HCC Frenzy Presents Fantasy Panel! | Meeting Tahereh Mafi, Maya Motayne & Victoria Aveyard // Turns out I am not as cool as I try to be…

Greetings readers!

Wow. It feels like I haven’t written a recap post for an event in ages, especially for an author event. And you know why?? It’s because I haven’t been to an author event in months. Seriously, I cannot remember the last one I went to. And due to this…I’m a little rusty on my social skills…yeah I’m already making excuses.

A couple of weeks ago, HCC Frenzy hosted a big author event in honour of three fantasy authors! That’s right I got to meet Tahereh Mafi, Maya Motayne and Victoria Aveyard this month! It was a limited ticketed event so I didn’t think I was going to get a wristband, but my darling, darling friend, Rezanne @ The Wicked Reader got the first two wristbands and handed one to me! *sobs* And it came with reserved seating and early access in the line!!! *SOBS harder*

To make my story short: The event was amazing. The authors were super nice. I made a fool of myself naturally. I got my books signed.

But to really understand this story we have to start from the beginning.

Getting There!

My family agreed to come along with me to the mall where the event was to be held. It’s pretty far from where we live so they would go off shopping while I would be in the event. It was a lovely plan.

But the drive there was a little bumpy.

My dad hadn’t been to the mall in a while and so we needed a GPS to get there. Unfortunately, we took the longer way to the mall and there was an accident on the way there which slowed us down even more. Then when we finally got into the mall, finding parking was a challenge, it was as if it were boxing day! There were so many cars and the entrances to the lots were full! But finally we found a spot and although we were all a little flustered, we finally got in.

scooby doo GIF
via giphy.com

The Event!

Before the event, I was hoping to snatch myself a signed copy of Stephanie Garber’s FINALE. I didn’t know Indigo was carrying them, but to my surprise they were! BUT TO MY EVEN BIGGER SURPRISE, the only copy that the Indigo in the mall had was NOT signed! *hangs head*

Okay so the actual event. The authors came in and they were pretty amazing. Ashley, Frenzy’s rep hosting the event, asked all three of them super interesting questions. We learned about their varying writing processes, their inspirations, their favourite books/shows and it was all so incredibly interesting!

I, unfortunately, didn’t take any notes so I don’t remember all the details, shame on me. But if you look up Frenzy on twitter, I’m sure you’ll find lots more on what was talked about during the event!

Let’s just say chickens, sandwiches, maps and notebooks were some of the highlights of the night!

The Signing!

I was nervous.

excited teyana taylor GIF by VH1
via giphy.com

Like incredibly nervous.

I wasn’t prepared to make conversation that night. I simply wasn’t. My author-meeting skills were super rusty, plus I had never read Tahereh’s books, I really enjoyed Maya and had a card for her and well I didn’t really know how to approach Victoria!

So I was nervous.

First up was Tahereh.

Basically I talked about my cousin the whole time who actually did read her books. I told her about how much my cousin loved the characters and the story and how she unfortunately couldn’t be there that night. Tahereh was super sweet and told me to tell my cousin “Hi” and that she was so honoured to hear about her. It was great. I made it through my first meeting without a hitch.

Then came Maya.

I said “Hi.” I handed her a little card I wrote for her. I said ‘Hi” again and then started my spiel. It started out great. It didn’t end great. Here is how I remember how it went down:

“Hi, it’s so nice to meet you. I made you this little card to tell you about your book. I absolutely loved Nocturna. I thought it was so incredible and the characters were amazing.”

*she responds with many thank yous*

“You’re welcome. It was so great and…and…and….”

*my throat gets tight*

*Feels a lump growing*

“And I…”

*Eyes begin to tickle*

Inner me: Wait…wait..wait..am I tearing up??? Am I about to cry. No!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE Rendz. Do not cry. Why are you going to cry? There is literally no reason that a tear should fall out of your eye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But they did. The tears leaked out and I while was not exactly crying, my eyes were leaking in front of Tahereh, Maya and Victoria…

*tears up more at the embarrassing fact that I am tearing up.*

*laughs like a child at the ludicrousness of tearing up in this scenario*

You know how in YA books, characters sometimes want the earth to open and swallow them up. Yeah. That was me.

