Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Into the Future Tour - and swag

The day I figured out that these three authors were coming to MY Barnes & Noble, I couldn't sleep or walk straight & I was in denial. Just in case, I ordered their books online. (Just in case they really came.)

I already had a copy of Shatter Me & Under the Never Sky that I got for myself last winter... they were waiting in my very special TBR Pile, the one I save exclusively as "awesome reading" should I bog down in review reading. (Anna Carey's book would've been there, in my pile, too, if I wasn't runnin' so many giveaways all the time.)

I even managed to read Shatter Me - review (and signed giveaway!!) to follow. Today maybe.

SPRING INTO THE FUTURE TOUR - PORTLAND STOPThen magnificent Cynthia Hand joined the tour... which is totally SQUEEE-worthy!! (I bought a copy of Hallowed as soon as I got to the store).

See how the poster says "Portland"?  And "Barnes & Noble Clackamas"?! Oh Yea... THAT'S ME!!!  (My store)

Friday I paced all day... and got myself on location early. Just in case there'd be a line wrapped around the building. YOU NEVER KNOW!!  Fortunately I arrived before the chairs, almost, and got a good seat. I forgot my camera. I didn't even know I'd forgotten my camera. It's a good thing my phone is attached to my hip. Even a great camera wouldn't turn me into a photographer.

Have you been to one of these book signings?!  We got to ask the authors cool questions!!  I say "we" very loosely 'cause I scrunched down in my chair and pretended I was a decoration (like a pretty flower?) whenever the moderator looked around expectantly with the microphone. *cough*

Happily there were braver souls... and I took notes!

What are the hardest scenes to write?

Cynthia - Romance!! I'm more of an action kinda girl!

Tahereh - I love the kissing scenes!!  Hardest parts to write would be Death & Disaster. Kenji is the funnest character to write about with the attitude.

Anna - Same as Cynthia. I want to give the characters some privacy!

Veronica - Dark scenes are a struggle. I've been known to spend the day on Twitter avoiding them.

How did you come up with your characters' names?

Cynthia - Clara almost wasn't Clara 'cause of Claire (or Clare?!) being so close... but Clara wouldn't change her name for me, that's who she was and I'm glad!  The boys' names - Christian & Taylor - are my favorite boy names. If I'd've had a boy instead of a girl (baby) I wouldn't have had a name for him!!  Btw... I know what book 3 is going to be called!!  I can't tell you, but we just figured it out. You'll know SOON, but I can't say today!

Anna - Street signs in LA unconsciously sneak into my books!

Veronica - Perry has a cool background - Peregrine hawks are an endangered species and birds of prey are significant for his character, so that was total confirmation that I'd chosen the right name. (She said it so much better than my dumb notes remind me... I totally missed WHY birds of prey are significant!!)

Tahereh - For me, the names came before the story. Can I share about naming the book?  "Shatter Me" wasn't my first title idea. The book was nearly "Touch Juliette". We were trying to brainstorm 2nd & 3rd book titles for the series and it was getting weird, "Wash Adam"?!  I'm so grateful for my editor insisting that "Touch Juliette" did not work even when I didn't see a problem with it.

How much time does it take you to write a book?

Cynthia - Unearthly was 6 months from Idea to Draft.

Anna - Eve took about 9 months from beginning to end. The 1st draft was about 2 - 2 1/2 months.

Veronica - For me it changes per manuscript depending on challenges, but about 6-9 months for the first draft.

Tahereh - About 2 1/2 months of "pants optional lifestyle".  Writing is an interesting process. some days there's lots of words, but other days are spinning in a chair talking in a British accent or sock skating.  Some days it's really fun, and some days it's like punching yourself in the face.  (That's what my notes say!)

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Veronica - So many different things!!  A marine biologist. An artist.  Anything creative.

Anna - In 7th grade I wanted to be a tap dancer. Or Flutist. Or Painter... but writing persisted. The best thing about being a writer is getting to do all those things in the books, like being a soccer player!

Tahereh - Whatever my parents wanted. When I was 5, I wanted to be a Chemist until I figured out I can't multiply. But I can spell the h-- out of a word!

Cynthia - She-Ra!!  Princess of Power!!!   In 7th grade I knew I wanted to be a writer. In Hi-School, I got into acting and then I was in pre-law in college before having an epiphany:  "I don't want to be a lawyer!"  You gotta do what you love!

