Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Pre-BookCon B&N Penguin Teen Event Recap

Last Friday, five Penguin Teen authors held a panel and signing at Barnes & Noble Union Square. It was right after BEA and the night before BookCon, which meant I was a very busy beaver trying to get ready for both this signing and BookCon. The authors in attendance were Sabaa Tahir, Marie Lu, Ransom Riggs, Melissa de la Cruz, and Renee Ahdieh.

I’ve been dying to see Renee Ahdieh since I read The Wrath and the Dawn. It’s one of my favorite books, and I’m due for a re-read. So, when I heard she was going to be signing at B&N, I was super excited: one, because she’s Renee freakin’ Ahdieh, and two, because it meant I didn’t have to sign up for her BookCon autograph panel since I was seeing her the night before. That just relieved a lot of pressure, in case I couldn’t get a signing ticket. (I’ll talk all about that fiasco in my BookCon recap, though.)

The event started with the panel. Someone from BuzzFeed interviewed the five authors. I don’t remember word-for-word what was said, but I’m going to recap and summarize what I do remember to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot.

When the interviewer asked about what aspects of their characters didn’t appear in the final book due to edits and cutting, Renee said that one of her characters (it sounded like she said Tachalla), can sing. Sabaa said her editor cut out an unnecessary dragon from the Ember world. Marie Lu said that the main character of Warcross used to be three separate characters, who were much more interesting once she combined them into one person. Warcross also used to be set in space. Sabaa said Helene likes to bake.

From Left: Sabaa, Ransom, Melissa, Renee, and Marie

For writing advice, Sabaa said to let yourself dream. She gave a really cute story about how her father thought she wasn’t working when she was daydreaming about her story, and her mother said that Sabaa was working, she was dreaming. Renee said to not listen to advice and to never go on Goodreads.

The authors also talked about what books got them into reading/they enjoyed as kids, and Ransom Riggs and Melissa de la Cruz both went with Stephen King. I wasn’t surprised to hear that about Ransom, but Melissa just seemed so nice and innocent, and Stephen King is definitely not that. Just goes to show that people can read anything and everything. Renee said she read her father’s copy of The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice when she wasn’t supposed to. She took it off a shelf her father expressly forbade her to take books from.

When the authors discussed their books’ covers, Sabaa said she’s super into Assassin’s Creed, the game, so she wanted that aspect to her covers as well as a brown girl on the cover for representation.

Once the interview and audience Q&A was over, the signing started. It went by pretty fast, despite me being in one of the middle rows. Because I’d already seen Sabaa before, I didn’t have anything for her to sign (plus I’m going to buy her books with the new covers once they’ve all been released next year). I also haven’t read Ransom or Melissa’s books, so I didn’t have anything for them either. I only had books for Marie Lu and Renee Ahdieh. I’ll tell you all a funny story about purchasing books for the signing in this week’s Stacking the Shelves. I’d do it here, but this post is getting pretty long.

First up in the signing line was Marie Lu. She didn’t realize I had the UK version of Batman, so she was very confused when she went to sign the title page. I also had her sign the copy of Warcross I’d bought to get access to the signing.

Next up was Renee. (It was very convenient that both of the authors I needed books signed from were sitting next to each other.) I had Renee sign both The Wrath and the Dawn books that I’d brought from home during my May vacation, as well as The Smoke in the Sun, which has the funny story attached to it.

"Rise from the ashes."

Renee was super nice, and she talked to me about publishing and my job and move to NYC. She also asked me, once I told her I was going to get food after the signing, where I was going to eat and if I had any food recs. Because I’m not a foodie, I told her I was probably just going to get McDonalds. #lame

All in all, the event was a success. There were a lot of people there because of BookCon and BEA, but I enjoyed it. It made me want to get caught up on Marie’s and Sabaa’s books. I even wanted to read Melissa’s Alexander Hamilton series, and I don’t even like Hamilton.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I LOVE your comments! And I do read all of them so keep at it! Thanks for visiting!