“Ohhhhhh” –said the authors

“OMG. I don’t even know why I am crying. I feel like such a loser right now. I’m sorry.”

The authors: “No, don’t feel bad. It is so sweet. You’re Maya’s first crier. It is a special moment.”

Inner me: WELL I DON’T FEEL SPECIAL. I FEEL LIKE A FOOL. 

Turns out I said the last bit out loud, but they laughed it off.

My episode ended with Maya thanking me again while I dried up any remnants of salty water. She was so nice about it and personalized my books in Spanish.

But I was soooo embarrassed.

face palm GIF
via giphy.com

Lastly came Victoria.

She was super sweet after my whole fiasco. I was still feeling super flustered, but I got through another convo. I told her about how much I know she likes Narnia and she told me how she used to write fanfiction for it. It was a quick convo because I really wanted to get out of there after that, but she was really nice about everything.

Then I walked off the stage with my signed books and breathed a sigh of relief. It was over, I had made a fool of myself and it was great. Yup.

The After!

I waited for eyes to look less puffy before I went out to meet my family. No way would I ever tell them about my break down. Which I attribute to many things: nerves, excitement, social anxiety and stress from earlier that day. Still I would have been mocked and dragged through the mud by them. So if one of them reads this post, I accept my ridicule.


Overall, it was a fabulous event. It was fun, the questions were great, I laughed, I–uh–cried. I got my books signed! Both my ARC and finished copy of Nocturna were personalized and signed. It was great.

But maybe next time I should prepare myself a little bit better mentally to keep myself in check. XD

Let me know what you think! Did you attend the event? Have you ever gotten emotional in front of an author? How do you prepare to meet authors? What authors would you love to meet? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Meeting Morgan Matson | Author Event Recap!

Greetings readers!

I feel like it has been forever since I wrote about an author event? Maybe it’s because I haven’t been to one in ages!! Well, I love author events. Even though I get a little nervous when I have to actually meet the actual authors!

Save the Date
via Goodreads

I decided to attend the Morgan Matson event in Toronto for three reasons.
1) My close friend has read one of Matson’s books before, so I decided to invite her so she could meet the author! (Plus she goes to events when I know the author, so it’s only fair!)
2) The event was for Save the Date, which I just started. It sounds fun, cute and fluffy and I am in a very contemporary mood!
3) Morgan Matson is such a big name! And despite having never read any of her books, I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity!

The Event & Discussion

The signing was held at Chapters Indigo at Yorkdale. The space is not huge, but my friend and I were able to find seats!!! There lots of people present, most of who had big stacks of books all by Morgan. As we sat and waited for the Morgan to show up, the Indigo employees played several rounds of trivia to win gift cards! Most of the questions revolved around Save the Date and since neither I nor my friend had read the book, we totally didn’t win anything! XD

Finally, Morgan arrived and everyone cheered quite loudly. She was interviewed by a Canadian blogger Tiff @ MostlyYALit! Tiff was a great interviewer and asked Morgan really wonderful questions about her books and her writing process!

With regards to her books, Morgan spoke a lot about the characters and how important it is to craft them. Save the Date has major themes revolving family and experiencing change. She also loves writing about realistic friendships and that they come with their own little flaws and perfections. In Save the Date, she reflects upon the friends vs family battle and the jealousy that is sparked between the two groups when they are not getting enough attention!

Although, I haven’t read any of her books yet, I am truly excited to see how she crafts these characters and relationships. Each book she writes is set in the same town, so for those Matsonverse fans out there, there are Easter eggs in every book that sort of connect them, which I find very cool!

With regards to her writing process, Matson talked about her satisfaction with standalones. She says that she loves a conclusive ending and that for her to write a series she would need to find the right story that was big enough to span more than one book! She went in-depth of how hard it was for her to write Save the Date. Most of her other books span a summer, a few months, but this book had only three days from beginning to end. She struggled with finding the right way to describe the time, but she is very thankful for her editors and writer friends that helped her through the process!