What was it like when your first book was released?

Tahereh - I was mortified!  Edits for the second book were due, so I was at home, working hard and my friends and family told me, "Go see your book on the shelves!"  I went to see them, but I stayed on the other side of the room, looking across at them. Drive-by Looking.

Anna - It changes your relationships with bookshelves... like seeing other children on the playground, I'm curious where my book is in the store. It's funny because my job is to hallucinate all day, only it's real! I have a friend who went to see her book in the store when it was released and she asked the clerk about the "today's new release" and they were like, "oh yea, Steve Jobs' book is over there!"

Veronica - I went with my dad and he was telling everyone, "she wrote this!!" I was so embarrassed!  I love it now, seeing all my friends' books on the shelves. YA is a small community.

Cynthia - For me, the most emotional moment was opening the box from the publisher and seeing my book in print for the first time... Wow!!!  It feels like a weird sense of fraud... like, "you know I made this up?"

Do you read the reviews?

Cynthia - Because of the internet, you hear what people say. At first, I wanted to read it all, but even nice comments can skew your reality. Then there's that person that wants you to know... "I hate you, I hate your book and I want you to know that!!" It's all so close because of the internet.  What I like best?  We know the same people in my story!!!

Tahereh - The review thing is like a whole 'nother beast. People are so intense!!  Twitter is 140 characters of awesome!  I didn't know how to deal with people saying they got me book. Uh... "don't worry if you don't like it!!  We can still be friends!!!"

Anna - I'm kind of immunized from a workshop I took in college. We submitted our work to each other and shared opinions and I learned that these 2 always loved what I wrote and these 2 always hated it... and these 3 I could listen to for making revisions. Want to know my favorite question?  "When does the next book come out?"  It means they liked my book and can't wait for more. Wow.

Veronica - I've learned to adapt over time.  The first time I was harshly critiqued was at UCLA in an art class. I had this butcher paper and we were told to just "go for it" and I did, but the teacher criticized my effort.  That was the end of my art career for a long time!  My skin was not thick at all. But, we're all so different, we make different choices all the time. It's ok if everyone doesn't love my book.

Let me say again... that I remember what they said from my notes, which were scratched in haste. I know I perked up when the internet and review discussion came up... I think that's when my eyes took on that predatory look. 'Cause that's about when I started brainstorming this post!!  I have an extra signed poster and some swag. If you'd like something, tell me in the comments and I'll randomly pick someone(s). 

Why, you ask, are there so many pictures of me?!  Huh.  Well... it went like this...

I got a phone call from home. Cam-Shaft was injured and he thought maybe his arm was dislocated or at least broken and Cool, Man wasn't sure why the upset little guy was being so loud about it, like maybe there was a problem that required emergency assistance.  As Mom, my first question was "what time is it?" Why that effects injuries is a mystery, but since it was 15 minutes after bedtime, we decided to send injured child and offending big brother to quiet bed confinement and see if that solved the injury. Meanwhile, I requested to skip ahead of the book-signing line... 'cause there was no way I was taking anyone to the ER before I got my books signed!!  (duh!)

The kind bookstore clerks and fans re-arranged themselves just for me and I was suddenly face-to-face with Cynthia Hand. Cue slack-jaw comments like "I have a book".  My phone rings again (now I'm talking while in the front of the line) and turns out Cam-Shalf will pull through.  PHEW!

All I could think about is how I want to give away as much stuff as I can while keeping as much stuff as I can at the same time. Logically!!  So I whip out my Nook and ask Cynthia to sign the cover for me - 'cause Unearthly is on it, only I forget to mention that... or anything else remotely intelligent.  But I get this bright idea of proving I was there by getting my picture taken with her. It would have been cool if I'd've bravely asked all four authors to look at the volunteer trying to figure out how to hold my tiny phone AND take a picture, too, but I was still babbling nonsense.  The look in my eyes, however, is triumphant like I tricked everyone, or something. But really, they were all so generous, even though I held up the line for a long time for someone who hurried to the front for an "emergency".

Anna Carey offered me extra posters to share with my readers & Veronica Rossi was so nice and personable. Cynthia gave me extra bookmarks and temp tattoos  to share. Tahereh Mafi was so kind and thoughtful and gave me a necklace while signing  my name, "Burgandy Ice".

