed the audience with various swag to get them asking questions.

There were a lot of questions, and here's my notes that I wrote down at work the next day:

- Both Meagan and Megan share the same agent, and they originally wrote their debuts as stand-alone titles and were going to sell them as such. Their agent basically thrust the trilogy idea onto them once it sold, and they had to come up with ideas for the next 2 books. It's interesting to know that because, in the case of Madman's Daughter, I was trying to figure out how a trilogy would work since it's inspired by the 1-book Island of Dr. Moreau. So, Megan came up with the idea to use other gothic novels as inspiration for these characters' arcs. Book 2 will be inspired by Jekyll and Hyde.

- Jodi bribed with mittens, and tried to throw them. It didn't really work, so the third time, she just walked the prize over but shocked the person who won it. Someone joked that now no one would ask any questions.

- Someone asked about books-to-movies. Lenore and Megan both have movies in development, and there's a script done for Madman's Daughter already, which is good progress considering most options end in nothing happening.

- In answer to a question regarding writing advice, Megan stole Meagan's quote that she wanted to use. This was apparently the second or third time this has happened.

- In talking about upcoming books, Lenore is working on a picture book with her husband about cats. I am so hoping this gets published. I would totally buy a copy.

- Lenore talked about how she gets ideas and figures out plot problems in two different showers- one in Pompeii where she got the Level 2 idea, and her shower at home.

- Someone asked about how the authors chose their characters' names. Jodi mentioned how when she first wrote Incarnate, she came up with names that could be either male or female, but that didn't really work out. So she had to go through and change almost everyone's names.

- Lenore showed off Level 2's shiny spine underneath the dust jacket.

After the QnA, the authors signed. I spotted a TON of authors in the audience; aside from Ellen Oh, there was Jessica Spotswood, Miranda Kenneally, Jodi Lynn Anderson, and Diana Peterfreund. I had actually brought my copy of Diana's last book in case she showed up; I would've brought Star Cursed if I'd gotten an ARC by that point. So I had to run out to the car and grab the book so Diana could sign it. It was so great seeing her again and getting to chat for a minute. While we were waiting in line, she mentioned about how she was at a Melissa Marr event at Library of Congress a while ago trying to be incognito, and it was just her and 4 LoC members in attendance. Melissa recognized her, which she was surprised about. When she talked about being incognito, I thought she was going to mention being at Maggie Stiefvater's launch for Lament in Richmond, which I was at as well but didn't really know who she was then. But anyway, Diana's a sweetheart. I also said hi to Jessica Spotswood, who I wasn't sure if she remembered me since it had been like a year since we first met in person and there was a bit of an awkward moment when I first crossed paths with her in the crowd. But then when we were up at the table with the authors, she said I was awesome, which made me happy.

I got my books signed, and Lenore tried to get out of signing mine by saying she'd already signed it, which she hadn't. I'd only told her at BEA about getting the ARC but didn't get it signed then. I talked with Megan about my review for Madman's Daughter, which had gone up that day. She hadn't had a chance to read the review, but had seen the tweet and was excited about it. I got a picture with Lenore and Megan, and then almost left (like I had said goodbye to everyone and was outside the store) without getting a pic with Meagan. For some reason, I had equated already having my book signed with having gotten a picture with her, which was not the case. So then I left and made the long drive back down to Lynchburg. I went up and back in the same day; it was craziness, but so totally worth it.

Picture 1- Outside of Hooray for Books, where the event took place.
Picture 2- The authors on the panel; that person in front is blocking Jodi.
Picture 3- Me with Lenore and Megan.
Picture 4- Me with Meagan


  1. It is always awesome to see you!! And I still can't believe you drove that much! I thought that was amazing of you to do!

  2. You are awesome, and it was great to see you again! I recognized you right away but I wasn't sure if you recognized me, lol. Oh, awkwardness!

  3. Such a great write up! This looks like it was a lot of fun. Glad you got to meet so many amazing authors in one night. :-)