The time it was about latfob

Posted April 22, 2024 by Stacee in Signings | 0 Comments

It’s been a while since we’ve gone to festival of books, but once I found out that Ashley Elston was going to be doing a panel, I told Hubs we needed to go.  I’ve been a fan of Ashley’s since her debut, but I’ve never had a chance to meet her, so I set all of the reminders to get panel tickets and parking and then not so patiently waited.

Flash forward to the day.

We got up to the USC campus early.  I had been approved for press, so I needed to pick up my credentials before the panel.  After that, we just wandered around, looking at the closed tents and making mental notes of where places where located.

We got over to the building that the panel was being held and I went in to ask the volunteers how everything was going to work.  There was a pretty big line up after a bit and I was able to go in right away (while Hubs had to stand in line) and I grabbed second row seats.

Everyone came walking down the aisle of the packed room and got to their seats.  The panel consisted of Ashley Elston (author of First Lie Wins), Octavia (mother fucking) Spencer, Krista Vernon (writer, producer, and show runner) and moderator Jordan Moblo (aka Jordy from Jordy’s book club + Universal acquisitions) There were a couple of minutes between the panelists being seated and the start while the event staff got microphones up and working.

While that happened, Octavia said, “Stacee.  Stacee the blogger?”  I raised my hand and Octavia started talking about how Ashley had been telling her all about me.  Ashley then went on to tell Octavia how I had been so supportive of all of her books and how this was the first time we were meeting. Octavia said that she loved a supportive reader and I pretty much died on the spot.

Now, once upon a time, I was really good at taking notes while panelists were talking and I found that I’m wildly out of practice and not nearly as fast as I was.  So, below are some highlights to the panel.

J: What was it about this book that resonated?

K: I don’t have to do any work for this to be tv. It’s like she wrote it to be a script. Did you do that on purpose?

A: No. I am an avid reader and I do I love shows like Alias and ending an episode cliffhanger.

There was talk about how there’s a bigotry in Hollywood and how Southern characters are usually shown as being dumb, among other things.

O: We are all complex morally grey characters.

K: Hollywood only lets the men be that. Women have to be perfect. This is a female anti-hero show.

J: What kind of research did you do?

A: some research from con artists being caught.  There’s a football aspect and I did fall down a rabbit hole looking into different things.  Some things were made up because who’s going to come back and say “no, that’s not how we con someone. you got it wrong.”

There was a conversation about the author being involved in the adaptation.

K: I want the author to see their book in the screenplay. I need to be able to see the tv show in the book.

A: I’ve read the pilot and I almost cried. It’s not even the book, it’s elevated so much and it’s amazing.

J: When looking for something to adapt, what are you looking for?

O: we like to read and develop things that resonate with everyone, but that there’s always a little light or hope at the end. I am John Q Public. If I’m giving something my time, I want to learn something or it has to entertain me and hopefully give some light to the world.

J: Any scenes you’re excited to see?

K: that twist at the Kentucky Derby party scene

A: I want to see that too

K: it’s the end of the pilot episode

J: Will there be a book sequel?

A: that’s a hard no.  I know my strengths and I’m a stand alone writer.

J: Will there be more to the show or is it a limited series?

K: it was sold with a rough shape to go through to two seasons.

There was a lot more to this panel and it was fascinating.  After about 40 minutes of moderated talking, they opened it up to audience questions. There was a small handful of people who were able to ask questions before the panel was over.

I quickly went up to Ashley while she was still on stage and said hi, we hugged and said how excited we were to see each other.  She asked how I liked the shout out from Octavia and I told her I couldn’t believe it (and I still can’t.) The volunteers quickly got the crowd moving and Ashley was escorted out with everyone to go to the signing, which of course I went to.

The signing tent was pretty close to the room and when we got out there, the line was long, but moving quickly. When I got up to Ashley, we hugged again and both thanked each other for coming. I told her that it was worth the 5 seconds I got and she told me it was just the beginning.

From there, we made the slow and meandering trek back to the car to head home.  There were a few booths I wanted to stop at, but by that time, they were wonderfully filled.

Have you been to a book festival before? 

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