I went to my very first book event today hosted by one of the local independent bookstores where I live. I got to see Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman speak about their writing lives, answer questions, and be generally awesome and hilarious.
Because this was my first event, I had no idea what to expect. My wife was wonderful enough to come with me, and we left over two hours early to ensure prime seating. By the time we got downtown, parked, found something to eat, and made it to our seats, there were still 90 minutes until start time and there were only two other people waiting. I felt a little silly for arriving so early, but only a little, because we totally got front row seats.
It was neat to watch the room fill up and talk to the others around me. Most of them had been to events like this before, and ALL of them were younger than me. Just one of the hazards of being a thirty something with a deep affinity for YA. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Mostly it was just cool to be in a room full of people who are as excited as I am about books. The majority of my real life friends are just not into it, so I felt an incredible sense of community there in that little bookstore today.
The authors spoke for about thirty minutes and told really funny stories about some of the shenanigans they’ve experienced thus far on the tour. They talked about the different books they are working on and then spent another 15 or so minutes answering questions. The audience had some really neat questions, several of which the authors had never been asked before. I chickened out and did NOT ask a question, but of course once I got back to the safety of my own car, I thought of one. If I hadn’t been a total chicken shit, my question would have been: Of all of the books you have written, which is your favorite one?
Someone did ask them who they would cast should these be made into a movie. Consequently, the series IS being made into a movie, but they will have no say in the casting. They did share with us who they pictured while they were writing the characters and I thought it was super neat, so I’m going to share it with you. Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me remember who they said for Katie and Ezra, though Ezra was one of the guys from Gossip Girl. But for the leads in the new books, they pictured a young Kristen Bell (circa Veronica Mars) as Hanna and for Nik, it was Bob Morley who plays Bellamy on the 100.
After they finished answering questions, they held a quick raffle for book two in the series, Gemina. I want one of these more than perhaps I have ever wanted anything in my whole life, but alas, I did not win. I did get to chat with them quickly while they signed my copy of Illuminae, and they were kind enough to pose for a photo with me! Check it out!!
All in all this was a super great experience, and I cannot wait to go to another! If you get the chance to go to a book event where you live, I highly recommend it!