The time I almost didn’t have books

Posted April 19, 2013 by Stacee in Giveaways, Signings | 34 Comments

When it was announced that Gretchen, Debra and Shannon were doing a library event just a few minutes away from me, I knew I was going. What I didn’t know was how difficult it would be to find books to bring.

I went to Barnes & Noble first because they’re 30 seconds away from my apartment. I was told that none of the books were in stock because the paperback copies were being released in September. I asked for clarification as to why they would choose not to carry a book for over 5 months. The employee told me that it was too expensive to carry hard cover copies and once the first run of them sold, they wouldn’t be carrying the title until the paperback was released.


I called Mysterious Galaxy and the awesome employee, Rob, nicely went through their entire stack of stock to get me unsigned copies. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any unsigned Let the Sky Fall, so he picked out the nicest signed copy.

I got to the library early, as always. I had never been there, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I found out that the event was being held in the community meeting room. There were two women who were setting things up and they let me take a peek inside. One of them said they were hoping for a big crowd and that they’d be opening the door around 4:15.

So, I found a lovely shaded table and settled in with a book. After looking around in the bookstore, of course.

Debra was the first to arrive, Gretchen shortly after that. I chatted with Gretchen for a minute and she gave me a 3:59 shirt.

This is the back. The front has 3:59 in the same font as the book cover.

The door into the meeting room opened and one of the ladies I had talked to earlier said that I could come in. I briefly said hello to Debra and commented on her awesome blue hair before going in and claiming the front row.

The event started a bit later, so everyone was chatting amongst themselves.

Around 4:45, the teen librarian introduced herself and acted as the moderator.  The first question to each author was to tell the audience about themselves and their books

G: Book synopsis of all 3 books. Talked about how she was a trained opera singer, worked in tv production and did cartoon voice over work before becoming a writer.

D: Book synopsis. Professional grad student, worked as a physical therapist, had kids, and then became a writer.

S: Book synopsis. Always sells it with “Vane is very attractive with hot abs.” Started college as an art major, switched to being a film major when she found that she didn’t have the level of art talent she needed. Study screenwriting, then realized she was expected to make films. Left Hollywood to start writing.

Today is Support Teen Lit day, what is your favorite book?

G: Anne of Green Gables. Read a it lot, it was all about a redheaded girl who was smart and got into a lot of trouble. Really related to her, molded her more than she realized.

D: Dune. Didn’t identify as liking sci-fi, but loved that book. Also read many Sidney Sheldon novels.

S: Loved to read as a kid. And in 7th grade, ran out of books. Got a list of the classics from a teacher and didn’t care for them. Loved reading fantasy, but her 7th grade teacher wouldn’t accept a book report on the 4th Indian in the Cupboard book. Didn’t start reading a lot again until around 25.

What is your favorite YA novel?

S: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Very swoony romance, but don’t let it fool you. There’s a lot of meat.  It’s brilliant.

D: Answers differently every time because there’s just so many favorites. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.

G: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Brilliantly narrated. [At this, I interjected that Rainbow was going to be in San Diego at some point soon and everyone was very excited about it.]


Tell us about your writing process.

G: Doesn’t like desks. Writes in bed. Likes to have sports on tv, preferably baseball. Has a daily word count goal when on deadline.

D: Writes whenever there is time. Not good with schedules and easily distracted. Has a hard time writing at home, will go to Panera or Starbucks instead.

S: Writes in bed because office is still packed. They recently moved into a new house and there hasn’t been time to unpack the boxes. Training herself to compartmentalize time between the two books. Routine is to wake up, address urgent emails, then turn off emails and internet. More creative at night after 9pm and on, sometimes will start getting emails from editor around 7am and she’ll realize that she hasn’t been to bed yet.

How do you select character names and locations for the books?