Yes... I asked them to sign my internet name on the books I had second copies of. Is that weird?  It's my book-lovin' identity... it seemed normal to me.

You know what else seemed totally normal?!  Fangirling with a huge grin. Attempting to monopolize the conversation all the way down the table. Pretending like I was best-buds with each one of 'em. NORMAL, I tell ya!!  What was weird was the mom who was my age standing back so her daughter could get signatures. For one tiny second I wondered if I was acting half my age instead of my mature older-than-all-authors self.


I got over it the next moment.  There are not enough awesome books and awesome writers out there to get hung up over what kind of fun books I like to read.  So, yea!!  I love YA!!  And I love keepin' company with all the wonderful YA readers!!  I don't think I've ever cared how old anyone was when it comes to books. Brains are what's important!!  Gotta have some brains!

Hey... wanna know the TOTALLY WEIRD THING?!  I've been blogging for what... 7 months?  In a BUBBLE. I wondered if I'd meet other bloggers goin' to this thing... other blogger that live near me. That blog.

Wouldn't you know it?!  Michelle from The Passionate Bookworm was there.  Yep.  So, now we're like best buds, right?  Naw... I've still gotta tell her I was there.  *cough* I would've introduced myself on the spot if... well, if I didn't feel totally lame, like...  I mean, whatya do?!  "Hi - I'm just like you!"  "Uh, what?!"  "I mean, I blog - I review books and stuff. I even read Shatter Me!"  "Oh, well, I'm happy for you".  How would that conversation go?!  Better yet... I'll bug her now and the next time we get together we'll know whether we should pretend we don't know each other or be best-buds.

Not just Michelle... Ephrielle from Hope, Love, and Happy Endings was also there along with Vy from Vy's Blog.  (I just found that out. Just now. Uh, yay for internet?!)

I stole this picture from this really super-great summary of... the Spring Into the Future Tour on Novels News & Notes from your Northwest Neighbors.  I can't even say this with enough sarcasm... there's a Northwest blog. I never knew. What else am I going to find out today?

I really like Michelle's summary. We took turns taking notes. She got the great question on cute guys and the appearance of Awesome Coffee!


  1. Cool post, really appreciate the notes you took, I would LOVE that extra poster, but if not the other swag looks great too, especially that Shatter Me necklace. Looks like you had a great time at the event.

  2. I'm so jealous. This tour came nowhere near me. I'll have to live vicariously through your experience, thanks! Your re-cap totally cracks me up. The swag is great. I'd love to win the poster or the necklace.

  3. I would like anything from the tour really. whatever leftovers u have :)
    email: cruz042 at cougars.csusm.edu

  4. Oh gosh I'm so jealous. I live in the middle of nowhereville and authors never come my way. I would love some swag!!! In fact I have a swag addiction!


    I'm so glad you had fun!

  5. bahahah I love how we have the same thoughts! I always wonder if there are other bloggers hanging around too. I have only been blogging for .. wow... 7 months as well! haha ! So it's all still new to me. :) the Northwest blog actually just started up the last week or so! Feel free to hop over there and join in :D great recap! I hope we can meet up and chat next time!

    1. I know, right? Same thought and posted nearly at the same time... is it a Tuesday thing? It is Tuesday, right?

      Ah... so one week behind the news isn't draggin' too bad. PHEW!! :-D

  6. Authors never come near my town. *Sniff sniff* I would love whatever you can bring yourself to give. I'm not picky! Loved the pictures. Glad you had a good time meeting and talking with some great authors!

  7. LUCKY! You got to meet all of them! That necklace is super cool, along with the bookmarks! I would enjoy getting anything, especially that necklace. When you go to a book signing, do you have to pay for the swag?

    1. Ah... from my grand experience of First Time Ever... nope. They gave it to me and Cynthia really said "take a few more!" so I did!!!

