Saturday, March 30, 2013

The time it was the YAppiest WonderCon

Going to WonderCon was an iffy thing. We couldn't decide if we were going or not. And then LeAnna asked if we could volunteer at the MGRB booth on Friday...

So we got passes for the weekend and figured why not.

Friday traffic was ridiculously light. We got to the convention center around 8am and got front row parking. We grabbed some breakfast and went to see about meeting everyone.

Since we had exhibitor badges, we were able to walk around before it opened to the public. We stopped at the booth and got pictures of LeAnna's awesome Tardis dress [that she made!!].

And then we went off in search of a bow tie and fez that I could wear.

Around 1:30, we went back to the MG booth to help with the line for Patrick Rothfuss. Patrick got there and was being awesome, taking themed photos with his fans. Hubs controlled the line and I flapped books and wrote out post-its for personalization.

Somehow the unicorn head came out and Emilio started dancing. Then Patrick put it on, making sure that his beard was sticking out.

And then of course there were costumes....


And things like this...


At some point we saw Jordan Hembrough [AKA: the Toy Hunter] at a booth filming a segment.  We stopped for a few moments to watch them film.  It was amusing to see them bring the box out, talk about it and then take the box away.  Only to do it again 30 seconds later.

I found some awesome Doctor Who lanyards and handmade hair bows.

And the most amazing metal bookmarks with River Song [yaaaaay!!!] and David Tennant on them.

Around 3:30, we called it a day.  We made one more pass around the convention center and headed home so we could miss the traffic.  I was dying to stay to see the early screening of the new Doctor Who episode, but we were getting up early for the YAppiest Day at Disneyland on Saturday.

We woke up early Saturday morning to fight Disneyland traffic, which is an entirely different thing. We were off the freeway around 7:20 and started the battle for parking.

We made it to the front gate right before 8am and found the group. All of the authors had on YAppiest Day shirts in bright blue. Cat handed out stickers and pins to everyone. There were shirts left over so, she gave me one.

The authors were doing a book drop giveaway. Each person had a copy of their book and would sign it and leave it somewhere, so there was some markers passing around in preparation. After about 20 minutes of waiting for everyone to show up, the authors took a group photo and we went inside.

The groups split off between Matterhorn and Space Mountain. We were in the Matterhorn group with Lish McBride, Jennifer Bosworth, Gretchen McNeil, Kasie West, Jessica Brody, Chris Howard, Elise Allen and Shannon Messenger.

      picture from Kasie West's twitter

We fast passed Space Mountain and hit Star Tours. In the line for Star Tours, Gretchen handed me this, making her book drop complete. [I was standing with her when she signed it and I told her that I was going to be following her around all day until she set it down.]

Kasie and Chris both left their books in the ride. We found out later through the Twitter hash tag that someone had taken them from lost and found to hide them again. We also learned that some of the authors from the second group had been stopped by the Disney police for leaving things behind.

From Star Tours, we headed to Indiana Jones. Lish and Chris had both never ridden the ride, so it was fun to see their reactions.

After Indy [Shannon did a book drop by the castle], we hit Space Mountain [Jessica did a book drop] and our group almost took an entire car. And then we headed to California Adventure.

We got fast passes for Tower of Terror [Jennifer left her book by the entrance] and went to ride California Screamin'. Where Chris took the best photo.

We had just over an hour to kill before we could ride Tower of Terror, so we grabbed some food and relaxed a bit. And then ended up grabbing fast passes for Soarin' over California before riding Tower of Terror.

Yes, my face is completely covered by Shannon's hand!

From there, Hubs and I decided that we were going to call it a day. We had a quick photo shoot with everyone before leaving.

Huge thanks to all of the authors who participated in this event. It was so much fun and a really unique way to hang out.

Now. The only person who didn't do a book drop was Lish. She gave me her copy to take home and do a giveaway with it. You get the signed book and bookmark from Lish and I'm including a YAppiest sticker and pin.


Rules for the giveaway are on the "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The time I was talked into more books

When the Dark Days tour was posted, I had "leg 1" authors taken care of and Jennifer had "leg 2" taken care of and then we swapped. Thankfully, before she went to her tour stop, Mysterious Galaxy announced a date with Debra. With Shannon Messenger, Robin Benway and Chris Howard.

So of course I was going.

Michelle wasn't able to come out and play, so I forced Hubs to come with me. We got there early, as always. I ended up chatting with some of the employees about how to pick a perfect book. And then I sat down to start flapping.

