The time it was the Spring Fling

Posted April 11, 2014 by Stacee in Giveaways, Signings | 32 Comments

The Spring Fling tour was a delightful surprise to see listed on Mysterious Galaxy’s website. The line up was pretty awesome, so it was definitely something that I was planning on going to.

We got down to the store around 6 and stopped in the buy books and chat with Rob.

We went over to Starbucks to grab tea and hang out. We then headed over back over the store where chairs were set up. We were also told that Debra Driza had to cancel.  :(

Jenn and Shannon came in around 6:30 and sat down. We chatted it up a bit. Shannon told stories about some of the younger fans she’s dealt with while touring. Nancy and Rachel came in shortly after that and everyone shared stories about traveling before the event officially started.

Nancy was acting as the moderator and she had all of the authors do an introduction and synopsis about their books.

Shannon talked about getting a hotel room in Santa Monica and went to a spot at 4am to go to the pier to make sure it was authentic.

Rachel wrote Rebel Belle while waiting for edits on Hex Hall. She knew she wanted to write about a teenage girl, but wanted to make sure that it wasn’t the same sort of voice from Hex Hall. So, she decided to make it the completely opposite. Rebel Belle is “Blair Waldorf with superpowers.”

Jenn talked about having to sort of sell her MC at VVBF for prom king. Her MC is dying from sleep deprivation because he dreams about the last person he looked at.

It was then opened up to questions from the audience.

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How do you come up with the names of your characters?

N: My coauthor and I have a bad habit of naming all of our characters with J names.

S: I’m really nerdy. They need to mean something. So since this is about wind {pats Let the Storm Break}, they’re all wind related. For Vane, I just googled “air names”. I didn’t noticed that it meant weather vane.  I figured it was because he was a teenage boy and sort of vain.

R: Names are a weird alchemy. If the name isn’t right, the book isn’t right. For Sophie in Hex Hall, she came to me as Sophie. For Harper, it is a tribute to Harper Lee. Even though Nell is her real name. I’ve gotten a bit of flack about the boy being named David Stark. Everyone thinks it’s about Game of Thrones, but it’s for James Dean.

J: I have two sons and I asked if they wanted to be in a book and they both said yes. I made Parker the name of my MC and then told him that the book was not a blueprint for his life.

N: I just remembered what I could tell you. All of the names are from retelling of King Lear. There’s some Norse sounding names and King Lear sounding names.

What was your favorite part of writing each book?

R: When it was done. {laughs and points to Rebel Belle} This right here is my favorite.  For me, I got to write a car chase. That was a lot of fun.

S: I’ve already mentioned the haboobs. I really like making everyone believe that I’m going to do something and then don’t. For this one, it was sort of a love triangle. I start to get tweets from people when they’re at that point in the book and I get to tell them to have faith.

J: I like writing people who are going crazy. I think it’s fun to devolve insanity. He’s a very unreliable narrator. He’s having hallucination and be really doesn’t know if he’s sending the letters.

N: For me the fun was reading all of the tall tales for the book. There’s a missing silver mine that’s real and being able to add the tales and make some up too.

What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you? 

N: It’s not as organized as you think it is. One of the publishers was doing a huge romance regency contest. I read all of them and asked if they wanted it. They did and then I started calling them. They made it sound like they were interested and then I got a rejection letter.

Eventually I got to meet up with one of the ladies from that publisher and she wanted to take me to lunch.  She told me that she had never forgotten me, but that my story was rejected because the research they had done about regency books was that they weren’t selling.

It’ll be things like they just forgot to turn page to invite you for tour. There’s lots of opportunity that publishers just forget. One convention I got flowers and I felt amazing that they would send me something.  The next day, I thanked them and they told me it was because felt bad about forgetting to invite me to dinner.

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S: The idea that the end of the road is getting the book deal. There’s so many things to think about. Starred reviews, shelf stocking, store displays. You don’t realize until it’s all things you have to worry about when it’s your book.

On social media everyone is encouraged to talk about the good things and never the bad things. Everyone has starred reviews and you don’t. Everyone makes a top 100 list and you don’t. For me it’s all about keeping my expectations in check. You really have to buckle down and keep your eyes on your own paper. Luck is a real thing in publishing.

