Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Leigh Bardugo's Mayhem and Magic Tour: My St. Louis Event Recap

As some of you may know, and as the rest of you are going to find out, I went to Leigh Bardugo’s St. Louis signing last week. I had only found out about it about two weeks before time, so I wasn’t that prepared. I had to pre-order Six of Crows and see if my parents could take me halfway because St. Louis is a three-hour one-way trip from where I live and my car is a piece of crap. Thankfully, my dad was able to drive me part of the way. Thanks, Pops! ;)

I first have to say that I meant to write all of my thoughts and a recap about the signing right after it happened, but life got away with me, so I’m sorry that this will probably not get into a lot of detail.

When I walked into the library’s signing area, the first thing I noticed were the birds. And not just any birds. There were crows. I took (blurry) pictures.

This one is I believe the American crow.

This one is the white-necked raven from Africa.

And finally, this crow has a name sort of like pine-something (far-left). I was trying to text the names of all of them and I missed the last one. Oops.

They were pretty hilarious during Leigh’s reading and Q&A. Every time they cawed, she’d respond to them. One time when one of them cawed, she even joked that it was giving her a one star on Goodreads!

The wait for the Q&A was pretty nice. They had cookies and even some crafts. I tried to do the origami crow thing they had steps and materials for, but the directions were awful, so I gave up. It was a cool idea, though.

Now, I should get onto the good stuff. When Leigh actually came out of wherever it was they were stashing her, she immediately rushed to take pictures of the crows. If I was an author, I think this would be a very cool perk of the job. You get to have live birds at your author signing, how cool!

After the birds, Leigh came over and read an excerpt of Six of Crows to us, obviously. And she did it with accents! It was awesome! She said that she had caught a cold somewhere on tour, but I don’t think it affected her voice that much. She just had a few sniffles. Oh! And she also read a poem she wrote when she was 11. It was called “Transition #2” and was about chaos and innocence. Leigh didn’t know what drama she had going on in her life at the time to be able to write so seriously about innocence at the age of 11. 

Leigh then discussed her influences for Six of Crows, which were 1) that she wanted to step away from “the Chosen One” storyline, 2) her biological dad—the radical Jerusalem criminal, 3) her brawler grandpa (she also discussed a hilarious story about how her grandpa taught her to punch her bus bully), and 4) her stepdad who wanted her to write the American novel, but probably wouldn’t have understand YA literature. She said she probably wouldn’t have written The Grisha Trilogy if he was still alive, just because he wouldn’t have approved.

During the Q&A portion of the night, a question was asked about which Hogwarts House her characters would be in. Here’s a quick rundown:

Kaz = Slytherin
Matthias & Nina = Gryffindor
Jesper = Gryffindor or Ravenclaw
And I totally missed one character but she said s/he would be in Hufflepuff. (I’m assuming this one is Wylan?)

She was also asked a question about relating to her fandom that she replied to as politely as possible. She basically said it’s hard and sometimes there are mean things directed at you, but authors were on Twitter/Facebook/whatever before they actually became authors.

Another question was about theme songs for the characters. She said that that would be too hard to name a song for them all, but she said Kaz’s would be “Sinister Kid.”

Oh, and small tidbit, she said she cried when she met George R.R. Martin for the first time. Yes, somehow she’s been lucky enough to meet him more than once.

After the Q&A, we lined up to sign. Of course I didn’t realize there was a line forming, so I ended up being close to the end. *sigh*

But I met some cool people, one of which (I believe her name is Becca) told me that "crowbar" was the keyword to get more swag. It totally worked! Thanks, Becca!

Then I took a picture with Leigh. She was holding up the books for the pics and I totally didn’t bring the dustjackets for mine because I was going on a long trip and I didn’t want them to get injured, so she took a picture with a naked book. Oh, and I also managed to drop one of the free buttons she was giving out and I was too embarrassed to go back and get it. Plus I really had to go to the restroom. ;)

OH! And Leigh asked me who my favorite character was and I said Mal, so she wrote a Mal quote in Ruin and Rising. Apparently, people in Texas really like Mal, too. But in Brazil, it's all about the Darkling. 


All in all, it was a fun signing and I think I definitely stood outside my comfort zone a little with this one. At the Sarah J. Maas signing I was an awkward wreck and at the HarperTeen signing I was just nervous as all get-out. Maybe by the time I meet Rainbow Rowell I’ll actually be able to string more than two sentences together?

Have you met any authors before? If so, you should let me know who so I can be a jealous fangirl. 

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