Robin introduced herself as the moderator and then she gave a short introduction to each author.  Each author then gave a short synopsis of their book. 

Talk about your book:

S: Broke a lot of her own rules, because she wrote for herself. Vane is attractive and there are lots of hot abs.

D: Will say there are hot abs, even if there's not. There is one of her dogs in there. A bit of a Where's Waldo scene that you have to find.

C: There are no dogs or hot abs. Well, there could be, depending on how you interpret it.

What kind of research?

C: Background is forest ecology. Certain decisions were made just because of the background knowledge. Did more thinking it through to make sure it made sense within that world. Not ours.

D: Fair amount of research, but not a lot used. Too many details and it will bog down the story. Felt it was important to know the background. Found a blog speculating about the year 2029 and didn't want to do any more research.

S: Googled a lot of hot abs. Didn't have to do a lot of research because it's set where she grew up. Did some for the 4 winds, to make sure that she did something different.

Found an article about weird weather. Haboob is a type of storm. And with a 17 yo boy, there will be a definite joke in book 2.  And Chris said, "Let the haboobs fall"

It's a myth about sitting down, writing a book and sending it off. What is process like?

C: Worked on something else for 3 years. Wrote Rootless quickly, a couple of months. Edited with his agent. Short time writing, lengthy editing.

D: 3 months to write. 10 months to edit.

S: Wrote Let the Sky Fall just for fun. Would work on it when her editor was working on the revisions for Keeper.

What is daily writing routine?

S: Best time at night. 7-8pm and then an hour to get in the zone, and write until 2. Some all nighters during deadlines. Often does word wars against Kiersten White and that gets her going into the creative zone.

D: Late at night. Take the kids to school and spends all the time on social media. Doesn't do well with schedules.

C: Gets started and if it's flowing, keeps going.

All of the books are trilogies. How do you build up climax?

S: Sequels suck to write. The free flowing in book 1 doesn't happen. Have to pay attention to things, can't break anything. Always knew it would be a trilogy, because there was too big of a villain to defeat in one book. Almost like Harry defeating Voldemort in book 1.

She used the timeline of 7 days and within the looming date, added obstacles.

D: Hard to do because it has to be a huge arc, but each book has to be its own arc.

C: If it's a trilogy, you already have established the stakes and built the world.

Someone mentioned that coming back to the characters is like returning to summer camp and seeing your friends again.  Everyone agreed. 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

S: Didn't know until 17. Liked writing, but wanted to draw. Enrolled in art classes in college and found they could draw from their head, she needed to see the subject before she could draw it. Enrolled in broadcast writing, sounded like fun. Ended up with film school brochures.

D: Late to writing. Always had stories in her head while swimming. Quit swimming and eventually started writing things down. Wrote horrible Harlequin romance.

C: Wrote a lot. Short stories and poetry and songs. It wasn't until 6 years ago when great idea happened.

What has lived up to expectations when it comes to writing?

S: Reality hit when agent did an intervention and asked if she could handle 2 books a year. Didn't realize all of the overlap. Thought it was 6 months on one book, 6 months on another.

D: How infrequently writers to bathe. How many hours of revisions, etc. How many things you have to give up to work.

C: Didn't have a vision of what it would be like. What he loved is meeting so many people who love books. Thought it would be more of a hermit type thing.

Rejection. What have you faced?

S: Not much on Let the Sky Fall. There were 20 drafts with her MG series.

D: Harlequin romance was rejected. Wrote a YA set in college that wasn't very good either. Wrote NA before NA was around. Another book, that got her agent. Mila is book number 4 1/2.

C: Hardest part is the idea that you spent so much time with characters. Getting rejected is like those characters got killed.

What advise do you give to aspiring writers?

D: Never give up. Keep reading and writing.

S: From Ellen Hopkins: never treat anything as "this is it". This is the book that gets me the agent. Or gets me a best seller. It's just a set up for disappointment.

C: Don't let the number of people who connect with your book determine your success. Think about the journey instead of the destination.

After about 45 minutes, they opened it up to Q&A. And then the signing started.  They had one person go up to the table at a time, which was nice.

As I was waiting for my turn, I was talking to Rob about Chris.  We both agreed that he was absolutely charming and so much fun to hear talk [he has a fantastic accent].  I mentioned to Rob that I had just donated my arc of Rootless to ARCycling.  And somehow he convinced me to go buy it.


It was my turn to go up to the table and I had seven books.  I sort of dropped them on the table and apologized for being a hot mess.  Then I started distributing the books to everyone. 

