Sunday, April 29, 2018

Laura Sebastian's Ash Princess NYC Launch Event Recap

Last Tuesday, I attended Laura Sebastian’s NYC launch event for her debut novel, Ash Princess. I’ve already read and reviewed the book, so if you’re interested in my thoughts, head on over to that post.

This event wasn’t at the usual bookstore my roommate and I go to for author signings. This one was at McNally Jackson. And, even though it was a bit farther from us than Books of Wonder, we ended up getting there roughly 30-40 minutes early.

I’m thinking that our early arrival was why what happened next actually happened. When I went to purchase my copy of Ash Princess, the manager of the store (I’m assuming, as he worked there), gave my roommate and I each a rose…? We totally weren’t sure why, because we seemed to be the only people at the event that had them. Maybe because we were the first to purchase a copy of the book for the signing? But whatevs. A free rose is a free rose? I guess…

There was macarons and wine at the event. Laura and some of her friends set it up very quickly a few minutes before starting the actual panel. Even though we had to wait to eat the macarons, it was a pretty setup.

Once everyone had gotten their wine (I forewent the alcohols), Laura answered some questions from her friend, who helped emcee the event. One major question Laura answered was how she pitched her book. She posed it as a “Slytherin Sansa Stark Story.” Sansa Stark is not my favorite GoT character, but I can see the comparison, as Theo—Ash Princess’s main character—isn’t my favorite, either.

Laura also discussed how she let the girl she babysat read drafts of her work. Oh, and Laura apparently wrote ten other stories before finally getting a response from an editor/agent. Another question the emcee had revolved around Cress, Theo’s friend in the story. To Laura, complex female friendships are important, so she wanted to make sure to include one.

Also, there was a lightning round of questions. Laura quickly answered what her favorite childhood book was: Ella Enchanted. The book she’d wish she’d written: The Winner’s Curse. And who she wanted to blurb her book: Gail Carson Levine.

Once the emcee finished asking questions, the audience Q&A opened up. Laura discussed love triangles, how she added violence to her story because her editor said she should go there, and how her book boyfriend would be Carden from The Cruel Prince.

The actual signing portion of the event went by pretty quickly. Laura signed my book, I signed her copy that she was letting all the attendees sign, and I grabbed a macaron.

All in all, it was a fun event, simply because of how charismatic and genuine I felt Laura was. While Ash Princess wasn’t my favorite YA fantasy, I am excited to see what happens next in the world, so I’m glad Laura was a nice and pleasant author to interact with.

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