R: I would agree with all of that. I thought that I would get published and the everything would be great. And it’s a business. I made the NYT and then that same month I had a crap month of writing. I had to push a book back by a year. Turns out that I was just burned out.

I was working and touring and editing. I had to set boundaries. I haven’t been published for long, only 4 years. Publishing changes. It sounds horrible to say to start out a jaded pessimist, but that’s true. Then you won’t be disappointed.

J: It’s really important to remember that everything comes in it’s own time. Before you’re published you’re in a rush. You want an agent, you’re rushed. Everything that happens before you get published will prepared you for what happens afterward.

S: The thing is that it is a job.

R: Yes. And anyone would have a bad day a work. People think it is a dream, but I’m in yoga pants and haven’t done laundry in 3 days. Is that really the dream?

J: Yes.  It is.

S: Ellen Hopkins told me that a book will only do what it’s going to do. You can book 10 million events and if it’s not going to sell, it’s not going to.

Why YA?

N: For Debbie and me, in the late 90s, I had a daughter and I hired Debbie to co-write with me. We got email for years about our cliffhanger ending for book 4. We talked about just adding an answer list for all the questions we were asked. The books were reissued and they hit the list and then they wanted the next book. {There was more to this question, but I didn’t get it.}

S: I’m a bit of an accidental YA writer. I started in middle grade, but it’s a very slow market to sell. It was just sitting. All of my writer friends told me to write another book. I came up with the idea and wasn’t sure if I could do both. We ended up selling both books in one month and I haven’t slept since.

R: I was a high school English teacher. I had not read of YA. You read The Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High and then you’re done. I read romance novels in high school.

When my kids where bringing in books, I would ask what they were reading. I didn’t realize that YA was blowing up. I was struck at how fun they were. They were snappy. I was a genre reader. When I ended up quitting a job in the middle of the year because it was horrible, it was sort of a dark time of being unemployed with a baby. My husband told me that I should try writing a book.

I wanted to write a book that would make me very happy. So Hex Hall is sort of my lifeboat.

J: For me, I think I really like to play around with genre blending and YA has more options. My voice gets better in YA. I like to be able to mix things together, you have a lot more freedom in YA.

S: YA readers don’t have to hide behind that snooty type of attitude the literature has.

R: Yes. Readers are either I LOVE IT or I HATE IT.

N: YA readers are more engrossed in your world.

S: It’s something we can all related to. We’re all having to do the same things. We’re all coming of age, but then we deviate, some have families and kids, some don’t. With YA, there’s always something I can relate to. Even if it’s a complete opposite situation of my high school situation.

J: You also have the archetypes. Even if you weren’t the queen bee, you knew who they were.

What do you have coming next?

N: It’s called The Rules and it’s coming out in 2015. Right now I’m finishing a tie in novel for Beauty and the Beast. And then another tie in for Chicago Fire.

S: I have the third book in my middle grade series coming up. It’s been moved back to November and it was not my fault.

R: I’ve got 2 more Rebel Belle books. It has a title and a cover, but I can’t share. I’ve also got 2 middle grades coming out, they’re stand alones. Middle grade is so hard. They can’t make out and you can’t kill anyone so I don’t know what I’m going to write at all.

J: I have the sequel called Paranoia coming out in June. There’s going to be a third one, but I don’t know what it will be called. I wanted to call it Hysteria, but they don’t want to use that because there’s a few books with that title out there already.

There was a lot of information given out today that wasn’t allowed to post. It became a thing that the ladies would point to me and say “don’t tweet or post this.”

They started the signing just after 8. I got up to Jenn first and she said that it seemed like everyone knew me, but she didn’t. I laughed and said that I got around. To which Rachel and Shannon said “She does.”

Jenn asked if I had a card and I gave her one. She then said that she had heard of the blog [squeeeeee]. I said that I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing when people say that. And then Rachel, Shannon and another guy said, “It is.”

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When I got to Rachel, we said hi and I took some of the awesome pearls she had out. We chatted briefly about Rebel Belle while she signed and I told her it was my favorite.

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I got something signed from Shannon for an upcoming MMSL giveaway, so there’s that. After I was done, I thanked everyone and then said goodbye to Rob. These ladies were fun. There was a lot of camaraderie and I can’t recommends their books enough.

