APOLLYCON 2017 HOTEL & TICKETS & FAQ

Apollycon 2017 Updates Galore!

This post will be filled with so many updates, we hope that you can keep up with them all!

Keep reading to get links and info about the Apollycon 2017 venue, hotel, volunteer signups, and TICKETS!

Ready to know all of the things?

AUTHOR LINE-UP RECAP!!!

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VENUE ANNOUNCEMENT: Apollycon 2017 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance at Universal Orlando!

APOLLYCON HOTEL ROOM BLOCK: There is a block of rooms reserved at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, at a discounted rate. To book a room, go here or http://bit.ly/Apollycon2017-Hotel. You can book a room for an arrival as early as 3/19/2017, and check out as late as 3/31/2017 with access to the Apollycon 2017 rate. But act fast, the rooms sell out quickly! **If by chance the room block is sold out, you may still contact the hotel to inquire about other available rooms, but they may not have the discounted rate.

VOLUNTEER SIGN-UPS ARE OPEN!: Interested in becoming a volunteer at Apollycon 2017? Sign up here (http://bit.ly/Apollycon2017-Volunteers)! Please be sure to thoroughly read the form prior to submitting the form.

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased here (https://apollycon2017.eventbrite.com)! The ticket sale will be live at 12PM EST on Friday, June 3rd, 2016. **There has been a ticket update: The FAST PASS (which was previously announced) will no longer be available for purchase. For more info, check out the Apollycon tickets page, or the Apollycon website.

Keep reading to see the Apollycon 2017 schedule, and FAQs!

ICYMI: Apollycon is an event for readers across all genres (including YA, NA, and Adult), which includes a signing event featuring authors and special guests, as well as an after party where readers and authors can connect.

Here is the schedule of events:

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Time TBD (we will release this info closer to the event) – On-site Registration opens (to pick up badges, etc)

2pm-4pm – EXCLUSIVE TITAN SIGNING: This signing will be for TITAN PASS HOLDERS ONLY. All attending authors and vendors will be on site during this session as well. TITAN PASS HOLDERS PLEASE NOTE: This signing will end promptly at 4PM. If you still have books you need to have signed, you may attend the General Signing session on Saturday.

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Time TBD (we will release this info closer to the event) – On-site Registration opens (to pick up badges, etc)

12pm-5pm – GENERAL SIGNING SESSION: This session is FREE to all attendees! Please keep in mind that we are asking that you still register to attend the event. All authors and vendors will be on site and available at this time. Some authors will be ticketed and/or have book limits (that may differ from the general book limitations which can be found in the FAQ section below), so please be prepared to adhere to the specified instructions. The signing will end promptly at 5PM, as we will need to clear the space for the after party which will be occuring later that evening.

8pm-11pmDEMIGOD AFTER PARTY: You must purchase a Demigod pass in order to attend. (This is included with both the Titan AND the Apollyon pass, so you won’t need to purchase 2 separate passes.) The party will include:

  • 1,001 DARK NIGHTS GIFT BAGS FOR THE FIRST 300 PEOPLE! – Be among the first 300 people to arrive, and you will get to take home a bag filled with goodies!
  • MINGLE WITH YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS! – Featured authors & cover model(s) will be in attendance!
  • PHOTOBOOTH FUN – We will have a photo booth with fun props where you and your friends can capture the fun!
  • HIT THE DANCE FLOOR WITH YOUR FRIENDS! – We will have a DJ bringing the tunes!
  • GIVEAWAYS, GIVEWAYS, GIVEAWAYS! – There will be chances to win gift cards, an iPad, a Kindle Fire tablet, signed books, and more throughout the party!

**The Saturday general signing will be FREE for all attendees, but it is important that all attendees have a registered ticket through this eventbrite page.

**For additional information regarding this event including attending authors & vendors, check out the Apollycon website, or the FAQ’s below.

The Saturday general signing is free, do I still need to register?

YES. If you solely wish to attend the Saturday signing (which is FREE), we are still asking that all attendees register for a general signing ticket.

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?

Plan to bring your ID with you when picking up your registration on site. <–This will apply to those of you purchasing a Titan, Apollyon, and/or Demigod pass. Also, there will be a bar serving alcoholic beverages at the after party, so be sure to bring your ID in the event that you wish to purchase drinks.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

There will be on-site PAID parking available at the venue hotel.  

What are the book limitations?

You may bring as many books from home as you’d like, but you can only get 5 books per author signed at a time, and you’ll be asked to go to the back of the line to get any additional books signed by the same author. **Please note: There may be some authors that have a different book limit (less than 5), but we will make a formal announcement on the Apollycon site/social media closer to the event.

Is my registration/ticket refundable/transferrable?

All paid passes/registration will be FULLY REFUNDABLE until January 1st, 2017. Beyond that point, it will be transferable (so you can resell your pass to another attendee) should you no longer be able to attend.

I plan to sign up to volunteer. Do I still need to pay for a pass?

YES. If you are interested in getting the swag/items that comes with the Titan or Apollyon passes, you must still purchase the a pass. If you purchase the Titan pass, and are selected to be an Apollycon volunteer, you will still be granted access to the FULL Friday signing that comes along with it.

Can I purchase books at the event?

