Yesterday afternoon, I headed up to Nashville for my first ever author event. I’m fortunate to live less than 30 minutes from Nashville and less than 5 minutes from a giant Barnes & Noble, so there’s author events galore around here, but I’ve never actually attended one. I guess I’ve been hanging out in my own little bubble of oblivion or something.
But yesterday changed all that! I got wind a couple weeks ago that there was going to be an event at Parnassus Books with Myra McEntire, Amy Plum and C.J. Redwine. At the time I learned about the event, I hadn’t read any of their books, but I had heard of them and was determined to be thoroughly educated by the time the event arrived!
I read Hourglass and Timepiece by Myra McEntire first, and absolutely loooooooved them. Like seriously. Imagine I made a ridiculous face while saying that, because saying “I loved them” like a normal person just doesn’t do justice to the amount of happy feelings I had after finishing Timepiece.
I read Die For Me by Amy Plum next, which I enjoyed. It didn’t rock my world, but it was a fun read and I was still excited to read its sequel, Until I Die. I was all set to buy a copy, when, lo and behold, I won one. Score! Only problem was, it wasn’t going to arrive in time for the signing. Drat! Oh well.
Then, in an awesome and bizarre coincidence, I was able to get my hands on a copy of Defiance by C.J. Redwine just two days before the signing, and it blew me away. Seriously, it was amazingly good, and I’m so glad I was fortunate enough to read it now instead of having to wait until the end of August.
So anyway. I was PREPARED for this signing.
Before the signing, I met up with some other Tennessee book bloggers for an early dinner at Panera. It was my first time ever interacting in person with other bloggers, and it was a lot of fun. Represented were Marla from Starting the Next Chapter, Nikki from Books Most Wanted, Shalena from Writer Quirk, Hannah from The Book Vortex, and Megan from Myth-Illogical. And me. Duh.
We headed back to Parnassus around 6, ready for the signing to start at 6:30.
C.J. arrived first, and sat right behind us, since she wasn’t actually a participant in the event itself (probably because her book is still months away from release). We chatted for a few minutes and I may have incoherently gushed just a tad about how much I loved her book, and how I read it all on Mother’s Day, and how I nearly had a heart attack at one point.
Amy and Myra arrived a few minutes prior to 6:30, grabbed some water, and got down to business.
And guys, I’ll admit it. I took notes. Copious notes. As I furtively glanced around, I noticed I was the only one taking notes, but I know me. I have the memory of a goldfish sometimes, and without notes, I would never remember anything they said. And I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything fun at all. But thanks to my extensive, copious notes, I can give you some fun details.
First Amy introduced herself and told us a little about herself and her books.
Some interesting tidbits:
- She knew she wanted to write a paranormal romance, so she made a list of all the paranormal creatures she could think of (vampires, unicorns, werewolves, etc.), then stared at it and tried to decide which ones she wanted to write about.
- She eventually narrowed it down to two: zombies and gods. She then set out to take aspects of each and merge them into something new and interesting. Thus, the Revenants were created.
- She lives in France, and lived in Paris for five years. Specifically, she lived in Jules’ art studio.
Then Myra took the floor for a couple minutes to introduce herself and her books.
- Ivy Springs is based on Franklin, TN (which is where I live! Woohoo!)
- She started writing Hourglass in a writers’ club, where she was given a prompt that may-have-been-but-wasn’t-necessarily “Ann Dosseldorf.” She started writing based on this (dumb) prompt, and thus the first chapter of Hourglass was born.
- Most of the plot Hourglass was the result of her calling people up and asking “what if?” questions.
- She wanted to make sure her main love interest was not “creepy and sparkly.”
They then took turns reading from their latest books, Amy from Until I Die and Myra from Timepiece.
Then the floor was opened up for Q&A. Here’s some highlights from each of them.
