Last Friday I made the trip up to Philly for the third time to attend a book signing at Neshaminy Mall. Sammy and Emma from the blog Lady and Star accompanied me and we had a blast. The three-hour car ride passed relatively quickly, and we had a little issue with the GPS but managed to make it to the signing with time to spare!
After a three-hour car ride, where we all had venti coffees – the only downside was the line for the bathroom!
As I’m sure you’re all aware, this past week, The Queen of Nothing hit shelves – I still haven’t had a chance to read it, but I’m hoping to get to it this week. I fear that if I don’t get to it soon – I’m going to be inadvertently spoiled, and I’d really prefer not to be…as would most people. Holly was in conversation with Brigid Kemmerer, so they both talked about their books and how they created such kick ass female leads – Jude and Harper. They also talked about how they created their worlds. Holly mentioned that when she first started writing The Cruel Prince (you can read my reviews for TCP and TWK if you’re interested, I’ll eventually have one up for QoN) that it wasn’t going to be set in Faerie – that it was just going to be a high fantasy. When she realized that wasn’t working, she switched it, and now we have TCP as we know it.
The thing I resonated most with at the signing, was when Holly mentioned that she has to write it (the story) wrong, before she writes it right. Similarly, to me, she doesn’t really outline, and therefore the first draft becomes the outline. This is pretty much how I write. I have vague ideas, and work through them as I draft. Is this probably the harder way of doing things – Holly kind of thinks so, and she said she wants to get better at outlining.
Even though I know there are many different ways writers go about writing their stories, it’s really comforting knowing someone as successful as Holly Black, writes just like I do. It sort of fights that imposter syndrome that occasionally hits me.
I kind of feared that QoN might be spoiled or aspect might be spoiled at the signing, but I’m of the mindset that if I go to singings and I haven’t read the book yet, I can’t be too mad, since I’m aware that’s a possibility.
I really enjoyed the signing and oh my god, I was so happy as to how it was handled! Well, except for one thing – but I’ll get to that in a minute. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve been to the Neshaminy Mall Barnes and Nobles for three separate signings – the first one being the Susan Dennard, Elise Kova and Brigid Kemmerer signing – you can really all about that one here. Long story short, in my opinion that on was handled wrong, and never should have taken that long. The second one was the Brigid Kemmerer and Anna Bright signing back in June – you can read about that one here – and it was so fun! Maybe it was because of the sheer number of people, but for this Holly Black singing (Brigid was also signing) the workers were efficient and limited the time at the table with the authors.
The one thing that kind of annoyed me was that, nowhere that I saw said that there was going to be a limit on the items that Holly would sign. I’d brought my OwlCrate The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing to be personalized and resigned on the inner title page (to be honest, I don’t really like tip-in pages, I appreciate them, but I like my books signed on the inner title page). I don’t have any other versions of these books, and yes, I’m aware they’re already signed, so it’s not a huge deal.
When it was time for the actual signing, we were informed that Holly was only singing & personalizing ONE book, and one of the books that you had to get signed was QoN. Like with every signing at this Barnes and Nobles you were required to buy a copy of the book there to get a wristband to get in the singing line. No biggie. I figured that I’d buy a copy and honestly, return it to my local Barnes and Nobles the next day. But I couldn’t get into the singing line without it. Anyways, it just would have been nice to know beforehand. Someone at my Barnes and Noble is going to get a nice little surprise when they buy the book. I ultimately didn’t get my copies resigned and took them with me for nothing, but it’s okay.
It was a fun evening; the drive back was long, and we didn’t get in until 12:20 AM. I was wired from the second venti coffee – that’s what happens when you drive 6 hours in the dark with only a little rest in between – it requires a lot of coffee. I kind of like the road trip these signings require, and they are definitely more fun with friends in the car!
Definitely keep your eyes out for my review of The Queen of Nothing – I’m hoping to read it this week, so it should be up next week by the latest! Also, I may have some fun news to drop in the nearish future! It’s something I’m super excited about and if it happens, it’ll be my first time doing something like this and I cannot wait!