As promised, I am finally bringing to you my thoughts and experience from The Lady is a Champ Tour. This amazing event featured four incredible writers in which they answered some very important questions and let the audience in on their life as writers. This event was held about three weeks ago (I know it has been a while) but it was so amazing, I am glad I get to share all the details with you.
It was a chilly Sunday afternoon in October and I arrived about an hour before the event. It turns out that I should come to these events earlier if I want to sit because there was a huge crowd and I had to stand the entire time. (Still it was so worth it.) Anyways, a short while later, our amazing authors arrived at Chapters Brampton. Marie Lu [The Midnight Star], Kiersten White [And I Darken], Catherine Egan [Julia Vanishes] and Morgan Rhodes [The Darkest Magic] all paraded through the crowd and sat at their table. (At this moment I was very, very star-struck) Once seated, the real show began.
The event started off with a few questions from the MC, about the author’s books and various struggles to write them. Marie Lu spoke about how The Young Elites began as a novel about Raffaele, but was soon took over by Adelina and thus began her villainous journey. Kiersten White talked about how difficult it is to write historical fiction and the amount of research it required to get dates correct. Catherine Egan spoke of her drafting process and that as she writes she has to keep changing and starting again before her book can have a solid outline. Morgan Rhodes said that she has to reread her books to remember the details and tie up the loose ends of stories. She also said writing involves a lot of wine and chocolate.
The authors then diverged on to the topic of villains. Marie said that writing a villain is basically allowing the character to do whatever they want, morals were thrown out the window. Catherine agreed and said that writing villains was very cathartic for her. She also stated that villains were easier to write because they just came to her. Morgan Rhodes agreed and said “the nicer the character, the harder to write.” Kiersten said that writing Lada was tough, since she had to restrain from softening her up (if you don’t know, Lada is not exactly very nice) and that she had to throw out the idea of likability.
Afterwords the authors shared stories about strong female characters they read about as teens. Marie Lu praised the novel Julie of Wolves as her inspiration and model growing up. Morgan shared that she read adult novels in her teens, and teen novels as an adult, but over all it was Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy that resonated with her. Kiersten White shared that her influential female Character was Anne from Anne of Green Gables (I was a very, very proud Canadian) Anne’s coming of age story and fearless self gave Kiersten confidence growing up.
There were many moments of laughing and fun especially when our authors would go off talking and forget whether they had answered the questions. (Morgan I’m talking sbout you) Marie Lu said that she had trouble writing romance scenes because she felt that her mother was scrutinizing her and asking “Where did you learn that, huh?” Marie takes months to write kissing scenes, so appreciate them. Morgan said that she dealt with difficult situations with lots of wine and chocolate, the other authors agreed straight away. She also finds it very easy to kill characters off, so be warned.
They also each shared a genre of writing they would not be able to explore or take on. Kiersten and Marie both said contemporary and agreed that fantasy and Sci-Fi was far more interesting. Morgan said that middle grade was not for her as well as an all male 1st person POV. Catherine always shies away from historical fiction, in which Kiersten said “don’t go down that road” humorously.
After a couple audience questions, the infamous “How tall are your characters?” was brought up again, the signing began.
Now as I mentioned I was towards the back of the line and had to wait three hours, standing carrying seven books! I was extremely tired, but again, so, so worth it. Anyways as I approached Kiersten and Catherine, I got really nervous and my heart started beating fast. (I’m very introverted so it’s my usual reaction) However, I got up there introduced myself and presented them with little pieces of fan art I made. They were both very delighted and Catherine almost cried! (SCORE) I had Illusions of Fate signed by Kiersten while she and I talked about Narnia (2nd SCORE) and how her boyfriend (now husband) gave her The Horse and his Boy as her first Christmas present. (He is definitely a keeper)
Then I approached Morgan Rhodes, I didn’t have a book to get signed by her since I had them signed at a previous event, but I still handed her a piece of fan art as well, which she graciously accepted. It was a painting of a pouty Magnus and she reasoned that his angry expression is what won him the ladies. (She’s not wrong) Then came the moment of truth!
I stood in front of Marie Lu. Six years I suffered under these woman’s books. Six years. And do you know what I said?
“Hi, I’m Rendz and I just want you to know I’ve been waiting for this moment for six years.”
*face meet palm*
Oh but it gets worse:
Marie: “I’m so glad you came!”
Me: “No, no, I’m so glad YOU came!”
COULD I HAVE BEEN MORE OF A DORK?!
Afterwords, I just kept calling myself a loser in my head! It was slightly embarrassing since the other authors listened in and started laughing. I turned red in the face, but kept on talking so I was proud of myself for that. After she signed six books (her hand must have ached afterwards, she had already signed so many) I left her saying thank you once again, walked down the steps shaking from head to toe because ladies and gentlemen I had just met Marie Lu.
Overall it was a long day, full of standing, waiting and fangirling, but I couldn’t have asked for more! My feet did ache the whole rest of the night through the next day but I would have stood even longer if it meant I got to meet my idols!
Experience score: 10/10 (even though I had to stand the entire time)
I do sincerely love author events. Although I do not see any in my immediate future, rest assured you will read about another time I embarrass at these events. If you have any author event stories you would like to share, comment below or shoot me an email, I would love to hear about it!