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Visiting the High Line

This past Monday Amy McNulty and I visited the High Line in Manhattan! Originally elevated railroad tracks used for freight trains, this area has been turned into an urban park that extends along the West Side of the city. It opened in 2009, but this was my first time visiting it. And we planned it perfectly because the newest part, running north to 34th Street, just opened this past weekend!

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It was super windy that day, and the sky was both overcast and sunny, depending on where you were!

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There was a lot of construction happening, so it’ll be interesting to see how the area changes in the upcoming years. I also thought it was neat having an aerial view of the rail yard!

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The new section offered wonderful views of the Hudson River (and some ferry boats!).

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We walked the entire length of the High Line, and while it was over a mile long, it didn’t feel like it! Maybe because we stopped often to take pictures. I’m already planning on returning in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. I bet it’s gorgeous!

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Fierce Reads Event 9/19/14

Yesterday I was back at Books of Wonder for another fun author event!

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The Fierce Reads event featured authors Ann Aguire, Caragh M. O’Brien, Marie Rutkoski and Emmy Laybourne. Emmy Laybourne was also the moderator, and she started things off by having each of the authors talk a little about their books. Next, she asked the audience members trivia questions about the authors, and the winners received ARCs! Finally, the authors answered questions from the audience. There were some great questions, and I especially enjoyed hearing the authors talk about how they deal with negative reviews for the first book in their series while trying to write the second book (the short answer? Don’t read the reviews!).

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Amy McNulty was with me, and we chatted with Caragh M. O’Brien and Emmy Laybourne while they signed our books and gave us some neat free swag. We had a wonderful time and I can’t wait for the next book event!

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Debut Spotlight: First Time Authors for Teens Event 9/14/14

On Sunday I had a chance to attend Books of Wonder’s Debut Spotlight: First Time Authors For Teens event, featuring Adi Alasid, Isabel Gillies, Katherine Howe, Amanda Maciel, and Amy Zhang. First each author introduced him or herself, and then they talked about their books. I always love hearing about how authors come up with their ideas. After they spoke, the audience asked questions. Since two of the books dealt with bullying in high school, many of the questions centered around that. Some of the authors agreed that high school was the worst experience of their lives, while others said they loved it. They were also asked if they would be friends with their main characters, and Amy Zhang, whose character is a bully, promptly answered, “NO.”

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After they finished answering questions, the authors signed books for their readers. It was a quick but fun event, and I’m happy I went. I’ve read some but not all of the books featured, and I’m definitely going to read the rest soon!

I will be attending another event at Books of Wonder this week. This Friday they’re hosting the Fierce Reads event, and I’ll be going with Amy McNulty. I’m very excited for that one!

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BEA 2014

Happy June! According to WordPress, this blog turned two. I can’t believe it’s been two years already!

I also can’t believe that another BEA has come and gone. Yep, for the third year in a row, I was over at the Javits Center surrounded by books and book lovers. I ended up with forty-eight new books (that’s the same amount I got last year!) that I can’t wait to read. Want to see what I got?

day1Day One-I thought my arms were going to break carrying all of this! (7 of these are signed)

day2Day Two-9 of these are signed!

day3Day Three-Just one signed this time

I’m excited because a lot of these are YA contemporary, which I’m definitely in the mood for right now! There’s something about the summer that makes me want to read contemporary novels. But what do I read first? Usually I pretty much grab whatever book catches my eye and go from there, but sometimes I have a hard time choosing! I’ve seen my friends make lists of what to read during which month, and I’m going to try that method out. I’ll let you know if that works for me! I hope to get through a large chunk of them this summer since I’m in a huge reading mood and haven’t had a chance to read much this year, but it all depends on how my writing and editing goes with the final two books in the Silver Moon Saga! Last week was spent writing the last story for the second novella, and after I finish that, it’s time for another read of the final book. I have my work cut out for me, but I hope to be done by the end of the month or early next month!

It’s always sad when BEA is over, since I pretty much spend the entire year looking forward to it. But after three days of trekking to the Javits center, dealing with crowds, and carrying bags stuffed with books, it was nice to come home and relax! Now I’m literally surrounded by books (my bookshelf is full, so I have piles on my desk and dresser) and it’s amazing. I love it.

By the way, I joined Instagram, so feel free to follow me to see more BEA pictures. And dessert. I like posting pictures of desserts!

I will probably be quiet again, especially with all the writing and editing I have planned, but I do make an effort to update both my Facebook author page and my Twitter on a daily basis.

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NYC Teen Author Festival 2014

Yesterday I was in New York City for the huge signing event at Books of Wonder. From 1 pm to 4 pm, readers had the chance to meet sixty YA authors! It reminded me a little of Book Expo, but much more contained. That’s not to say it wasn’t crowded! I saw so many readers walking around with stacks of books to be signed, and the shelves were literally empty. How many times have you heard that people no longer buy books? Or that young adults don’t read? Well, guess what? That’s not true!