I take such crappy photos XD

Her least favourite part of the writing process would be the moments of the middle of the book where everyone is just standing around and she needs to make decisions for them. Matson said she is so indecisive about everything, so writing a book about it seemed like a good idea. Her favourite part of the process, is when things finally start working after a couple drafts and the story is finally something she can look forward to!

The best writing advice she has ever been given is to finish something. (Advice I definitely need to heed) She said that when you finish something you can finally say you have done this before and you can therefore do it again. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to make it to the end! The advice that she would give prospective writers is to read critically and write and rewrite. She said the best way to learn this craft is to study it, and understand what makes a story compelling and entertaining.

Final Fun Fact: Morgan let us know that the cover models on the Since You’ve Been Gone cover are actually wearing her own clothes and accessories!

Since You've Been Gone
via Goodreads

The Signing

In this moment, I’m giving my speech and Morgan’s signing my book!

This is the fun part, isn’t it. Well for me it’s the nerve-wracking part. Since I get quite anxious when I go to these events, I like to rehearse what I will say beforehand. Meanwhile, my friend kept asking me what she should say since she had never been to a signing before. I told her its best to talk about the book and soon enough we both had little speeches prepared when we got to her table.

When it was my turn up, I admitted that I haven’t read any of her books, but that I was excited for her new release as I have a wedding this coming summer! Morgan was so sweet and she hoped that I would enjoy the book and the wedding. My speech lasted a total of what 45 seconds and I ran out of stuff to say, so naturally I stood in an awkward silence. Thankfully, she’s a quick signer XD Then I got my picture taken with her and hopped off the little stand.

You’d think I would have made it through this signing without a fumble, right? Wrong.

As I turned to leave I felt like I was missing something, I had the book, but my left hand…it was empty, it had had something in it before.

Then I hear lots of people calling out my name, I turn and see the Indigo employee who snapped my picture holding out my phone and saying “Hun you forgot this! I don’t think you’d want to lose it.” I took it back in a flash and said my thanks, but I still turned very red since the employees, Morgan and some fans were all giggling and calling out my name.

Classic Rendz. Always has to look even just a little clumsy at a signing.


Overall, I really enjoyed the event! The discussion was great and I am honestly looking forward to going down a Matson spiral sometime soon. Plus, I have a new signed book to add to my collection! This one is actually double signed, since it is also a first signed edition!

I had lots of fun and Morgan Matson was so sweet and funny. I can’t wait to continue reading Save the Date and share my thoughts with you all!

Let me know what you think! Have you read books by Morgan Matson? Which one is your favourite? Have you had the chance to meet her? What author would you like to meet someday?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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In Which I Attended a Sarah J. Maas Signing

Greetings readers!

I honestly wanted this to be one of the most exciting posts I have ever written. It is not. I wanted this to be thrilling, fun and entertaining for you all. It probably still is, it’s just that it is a sad kind of funny. As in my weekend was not great and I felt really bad for most of my Sunday!

Related image
via Pinterest! 

This picture, this kid!, summarizes my entire expression and all my emotions that I felt last Sunday! 

What can I say? I had been anticipating this event for MONTHS!

Sarah J. Maas, a huge, huge author coming to my hometown. I was going to be able to meet SJM! WHAT?!?! When I found out I couldn’t even concentrate on my school work anymore, which made me miss an entire chemistry lesson. I still aced the test. *flips hair*

SO why did it turn out to be so sucky?

Let’s start at the beginning.

*all gifs via giphy.com*


Sunday May 21st @ 4 a.m.
The Carbon Monoxide detector in my house starts to beep and holler.
My family wakes in a panic, thankfully nothing happens.
We go back to sleep and I notice the hard pounding of the rain outside.

 dog tired bed sleeping sleepy GIF

Same day @ 8:00 a.m.
My alarm goes off!
Time to get dressed for SJM.
Rendz is crazy excited.
Heads downstairs and makes breakfast. I check my iPod and notice that my wifi is wonky.
Damn it! The internet got cut from the rain, so I go down and fix it.
My dad says he’ll drop me off two hours before the mall opens so I can go stand in line.

9:00 a.m.
Internet is back.
Twenty different messages flood in from those hours I was away.
Most from a friend who was already at the signing.
She asks me where I am?
I tell her home and ask her how long the line is, should I rush.
She tells me that the line has reached capacity and there are no more wristbands left.
No wristband means no meeting SJM.