Yes! There will be an onsite bookseller with books for purchase. (Hours of operation will be posted closer to date of the event.) Self-published titles will be sold by the author at their respective tables, at the author’s discretion. As we get closer to the event, we will provide a list of books that will be available for purchase at the event. **Please note: There may be limited titles/formats available through the bookseller, so if you have specific titles you’d like to have for the signing, your best bet is to purchase them before the event.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can reach the Apollycon 2017 event organizers (Steph & Hannah) using the messaging options on the Apollycon social media pages, or at apollyconevent[at]gmails[dot]com.

For more FAQ’s, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Apollycon website.

RAFFLECOPTER:

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BEA 2016!

Hello! Book Expo America (also known as BEA) was last week May 11-13 here in Chicago so it was an easy choice for me to attend! I attended as both a blogger and a bookseller. Usually I base my convention wrap-ups on the photos I took during the duration and I took…3. Also I realized in the middle of writing this that I talk about food A LOT but honestly it’s Chicago and we love food.Cia22i5VEAA1lkt

Since I don’t live too far from the McCormick Place, I decided to just drive every day and Mary from Mary Had a Little Book Blog stayed with me! She arrived Tuesday and we did some fun stuff around the city (burgers from Kuma’s and new Captain America movie!). Wednesday marked the first official day of BEA! Since I was not participating in Bloggercon and the floor didn’t open until that afternoon, I met up with a group of bloggers for breakfast at Yolk. Getting breakfast with Mary, Danielle from Love at First Page, Wendy from Book Scents and Rebecca from Unbound Pages really set the tone for the whole week and spoiler alert: it was awesome. After breakfast Mary and I did a quick trip to the Bean before heading to McCormick Place to pick up our badges.

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I spent most of Wednesday on the floor just getting a lay of the land and picking up schedules from the publishers. I think the only book I grabbed for myself and kept was Stalking Jack the Ripper (which was one of my anticipated books to get so SUCCESS!) I did also get a copy of the new Princess in Black and got to meet Shannon and Dean Hale, who are adorable and my new favorite. Once we realized we were all very hungry, I suggested Portillo’s for dinner because when in Illinois…! The same ladies from breakfast plus Sabrina from Forest of Words and Pages. Since it was too early to call it a day I grabbed drinks with Gillian from Writer of Wrongs, Gaby from Bookish Broads, Jessie from Ageless Pages Reviews, Angie from Lady Knight Reads and Morgan from Gone with the Words! A few others joined us throughout the night but it was just a fun night of everyone spoiling Raven King for me! This really happened but I have only read Raven Boys so none of it made sense to me (plus I said it didn’t matter to me). I am also 100% sure we had a heated debate about Vampire Academy/Bloodlines ships at some point.

So Day 1 of BEA was about seeing everyone! Day 2 we got more serious about the ~books~ Mary and I showed up to the McCormick Place right before the floor opened. We moseyed around the floor because neither of us had anything big that morning. David Levithan was signing Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (sequel to Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares…also I think this happened Thursday but slight chance this was Wednesday). We split ways because I had a bookseller lunch with Macmillan Children’s (which was fantastic and I used this opportunity to talk shop with booksellers but also to find out Macmillan Fall picture books). Thursday afternoon highlights: David Levithan part 2 aka You Know Me Well and History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Thursday night both Bloomsbury and Fierce Reads (Macmillan) had blogger parties and I was fortunate enough to attend both. I got to spend the evening with some of my favorite publicists and bloggers plus special appearances from authors. After the parties, Gaby aka mistress of YA at Books of Wonder and blogger at Bookish Broads declared we needed pizza and we ventured to find ourselves at Giordano’s. Onion pizza is my new favorite thing.

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Day 3 aka Friday aka the day Mary and I were getting 4eEQoH7Zourselves signing tickets at the Macmillan booth. We both got tickets for Caraval booth signing with Stephanie Garber later that day. The children’s breakfast was that morning and all the featured authors were doing a signing in the ABA lounge for independent booksellers. I was able to see Sabaa Tahir and get a copy of Torch Against the Night (which her line later that day was INSANE but so awesome). Jamie Lee Curtis was also signing her new picture book and Gene Leun Yang was signing his upcoming Secret Coders. After that signing I ran into David Arnold, who is one of my favorite humans! He was live tweeting from Penguin Teen and I was apart of his squad picture. Life goal achieved? I wandered the floor for the rest of the morning before Caraval signing and Stephanie was adorable and I can’t wait to read!! While in line for Caraval signing I did get to hang with my Office babes which included Mary, Morgan, Angie and Lindsey from Bring My Books. We decided we needed a picture together and of course we needed to recreate the jumping Christmas card! I spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for Gemina because..Gemina. There was some confusion with line at Penguin/Random House booth but end of the day they were all fabulous and want to thank them all for putting up with all of the crazy!

Thank you to all the amazing publishers and publicist for making the trip to Chicago for BEA this year! I ended up really enjoying BEA and really look forward to attending again in the future.

MY ENTIRE BEA HAUL!

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Kylie’s BEA & BookCon Wrap-Up

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So last week/weekend was Book Expo America and BookCon, and what an experience it was! I want to start by saying thank you to everyone involved. From the good people who accepted us as press bloggers down to the bloggers, educators, and fellow book nerds I met along the way. Shout out to those who were patient with my crippling social anxiety and made me feel so so welcome, you’re the real heroes! And of course thank you to all the authors, publishers, and exhibitors for being totally epic and making dreams come true.