Chris opened his book first and commented on the spelling of my name.  He told me that his sister in law is Emilee [spelling it out] and that he wrote my name really slow because he couldn't stop staring at it.


Debra asked if I was "book junkee Stacee".  I started laughing and said yes, that I never tell anyone who I am from Twitter.  And [I think it was Debra] said that the spelling of my name made it obvious, that if I didn't want to be recognized, I should start getting books signed for Stacy instead.


Robin was just finishing signing Jaime's book when I went to take a picture. She looked up and said that I couldn't take it just then because of girl code.  I said that I needed a picture of her signing the book and posed in a fun, sarcastic manner.  I started laughing and said that I wanted that picture exactly.  So, she posed again.  When I mentioned that I was going to post it on the blog, she asked the name of my blog.  I told her and she said that she saw me tweeting about waiting at the bookstore.

I promised that I would put an asterisk or something on the posed photo to make sure everyone knows it's a joke.  :D


I picked up some bookmarks and treats [from a huge bowl of candy], thanked everyone for coming and went to pay for my copy of Rootless.  I did get something signed from Shannon, but it was for Jaime.  I already have my signed copy of Let the Sky Fall.

The four authors work really well together.  They laugh together and all interrupt each other to make jokes and interject different things. I highly suggest meeting any of them, if you get a chance. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

The time it was a full day of crazy

It might not be a well known fact that I am a Twilight fan.  Yes, I did midnight shows for all of the movies [and the marathon for the BD2].  Yes, I have multiple copies of the books [paperback, hardcover, movie tie in, UK paperback]. Yes, we did one of the Hot Topic tours with the cast [unfortunately, not the one with Rob]. No, I didn't see them in Hall H.

Either way, it goes without saying that as soon as I saw that Stephenie Meyer was going to be signing at The Grove, I was going to get up there.  Honestly, I did go back and forth with it because I knew thought it would be a nightmare.  As soon as Michelle said she was interested in going, it was a done deal. 

The alarm went off at 4:15. I woke up to a text from Michelle saying that she wouldn't be able to go, since Ollie wasn't feeling good. We gassed up the Honda and set off.

We got to The Grove just before 7am. And of course there was already a line in front of the store. There were two lines, actually. Apparently, some people lined up at midnight and security told them to line up around the corner. Hubs ended up seeing Lita out front and she said the major line up WAS the line up.

Around 7:45, Lita came by and merged the two lines. She also said that all of the people in line would be in the preferred group and get a special The Host t-shirt.  We also got a list of guidelines.

We got into the store around 9:30 and we played another round of "hurry up and wait".

But then we got up to the counter and bought our books. Our wristbands were still in group A and the t-shirts were still available.

We got out of the store just before 10am and went on a hunt for some food. On the way to the car [to grab my Twilight books], we decided to head into B&N to see if they had the event section set up. Hubs stopped a woman who had just gotten out of line at the register and asked what letter she was. Her answer? J

We got up to the events area and they had the corral up and tape on the floor indicating where the lines would start.


There was a girl who was already laying down to the left of the start of the line. She said that she had been there for over 90 minutes and no one had said anything to her about it. She ended up having priority wristbands and said I could have her spot.

So I waited in line without being in line.

Around 12:00, a girl from the studio said that she was going to clear the events area out to set up the lines. Meanwhile, security and booksellers from the main cashier section were telling people they were allowed to line up on the taped letters. I quickly became the head of the official unofficial line.

And then we were told that group A was actually going to be lining up on the letter C and everyone merged over to that aisle.

They pushed us back a few times while they were setting up the barriers. After about 35 minutes, we were happily lined up in the official line as the first group of the A's. [We met Allison and Morgan in line and they hung out with us as it was their first book signing]

Stephenie and the cast showed up right after 2pm. They posed for paparazzi pictures and then moved to their separate areas. Stephenie was at the main table alone and Max Irons, Jake Abel and Diane Kruger were at a side table signing posters. Saoirse Ronan was supposed to also be there, but she missed her plane and they expected her later.

Once we got up to the holding section, we were told that all cameras had to be down. You handed your books to a handler, who handed them to Stephenie.

Once I got up to her, we both said hi and then I thanked her for coming. I had the UK version of Twilight as my extra copy and she commented on how she loved the UK versions, that they were so special. She then said that she was waiting for her white copies for her personal collection, that she still didn't have any.

Hubs and I weren't allowed to walk up together, so I only slightly overheard Stephenie comment on what a great helper he was.


We then walked over to the cast table. Diane was first, she signed my book and then asked if we still wanted posters. We said yes, so she signed and starting passing it down.

