This past Sunday the second leg of the fantastic Fierce Reads tour stopped at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, and I once again had the pleasure of not only attending, but also chatting with all four authors before the event actually started. I've been lucky enough to attend quite a few local signings since I started this blog; they've all been wonderful in different ways and it's never not an honor to meet and chat with authors whose books I absolutely adore.
This group of women though? They were the funniest and most outgoing authors I've had a chance to spend time with, and I spent nearly the entirety of the event in tears because I was laughing so hard. I actually thought I might have laughed myself straight into a six-pack with the way my midsection was aching as I left, but regrettably when I got home and checked there were no chiseled abs waiting for me. Oh well.
I can't thank Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm), Gennifer Albin (Altered), Jessica Brody (Unforgotten), and Ann Aguirre (Horde) enough for their enthusiasm and their infectious laughter, they made this event one that will always stand out as special for me. I also want to say a huge thank you to Mary and Ksenia of Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to cover the event, I so hope Fierce Reads comes back this way next year!
Instead of a formal interview (which I learned the first time around was not ideal because I couldn't write the answers fast enough to keep up), I thought a This or That list might be a fun way to get to know these ladies a bit better. Below is the interview as well as highlights from the event Q+A and of course, pictures! There's also a pretty epic giveaway thanks to Macmillan, so be sure and check the bottom of the post for those details.
THIS OR THAT LIST
(don't look for any sort of rational order to these questions,
they're absurdly random)
they're absurdly random)
Which is harder: writing the first chapter of book one in a series or writing the first chapter of its sequel?
Leigh: Book one
Gennifer: Book one
In terms of productivity: morning person or night owl?
Juggle multiple projects simultaneously or work on one at a time?
Ann: It's usually deadline dependent, but I prefer one at a time
Revisions: dread or look forward to?
Leigh: Depends on the book
Gennifer: Look forward to
Ann: Look forward to
Which would be harder to temporarily give up: a favorite food or a favorite writing tool (ie music, favorite writing spot, etc.)?
Leigh: Favorite writing tool
Gennifer: I'm not really a creature of habit, so I could do without either.
Ann: I can write wherever I am, but don't take away my laptop. I would choose giving up the favorite food over giving up my laptop.
Your television is suddenly limited to a single channel (of your choosing). Does it show police/law dramas or sitcoms?
Leigh: Police/law dramas
Time travel: jump forward into the future or go back in the past?
Gennifer: Through space and time, I'm staying in my TARDIS
You suddenly find yourself in a survival situation. Would you rather have a pack full of limited supplies or a companion (who may or may not have survival knowledge)?
Leigh: I think companion, because then if I didn't like them, I could kill them and use them for food.
*note to self: don't get lost in the wilderness with Leigh. As you can imagine, this response from Leigh triggered a variety of conversational tangents, and we never quite made it back to this question. I figured it was best to just move on really ;-)
As a challenge, you have to write a new character into one of your existing books. Is that character hero, villain, or something in between?
Leigh: Talking animal
Gennifer: In between
Ann: In between
If you could be someone else for a day, would you pick a real-life person or a fictional character?
Leigh: Fictional character
Gennifer: Fictional character
Jessica: Fictional character
Ann: Amelia Earhart. I want to know what happened to her.
*We digressed at this point and mused over her fate. Jessica is convinced she's somewhere with everyone else who's supposedly "dead" like Tupac and Michael Jackson ;-)
To keep your brain busy: word search or crossword puzzle?
Preferred ending when you're reading: happy for now or cliffhanger?
Leigh: I think there's satisfaction to be found in both, but my preference for one over the other is typically genre-specific.
Gennifer: I'm giving the standard author answer - whatever is best for the story.
Jessica: Cliffhangers. At least when all the books are already out.
Ann: Positive endings.
• • • • • • • • • •
(Thanks as always to Cathy, who so kindly took notes so I could pop up at random and take pictures)
• One of the first questions asked had to do with romance in YA, with a special emphasis on love triangles. Ann pounced on this question and went on a rant (as she called it, it was actually more of a hilarious and impassioned speech on what constitutes a real triangle verses another romantic shape) complete with animated hand gestures (see photographic evidence below). Both Cathy and I were laughing too hard to get the finer points of Ann's argument down, but suffice to say she more than made her point and had the entire audience in stitches.
• On the same question, Gennifer said she was actually in a real love triangle, one that ended with her marriage. The love triangle in her book though came in the revision stage and was not planned originally.
• All four authors were asked to tell us a favorite moment of theirs from being on tour. One such moment had to do with karaoke. Apparently they went out to sing (and ending up doing the Spice Girls justice!) and kept stealing the spotlight from other people because whoever was calling out the names to take their turn was impossible to understand. As a result, they all just kept jumping up and racing to the stage when they thought they heard their name only to have the person whose name was actually called show up a few seconds later and request they hand over the microphone. *Jenny dies*
• Question: If you could have a conversation with any author, alive or dead, who would it be?
Gennifer: JK Rowling.
Leigh: George R.R. Martin and I would want to know how everything ends.
Jessica: Jane Austen.
Ann: Clive Barker only because Leigh told me something disturbing and I want to know if it's true. She said he has a dungeon in his house, so I would ask him about that.
• Question: What is Fierce about your books?
Gennifer: She can manipulate the fabric of reality!
Leigh: The setting. It's a tough environment and world to live in.
Jessica: The twist at the end. The clues are all there, but I hid them.
Ann: There's lots of killing with guns and knives, and Deuce does not take no for an answer. There's also a fierceness of spirit.
• • • • • • • • • •
Left to right: Gennifer, Leigh, Jessica, Ann.
Left: The adorable Mary from Macmillan. She probably thought she would escape my camera, but she was so very wrong wasn't she ;-) Right: Ann's awesome hand gesture-assisted explanation of what makes a love triangle.
Gennifer Albin and her very cool Altered buttons.
Just in case you couldn't tell Gennifer was a fan of Doctor Who with her TARDIS answer up in the interview, I went ahead and got a shot of her snazzy lunchbox which turned out to be the perfect thing to carry all her swag.
Jessica Brody and swag.
Leigh Bardugo and swag.
Okay. I know this is not a stellar picture of Ann, but the line formed at her end of the table, and I couldn't get a good angle without being intrusive while other people were trying to talk to her. So rather than be obnoxious, I just took a picture of her hair. And her books. You're welcome.
Company D patches and wristbands!
Gennifer, Jessica, me, Ann, and Leigh. Somehow Jessica and I managed to land ourselves right under a spotlight so our foreheads are beacons of blinding light. Excellent:)
• • • • • • • • • •
Thanks to the always-wonderful people at Macmillan, I have a monster giveway for you all today. Up for grabs are 9 signed copies of Gennifer, Jessica, Ann, and Leigh's books as well as some of the swag you see above. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway