The time I was the moderator {2}

Posted March 31, 2016 by Stacee in Signings | 4 Comments

When I got the email from Maryelizabeth from Mysterious Galaxy asking if I wanted to be the moderator for the Penguin Teen on Tour stop, I immediately said yes.  I was super scared excited to be able to talk with the authors who were touring and couldn’t wait to flail all over them.

Michelle and I got to the bookstore at our normal time {stupid early for normal people} and we ended up taking all of the swag and the sign and staging a photo shoot.


From there, we just settled in to wait.  Eventually we helped Rob set up the seating and get the table and display ready.


The ladies got to the store around 7:15.  I was introduced to the touring publicist and I took April, Alywn, and Alison into the back room.  When we got there, I asked if they would mind signing my things before the panel started.  Everyone said yes, so I ran out to get my stacks and mega poster.

I sort of passed everything out and was trying to balance my books, mega poster, and the giveaway poster, so I didn’t get photos from everyone.

I did get Alwyn…

ah1 ah2

…and April…

a2 a1

…and Alison…

ag1 ag2

While Rachel was signing my book, I was holding mega poster for Sabaa to sign, so I didn’t get photos of either of them signing.

rh2 4

Right before 7:30, Maryelizabeth brought them all out and welcomed everyone to the store and the “Penguin Plague Tour” since most of the ladies on tour were sick.

She then introduced me and said some lovely words about me before stating that I was in charge {to which I replied that it was a bad idea.}  She also mentioned how I wasn’t going to be taking notes because I was moderating {I told her I was recording.} and that her normal view of me is intently listening with my thumbs flying as I take notes of the event.

I started out by asking the authors to introduce themselves and give an elevator pitch of their books.  They decided to do introduce each other and I just didn’t get anything out of the recording.


Sort your main characters into Hogwarts houses.

R: Harper is Slytherin. David is Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Bee is Hufflepuff.

AGT: Poppy is Slytherin, Wink is Ravenclaw and Midnight is Hufflepuff.

AG: Lady Helen is Ravenclaw and Lord Carlston is Slytherin.

AH: Amani and Jin are both Gryffindor and definitely the type of Gryffindor that tends to get in lots of trouble.

S: Elias is Gryffindor, Laia is Ravenclaw, Helene probably a Slytherpuff.

AGT: What are the traits of a Slytherpuff?

S: Ambitious, but cares about their friends. I learned about it from Marie Lu because she’s a Slytherpuff.

What is your favorite word?

R: They said we couldn’t say bad words. They weren’t allowed.

AGT: Somnambulist

Me: I don’t even know what that means.

AGT: Sleepwalker

S: I can’t think of one.

R: I like lackadaisical. Do you want that one?

AH: I like defenestration. It’s violent.


What is your least favorite word?

AGT: Moist

{everyone ooooohs in agreement}

R: I don’t like crisps. I don’t like the endless s.

AH: And if you don’t say it, they’ll give you something different.

AG: These are cultural differences, I don’t like the word gotten.

AH: I hate the word lover.

S: I don’t like when people online introduce someone as their lover. I don’t want that image in my head.

AH: I’m sure it would be a word that wouldn’t bother me if I read it, but when you say it, it sounds so lecherous. It’s like LOVVVAHHHH

R: But lovers isn’t the same. If someone said this is my lover, I’d be like, “okay, but I didn’t ask.” But if someone says, they’re lovers, it’s fine.

AH: But lovers is something you declare. Like “We’re lovers, mother. We’re running away.”

S: Moist5

{then there was this whole conversation about Donnie Darko and how cellar door is supposed to be the most beautiful phrase and how Sabaa doesn’t like it. Alwyn  followed up with the word that had the most consecutive vowels. It’s queuing.}

AH: Welcome to fun language facts.

S: You have to understand. We’ve been on tour for a bit now and we’ve been answering the same questions over and over. This is refreshing.

{This then started a conversation about how they took a bunch of time at a previous event talking about Starbucks and their drinks and the names they’ve gotten on the cup. They said that if anyone wanted to ask serious questions, they could ask it in line}

What book would you want to read again for the first time?

R: A Song of Fire and Ice.  I read it during Christmas time when I was pregnant. I bought a baby book and then saw a book with a guy and a falcon.  It was perfect to read when I was up at 3am.

AH: Probably Harry Potter, but without the expectation. I love them so much, but when I read them now, I feel pressure to love them as much.

S: I was going to say HP, but I’ll say Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I think it’s beautiful and that series is amazing. She does such special things with language.

AG: I was obsessed with Tunes for a Small Harmonica. It was the first book I was really obsessed with.

AGT: I’m obsessed with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I’ve read that huge thing 4 times and I love the short stories. I know that some people just don’t get it, but I love it.


What book do you wish you had written?

R: Like do you mean if I had that sweet bank? There are always books like that.

S: Like Girl on a Train.

R: Anything James Patterson wrote.

S: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It’s a very moving piece about faith.

R: If I’m not going for James Patterson sweet bank, it’s a short story by Joyce Carol Oates called Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. It’s terrifying. Everyone should read it right now. I used to teach it.  I saw Joyce Carol Oates once and I just stared at her head because I knew that’s where Arnold Friend lived.

S: So you want him to live in your head?

R: NO! I was afraid of him living in her head.

AG: I wish I’d written Outlander

AH: I think we all wish Jamie Fraiser lived in our head.

AGT: The Little House books. I think they’re great. They’re simple and haunting.


