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New York Comic Con 2012

For the second year in a row, I attended New York Comic Con (it was my third trip altogether, although in 2009 I only went to see an idol from my favorite Japanese pop group, Arashi, wave to us from a box. Best $35 I ever spent!)! Last year, I unexpectedly met some YA authors and received free copies of their books, so I was definitely looking forward to repeating that experience this year!

I have to admit I was a bit unprepared for the craziness last year. While the Javits Center is big, when it’s crammed with thousands of bodies, it becomes very small and nearly impossible to navigate. Map in hand, I swam through the crowds in search of publishing booths and got lost more than once. Keeping that in mind, I did my research this year. I found out who was going to be there, what time signings and panels were, and located all of the booths I wanted to visit on a map, which I printed out ahead of time. Thankfully, instead of spreading the booths out like they did last year, all of the publishing companies were in the same area, which made finding them much easier. I also arrived before the doors opened, so I could get to the booths before they ran out of their free goodies. Also, after nearly breaking my arms during Book Expo, I knew to bring an extra tote bag to carry my swag in (see, I’m learning!). Here’s a sampling of what I got:

Besides samplers, postcards, tattoos, and a tote bag, I also got massive posters (Vampire Academy, Bitterblue, and The Mortal Instruments). They’re really, really nice.

No con is complete without ARCs, right? I’m quite pleased that I was able to score a copy of Through the Ever Night because last year, I met Veronica Rossi and received an ARC of Under the Never Sky. Getting her books at Comic Con has become a tradition!

I attended the con with my good friend and beta reader–she has the same tastes as me, so everything I picked up, she did as well!

In the afternoon we attended a YA panel! I always love hearing authors talk about their writing habits, how they come up with ideas, how long it takes them to finish a first draft, etc. This panel was a lot of fun, as it was obvious the authors are good friends. They spent most of the time joking and teasing one another.

Afterwards, the authors from the panel did an autographing session! The above picture shows you just how insane it was. The room was small, there were lines everywhere, and it was very noisy. I’m glad my friend and I decided to go early! We ended up at the beginning of the line, away from the pure insanity.

All of the authors were nice and signed whatever we wanted them to. It’s hard to see, but the map on the bottom right is signed by Maureen Johnson! Meeting her was pretty amazing, let me tell you. I also met Alexandra Bracken for the second time, had a chat with Tahereh Mafi, and Margaret Stohl took a picture of me and my friend because we both had Beautiful Creates tote bags. Awesome? Yes, I like to think so.

We spent about eight hours at Comic Con, total. It was exhausting, but I had so much fun that I was able to ignore my fatigue. And now I can’t wait for New York Comic Con 2013!

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Music as Your Muse.

Do you listen to music while you write? For me, the answer is yes and no. Most of the time, yes, I’m listening to iTunes on shuffle. But sometimes I forget (I’m not one of those people that always has iTunes open and playing when I’m on the computer) and don’t even realize I’m writing in silence! I do prefer writing to music, but there are some times where I find it distracting. “Oh, I don’t like this song, let’s skip it. I don’t like this one either. What was the name of that song…” And the next thing you know, I’m on the internet, looking up videos on Youtube and reading about artists on Wikipedia. This is a distraction I definitely don’t need while writing! Overall, I do think listening to music helps–most of the time, anyway.

I generally listen to songs with lyrics. Sometimes if I’m writing a battle scene, I’ll listen to a movie soundtrack, but usually I’m listening to my very random playlist that consists of either Japanese pop or rock, American punk, or Disney animated soundtracks. Told you it was random! And sometimes I’ll hear a song and think, “That fits my story perfectly!” Cue playing the song on repeat. Like this:

I pretty much wrote all of The Sight Seer listening to this one song. It reminded me a lot of the main characters and the story they wanted me to tell. Will they get their happily ever after? Only I know the answer to that!

What type of music inspires your writing?