G: Possess set in San Francisco, which is her hometown. Wanted something creepy and thought of the fog in SF. Ten had to be set on a island and a storm, could only really choose Maine or Seattle. Since Seattle was closer, that’s what she chose. Set in Maryland, went to grad school there and picked the specific area for the top secret military base. Settings tend to be utilitarian.

Names: Based on personality. Bridget was chosen because in 2nd grade, she learned that Bridget was a name that was up for consideration when she was born.  She went to school and told everyone that her name was now Bridget. Mom was called by the school and young Gretchen was told that she was Gretchen until she was 18.  Jo/Josie were chosen because they had to be names that were from the same.  Besides the main characters in Ten, used

D: Mila is an acronym that would be a spoiler to explain, so it was a utilitarian choice. Looks at baby names, but in her urban fantasy, the character is named ironically.

S: Wanted them to be wind related. Didn’t put vane/weather vane right away. For Keeper, the characters are not human and wanted names that didn’t sound like kids that would be in a classroom. Picked up a New Age baby name book that has been helpful.

Settings: invented everything in Keeper. For LtSF: it’s where she grew up.

How long did it take to get published?

G: Possess was the third book. First book was horrible, second book got an agent. 2 years total.

D: Wrote harlequin romances that were both bad, then wrote something that would now be considered NA, but without the sexytimes. Next was an urban fantasy that got an agent. About 4 years total.

S: Worked on Keeper for about 2 years, building the world. Published book is draft 20, got an agent with draft 13. 3 years total and LtSF was written in between.

What is the process for getting optioned for film or tv?

G: A film rights agent will take the book to studios. If purchased, the studio will own the rights for a while and if they do nothing, the rights go back to author.

S: Had a list of people she didn’t want to work with. Waiting to explode like JK Rowling to have more clout about the decisions that would be made.

D: Harper owns rights. [There was a lot more to Debra’s answer, but somehow I clicked out of where I was taking notes and didn’t get all of it…]

Favorite place, can be fictional or real.

G: There’s a prehistoric [something, maybe a castle? I didn’t catch it] in Ireland that she’s been to 3 times. It’s the end of the world and it’s amazing.

D: Yosemite and Laguna Beach

S: Disneyland or Hogwarts.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

All three: Chocolate!


Favorite fruit?

G: Pineapple

D: Watermelon

S: Cherries

Favorite literary character?

G. Batman

D: Bridget Jones

S: Legolas

Peeta or Gale? or Edward or Jacob?

G: Never read Twilight and never will. Loves Hunger Games, but because of Katniss. If had to choose, it would be Peeta.

D: Peeta. Loved the bread moment.

S: Team Peeta, he brought out the best in Katniss.

From there, it was opened up to Q&A. There were a few questions before the signing started.  I went to all three ladies, thanked them all for being there and took bookmarks and candy! Before I left, I also thanked the librarians who put everything together.  As I was walking out, one of the ladies asked if I would do a book drop for the Rock the Drop event.  I did take a book and ended up setting it up on a park bench near a busy local restaurant.

Now.  Haven’t been able to get your hands on Gretchen’s, Debra’s or Shannon’s books? Never fear, I’ve got them for you!!

Rules for the giveaway on “terms and conditions” on Rafflecopter widget.

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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34 responses to “The time I almost didn’t have books

  1. Sounds like it was a fun event. I'm totally jealous of everyone being in nice light summer clothes.

    And also of the signed books. Obviously.

  2. Just saw that you want us to answer a specific question.

    Favourite book as a teenager. Dude, I don't even know where to begin.

    The His Dark Materials trilogy. Harry Potter. Green Rider. Sabriel. The Crystal Cave.

  3. Awesome event! Wish I went. But I'm glad I have your recollections of the event to tide me over.

    Favorite book as a teenager. Hmm. I'll base my answer on how many times I read the book. It was Nancy Drew – The Secret of the Old Clock by Caroline Keene. Another favorite was Island of the Blue Dolphins. Oh, also Fahrenheit 451.