Day 1:

Wednesday, not a lot happened, I’m not going to lie. But I did take the opportunity to meet some of the awesome bloggers who I follow online and to learn the layout of the convention land. It was HUGE! I picked up a couple of arcs, like Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin (sequel to Wolf By Wolf – which I have, but haven’t read yet.. oops) and A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. I was feeling less than perfect, so I cut the day short, but Katie was da best and picked me up a copy of Lauren Oliver’s Replica at the end of the day!

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Day 2:

Thursday was magic. I still wasn’t feeling well, but just the fact that I was going to be seeing Adam Silvera later in the day made me power through. I started the day with seeing Ransom Riggs at the Penguin booth. I thought he was signing arcs for Tales Of The Peculiar, but they were just chapter samplers. However, I’m always pumped to see Ransom any chance I get so I was happy to be there. From there I walked the show floor, picked up some arcs, chatted with some peeps, stood in some lines, and just had a good time! I got to meet Jennifer Niven and get her new book Holding Up The Universe to send off to a lovely friend in California. I’m not the biggest fan of her first book, but she was a lovely human to meet. From there I hovered until it was time to see Adam. They started passing out the arcs for History Is All You Left Me, and if I wasn’t IMG_0003surrounded by hundreds of people I would’ve started crying right there. It’s no secret that this is my most anticipated book of 2017,and Adam is one of my favorite humans on this planet. So thank you times a million to both Adam Silvera and SoHo Teen for putting this book into my hands.

From there we put ourselves into a Lyft and headed off to do some partying. Thanks to Macmillan for hosting an awesome blogger party!

Thursday was a pretty great day!

IMG_0110Day 3:

If Thursday was a pretty great day, then Friday was an epic day. I actually didn’t do that much, but the little that I did was fantastic. Since my first actual line wasn’t until 2:00pm I did a good amount of floor walking when I first got there. I met some good people standing in line for David Arnold and we bonded over, well book.. what else? Getting a signed arc for Kids of Appetite was highlight number one of my day. I loved Mosquitoland and I’m ready to get into his next book. Plus getting another chance to hang out with Adam again was of course a highlight. I adore these two and I will cherish this photo forever.

Highlight number 2 of the day, and one that is neck and neck with highlight number 1, was meeting Alyson Noel. I was excited to get her new book Unrivaled, but mostly I just wanted to meet her and tell her how important her Immortals series was to my future reading career. Most people have Twilight to thank for their YA awakening, but for me it was Evermore. So I was really excited to see her and tell her thank her for those books. Getting Unrivaled was of course a sweet sweet bonus!

IMG_0098Highlight number 3 was of course meeting the lovely, and tall, human Jay Kristoff! He was so sweet to be constantly chillin’ with his fans and taking time to talk to us. Have I ever mentioned how authors are some of my favorite types of people?

BookCon!

So BookCon was on Saturday, and what a ridiculously crazy day it was. First and foremost, I had a lot of fun. However, given the chance to do this all again, I would do BookCon differently or possibly not at all. There were SO many people! Given that it was the only day where non-industry people could attend I was expecting a hoard of teens, but what we walked into was even more epic than what I imagined. (I was accompanied by two of my best book friends, Layla and Vi, so when I refer to ‘we’ I mean them and I)

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Despite the longer than life lines and the hoards of people, we did have a good time. The numbers of people were overwhelming, but in the end I’m just so happy to see so many teens and book nerds who are excited about reading and meeting their favorite authors. It was a tiring, but good day! Between the three of us we met Morgan Matson, Danielle Paige,IMG_0122 Laini Taylor, Hannah Hart, Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman, William Ritter, and Nicola Yoon. My highlights were getting the Gemina arc from Jay and Aime, and seeing Nicola Yoon again and getting The Sun Is Also A Star! My third most anticipated arc of the event!

In fact, BEA/BookCon was were I got three of my most anticipated second novels from some of my favorite 2015 authors: History Is All You Left Me, Kids Of Appetite, and The Sun Is Also A Star! I’m excited for all the books I received, and I fully plan on reading and reviewing every single one. Some of them when I got them signed they are personalized so I will keep them and cherish them, but most I just got signed so I can share the love with someone who doesn’t have the same chances we do. So look out for those reviews and giveaways in the future.

My final book haul. 28 books total that I am stoked to read!

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At the end of the day BEA/BookCon was an experience that I will treasure forever. The whole thing was very hard for me to step out of my introvert comfort zone, but I’m proud that I did it. I look back on each day and there are things I wish I would’ve done differently, things I could’ve said or done, but since I don’t have a time machine I have to accept it. It’s really hard for me to be outgoing, and some people can respect that and be welcoming, but some people just brush me off thinking I’m just being rude. It’s a daily struggle being socially anxious- being so scared to even say hello to someone, but I try not to dwell on the things I could’ve done differently.

One last thank you to everyone involved! Again, I’m going to treasure this amazing opportunity forever.

Did you go to BEA or BookCon? If so, what was your favorite highlight?