Heart sunk.

Family takes pity and we drive there anyways.

 heart once upon a time ouat crushed heart broken GIF

9:30 a.m. at the mall
Over 250 people in line.
Indigo employees are kindly turning away any people who still try to stand in line.
There is no hope.
But I stand in the overflow line anyways.
Until angry looking security guards start glaring at us to move on and leave the line.
I leave the line.

sjm 1
In the overflow line


10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
I sulk.
And have lunch because I am hungry.

12:35 p.m.
Standing in Indigo with a million other people,
Craning my neck to see over tall heads.
I don’t see anything.
I overhear that there are Americans in the signing line who flew to Toronto to meet  SJM.
I get real bitter. (Are you serious how many events does she do in the US?)

1:15 p.m.
SJM shows up and you guessed it!
I cannot see her.
BUT I can hear her fine!
So I listen to her talk for 45 minutes.
She is funny and charming.

Here is what she talked about!


Discussion:

Musical Inspirations
Wrote ToG when she was 16 from listening to Cinderella’s “run away” song
Huge Lord of the Rings fan (president of Lotr club in her high school)
Fanfic writer of Harry Potter and Sailor Moon crossover!
Feyre came from listening to the first song on Princess Mononoke soundtrack  (She saw the whole first chapter in that one song)
Last scene in ACOWAR was inspired by final song in Princess Mononoke
SJM doesn’t have any talent in music whatsoever
At 12 she convinced her parents she wanted to take piano
Piano instructor was a witch with a B
They always fought
She had mortifying recitals (even her parents were mortified)
Played a very bad rendition of “my heart will go on ” at her last recital
After that no more lessons
Aelin plays piano because it’s  failed dream
No musical talent, yet music inspires her writing
Men on the Page 
When she writes a male character “it’s like how can I find a way to get his shirt off “
She still has her battered copy of Pride & Prejudice with gel pen hearts and all around the pages with Mr. Darcy
Real life conversations with her husbands often begin like this: “let me tell you about this hot man I saw!”
A little bit about Writing 
She had ACOTAR written since 2008, and in the middle of writing books for ToG she said she would share that story instead of waiting
She always said Rhys was the one.
SJM would never talk about sex to anyone (especially her parents)  but leaned about positive sex in books
Husband and Rhys not the same but they do share the quality that they love their partner unconditionally
“People who love you on your bad days are your family and friends” 
She is her own cruelest critic!
SJM doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures you, love what you love there is no shame
Side Character Details 
Nesta and Manon were gifts
Books would have been shorter without Manon but SJM fought and fought her editor to keep her
Likes writing all kinds of women, not all are sweet but some cold and nasty
Was there a brutal scene u wrote where you cried? 
ToG -last section of Empire of Storms destroyed her and she was in hysterical tears
Tower of Dawn: “talk about tears”
(A little bit about ToD)
Book that was supposed to be a novella
She sat down in November to write novella about Chaol
She ended up writing 4 chapters with 20000 words after 5 days 100000 words
7 months later it’s a novel
Takes place during EoS
Major stuff happens to understand last book
Chaol and Nesryn are MCs
AND Irene towers!
She loves this book
ACOTAR- Mist and Fury was emotionally hard to write
Chapter 70 onward she was cod tangly crying
In ACOWAR there is a certain event on  Pg 666….it’s so emotional and  she laughed laughed laughed!
What is Rhysand’s last name?
Hot pants
Harry Potter houses 
Rhys- Ravenclaw (because he looks good in those colours)
Cassian-  Gryffindor
Feyre-  hufflepuff
Aelin – slytherdor
Rowan – slytherdor
Manon – (Queen) slytherin
Aelin or Rhys who would win in a fight (Verbal or physical)?
Aelin would be too distracted by his good looks
Rhys would be too interested in magic: “show me those fire powers”
Of the 3 Night Court men order them in biggest to smallest Wingspan 
She won’t say
Where do you write/perfect place to write?
Wrote ACOWAR at desk in home office
Acts out all scenes in giant mirror
If you could ho anywhere with one character, where and who? 
The Louvre in Paris with Feyre
The Metropolitan Opera House in NYC  with Aelin
What are you currently reading? 
Flame in the mist by Renee Ahdieh
“So hard to put down”
*Yeah I was lazy so I just copied and pasted my notes how they were… but it makes sense, right?!*

2:00 p.m.
Overflow crowd a.k.a the parents of the kids in the signing line and the suckers who didn’t get wristbands (me) depart from the store.