Max and Jake had tweeted earlier about throwing ping ping balls at Stephenie. As we were in line, someone was passing them out. Someone threw one at Jake and I laughed saying that I forgot all about the ball. He asked if I still had it and if so, we were going throw them at Stephenie at the same time. When I said no, because I didn't want to get thrown out, he laughed again and said he would "huck them both" himself.

Security sort of got mad that we were still there, so they ushered us away. On the way out, they cut off the wristbands am told us if Saoirse showed up, we could use the wristband to get back in line for her.


It was just before 3pm when we headed up to Thousand Oaks for the second signing.

We got up to that B&N around 4:30. And right when you opened the door, they had a table display and sign promoting the event.

I had to get a couple of books and was rung up by THE NICEST employee I've ever met. Ever. Anywhere. From there, we scoped out the event area and asked when it would be set up. Grabbed some dinner, then went back to the store to wait and steal electricity.

Chairs were set up just before 6pm and I quickly grabbed front row.

The authors got there at 7pm, but the events person said they don't normally start on time, to give people extra time to get there. Once the event started, each of the ladies did a brief introduction to their books and then opened it up to questions.

For each person who asked a question, they were given a prize. Jodi gave knitted flowers, Cynthia gave out patches and Brodi had gum.

Where do you get your ideas?

C: likes Kiersten White's answer of getting them from a back alley on the streets of LA. Actually, they come from a lot of random places.

J: Time traveled to year one in Japan and fought a ninja, broke into a sealed vault, stole a magic dagger, time traveled to year one million, found a unicorn and some of the dust that may or may not have come from the unicorn horn got into her brain.

B: Got the idea from girl from school, in pottery class [C: "no good comes from pottery class"] coming back after a long absence, looking completely different. There were a lot of rumors and it prompted the idea of telling the story of where she went while gone.

What's the hardest part of being a writer?

B: Writing. She thinks it'll get easier but it doesn't, has come to the conclusion she can't write.

J: Waiting. For responses. For phone calls from the editor. For edits being returned. For everything. Publishing moves so slow. Incarnate sold in 2010, released 2012.

C: The 48 hours right after she gets her first revision letter from the editor are the hardest. Spends that time feeling bad and thinking she's a bad writer. Time management is hard, making time for the important things.


Best advice for someone wanting to be in the exact genre? Maybe the hardest lesson they learned.

B: Read a lot and finish your book. Don't chase trends.

C: Takes about 17 months before its on the shelf after selling it, so something that is a trend now won't be when it's released. Write the story you want, that's in your heart. Prove to yourself that you can finish.

J: Start with a change. Kill everyone if you want. In fiction.

How many manuscripts?

B: One. Got an agent with it and the second was published.

J: 16 full books, most about 100k words.

C: Unearthly was the first book she finished. Wrote short stories, got rejections there. Had an agent already through a short story in a literary journal. Didn't try to publish until she was pretty practiced as an author.

Should you wait and polish your craft until trying to publish?

Novels are a marathon, short stories are a sprint. Why she loved being on tour, everyone had different experience. Short stories worked for her specifically.

What made you pick this genre?

C: It picked me. Didn't know Unearthly was YA. Wrote fanfiction in high school and literary fiction in college. Read 70 YA novels in one year and fell in love with it.

J: Same. Tried writing seriously and her friends were telling her it was YA. Her response was, "No. I'm an adult. I'm 23." Years later, she loved the YA covers and wanted to read those. She just had a man on the airplane tell her she should write about Argentina. He said, "Come to Argentina you can stay in my apartment". She said no and put on her headphones.

There were a couple other questions, but I didn't pay attention. Then before the signing started, Jodi had a giveaway for some mitts she made. The question was the full name for Sam's pony. I knew the short name and another girl said if I said the short name, she's remember the full name. She gave the full name and won the mitts, I said I should get one for the assist and Jodi gave me a knitted rose.

The signing started and I walked right up to Jodi, since I had already seen Cynthia and Brodi. Cynthia said hi and that it was nice to see me again. She asked where we lived and I ended up telling her about SM and being up since 4am.

Since Michelle couldn't go, I ended up getting books for her and Caitlin. Jodi asked if I was Caitlin's emissary. I laughed and said yes. And then when she saw Michelle's book, I explained how she couldn't make it since the baby was sick.


After all of the books were signed, I thanked them for coming, hugged the wife and started the long drive home to get some sleep.

Even though it was an insanely crazy day, it was all worth it.

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