Fierce Reads Tour Recap

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On October 10th Katie and I attended the Fierce Reads tour stop in the Chicago area, and it was delightful. We got to hear from and meet authors Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), Gennifer Albin (The Crewel World Series), Nikki Kelly (The Styclar Saga), and Jessica Brody (The Unremembered Series). These four awesome ladies, who wrote some amazing books, had the whole audience laughing while also delivering insightful answer to the questions asked.

The event was moderated by The Book Addicts Guide who asked some fantastic questions! Check it out.

Who was your favorite character to write?

Marissa Meyer: My favorite character to write is Iko, who is Cinders android best friend and she’s also a fan favorite so I love it when I say her name and fans are like “yeah! She’s our favorite too”. She’s super super fun to write. When I first had this idea that Cinder was going to have this robot friend I imagined her being very logical and computer like, and then I started writing the book and Iko shows up in the first chapter, and she’s like “That’s a stupid idea, I’m going to be into fashion. I really want to go dance with the prince, and by the way can I have some shoes even though I don’t have feet?” And I was like ‘Who is this crazy robot character?’ but she’s been a lot of fun to write and she kind of continues to surprise me and grow with every book… sometimes literally.

Jessica Brody: My favorite character to write is Cody, who is the 13 year old foster brother that kind of takes Seraphina in and teaches her about the world which she knows nothing about. I came from a contemporary background, I wrote 3 contemporary novels, comedies, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father so when I’m set up to write this kind of more serious, sci-fi thing I was like “But I need that funny person who’s going to talk like a regular teenager, and not like an amnesiac super model.” Which is Seraphina, so I put this character in named Cody and he kind of responds to Seraphina the way I think I would respond to her if I met her on the street. Which is she’s kind of ridiculous because she knows nothing. She doesn’t know what the internet is she doesn’t know what a television is and he’s just kind of like “really? what?” So he was really fun to write and then I turned in my first draft and my editor wrote back and said “Yeah can we cut Cody? Because he’s really kind of annoying” and I was like “but he’s my favorite!” So I fought back, which you can do, this is a misconception that you cannot disagree with your editor, I disagree with her all the time. And I said “you know, we need Cody, he’s like the touchstone… the real person to reflect back on the reader.” And so I fought and I won and now he’s kind of become a fan favorite. I have team Cody buttons and all that, but every time I get a fan letter about Cody I just forward it to my editor. She’s since rescinded her decision about Cody, but I think that’s just because all of the fans.

Gennifer Albin: My favorite character to write is actually my villain. Which says just a lot about me. I write evil mothers, I like my villains… “Therapy”. But Cormac Patton is my favorite character and he is compulsively clad in a black tuxedo and swilling bourbon, and I think that’s all you need to know about him. If all they wear is a black tuxedo to everything, like breakfast, you kind of get a sense of who they are and how important they think they are. But he has the best lines, and he really challenges my character. She gets thrown into this situation where a lot of people are trying to control her and he’s trying to control her but he also is the one person that kind of gives her credit for being a strong female and speaks to her as an equal, so they banter a lot and it’s very 1940s screwball comedy and I love writing them. It was the most fun ever to write those characters, so I was thrilled because he’s not in the second book as much, not a spoiler, but maybe. He comes back in the third book and things are even weirder between them which is awesome. So there’s something to look forward to and he’s still wearing a tuxedo, but maybe he has a reason this time *wink*

Nikki Kelly: I shift between my characters, sometimes I really enjoy Brooke. My characters are all quite different. I’ve got two Irish characters, I’ve got two English characters and two American characters, and when I started writing Brooke she was kind of the all American kind of fashionista sort of Floridian girl and I remember writing in my manuscript when Lailah first meets her she’s kind of assessing her and called her all American and my editor wrote back to me and circled it saying “what’s all American? What does this mean?” and I was like “she’s American” and she’s like “yes but why? what makes her American? How does she look what does she think of her?” and I ended up calling her every inch of the valley girl with a vogue underneath her arm. Which I still think is slightly stereotypical but then equally my English characters walk around drinking tea and eating biscuits so equally it works both ways people. So I’d probably say Brooke because I think she probably brings a bit of banter to an otherwise very tense and intense situation which is the majority of the book. So ya know… there’s a line where Lailah says “she wasn’t half bad when she wasn’t trying to kill us” and I think that probably speaks fondly about Brooke.

If you could have the special powers or abilities featured in another panelists book which would you pick Continue reading

Event Recaps: September 2014

I have been fairly busy this September with attending author events. I have been running around so much that I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down and write any recaps so I am going to lump them all in one.

At the beginning of the month I had the pleasure of moderating an event for Sarah J Maas, Susan Dennard and Erica O’Rouke for Sarah’s new book Heir of Fire. If you have been following the blog or my Twitter for awhile, I am sure you have picked up that I like the Throne of Glass series just a tiny bit. Bloomsbury contacted me and asked if I would be interested in moderating and I had to take a minute to prevent myself from sending an affirmative e-mail in all caps.

I didn’t take notes for an obvious reason. Kylie thought she recorded the audio but alas technology failed us so there will not be as awesome of a recap as the MMBB recap. (I still give Kylie mad props for transcribing that). Even though I wasn’t actually on the panel, the three ladies made it seem like I was apart of the group. If you ever get a chance to see Sarah and Susan together, GO! This was the second time I’ve been to an event with both of them and they are so much fun. I already have plans to go to ApollyCON, which they will both be there.