Favorite villain?

S: Darth Vader. Voldemort is scarier because he likes to go after children and wants to kill them. But with Vader, I think he’s fascinating and maybe a little campy and I love it.

AH: Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. He’s conflicted and it builds nicely from villain to anti-hero as his hair sorts itself out.

AG: My favorite villain is also in my favorite Christmas movie. Hans Gruber from Die Hard. We watch it every Christmas.

R: I think Baron Harkonnen from Dune. When he was floating along and looking horrifying. And I like a lady villain like Maleficent or the Evil Queen.

AGT: I have a group of villains. The Skeksis from The Dark Crystal. Nightmares. Nightmares. Nightmares. They way they moved. It was disturbing.

AG: And the statues from Blink are terrifying.

AGT: Who was the villain from Heroes? He took their powers.

Me: Sylar

AGT: He was really creepy.

{This started a conversation about including Jareth from Labyrinth and if you could really include him when he sings and has pants like that and can’t you over look the baby stealing when you have a fabulous ball gown and a masquerade.}


What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?

AGT: Carpentry

Me: That’s kind of random.

AGT: It is. I want to make something with my hands. Something tangible. I want to see it.

Me: You can see your book. You can sit on your book. If you really wanted to, you can eat on it. It’s tangible.

AGT: You’re making some great points.

AH: It’s made out of wood. I don’t see the difference.

R: I would still be teaching. Probably high school. The kids were great and I loved talking about books with kids. And I have a really solid Macbeth lecture.

AGT: Can I hear it?

R: We’ve got a flight tomorrow and really, at 5am, isn’t that what everyone wants to hear?

AG: I was studying film direction before I switched over to writing so I’d probably be directing movies. Or trying to make movies and failing.

AH: I would probably still be working in art. Probably something corporately creative like advertising.

S: I would still be journalism. Yelling at reporters who don’t know how to use a comma.


Do all of you know Hamilton?

R: Oh yeah. I know it really well. Is this my time to shine?

{Everyone else basically says they know of it, but that’s all}

AH: My last name is Hamilton, my dad’s middle name is Alexander. My mother’s middle name is Eliza and I wrote a book about rebellion. I don’t understand why no one has offered me free tickets.

R: Someone actually asked her on tour if she changed her last name to Hamilton because of Hamilton. Like the name Hamilton hasn’t existed before.

AH: Yeah, it’s pretty common.

Me: So Rachel…

R: This is my moment.

If you could only listen to one song from Hamilton for the rest of your life what would it be?

R: Satisfied.

Me: YES.

R: Not only it is a beautiful song and Renée sings the heck out of it, but what I love is that there’s a scene where Hamilton meets Eliza, his wife, after they’ve been introduced by her older sister, Angelica. The song before it is literally Hamilton meeting Eliza, the courtship, them falling in love and getting married. All in about a 3 minute song and it’s happy and pop-y because yay they’re in love.


And then they rewind the scene. Friends who have seen it on stage say they’re literally on turntables and they genuinely rewind the scene and go back to the ballroom where they meet. You learn that Hamilton and Angelica had the connection first, but she realized that she’s a girl in a world where her only job is to marry rich. So she can give him to Eliza and they’ll be happy and Hamilton will still be in her life.

It’s such great storytelling too. Not only is it a beautiful song, but now the song before it that was so pop-y suddenly has this darker cast. Suddenly we understand that things are so much more complicated and they’re always going to be complicated because these three people love each other. No one wants to hurt anyone and they all love in different ways. I’m a sucker for that. That’s how you do a love triangle.

From here, there were a few audience questions, but 2 of them were writing focused and I’m making the executive decision to keep this frivolous.

The last audience question was about the first crime they would commit in the purge and all I need to share is that Sabaa is going to raid a weapon store and have an armed mini militia of children to help continue with the crime spree.

That concluded the questions. The authors then took the few tote bags, turned away from the audience and threw them over their shoulders like brides throwing the bouquet.


With that, I was done, so I helped flapped books for people in line. Then I made the rounds, saying goodbye and thanking the authors.

This was definitely one of the most fun I’ve had at an event. I can’t thank Mysterious Galaxy enough for inviting me to moderate. Squishy hugs to Michelle {my Gayle} for taking all of the photos and Keiko {my Stedman} for being my kind of crazy.

And there is a swag giveaway, complete with signed poster, on Twitter.  So if you’re reading this before 4/8/16, click here.

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4 responses to “The time I was the moderator {2}

  1. I loooooooooovie these event transcript posts so much, Stacee! It is the next best thing to being there. I love it when they start chatting like they are sitting in a bar with martinis. I put two books on my TBR from what they said they wanted to be able to read for the first time again, and a book they wish they had written. Thank you for taking the time to transcribe all of this fabulous stuff. :)

    La La in the Library recently posted: TOP FIVE FRIDAY #20
  2. YAY :D You are amazing Stacee. <3 So glad you got to be the moderator for this :D You are awesome. So happy for you :) And gosh, they all seem aaaamazing. <3 I adore most of them, hih :) Signed books are the best. <3 Sigh. Thank you for sharing so much amazing from this event sweet girl :) You are the best. And oh my gosh! I had missed that giveaway on twitter! Ahhhh! Thank you the most for sharing about it in this post. <3 Just entered :) Crossing all my fingers. <3 Thank you so much :)

    Carina Olsen recently posted: Book Collection #5

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