Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jodi Meadows and Co. Launch Event Recap

So if you saw my Stacking the Shelves post yesterday, you know that I went to the Jodi Meadows launch event for Before She Ignites in NYC. Jodi Meadows wasn’t the only YA author there, however. C.J. Redwine, Erin Summerill, and Dhonielle Clayton were also there to promote their books.

C.J. Redwine was one of the authors on my list of authors I wanted to meet, so I knew I had to go to this event, even if it meant spending more money than I should. What was really sad about the signing, though, is that C.J. Redwine is one of my favorite authors. I LOVE The Courier’s Daughter trilogy (Logan + Rachel = OTP), but I left the entire trilogy and the first book in her Ravenspire companion series at my parents’ house! ACK!

I also left The Orphan Queen, the first book in Jodi’s fantasy duology, at my parents’ house as well. I was so sad when I realized I wouldn’t be able to get my favorite trilogy by C.J. signed. I’m still a little bitter, but I guess the world goes on… *sigh*

Anywho, I forced my roommates to come to the NYC Books of Wonder launch event with me, and I just thought I’d share as many details as I remember/took notes over.


The event itself wasn’t very large. There were about 20 chairs set up, and even though I was there only a half an hour early, I still got a seat. It also started a little late because Dhonielle, author of Tiny Pretty Things, was running late (she continuously joked throughout the panel that she runs late when she’s on deadline).

Once things got started, the moderator asked some questions. I’ve provided them below, but I don’t have a photographic memory; thus, they won’t be word-for-word transcriptions.

Q: How do fairytales and fantasy stories provide inspiration for you in your writing?

CJ: Fairytales were, in the past, verbal stories. They always seem like brief synopses of larger stories. I wanted to look in between the cracks of those fairytales and answer the whys. Also, fairytales translate scary things from real life into fantasy. Witches and goblins are lenses for real life problems.

Dhonielle: I made up my own fairytales for The Bells. (Note: The Bells is her upcoming release.)

Erin: Fairytales connect.

Dhonielle (left), some random woman's head, and Erin (right)

Jodi: They provide social commentary.

CJ: I got frustrated with stories like Snow White’s where she would be okay with cleaning some random dudes’ house.

 Q: What is a book that has been influential to you that has its issues, but is still good? And, what is a book that is good and revisionist?

Dhonielle: Narnia and The Indian in the Cupboard have their issues, but they’re good stories. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is just good.

Erin: Robin McKinley has misogynistic elements. The Babysitters Club and The Giver by Lois Lowry have their issues.

CJ: Narnia and the Grimm’s fairytales have problematic elements. Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns turned tropes.

Jodi: Mercedes Lackey is influential but has issues. Girls Made of Snow and Glass, a fairytale retelling, is really good.

Q: What’s your writing process like?

Jodi: I stress knit and cry. I knit a cape and Outlander gloves. I used to binge write, but I don’t do that anymore.

CJ: I don’t outline, but I develop my characters beforehand.

C.J. (left) and Jodi (right)

Erin: My process involves a lot of Hot Tamales and Coke Zero. I also plot out my characters, as well as the story’s middle. Then, I go to the beginning and end. I also write with my eyes closed.

Jodi: I watched her type with her eyes closed once without Erin knowing.

Dhonielle: My writing partner helps me outline, or I wouldn’t do it. I have to handwrite everything, then type it all up. I also leave the country if I’m on deadline so I can gain extra hours. I plan on going to Australia next. I might visit Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Basically, Dhonielle recommended time travel to aspiring writers.
An audience member also asked a question about writing other books and how easy/hard it was to write another book once that first book/series is complete.

Jodi: Each book is challenging in different ways, and each is harder than the last.

After the writing- and book-related questions, a HarperCollins editor asked about the stuffed bat that was sitting in front of Erin on the table. Because I don’t remember exactly who said what, I’ll just sum it up.

From left: Erin, the stuffed bat, and C.J.
C.J., Jodi, and Erin were all staying in the same hotel room for the NYC event the night before. While C.J. and Jodi were sleeping and Erin was doing work on her laptop, a bat started flying around their room. Erin was apparently very traumatized and she started to scream. She threw her bedcovers over her head and yelled. Eventually, they ushered the bat into the hallway and called the front desk. Apparently, later on, they heard and saw two guys trying to catch the bat with giant trash bags. No one else in the hotel was disturbed by all of this.

Last moderator question: What’s next for you?

Jodi: The sequel to My Lady Jane, called My Plain Jane, which I like to describe as Jane Eyre meets Ghostbusters.

CJ: The Traitor Prince, the third companion book in the Ravenspire series.

Erin: Ever the Brave, which is out in December. I also have a standalone book set in the same world as Ever the Hunted coming out next year.

Dhonielle: The Belles is out in February, but I also have a secret project in the fall and a middle grade series out in the summer of 2019.


Okay, so that was the panel portion. It was hilarious! I don’t know if my brief summation really gave it justice. That bat story and the time traveling comments had the audience in stitches.

The signing part went by very quickly since there weren’t a ton of people. I was actually sixth in line because I had bought my books at Books of Wonder before the event started.

Jodi was first in the signing line, so I was able to get a quick pic with her. 

Jodi (left) and me (right).

She signed the book with "You are fine."

C.J. was next, and I pretty much acted like a complete fool. I told her that I owned all of her books but I left them back in Missouri.  I rambled. Then, I just went silent. My roommate (who I nominated to take pics for me while I got my books signed) was probably embarrassed by my weirdness.

I didn’t get a picture with C.J., simply because the table was set up weird. I couldn’t really get around it and the other authors to do so. The same thing happened with Erin.

Erin was super nice. She knew how to pose for a picture too, even though she joked that she probably had a weird grimace in one of them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything for Dhonielle to sign. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time to buy everyone’s books. However, Dhonielle lives in NYC and, from what the moderator said, is a frequent author at their events. Thus, I’ll probably get the chance to get a book signed by her again.

All in all, this event was a little hectic for me. It was my first NYC book signing event, and it was the first one that happened right after I got off work. I was mess, but it was still fun. I just hope I get the rest of my C.J. Redwine collection signed by her at some point in my lifetime…


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