There was over 100 people at the event and Sarah took time to talk to each and every person. I love this about Sarah, she really shows that she cares about her readers.


 

That same day, Kylie and I made a mad dash for another event: Fall in Love Tour hosted by Atria Indies. This tour featured Abbi Glines, Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire. We both wanted to go to this event but neither of us cared that we would be late. There was a Q&A but the speaker system in the auditorium wasn’t that great so I couldn’t hear most of the questions or the answers. They jumped quickly into the signing. I didn’t get the chance to talk to the authors as much because they wanted to get everyone’s books signed (and all the authors have multiple books). Something crazy happened at this event: someone proposed to his girlfriend! I thought that was awesome to see. Kylie and I did get to pose for a photo with all three authors!


 

Fierce Reads made a stop here for it’s first leg of the Fall 2014 tour. This tour featured Ann Aguirre, Marie Rutkoski and Caragh O’Brien. I am always a huge fan of the Fierce Reads tours and they are always so kind to make a stop in Illinois. I didn’t take notes but there was a lot of great conversation about the YA genre. Sometimes I like to just listen at events because the authors are so brilliant that I can’t help myself from listening in awe. If you ever get a chance to go to a event or panel with Ann Aguirre I highly recommend it because she is not only awesome but incredibly well spoken.

I waited till the end of this signing because I had a small stack of books where most other people had only a few. This gave me time to talk to Heidi over at http://yabibliophile.com/ and Mary who is the publicist with Macmillan. When I went up to get my books signed I ended up talking to Ann for awhile about her New Adult series because I have quickly become obsessed with it. It makes me happy when you can tell an author loved writing a book and Ann definitely seemed like she loved writing this series.


 

The last event I went to was Rick Yancey on his tour for The Infinite Sea. This event was different than the last three because he was alone. There was no formal Q&A, he just took questions from the audience. I have to say that Rick is like an uncle who makes bad jokes but you can’t help laugh. He got to answer everyone’s question and talked a bit about the movie since it has started filming. They quickly went into the signing since they had a bigger turnout than they were expecting. I got to talk to Rick about how his books smell good and THIS IS NOT WEIRD.

I have been busy this month with author events and the month isn’t even over! This weekend I have the YA Lit conference hosted by Anderson’s that has a ton of authors I am excited to see. Next month is also looking very promising for awesome events in the area.

Comic-Con 2014 (+giveaway)

Thursday

I didn’t have much on my schedule for Thursday so I walked the entire convention floor. At one point I headed to the Lionsgate booth because I wanted to see how I could get my hands on the Mockingjay Pin. I found out Lionsgate downsized their booth in the convention center because they went all out for Mockingjay Part 1 and had a Hunger Games experience off site. Since I didn’t have any major plans for Thursday (and I wanted to get my hands on the pin ASAP) I grabbed my friend and we went and stood in line. The line was long and it was very hot BtWI9PVCMAAl9ujoutside but WOW was it worth it. They had food and drink inspired by the series at Peeta’s Bakery (cue the feels), they had plenty of people dressed up as if they were from the Capitol or a Peacekeeper and they had A TON of free stuff to do. I ended up with a t-shirt from District 12 and a snazzy photo. I mean I GOT TO SIT IN THE ACTUAL CHAIR THEY USED IN THE MOVIE. It was awesome. I headed back into the convention center to snag Laini Taylor’s autograph in my books.

Friday

 

Friday was the day I was planning on grabbing all the signatures. I ended up meeting Marissa Meyer again, I FINALLY met the duo behind Christina Lauren and had them sign my very large stack of books and I got a Young Elites ARC and chatted with Marie Lu momentarily. I found myself in line for Brain K Vaughn, who is the writer of Saga. He is honestly so kind. I got a picture and BtbwyMaCUAIdldHhe signed a few issues of Saga. Nothing else too exciting was happening so I decided to get in line for Hall H Saturday. The line at this point was already along the bay so I found a spot and settled in until my friends joined me. One of the magical things of Comic-Con happened then: I talked to the Game of Thrones cast. They were apparently on the TV Guide boat that was docked on the pier. The ramp that they happen to take to get off the pier was just 5 feet away from me. I waved to them and said hello. Most of them waved back but the most lovely? Rose Leslie who plays Ygritte. She asked how I was and if I was enjoying my Comic-Con. Seriously SO KIND. Maisie Williams also waved and said hi. The girl sitting next to me snapped a great picture of her waving to me and I made her e-mail it to me.

Saturday

Saturday was Hall H. The best way I can describe this is all the big hitters for late 2014/2015 have a panel. There was a Hobbit panel that included a blooper reel that had me crying from laughter. They showed the first look at Batman v. Superman (and a Wonder Woman character poster!!). There was also a Women Who Kick Ass panel featuring some AMAZING women. And of course my favorite panel was Avengers that included the Age of Ultron trailer (and multiple gorgeous men on stage). Check out my pictures on Twitter!