    2. That's so awesome! I love swag! I'm currently reading Shatter Me and it's amazing, I didn't think it'd be this good. I'd love to go to a book signing, but they're never near me. Apparently there's a really good one coming up, but it's a two hour drive so I can't go. ):

  8. I go to lots of signings here but I couldn't make it to that one! It looks like you all had LOADS of fun though! I found you cause I'm an admin at Novels, News and Notes From Your NW Neighbors and saw your comment! And I'm hoping you'll soon be a contributor over there as well and maybe will do meet ups with us so we can meet you in real life too!
    I'm totally with you about going to YA signings and seeing all the actual YA peeps and being old enough to be their mother. My kids are still little but I'm sure I'll still be reading YA when they are teens!
    Glad I found you and look forward to getting to know you!

    1. Sweet! I'm a new follower of your blog. Beautiful!!! I'm looking forward to "lots of signings"!!!! I must've been blind & clueless not to know what was going on around me!

  9. I don't think i have ever been this jealous. I would
    like the anything. But if i had to choose one then it would ether be the necklace or poster. Thank you so much for the chance to get one of these awesome prizes.
    My email : tasniamahmud@yahoo.com
    THX Again :D
    Authors never come near my house they are always like 2 hours away :((
    THX AGAIN!! lol

  10. I would love anything, especially the necklace! Thanks for the chance!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  11. You know, I've gotten to enjoy visiting most of the book blogs I follow over these past few months, and I'd be just as excited to meet all of you as I would to meet the authors! So if I had been there, I TOTALLY would have gone up to you (and any other book bloggers I recognize from their pictures they post) and been like, "OMG HEY, you exist in human form! Let's hang out and talk books!" Because that's how awkward I am and because there's no better way than to just jump in and break the "burgandy" ice... if you will!

  12. Lucky you, I'm so jealous. I found out about their tour (on Twitter, I think) a couple days ago and I was checking out where they would be headed. Turns out they went to SF one day before I found out about this tour. I was like "OMG! I just missed my chance to meet some awesome YA authors." Still mad at myself for that. Glad you got to meet them and that your kids are fine.

  13. Wow..that's so awesome... How I wish I could go to author signings and book tours too...:0

    Anyway, who wouldn't want a swag?...
    I could do with anything left..lol..


  14. Aww I wish I could have gotten there, but that would have required a trip across the ocean. A lot of interesting info. You took great notes! Its a good thing you could read your writing :) If you've no problem sending something over the seas I wouldn't say no to swag!

  15. I'll have anything you'd be willing to give :)) I'm not picky, just wishing I'd be a little more lucky and finally win something I really want, and it seems you've got all that.


  16. Yup I'm jealous! I'm glad you had so much fun. I would be right there with you being a huge fangirl stumbling over my words.

    That necklace is so cute! Does it tie in with the book? I've yet to read it, fill me in! That's really cool that they give you swag. I can't wait until I go to a book signing. I'll even ask a question. Maybe. I know what I would ask, it'd just be a matter of actually getting myself to do it lol.

    So, enter me for some swag ;) If we're being choosy, in no particular order it'd be necklace, unearthly stuffs, under the never sky, then the rest since I don't own the others! Yet! If we're not being choosy, then I'm totally happy with any swag, I love bookmarks related to books! I've been running around for the last month shoving my Halflings bookmark in books, the edges of it are getting all curled, I needs me a new one!

  17. I met Cynthia Hand and she's awesome!! I had the opportunity to meet Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi but was busy at the time :(
    So, I'd love the Shatter Me necklace, Under the Never Sky bookmark, and the signed poster. I'll take anything though :)

  18. Can't believe we didn't meet!!!!! But now we know so we'll be on the lookout for each other :)

  19. I'm so jealous, too. It must have been a wonderful day. I would like anything from this swag.

    Thank you!
    artgiote at gmail dot com

  20. Im really jelaous of you Americans for such great opportunities to meet authors. Anyway, I dont have any preferences, everything looks awsome.


  21. I wish American YA authors would come to Australia - it's like YA author Siberia over here most of the time! All the authors sound awesome, but Tahereh sounds really funny. so jealous!

  22. Hey!! I kept this lil' giveaway SMALL by not announcing it or using rafflecopter or ANYTHING!! Cool, huh? Different, anyway.

    So, according to Random Number Generator, Lena Reve, you have won the signed poster!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!

    I have four more groupings of swagness:

    Arianne Cruz, Avry15, Gabbie & Megan @ Unearthly Reviews

    I'll be emailing you for your addresses!! Thx for followin' Colorimetry!!


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