- When asked a question about whether or not there’s going to be another point-of-view change in the 3rd Hourglass book, Myra cryptically responded that there is no third book. Officially. And that we should maybe check her blog soon, maybe, because there could be something there, allegedly, about something. Maybe.
- Then I threw something at her.
- Okay, I didn’t, but I kind of wanted to. There MUST be a third Hourglass book!
- The original title for Hourglass was “Weaver,” which she admits sucked.
- The original name of The Hourglass was The Establishment, which is much less cool.
- She recommends that no one ever attempt to write a time travel book, ever. Including her. Because it’s just too hard and confusing.
- Emerson Cole was not named after the creepy kid in The Sixth Sense who sees dead people. But once I drew her attention to the connection, she said that from now on, she will say she named Emerson after him on purpose, and she will put an asterisk with my name by any mention of it, because that is a cool connection.
- I kind of hope she does.
- She doesn’t have a lot of time to read, and when she does, she prioritizes the writing of her crit [critique] partners, C.J. Redwine and Jodi Meadows. She also loves audio books.
- Her favorite characters to write are Emerson (because she wished she was more sarcastic as a teen) and Kaleb (because he is awesome).
- The most surreal part about her entire authoring experience was “everything.” Literally.
- The original title of Die For Me was “Sleepwalking,” which she loved but HarperTeen thought was too boring. So she suggested a bunch of other titles, which they rejected, and then they picked “Die For Me.” She likes it now.
- The third book is called If I Should Die.
- The first book she wrote, which has never seen the light of day, is a memoir of her first year in the French countryside entitled A Year In the Vines.
- She also doesn’t have much time to read, and will read her friends’ books first, then books sent by her publishers. She is also endeavoring to read more in French, since she lives in France and is trying to be a “good expatriate.”
- She has to write sitting on her bed. She built an office to write in, and had to put a bed in it because she can’t write at a desk.
- She had 3 surreal moments as an author. The first was finishing her first book (A Year In the Vines). The second was when her beta reader told her she may have something with the first few chapters of Die For Me. And the third was when she was offered her book deal with HarperTeen and realized she was going to be able to quit her job teaching at a university in order to write.
- Her favorite characters to write are Kate and Georgia, but it’s hard for her to pick because she adores all her characters, even the villains.
- The first draft of Die For Me was a lot steamier because her beta reader was really into historical romance and kept telling her to dial it up. Most of the steamy additions were the first things to go during the editing process (much to Amy’s relief).
After the Q&A, they set up a table to sign stuff for us. I got my copies of Hourglass and Defiance signed, but didn’t have either of Amy’s books yet. Fortunately, I had contacted her on Twitter earlier in the day explaining that I was getting the books but they hadn’t arrived yet, and she told me she’d come prepared with bookplates for me. So she signed those instead, and they are ready and waiting for whenever my books arrive.
Also, when I revealed that I hadn’t read Until I Die yet, she responded (extremely cryptically, I might add), “Oh…I apologize for the end. I’m really, really sorry. I mean, I had to do it. I had to. But I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad at me.”
“What did you do?” I asked her. “Who dies? Who dies?” But she wouldn’t tell me.
So for those of you who have read it, if you are mad, Amy is sorry.
I posed for pictures with all three authors, but for some reason my camera ate my picture with Myra. So now I’m going to have to stalk her and get another one.
Relax. I’m kidding.
But at least I have pictures with C.J. and Amy! And BONUS: I do not look like a psycho. You have no idea how many pictures of me there are floating around the world where I look like a psycho. I don’t know what it is I do. I have like psycho eyes or something. But in these pictures, I look like a human! Huzzah!
I will have to track down Myra at a future date to get a picture. She lives in Nashville, so surely there will be an event in the near-ish future where I can right my photographic wrongs.
Aside from that one mishap (which I didn’t even realize until way after the event had ended), the event was so much fun. I’ll have to make it a point to go to more of these in the future!
And then I went home and watched TV until 11:30, because I had really overdone it with the Dr. Pepper at Panera.