Sunday

Sunday was all about the Young Adult authors. Ransom Riggs was doing a signing at the Quirk Books booth and I swung by to say hi. Tahereh Mafi happened to be there and I got to chat and grab a picture since it can be so hard on panel signings. We chatted a bit before I headed to find some comic books since I was well under my spending budget. I ended up at Image Comics (who publish Saga). There were 2 very lovely ladiesthere that recommended a few series to me and I left happy. It was time for the What’s Hot in YA panel which has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the weekend. This was Btk2_BKCMAAj3bia lot of fun because it features a large variety of authors. Margaret Stohl made an announcement that she is now writing for Disney publishing that is going to be Marvel YA. That was all she could tell us right now BUT I AM SO EXCITED. YA and superheros? I am signed up already. I ended up grabbing a bunch of signatures in the post panel signing. I went back to the floor to say goodbye to some people, especially the Fierce Reads booth because THEY ARE SO LOVELY.

Overall it was another great SDCC weekend. I didn’t grab as much this year as I have in the past but what I did grab I am incredibly excited about. Can’t wait until next year! I have a giveaway for two books: a signed copy of Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren and an ARC of Unmarked. Make sure you indicate which book you would rather win since they are very different genres!

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Elizabeth Eulberg: Better off Friends Tour (+giveaway)

17228280 On Friday February 28, I headed to The Book Stall for Elizabeth Eulberg’s Better off Friends tour. For this tour Elizabeth stuck to the Midwest because of the roots of this book. Elizabeth began by talking about where she gets the ideas for her books. It ranged from a friend who changed once she got a boyfriend to a crush telling her that one day she is going to find someone great because she had such a great personality. She had a key plot point for Better off Friends come to her right before take off, which caused her to to say “the mother dies, the mother is dead” out loud and startle the passenger next to her. Elizabeth is charismatic and comedic, which comes off not only in person but in her writing as well.

After reading a short exert from Better off Friends, Elizabeth opened up for questions. The first question was about which character she connected with more while writing Better off Friends. She said she would have to say Macallan, mainly because she was female. While writing Better off Friends, she had an upstairs neighbor who talked entirely too loud. She spent half her time cursing him and the other half eavesdropping for inspiration. Elizabeth was asked about which book took her the longest. The Lonely Hearts Club took her 5 years, but it was her first novel and “she photodidn’t know what she was doing”. She mentioned that she spent a year with Macallan and Levi before she began any writing. The idea of Better off Friends came from a conversation with her editor David Levithan. They were talking about a Harry Meet Sally but with a YA twist. Elizabeth reenacted a scene from the movie that had me in stitches. Elizabeth then told us about her covers. The original cover for The Lonely Hearts Club was “like every other YA cover”. Scholastic knew they had to redo the cover and Elizabeth suggested a play on the Abbey Road image made famous by the Beatles. They took this into consideration and of course we have that wonderful cover. Over the years Elizabeth has put in ideas for her covers. The one thing she never wants is a face on the cover. One because they may not match the character and two because she doesn’t want an image instilled in a readers mind. Elizabeth didn’t know she always wanted to be a writer but she has always been involved with books. Before writing she was a publicists (working with such people/books as JK Rowling and Susanne Collins, she shared some goods stories there!). Overall Elizabeth is incredibly charming and if you ever get a chance to hang out with her, I recommend it! Check out her latest book Better off Friends out now.

And of course I have a giveaway! Enter below for a signed ARC of Better off Friends.

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Ransom Riggs: Hollow City Tour

I have been waiting for Hollow City since I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children in early 2012. I have met Ransom in the past at Comic-Con but I knew I would attend his Hollow City tour if it stopped in the Chicago area and I am so happy he did! The event/signing didn’t actually start until 2:00 but I am perpetually early and therefore got to Anderson’s around 12:30. I 12396528browsed for a bit since they hadn’t set the event area up yet and I also had a 25% off coupon I needed to use.  I managed to snag a seat in the front row shortly after they put the chairs out. Ransom began by introducing himself as well as Hollow City and it quickly went into a Q&A setting. I did rearrange some of the answers just so it flowed better.

Ransom was first asked was about how he started collecting photos. He couldn’t collect fine art so he started collecting photos (it was a lot cheaper!) that would normally be thrown away, essentially saving them from being lost forever. After browsing for some time, he found a pattern of interesting captions accompanying these eerie photos that interested him. These captions would help bring the pictures to life in a new way.

He was drawn in by the Victorian weirdness that he saw throughout many of the photos he found. He was reminded of the work of Edward Gorey, who was an illustrator that has a style parallel to many of the pictures featured throughout Miss Peregrine. Ransom originally brought the photos to his editor in hopes of making them into a calendar or perhaps a Halloween book. Soon after, it was discussed to make a book featuring a story about the people featured in the pictures. Ransom never stopped looking for photos while writing Miss Peregrine and Hollow City. The story would bounce off the photos as well as a search for a photo that would fit photothe story was constantly happening.

99% of the photos in Miss Peregrine and Hollow City are unedited by today’s standards. Some photos do feature editing that was done in the 1920’s. These techniques were done in the darkroom and are not common in today’s era.

There are some weird, random photos featured throughout the books that do not particularly add to the story…yet. Some are there because Ransom wanted to put them in the book because of their interesting factor and some may serve a purpose in a later book.

