Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dark Days Tour Recap

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend HarperTeen's Dark Days tour as it stopped at Books & Co in Dayton, Ohio. There has been an increase in the number of amazing author signings in the Dayton/Cincinnati area of late, and I can only hope this trend continues because it's hugely exciting for me to get the chance to meet and chat with such a wide variety of talented women.

Rae Carson (The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy), Amelia Kahaney (The Brokenhearted), and Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink) were all a part of this leg of the tour, and I was given the chance to spend a few minutes with them before the event started (I even managed to form coherent sentences this time, WELL DONE ME!). Since time was a little short, I decided to forgo actual interview questions and instead torture all three of them with word associations. I like to keep people on their toes you see ;-) They were up for anything though, and I have to admit to enjoying hurling words at them probably more than I should have. Below are all their responses, plus some pictures from the event as well as highlights from the general Q+A session.


Chapter 1

Mindy: Sucks (as in the writing of it; she said her actual first chapter doesn't suck ;-)
Rae: Revision
Amelia: Hard


Mindy: Strong
Rae: Fun
Amelia: Super

Love Interest

Mindy: Dead
Rae: Hot
Ameila: Villain


Mindy: Internal
Rae: Interminable
Amelia: Indomitable


Mindy: Dead*
Rae: Pain in the butt
Amelia: Out to lunch

*we all had to laugh at this point at the seeming death theme of Mindy's answers and how well she obviously fit on a tour called Dark Days.


Mindy: 6 months
Rae: Personal hell
Amelia: Redemption

Book Cover

Mindy: Beautiful
Rae: Fantasy
Amelia: Sexy


Mindy: Hard
Rae: Elisa
Amelia: Corrupt


Mindy: Disaster
Rae: Writing
Amelia: Transforming


Mindy: Death*
Rae: Life
Amelia: Rebirth

*we all snorted at this

The End

Mindy: Angry
Rae: Triumph
Amelia: Twist


Mindy: Work
Rae: Sucker
Amelia: Poor


Mindy: Flowing
Rae: Livlihood
Amelia: Atmosphere


Mindy: Theme of book
Rae: Perpetual
Amelia: Heartbreak


Mindy: Bleak
Rae: Shades
Amelia: Lies

• • • • • • • • • • 

(a huge thanks to Cathy for taking notes while I tweeted and took pictures)

• The idea for Not a Drop to Drink came from a fresh water shortage documentary Mindy saw called "Blue Gold". In the book, people in the country have water and people in the city want it, so her protagonist learns to be the type of person to shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to the pond she guards. She called the book "Little House on the Prairie on crack". Win.

• Amelia was asked how the idea for a character with a hummingbird heart came to be and she said she was doing research on hummingbirds and discovered numerous interesting facts that were catalysts for the book. A hummingbird's heart beats 10x faster than ours, and if it stays still too long, its heart actually stops. O.o

• All three ladies were asked what they enjoyed most about writing for a teen audience. Rae said she loved that teens were open to anything and tended to be less prejudiced and judgmental than adult readers, but she acknowledged that a huge chunk of her readers were in fact adults. Amelia chimed in with some stats she'd read in an article, saying nearly 35% of YA readers are between the ages of 18 and 35 with another 15-20% consisting of the next age bracket up.

• Both Mindy and Amelia said they were huge fans of Stephen King when they were teenagers, and Rae devoured every single Nancy Drew book she could find, sharing a story about getting out of class by pretending to go to the bathroom only to wander down to the library to see if they'd gotten a new shipment of Nancy Drew books in.

• The last question they were all asked was what they wanted readers to take away from their stories. Rae said she's not big on moral messages, and she just wants readers to have an overall experience. Amelia said there's some thoughts on trusting boys running through her story as well as a look at political corruption and class distinction. Mindy wrapped things up in the best possible way saying, "You probably shouldn't shoot people". Awesome.

I had such a great time with all three of these authors, each of whom was incredibly personable and easy to talk to, and I hope they had enough fun in Dayton that they might consider coming back in the near future!

Rae Carson, Amelia Kahaney, Me, and Mindy McGinnis

Rae, Amelia and Mindy getting ready to answer questions

Rae Carson

Amelia Kahaney

Mindy McGinnis

Mindy very appropriately brought bottles of water (with snazzy labels!) to the signing, along with fancy water droplet stickers made for her by author Sherry Thomas (The Burning Sky)


  1. I love this and I am so excited for you that you got to meet all these great authors!!

    1. It's been such a great couple of weeks for me with these signings! The Fierce reads tour is bringing another group of awesome authors in November, so I'm really excited. Normally Ohio isn't a huge author draw:)

  2. You're seriously so lucky, so many authors come near you! I'm incredibly jealous that you got to meet these lovely dark days authors. LOL at Mindy's death answers! Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

    1. Hahaha normally they don't! Ohio is just on a roll lately and I hope it keeps it up:) And Mindy was cracking us all up with her word associations!

  3. Leader = Elisa! I love that! And I agree with Rae, although it didn't come easily to her, because of her confidence issues, Elisa is a natural born leader.
    After all the death talk, I'm a bot scared to read Not a Drop to Drink, lol. It must be super grim. But I will, the reviews have been fabulous and I'm very, very curious.
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny! It's so good to be home. :)

    1. Yes, I got the sense it's very, very grim. I feel like I'll need to have a Disney move on hand to watch after I finish!

  4. Aw, that Q+A was so awesome! I loved it and that dead part made me laugh out loud, too! I'm so jealous of your and these events, but you know what?! It's good jealousy since I'm glad I get to experience it through you. Btw, your gorgeous self looks like one of the authors on that picture ;) Thanks for sharing, my friend!

    1. Thank you Siiri! It was a really fun event, I always just feel lucky when I get to do things like this, the blog has added so much to my life and I love it:)

  5. lol this seems like a lot of fun!! I always envy you for all author events you visit but in realty I cannot thank you enough for these recaps as you at least let me imagine how it was. I love Q&A part. Great recap Jenny :)

    1. It was Tanja! I'm glad the recaps let you live a little vicariously, I always love when other bloggers to recaps of events:)

  6. *does queenly wave* Yes, my awesomeness is unlimited and it's nice that I'm finally able to share it with authors in person ;-) I always get so nervous at these things, but these ladies were so sweet and funny and laid back that I didn't sputter like usual:)

  7. Aaahh, this looks like it would have been so much fun! I love the word associations and the Q&A is wonderful as well. Great re-cap, Jenny!

  8. I love how each time you interview authors at book signings you do something different, Jenny! Now could you convince some to go north? It feels like you've had quite a few coming your way lately ... What exactly are you doing? Tell me your secrets! ;)

  9. Look at your face!!! I miss you and I wish I could go to all these wonderful signing and meet these authors!

  10. Love the pics! I need to live in a bigger city so I can attend more event like this one. Glad to see you had a great time.

  11. This sounds like so much fun! I didn't realize The Broken Hearted was released, I haven't seen any reviews for it but it sounds amazing! I LOVE Rae Carson and would love to meet her!
    The word association questions were a great idea and actually tell a lot without saying much at all. Very cool!
    Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  12. Somehow I missed this over the weekend, but what a wonderful recap! I love multi-author tours like Dark Days and Fierce Reads, they are so much fun. Love the word associations, that’s such a fun, creative way to interview the authors! I love Mindy’s repeated Death answers (and they’re quite fitting given the book, aren’t they). I had no idea a hummingbird’s heart stops if it stays still too long. Whenever I see one flitting around my backyard I always wish they’d slow down so I could take a picture, but now I’m going to be squealing at them to fly faster. :-) Thanks for this awesome recap!