This was my chance.
I crept slowly to the side of the store so I could get a visual of SJM.

My pictures don’t do any justice to what I saw, but I saw her at least.
My horrible pictures are shown below.
I was still so far away and these were taken with zoom!

Walked away from this mean-looking security guard who was staring me down for taking pictures.

And I went home.


I didn’t buy any books that day. I feel really dumb for not buying because there were some good deals I could have taken advantage of. However, I felt so deflated after the discussion, my neck hurt from trying to see over the heads of people and I had a headache emerging at the base of my head. I was tired and felt bitter. So I went home. I know now that there are some extra signed copies at that bookstore, but who knows when I will have the time to go back and get one!

I saw a couple girls, younger then me crying after they met SJM and my bitter mood elevated several levels. However, the worst part was definitely doing the walk of shame as I passed all the people in line and I got looks of pity from them. I couldn’t stand that.

 annoyed ryan reynolds ugh eye roll eyeroll GIF

So it was not my favourite event. The Lady is a Champ still holds that title. I know I shouldn’t be too upset, it’s not anyone’s fault. Just mine for not thinking about how passionate people are, that they would go and wait outside of a mall at 3 a.m.

I have not been able to look at any SJM book without cringing, but I know one day I will laugh about this. I also know that one day she will come back and I will get another chance.

I also know that if Marissa Meyer comes to Toronto I will be camping outside of whatever store a week in advance. She is my true queen, I cannot miss her. But she hasn’t announced any tours yet and I’m crossing my fingers for Renegades


SO yeah…a rather long and sad post. ( I totally understand if you skimmed) But I think I shall start laughing about this day now! I still have money to spend on books so at least that is a plus!

Did you ever have any bad signing experiences or actually tell me about the good ones! Let’s keep the comments cheery!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Signed Books Collection!

Greetings readers!

I am finally on my March break (Spring break) and it feels glorious to know that I will be away from that wretched school of mine! Joking…it’s not wretched…well only slightly! So, one day I had a mini conversation that inspired this post with a special blogger friend, Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews . You should all go check her out because she has an amazing blog, with amazing reviews and is just generally awesome! (<3 you Mandy!)

Now since this post idea was inspired by Mandy, I felt it necessary to create it and make her feel jealous! Mwahaha! Just kidding! I won’t make you too jealous…maybe. Today I shall be sharing with you all the books I have signed in my collection. I have acquired these books over the past year, from June of 2016 to today. I hold all signed books close to my heart because the author took the time to dedicate their book to me and sometimes I see them physically touch and sign my book, so I fangirl like crazy! *That does not sound creepy whatsoever!*

Let’s start with the first signing I ever went to!

It wasn’t really a signing but more of an event for Romance writers that the public could attend…if they payed the ticket fee. I knew Morgan Rhodes was going to be there, so I had to go and dragged my sister along. It was the first time I ever met Morgan Rhodes (or an author for that matter) and even though I only talked to her for a few minutes it was one of the best moments ever! *I was internally fangirling and blushing like crazy…I was that nervous*

  1. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  2. A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

In June, I went to another signing featuring Morgan Rhodes, E.K. Johnston and Teresa Toten. I only had books for Morgan to sign that day, but it was so wonderful seeing and listening to the other authors as well.

  1.  Rebel Spring  by Morgan Rodes
  2. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

In August, I was lucky enough to attend the Indigo Teen Fall Preview Event hosted  by my local bookstore Chapters Indigo. Surprisingly, E.K. Johnston joined our meeting and I was able to get an ARC of Spindle signed! (It is the companion to A Thousand Nights…you should definitely read it!)