Ransom is a photo collector, having a collection well into the thousands. He said he would estimate that he looked at over half a million photos by the time Hollow City published. His personal collection features these “found” photos as well as old photos he has received from family members such as his grandma. No one has ever come “forward” to claim any of the photos featured in the books.

One thing that is important for Ransom when it comes to choosing photos for his books is the story that it tells. While the scenery and the costumes are important to the story a photo tells, it is also important that there is that special something in the facial expression or even a story in the eyes.

Book 1 did not require much research because about half of it takes place in his childhood hometown in Florida. He did look up pictures of Wales, specially looking for once that helped set the tone of the book. Book 2 required more research because it was set during The Blitz in the United Kingdom. Ransom went as far as reading hour by hour accounts of the events to get specifics down.

Ransom was asked what he is currently reading and enjoying. He of course talked about his wife, Tahereh Mafi’s book because the third and final installment Ignite Me comes out in a few weeks. He said no spoilers and that he is not Team Adam or Team Warner, just Team Tahereh. Can this couple get any cuter? He also recommended The Sky Is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun, both by Jandy Nelson. He also recommended anything by John Green or John Corey Whaley. I expected John Green given their past friendship!

123One of the most interesting things I learned at this event was that originally the story before Miss Peregrine was set up as Jacob writing letters to dead girl he was in love with and could not get over. Ransom soon realized that he did not want the book to read as a contemporary romance and went back to the drawing table and came up with the book we know today.

He said we should be expecting book 3 in 2015. He didn’t say when in 2015 but one can only hope that it arrives in the early part of the year. The movie version of Miss Peregrine is scheduled to shoot later this year and if all goes as planned it should hit theatres sometime next year. 2015 is going to be a big year for the Miss Peregrine fandom!

I can’t wait to start Hollow City!!

Comic-Con 2013 (+giveaway!)

So Comic-Con! My adventure started on Wednesday morning. After landing, checking into the hotel and unpacking, my friend and I looked at the shuttle map and headed downtown shortly after. Last year we stayed downtown and it was a bit more expensive but it was within walking distance of the convention hall.

We finally made it to the convention hall after waiting in line after line. My friend and I have very varying tastes (he was actually there forBPbGZz3CcAAR7DS comics!) so we parted ways shortly after getting our badges. I browsed the publishing house booths and grabbed a few ARCs. There was not a lot of interesting stuff going on but I managed to grab a copy of The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider, Control by Lydia Kang and Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes. I then headed to the big booths and found myself in line at Lionsgate for the Mockingjay Pin! I was so happy to get this on the first day. I know from talking with other people that they had a hard time getting one. While I was standing in line I checked Twitter and saw that Myra McEntire had posted that the Mysterious Galaxy booth had a copy of Infinityglass out. I almost ran over there and snatched it up! I had planned to stay up reading it but alas I was tired from travel and day 1 and only managed to get about 50 pages of reading in.

Day 2 will forever be called “The Day I did everything Divergent”. I got to the convention hall early because I wanted to get in line for a signing ticket for the Divergent cast. The first time through the line I did not draw a winning ticket. If you don’t get a winning ticket you are allowed to get back in line to draw until you do. So I got back in line! While I was in line all the tickets had been drawn but then I found out the first drawing was for secondary cast and the new drawing was for Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Neil Burger and Veronica Roth! I did manage to pull a winning ticket and was ecstatic! Frosdfam there I decided to walk around the convention floor because I had nothing to do until the afternoon. I met Jessica Brody and got her to sign a copy of Unremembered for me. I headed to one of the many highlights of my day, a press conference for Divergent! I got asked to attend this on behalf of Divergent Society and graciously accepted. This was like no other. I have pictures and videos but a missing camera cord. I personally did not ask a question but it was very open so if I had come up with something good I totally would have. The cast has great chemistry and I honestly cannot wait to see the movie this Spring! I tried to get into Hall H for the panel because the line was short but once I saw on Twitter that they had showed the footage I didn’t see a point of still trying to get in (I later found out that they showed the footage twice). I then headed to my signing. It kind of made me upset to see that a lot of the people in the line didn’t really care about who was signing and what they were signing for. I personally fan-girled like crazy to Veronica. I made a comment last time I met her that made it sound like I was stalking her. I quickly realized what I had said and then continued to say “I swear I’m not stalking you!” I had told this story to the girl behind me in line and then when I was talking to Veronica she made a comment to her about it. Veronica then goes “Oh yeah I totally remember you now because it’s not everyday someone tells you they aren’t stalking you”. I couldn’t tell if I should be mortified or not. I then got to talk to Theo James (swoon), Shailene Woodley and Neil Burger. I asked them about their favorite restaurants while filming in Chicago and they asked for my recommendations. I was not expecting that so I told them Kuma’s Corner (which is one of my favorites) and Theo and I talked about Chicago style pizza. All in all it was a wonderful time.

Fun was still to be had on Thursday! I went to a panel that was highlighting upcoming titles from Simon & Schuster. I heard about some great new titles and got a pretty sweet tote bag and glow-in-the-dark TMI shirt. Thursday books included: Divergent by Veronica Roth, Defy the Dark by various authors, Crap Kingdom by DJ Pierson, Unremembered by Jessica Brody and Chasing Shadows.