Now. Haven’t had a chance to read Rebel Belle? Well, I’ve got one for you, complete with a string of pearls.  Contest is international and additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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32 responses to “The time it was the Spring Fling

  1. I envy you that you get to go to all these cool events. I wished I lived in LA I’d be right there with you (hopefully) anyhoo I’ve been dying for Rebel Belle and won’t give up trying to win it yet. If I don’t it is next to be purchased. My favorite ya heroines are by far hands down. Tessa Grey and Celeana Sardothien. Both are chock full of badassery.

  2. Desnica Kumar

    I’m so jealous that you got to meet Rachel Hawkins. I really love her books and I can’t wait to read Rebel Belle. Thanks so much for the international giveaway it would be so awesome to own a signed copy.
    I don’t think I have an absolute favourite YA heroine, I like characters for different reasons so it makes it hard for me to compare how much I like them. I’m currently reading Saving Francesca and I think Francesca is a pretty great character.

  3. It was fun to meet you! If anyone is in L.A. this weekend, I’ll be at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Sunday. Booth 858 (Horror Writers Association) from 10 Am to noon, then “Dark Fantasy: Things that Go Bump in the Night” at 3PM in TTH 201. See you there!

  4. Anna

    Wow, if I lived in the US I’d go to every possible event! Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a copy of Rebel Belle! :D
    I’m currently reading it and, even if I’m just at the beginning, I already love it… but hey, its author is Rachel Hawkins, it was logical that I’d appreciate another one of her books! She’s amazing so thank you, again!
    My YA heroine is probably…. nope, I can’t decide so I’m gonna give you two names: Celaena Sardothien and June Iparis!

  5. Kristia

    It seems that you had an amazing time! It’s so amazing that you got to meet these authors. Thank you for the international giveaway.
    My favorite ya heroine is Marianne Daventry from Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson.

  6. Maricris Patrimonio Dimla

    My Favorite YA Heroine is Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.

  7. It must have been a great event. I love to see several authors together sharing opinions and anecdotes. Great post! :-)
    And as I’m participating in the giveaway (thanks for making it international) I’ll also answer your question for best YA heroine. Karou. Of course. You know, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the best ever ;-)

  8. I love your event posts! You get to go to so many, and I wish there were more author events closer to me.
    My favorite YA heroine is…oh, gosh, probably Cammie Morgan (Gallagher Girls) or Kestrel (The Winner’s Curse).
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Nancy L.

    SO jealous! I LOVE Rachel’s books so much!

    I don’t really know who my favorite heroine is… I do have a few.

    Rose Hathaway, Kaylee Cavanaugh, Karou, and Aria!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Morgan

    Thanks for the giveaway. SO envious that you got to meet all these great authors :p. Winning a signed copy of Rebel Belle would be wonderful! As for my favorite YA heroine…. I really like Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass, Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles, and Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy!

  11. Hi, thank you for the giveaway :)

    Okay, tricky question. I think that right now my favourite heroin is Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. She can really kick some butt ;-)

    XX Ner

  12. Sarah F

    I think my favorite heroine is Tessa Gray. I love her passion for books and her dedication to protecting those she loves. Awesome giveaway!

  13. Bube

    My Favorite YA Heroine is Sydney from Bloodlines :)
    Awesome post,I wish to live in US :D
    Thank you for the amazing giveaway! :)

  14. I have a few favourite YA heroines, Hermione being one of the firsts, then Rachel from Defiance, Penryn from AngelFall and Celaena from Throne of Glass!

  15. I have heard good things about this book. I am really looking forward to reading it. My favorite YA heroine? That is really hard there are so many good ones. (Katniss, Hermione, Aria, Cinder,Karou etc.) But I guess right now my favorite would be Kestrel (The Winner’s Curse). I love this book and I really love her character.

  16. Sherry

    That’s a hard question. There are so many good YA heroines, many of them listed already: Kestrel, Celaena, Tris, Aria… There’s Janelle, Audra, Alex… You know I can never pick just one.

    Sounds like you had a heck of a time. I am re-reading Let The Storm Break right now, and really liked Insomnia. Just waiting for Rebel Belle to come in! I feel so well read LOL.

    Thank you for the chance at the giveaway.

  17. Ariel T

    All the events you go to look so fun! Shannon Messenger is one of my favorite authors! I wish there were more book events where I live. As for my favorite heroine, I would have to say either Celaena or June. I can’t wait to read Rebel Belle!

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