  4. Favorite books as a teenager were the Harry Potter series and The Mortal Instruments. Those books are the reason I read so much now. It looks like this was an awesome event, Stacee! Wish I could have been there… See you at the Festival of Books!

  5. I didn't read HP until I was in my late 20s, it would have been awesome to have them when I was growing up.

    And yay to FoB!! I'm sure I'll run into you at some point!!

    Thanks for entering!!

  6. What a great event. There's nothing like this, ever where I live :(
    I was a teenager a long time ago, and to be honest, I was too busy with my social life taking priority to read, but my favorites in Junior high were the Sweet Valley High books, and all the Judy Blume books. I didn't love reading again until my thirties. Sad that I missed out on so many years of literature.

  7. I actually didn't read much as a teenager, at least not as much as today. The books I do remember reading a lot were the Twilight books, as well as The Mortal instruments since they were the only ones I owned.

  8. Come to meeeeee!! We would have all of the fun. I am quite jealous you're getting Dark Days. I want more Elizabeth!!

    Thanks for commenting and good luck!!


  9. I loved the SVH books! I also read the Judy Blume books, but I read them when I was younger.

    I've always been a reader, just have my genres a but swapped. I didn't read YA books until I was an adult. :D

    Thanks for the comment and good luck!!

  10. I'm guilty of reading the Twilight books many times. I've only read the first book of TMI and I can't wait for the movie.

    Thanks for the comment and good luck!!

  11. Does everyone go to meet authors except me? D; This is so sad, omg. I really liked the Twilight series (not anymore, but I used to think they were the BEST). Thank you for the giveaway!!

  12. This is sooo awesome! I never went to any author events:( I sad…lol I would of have loved to meet all of those authors! You are so lucky!
    Well my favorite book as a teen…well that wasn't that long ago at all lol! But that would be VA series by Richelle Mead, Probably one of my first favorite series!
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  13. The ability to see authors on a regular basis is pretty awesome. I'm lucky to live in an area where everyone eventually gets to!

    I recently read the VA series and I loved Dimitri!

    Thanks for reading the post and good luck!!

  14. I have always wanted to go to an author event like this but I live in a small town so it probably wont happen for a while. Thanks for the great giveaway I have been wanting to read all of these books!!!

  15. I read a lot during my teens, and unfortunately a great deal has faded from memory. Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles stand out (at least the first several as most were published after I aged out of being a teen). Thank you for offering this giveaway!

  16. Heeeee, hi, pretty KP! You're looking quite lovely today, is that a new shirt? *sits in your lap*

    So, looks like fun times and once again I'm all pouty that I wasn't there with you. I hate this stupid huge distance between us. As for teen books, I loved Sweet Valley High and some of the American girl books in my earlier teen years.

    Thanks for this super-dee-duper awesome giveaway opportunity!

    Prancypants PA

  17. Hello, my prancilicious PA!

    I really wish we were closer, though I fear we would get in heaps of trouble together! :D

    I read a lot of the SVH books and loved them all. I wonder what I would think if I read one now…

    As always, thank you for pimping my stuff and just being so damn awesome.


  18. I think my favorite book as a teenager was probably Catcher in the Rye. I'm sure I thought I was so cool and hipster and anti-everything at the time but I bet it was probably just because it was the only realistic book with a teen character that we read in school that was set in even quasi-relatable times.

    This was a great recap. I saw Debra Driza when she was in Seattle but I have yet to see the other two authors so it was interesting to hear more about how they write what they do. Thanks!

  19. I'm not sure I had a favourite book as a teen. At that age, I'd stopped reading and I don't even remember why. You're such a generous blogger. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win books! ILY.

  20. I've never read the Gossip Girl series. I tried a mash up the author did between GG and Dexter, but I couldn't get into it. Watched the show religiously, though.

    Thanks for your comment and good luck!

  21. I have never read The Bell Jar. It's one of those books I've always heard talked about, but I've never actually looked it up.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the recap! Thank you for your comment and good luck!!

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