Friday, November 8, 2013

Fierce Reads Cincinnati Recap + Giveaway

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.

(don't look for any sort of rational order to these questions,
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
Jessica: Sequel
Ann: Sequel

In terms of productivity: morning person or night owl?

Leigh: Varies
Gennifer: Night
Jessica: Morning
Ann: Morning

Juggle multiple projects simultaneously or work on one at a time?

Leigh: One
Gennifer: Simultaneously
Jessica: One
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
Jessica: Dread
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.
Jessica: Food
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
Gennifer: Sitcoms
Jessica: Sitcoms
Ann: Sitcoms

Time travel: jump forward into the future or go back in the past?

Leigh: Forward
Gennifer: Through space and time, I'm staying in my TARDIS
Jessica: Past
Ann: Forward

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)?

Ann: Companion
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
Jessica: Villain
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?

Leigh: Crossword
Gennifer: Crossword
Jessica: Crossword
Ann: Nap

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


  1. I'm excited for all of them, they're all on my TBR list ^_^

  2. All of these books look absolutely amazing and it is unfair to say that I have an absolute favorite book that I want to read! So is there an all of the above option?

  3. So. Jelly. That sounds like a FABULOUS time! Rarely do tours and authors come anywhere near me. And, of course, this weekend is Y'All Fest in Charleston (about 1 1/2 hrs away from me)...and I can't go. *cries*
    *HIghlights note from Jenny: don't get lost in the wilderness with Leigh.

  4. I'm excited to read the Razorland trilogy! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. This seems like a whole bunch of fun fun fun! I'm so jealous of you, girl! It's a good jealous since yayyy--we got to see the pictures and it's such a lovely recap, hon! Thanks so much for sharing:) I had a blast reading it.

  6. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing this with us and for the great giveaway. I really want to read This Song Will Save Your Life. It looks like you had a great time and can I just say the bookstore (from what I see in the that fireplace!!) is gorgeous!

  7. Ahhhhh so fun, Jenny! I'm excited you got to see all these sweet ladies. it too early to start planning BEA?! But f'reals.

  8. WOW! This tour sounds amazing! It is impossible to pick just one. They all are on my TBR list and I just can't choose!

  9. The Razorland books! They sound really good & I've heard lots of great things about them, I can't wait to read them.

    Thank you for doing this! They didn't have stop in my city so I was bummed about that.

  10. This is just awesome and I am so excited for you Jenny!! What fun!

  11. Great post and you're so lucky you got to go - they weren't anywhere near me :( Closest stop was four hours away and on a weeknight!

    I really think between all these books it'd be a toss up between Crewel and Shadow and Bone! They both sound like absolutely amazing novels that I must get my hands on!

  12. I really want to read Ann Aguirre's books!

  13. Jenny, it seems like you had such a great time at the event. They usually have author events here in Denver too, but it's usually at this book store that's quite far from where I live and I don't have a car so it sucks.
    It's funny how Albin was talking about the love triangle in her book because it sort of ruined my reading experience of the second one. I'm not sure I want to continue the series now. :(
    Anyways, I would have loved to meet these lovely ladies and I'm glad you had a good time.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  14. This is an AWESOME giveaway!

    Thanks for sharing your recap, I love these posts! I've met Leigh and Jessica twice and they are a HOOT. I can so see that whole karaoke thing happening.

    I love the interview, I'm always having a hard time too since I can't write fast enough so I love that idea.

    I NEED a Company D patch, love it!

    And I just LOVED Horde so much, I'm dying to meet Ann! She never comes here for the Fierce Reads tour!

  15. It's so great that you got to meet all of these authors at the same time! I'm still trying to recover from Leigh's statement about eating her companion. ;) I wish there were author events like this in the UK. There's hardly ever anyone I want to see over here.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. This was so much fun. So sorry you didn't come home with six pack abs what a disappointment. I definitely wouldn't want to be stranded anywhere with Leigh if she is going to eat me! Loved Ann's answer about stimulating her brain.. a nap is always the best. These authors are fantastic!

    1. Oh and I am most excited to read Leigh's book, loved the first one and I already read and loved Horde!

  17. Oh pick me!! :D

    I wanna know something... why didn't you pick me up for the event? I'm sure I was only a short ride away... LOL Seriously, at least you shared this with us and I had fun reading about it. I now want to know what Ann said. LOL!!

  18. I CANNOT CHOOSE!!! But I am really eager to read Horde :D

  19. How cool was this! I loved the questions and can only image how hard a middle or second book is. I need Agguires' books!

  20. All of them!! Definitely Altered because I loved Crewel and an ARC of Unforgotten would be awesome! Thanks for sharing your pics and the fun time you had! :)

  21. I definitely can't wait to read Unforgotten!

  22. I definitely can't wait to read Unremembered!

  23. All of them :) Thanks for sharing!


  25. I am super excited for Unremembered and Crewel! Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  26. I've already read Leigh's, but I've been dying to read Gennifer's for an EXTREMELY long time. I've heard awesome things about the series, so it's always been on my to-be-read list.

    These tours sound like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. ^_^

  27. They all look like good books but I'm most interested in Horde. Thanks for another great giveaway.

  28. That would have to be Shadow and Bone! Thank you for sharing your goodies with us!

  29. Aww jeeze.. Can I just say all of them? ;)

  30. I loved the post and your wonderful interview. I want to read ALL the books. I do tend to read several books simultaneously, so I could be fair and read a few pages of each one and alternate between them. Thanks so much for the great giveaway.

  31. Soooo jealous you got to attend this! Looks like you had a FAB time.

  32. I'm excited for all of them but if i had to pick I would say Crewel and Altered! Ahh I am literally drooling thinking about these books. I am so excited that you got to go! It looks like it was a blast!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  33. Ruin and Rising, since I've read Siege and Storm. I also need to finish the enclave series.

  34. I'm excited for Crewel and Altered. I can't wait for Ruin and Rising the Shadow and Bone series is so good!!!

  35. I'm definitely most excited for Ruin and Rising!! That series is nothing short of addictive (and I will cling to my denial and continue to believe that Sturmhond will win Alina's heart in the end--he won me over completely in S&S!)

  36. Ooh Fallout (comment from Sunshine Rays

  37. Thank you so much for the amazing recap! I've heard all about how funny and great you are, so it's nice to hear your side of the story too. :D I'm so glad you ladies got this opportunity to meet and spend some time together. Hopefully one day we'll all be in the same room. :)

  38. All of them sound awesome, but am most looking forward to "Unremembered"

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I think the all sound great but the Horde is the one that I am most excited about.

  41. I can't wait to read all! :) But I think I'm most excited for Crewel and Shadow and Bone! And the interview was so funny! And yes, I'm never gonna get lost in the wilderness with Leigh! :)

  42. All the books sound good. Thanks for the giveaway

  43. wow the event seemed so fun! I'm most excited for Siege and Storm!

  44. I'm looking forward to reading Outpost, which I just got.

  45. What a wonderful event! I can't believe you got to meet these amazing ladies, and what a wonderful Q&A you had with them. I agree with Ann wholeheartedly about happy endings. I love the fierce question too! I think Deuce has to be the fiercest character I can think of, but all these characters and stories are fierce in their own special ways. Thanks for sharing this amazing event with us!

  46. Altered, but I love them ALL! AWESOME Giveaway! :)

    My Rafflcopter name is: Vannah Batista

  47. They all look great, but I would pick Altered. Thank you for the giveaway!
    Bonnie Hilligoss - bonnie at bonnieanddave dot com