  1. Spindle (ARC) by E.K. Johnston

In September, I went to the HCCFrenzy author signing featuring Lauren Oliver and Kendare Blake! You can read more about that signing in my Teen Tour Experience post! I actually had Three Dark Crowns made out to my sisters and I because we are going to buddy read it! Also, Lauren Oliver signed REPLICA twice! One signature and message on each side! So Cool!!!

  1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare  Blake
  2. Replica (LYRA) by Lauren Oliver
  3. Replica (GEMMA) by Lauren Oliver

In October, I had the amazing opportunity to go to another signing event! Penguin Teen brought their teen tour to Brampton and so I had the chance to meet Morgan Rhodes (again 🙂 ), Catherine Egan, Kiersten White and Marie Lu! I was so incredibly happy that day, you can read more about that event in my The Lady is a Champ – Experience post!

I honestly get so giddy when I look at these books!

  1. Legend, Prodigy & Champion by Marie Lu
  2. The Young Elites, The Rose Society & The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
  3. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

In December, I got lucky and won a giveaway for an ARC of Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves! I didn’t think it would come signed but I am so happy it did! You can read my review here!

  1. Blood Rose Rebellion  by Rosalyn Eves

In January, I got lucky again and won a signed hardcover of Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields. Please take a moment to admire this beautiful signature!

  1. Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Finally, in February I got lucky AGAIN! I won a signed hardcover of Frostblood by Elly Blake! (Another Canadian author YAY). I also attended the Veronica Roth signing for her Carve the Mark Tour and got the book for FREE and SIGNED! You can read more about that hilarious night in my Veronica Roth Event Experience.

  1. Frostblood by Elly Blake
  2. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

That is it for my signed books! I have a total of 18! It feels so cool when I say that. Of course, I could have had 20 if I had gone to the Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir signings the year before, BUT NO I DIDN’T AND IT IS THE BIGGEST, LARGEST, MOST MASSIVE REGRET I HAVE! *cries*

Anyways, I will be getting more signed books in the near future! I will be meeting Sarah J. Maas when she comes to my town in May for her A Court of Wings and Ruin tour. It’s time for me to jump on that bandwagon. I will be getting Crown of Midnight signed with some other books and I, of course will obsess over Chaol and his novel! Look forward for that event recap!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and are feeling envious. Just kidding! Tell me about your signed books and author meetings below so I can get super jealous! Seriously, if any of you mention meeting Sabaa and Leigh I will get CRAZY jealous!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Veronica Roth Event Experience

Greetings readers!

Last week I had the lovely opportunity to see Veronica Roth, in person as her tour for Carve the Mark stopped in Toronto! I actually attended as a reserved guest because my friend The Wicked Reader (You can find her on IG as @thewickedreader) won reserved seating for herself and a guest. Luckily she chose me!

The perks of being a reserved guest are many and I enjoyed them all thoroughly! I had a seat waiting for me so I did not have to stand the full hour. I had a wrist band that made me the third in line for the signing. I got some cool swag, shoelaces and bookmarks! And I got the book for F R E E!

That’s right, free! I saved myself lots of money!

dance dancing celebration celebrate yay
via giphy.com

Confession time:

Here’s the awkward bit. I have never actually read any books by Veronica Roth. I have not read Divergent, but I did watch the movie so I know the basics of what happens. And I have not read Carve the Mark since it just came out. BUT I was still excited to go to the signing and as usual I made a fool of myself in front of the author. Stay tuned, to know what I said.

Introductions!

So before Veronica came out, the Indigo employees got the crowd excited and rattled by pitting us against each other in crazy battles to win the pot of gold. Meaning trivia for gift cards. Well, at least I thought it was going to be trivia, it turned out to be less trivia and more “let’s see who has crazy things in their wallets/purses!”

That’s not a joke.

The first “question” was “This book is about going to foreign places and seeing different aspects of different cultures! Whoever can pull out foreign currency, that is not Canadian or American gets a gift card!”

How I wished I was carrying a colón in my wallet. How I wished. Whilst I was wishing, some girl pulled out 5 frickin euros! She got a gift card. Someone else had a rupee and someone else had a coin from the Bahamas! Seriously?!?

The next question:

“Alright, this book is about travelling. Going places and taking on adventure. Whoever pulls out a boarding pass or plane ticket gets a gift card!”

