Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hello, I Left My Brain in Faerie World

So last Wednesday I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite writers, Holly Black. Dustin and I drove to Lexington to Jospeh-Beth Bookstore which was huge, gorgeous, and AH-MAY-ZING! I had one of the best moments of my life and one of the most embarassing. The book talk started at 7:00 PM, and we arrived a little late. I was surprised to see another person talking and standing next to Holly. I didn't know she was touring with another author. I originally thought it might be her agent or a PR person, but I quickly realized she was another writer of urban fantasy. Holly and the other writer began talking about their books and read excerpts from one of their books.

I went over to Dustin and quietly asked him to look up on his phone (he has the internet) who the second writer was. He looked it up and told me it was Cassandra Clare. I was a little puzzled because the book being talked about by the second writer didn't seem like any of the books published by Clare; Dustin mentioned she had said something about writing a prequel. So, I thought "Okay, maybe it's really new, and it's not on her site yet."I was kind of excited because I've been meaning to read Clare's books.

My attention went back to the talk, and when the time came for questions, I asked Holly Black, "Did you ever consider an alternate setting for Tithe because your faeries are very Old World, mysterious, violent, merciless as opposed to the modern, kind of 19th century faeries which are kind, benevolent and beautiful?" She responded, "No. I chose New Jersey because I lived there and it has these old, beautiful, rundown buildings in midst of this new, modern city. My mom and I actually broke into one of these old buildings. We found these beautiful, old carousel horses in one; my mom was a painter and wanted to take photographs of them so she could paint them. I liked the idea of these old creatures living in these rundown buildings in this city. So it made it more real, like you could actually spot them out of the corner of your eye." Some other cool info I learned, is that Tithe took five years to write; it was her first novel, and she struggled writing it and learned a lot. Tithe has also been picked up for a movie--though, I'm uncertain what to expect; crossing my fingers.

Eventually, everyone got the chance to meet and greet the authors and have books signed. I brought with me Tithe and purchased, Holly's new book, White Cat. I gave them to her to sign and talked with her. I told her, "I remember when Tithe first came out, and I loved it. I waited so long for Ironside [the sequel]." She was like, "I bet." There were five years in between the two: 2002-2007.  I meant to get a photograph; Dustin had my camera and everything, but I completely forgot.

I was going to pick up a book out of the second author's series on the table, entitled The Demon's Lexicon and ask the second writer to sign it. However, thinking it was Cassandra Clare, I had told Dustin before we got to the table, I'd like to have the older books (like I said earlier, I thought these were a prequel), such as City of Bones. Then I changed my mind and was going to get one of the books on the table signed, but Dustin was insistent I get City of Bones--he went and found it. So I tell the second writer hello, and say she's been on my to-read list for a while. And Dustin puts the book on the table, she looked puzzled, and nicely said, "That's great, but um, I didn't write that book." I thought, "OH NO! I just made a total idiot of myself, she probably hates me now because I don't know who she is." I profusely apologized, and she just smiled, laughed, and said it was no big deal.

I played it off well though, shifting the blame to Dustin. I said he had told me Cassandra Clare was touring with Holly. And Holly said, yeah the online site had said that, and they were originally, but something changed. I talked to the second writer, who's name was Sarah Rees Brennan, about YA fiction. I said, "I think YA fiction has some of the best stories. I'm 24, and kind of used to be embarrassed because I love YA fiction. However, reading more and talking to people (on book blogs), I realized so many other older people read these books." Sarah agreed with me. Holly added that she believed 90 percent of their readers were adults. We talked a little bit more about Zombies--relating to the current war among writers: Zombies VS. Unicorns; Sarah was Team Zombie (as was Dustin) and Holly and I were Team Unicorn. There's a book called Zombies VS. Unicorns coming out which Holly Black and several other writers duke it out in the form of short stories.

I left feeling exhilarated and embarrassed. I thought about getting the correct book and asking Sarah to sign afterward, but then I felt like, "Nah. I'll get it later, read it, and then twitter her saying 'Hey, I'm the girl who brought you the wrong book to sign, but I read your book now and loved it.'" I'm quite sure I will enjoy her books. As we were leaving the book signing area and going up the escalator, we turned around and saw a big banner that said "Welcome Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan." Felt like a big doofus. I met Holly Black and discovered a YA urban fantasy author, and that's the important part.

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