This past Saturday, October 10, I had the pleasure of going to my local Barnes and Noble and seeing the Epic Reads Fall tour come through town. Going to Barnes and Noble book signings are very weird for me because I am very loyal to my local indies and I never know how they work. Actually all of my Barnes and Noble signings that I have gone to have been out of state (Oceanside, CA and Las Vegas, NV). This is a long winded way to say I had no idea what to expect. Because it was on the other side of town, my BFFSarah and I got there about 45 minutes before it was to begin and noticed this set up. The event was going to be held in the fiction rotunda, by the cactus (it’s Phoenix, OF COURSE THERE WAS CACTUS) and by the 50 Shades display. Or as I called it, what was once twilight fanfiction. Closer to the store started to set up chairs, and people slowly started to file in. Sarah and I began to worry when there weren’t many people there, because we love YA and we want everyone to! Thankfully as the event started it became a packed house and was ultimately a lot of fun!
The authors were introduced and gave a short blurb about what their book is/means to them. Then the moderator asked them a handful of questions and then opened it up to the floor. What I found most fascinating was, from the outside, it seemed that these books didn’t have much in common: fantasy, contemporary, guns, abuse of women, etc. But as the authors discussed more and more about their books the more I realized there are common themes and putting them together was actually genius. Plus, them being put together made me want to read of of these authors books. The five panelists were:
- Amy Ewing, who wrote The Jewel
- Andrea Portes, who wrote Anatomy of a Misfit (and more importantly enjoys the greatest football team ever: The Packers)
- Anna Carey, who wrote Blackbird (and who I’ve met 3 times now and remembers me! And gave me a hug!)
- Heather Demetrios, who wrote Exquisite Captive
- Madeline Roux, who wrote Asylum
As you see, even the titles make it hard to believe that these books have anything in common, but really: THEY DO! And they answered my question during the Q & A. I say this because I ask, what I consider to be a very entertaining question “what book have you read, purely based on the cover?” I need to state that I have stolen this question from a bookseller at Changing Hands, but we’re friends, so I believe it to be okay. I find this question to be interesting for various reasons. One, I find new books with pretty covers, and two, some authors very quickly state they don’t judge books by their cover and always give a very valid reason. All five of these lovely authors gave answers quickly and brought new books to my attention that I am now excited to look into.
Yes, even a librarian judges books by their cover, sorry to spoil that for you.
Also, it was clear throughout this panel that not only do these authors all enjoy the company of each other, but they love what they do. I am a huge reader with no interest in writing and they were happy to discuss not only their craft, but also the reading aspect of their books. Anytime these ladies come back to town I would be more than happy to go to another one of their signings.
Lastly, shout out to the authors that took selfies with me, without even second guessing it.
If you have yet to go to a book sign, I cannot recommend going to one more. Just ask BFFSarah, as I constantly drag her to them.