GIPHY Originals reaction sad wtf what
via giphy.com

A plane ticket????? Who carries a plane ticket?! Apparently some lady who said “I have my ticket to Jamaica!” and the other lady who brought her boarding pass destined to Banff! Seriously?!

The last challenge came about and I was ready to participate if necessary!

“Alright I’m going to need three out-going people who are not of afraid of a crowd!” I gave up right then and there.

cartoons & comics spongebob spongebob squarepants squidward give up
via giphy.com

So three people went up. Two boys and a girl. They had a dance-off to Wanna Be by the Spice Girls. I have never experienced so much second-hand embarrassment in my life! The two guys tried their best but the girl ended up winning because she feared the crowd the least. I applauded them for trying anyways!

After that ordeal Veronica finally showed up! And the show began!

A Game of MASH

So if you do not know what MASH is. It is a old-school game that predicts your love-life, career, family and mode of transportation. It’s very accurate! One girl volunteered to have her future foretold with MASH but using Divergent and Carve the Mark themes and characters! It was hilarious because she ended up having a husband she disliked and 2.5 kids. Not to mention she would be living on a mysterious planet.

Discussion

So Veronica was accompanied by Sarah Enni, the PodCast host of First Draft and they discussed various bookish things. I won’t bore you with details but to summarize it was very funny and Harry Potter was brought up a lot.

Then there was the lighting round of questions!

Time Travel or Space Travel? VR: Space Travel

Robots or Aliens? VR: By a small amount I prefer Alien stories. They say so much about who we are and what we think.

Vampires or Werewolves? VR: I gotta go with Werewolves for this.

Zombies fast or slow? VR: FAST

The came some fan questions:

First book that made you cry? VR: Bridge to Terrabithia

Recommended reads? VR: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, WANT by Cindy Pon, After the Fall by Kate Harte

It was a funny discussion and many times Veronica got off course but it was still a great talk!

Signing Time in Which Rendz Embarrasses Herself Again!

So as mentioned before I have not read any of Veronica Roth’s other novels. So while I was lining up I had no clue what I was going to say to her. As usual, I got very nervous. The lady before me seemed to be chatting away with Veronica going off about who knows what, probably Divergent.

Meanwhile I was thinking about how awkward our mini chat was going to be!

Finally my turn came to go up, so I did. I handed the Indigo Employee my phone so he could take pictures and stood in front of Veronica Roth. She said “Hello” as I handed her my book to which I responded “Hello! How are you?”

VR: “I’m good, how are you?”

Rendz: “Great”

*Awkward silence as she signs the book*

Rendz: “So…this is really awkward because I have never read any of your books or this one. I saw the movie but I have not watched the rest of them. So I do not really know what to say to you other than, hi.” *I was very red in the face at this point*

VR: *laughing* “Don’t worry about it. I get it. I hope you enjoy it anyways.”

*More silence as she signs, what was I doing at this point you ask. Just smiling*

Rendz: “So…I like to ask everybody this. Have you read the Chronicles of Narnia?”

To which she responded yes and that her favourite was The Silver chair because she remembered it being creepy. Which it kind of is. She even said she was thinking of rereading them! Exciting!

Then we said our good byes and I walked off grinning like a fool because that is what I always look like after talking about Narnia!

Everything went great until I tripped coming down that single step! *sigh*

Overall Experience

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I had a great time! I mean I got a free book, met an author and hung out with many bookish people! Plus, I can add another signed book to my shelves which is always a plus!

4/5 stars *I didn’t get any of the Harry Potter jokes*

Now, I have heard about the controversy surrounding Carve the Mark and the offense it brings to many readers. The controversy was not brought up during the event, which is understandable because that would have been super awkward, but I would have liked her to shed some light on it. However, I do not think it was the appropriate time or place. As to whether I’m going to read it, I will. Eventually. Like when I topple all the other books I have to read.

Let me know in the comments what author(s) you have met or would like to meet!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Lady is a Champ – Experience

Greetings readers:

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.

Catherine Egan, Kiersten White, Marie Lu, Morgan Rhodes
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?!

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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!

Happy Reading!

-Rendz

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