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I got a copy of The Unbound by Victoria Schwab, which she signed for me as we chatted about sequels and Comic Con (I had previously met her at Comic Con 2013, which is when I got The Archived!). I’m really excited to have both books signed (with matching bookmarks, also signed!). When I go to book signings, I usually only get one book in a series signed, so my collections aren’t, well, complete (Seriously. I’ll have book two of this series, book three of that series. It’s bad, and I definitely need to start filling in the holes.). It’s nice to finally own a matching set! Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend any of the other NYCTAF events, but I’m glad I was finally able to make it to the big signing at Books of Wonder this year!

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The Fight for the Future Tour 2-22-2014

Yesterday (2/22) I attended The Fight for the Future Tour at Books of Wonder in New York City! It was my first book event of the year, and I’m so happy the weather was behaving itself for once, making it possible for me to go. We’ve been having snowstorms every other day it seems, but yesterday it was in the 50s, the sun was out, the snow was melting… What a great day!

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At the event, Alexandra Bracken, Dan Krokos, Amie Kaufman, and Meagan Spooner talked about their books, where their ideas came from, and how they were published. I especially enjoyed hearing about how Amie and Meagan co-wrote These Broken Stars despite living in completely different countries. Also, the amount of research each author did for their books to make them as accurate as possible was incredible.

They also talked about writing and revising, and how you shouldn’t spend all of your time trying to get the first draft perfect. Amie had a great quote about how you can’t edit a blank page, which I thought was incredibly true. You write and you revise and you revise and you revise. If you stress yourself out over not having a perfect first draft, you’ll never finish it.

There was a huge turnout, and I saw plenty of people with bags packed with books to be signed. I had a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to more events in the upcoming months!

Also, sorry for only one picture this time around. I actually had a column in front of me, obstructing my view. It was the only seat left when I got there (that’s how crowded it was!).

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New York Comic Con 2013

On Friday, October 11th, I attended New York Comic Con! Comic Con is always a crazy, fun time, and this year was no exception. Actually, this was the best organized year yet, so maybe it was slightly less crazy than other years? For example, this year they placed microchips in the badges, and you had to tap your badges before entering the venue. When I first heard about this, I groaned and said, “It’s going to take even longer to get into the exhibit hall now!” But they actually set everything up outside of the Javits Center, where there is much more room. Better yet, there were no crazy long lines as everyone waited their turn to tap their badges. Once through, I waited my turn to enter the building, and then it was on to the exhibit hall!

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My first stop was, of course, to the booths run by publishing companies! This area wasn’t too crowded, so I was able to take my time and look at everything. Everyone there was super nice, too. For example, when I stopped in front of the Penguin booth, they asked me what I liked to read, and then went out of their way to open up a box of books so I could get an ARC of Rebel Springs. They were also giving away giant tote bags, which I grabbed and used for the rest of the day. When I passed Disney’s booth, I saw Victoria Schwab was doing a signing in a few minutes. I actually missed seeing her at BEA (her line was so long they ran out of books!), so it was nice to finally meet her and get a signed copy of The Archived.

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After that, I wandered the floor some more, looking at merchandise for sale and all the different cosplayers, before heading down to the conference rooms. I don’t know whose idea it was to have two literary panels back to back in the same room, but I want to shake their hands and thank them. For two hours I got to sit down, put my heavy bags on the floor, and listen to authors speak.

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The first panel was “Once Upon a Time in Fantasy Lit…” featuring authors Bennett Madison, C. Robert Cargill, Catherynne M. Valente, Soman Chainani, Emily Croy Barker, and Gitty Daneshvari. They introduced themselves and their books, and then went on to discuss everything from Disney animated movies to what fantasy creature they wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alleyway. As a lover of fantasy, I had a great time and wished the panel had been longer, because the authors were both interesting and informative. I’m definitely going to pick up their books in the near future!

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After a fifteen minute intermission, the next panel, “Kill or Be Killed: Crafting a Powerful Female Protagonist” started, featuring authors Amelia Kahaney, Kendare Blake, Danielle Paige, Lauren Oliver, and Lindsay Ribar. Once again, each author was introduced and talked a little bit about their books, before discussing their awesome female protagonists in their current and upcoming novels. In particular, I was very excited to hear about Lauren Oliver’s forthcoming Panic, and Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die. Both sound excellent. Ironically, they also discussed Disney animated movies. In fact, The Little Mermaid was mentioned in both panels (both favorably and unfavorably) by the authors!

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Once the second panel finished, I headed back to the exhibit hall. There was a book giveaway going on at the Harper Collins booth (spin the wheel, win a book), and I won an ARC of Cruel Beauty, a Beauty and the Beast retelling I can’t wait to start reading! I spent a little bit more time at the con (visited the Artist Alley to see all the beautiful artwork) before heading home, thoroughly exhausted. But I had a great time, and I’ll definitely go again next year!

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