Friday. My day started off with getting in line for Cress ASAP. While in line I finally ran into Stacee (@book_junkee or blog) and met other bloggers. I finally met Marissa Meyer (who was dressed up as Red Riding Hood!). While in line for the signing/giveaway, a few of us would xvctake turns going to other booths for their giveaways. I got The Coldest Girl in Cold Town as well as books from Disney which included Never Fade. They weren’t handing them out so I asked if there were plans to so I could make sure to be there. The lovely girl pulled out a copy from underneath the table and I swear I almost cried. I did give her a hug which may have scared her but I have Never Fade! I got books from Random House which included The Eye of Minds, The Waking Dark and Will in Scarlet. I also got the Newsflesh trilogy and met Mira Grant.

Since I already had a hug stack of books before noon I decided I needed to get off the convention floor so one of my friends and I decided to donate blood. HBO sponsors the blood drive every year and they give out some awesome stuff (which includes a pun-y t-shirt). This year I also went to my first off site event at Nerd HQ for Joe Manganiello. Joe is a huge sweetheart and an even bigger nerd. This was a small event that I truly enjoyed and I am glad I was able to attend.

Saturday! I was going to go to a panel featuring several YA authors but I wanted to do a quick loop of the convention hall first and found sdfmyself in line for Veronica Roth’s booth signing. She was signing up to 1 item or a shiny Allegiant poster. Since I already had more posters than I care for I had her sign my paperback copy of Divergent.  I made my way into the room where the panel was going to be. The panel included Ally Condie (Matched), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown), Marissa Meyer (Scarlet), Lissa Price (Starters), and Veronica Wolff (The Watchers). It was moderated by Sherri Smith (Orleans) who was totally funny and charismatic. After the panel there was a group signing. I already have all my Matched series and Lunar chronicles signed. I got my collector’s edition of Insurgent signed. I bought Holly’s curse worker trilogy and got an ARC of Coldest Girl ojnsigned and I bought a paperback copy of Starters and then won an ARC of Enders! Later in the day I met Shannon Messenger again and got a copy of Let The Sky Fall signed. I went to Leigh Bardugo’s booth signing and got my copy of Siege & Storm signed and got an awesome bag. And finally I met Rick Yancey and probably scared him with all my gushing about The 5th Wave.

I was tired of carrying my books around so I sat in the Summit booth t-shirt line. I honestly would not have done this if I wasn’t already tired of walking around because I waited for a solid hour. In the end I got an Erudite t-shirt (because by this time they were out of Dauntless) and a ton of random swag from their upcoming movies. Also? I got another Mockingjay pin which I was able to give to my friend who didn’t make it to preview night. At some point during this day I totally ran into Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs on the convention floor. I was like “I know who you are” which in retrospect probably made me sound like a creep. I then headed to a panel featuring upcoming Harper titles. I was a bit let down by Harper at Comic-Con but I think it’s because I am always expecting the enthusiasm that Team Epic Reads has and well no one had it. I did get a copy of Vortex which made me really happy.

Sunday. We had to pack/check out of our hotel so I was late to the “What’s Hot in YA” panel but I made it! This panel featured Rachel Cohn (Beta), Mark Frost (The Paladin Prophecy), Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall Series), Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me), Chelsea Pitcher (The S Word), Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park), and Emma Trevayne (Coda). There was a great mix that made for a great panel. Once again a group signing was after that also had Myra McEntire. I got my Shatter Me series signed and defaced, I got my Miss Peregrine signed and talked to Ransom about how vague he has been with the sequel, I met Veronica Rossi again (I met her at CC last year) and got Through the Ever Night signed and we talked about how we both hope she is there next year for Into the Still Blue to make it 3 out of 3, I squeed and hugged Myra because she is my favorite and I FINALLY met Rainbow!! I was sad that they ran out of copies of Eleanor & Park (maybe it was because I was telling everyone in line to buy it) because I left my copy at home but I did buy her other book Attachments. It is an adult book so it was different from E&P but I read it in one sitting on the plane and totally enjoyed it. The rest of the day I was just hanging around the autograph area and went to several other group signings that usually only had one or two authors of interest to me. I met James Dashner again and got an ARC of Eye of Minds signed, I also met Kami Garcia and got an ARC of Unbreakable signed and I got my copy of Rush signed by Ever Silver and absolutely gushed about how much I loved it. She told me that it made her day and that made me so happy. And on that note I ended my Comic-Con adventures! My California adventures are a totally different story for a different day.

Basically I had a blast once again. I collected a whole bunch of pins and resisted picking up everything I could. I talked to some amazing people about everything nerdy and I honestly cannot wait for Comic-Con 2014!

Giveaway time! There will be two different giveaways. The first one contains the Young Adult titles: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia, Control by Lydia Kang, Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, The Eye of Minds by James Dashner and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. On top of these books I will give away an Earthbound t-shirt (Size Woman’s Large).

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The second giveaway is for middle grade books: Wild Born by Brandon Mull and Tesla’s Attic by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. I am separating these because I know personally that I do not usually read middle grade and would like to get these books to people who want to read them.

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Event Recap: YA Afternoon (+giveaway)

I went to Anderson’s on Saturday June 29, 2013 for an afternoon with YA authors that included: Hilary Smith (Wild Awake), Michael Grant (Gone series), Ellen Hopkins (Tilt), Lauren Myracle (Shine), A.G. Howard (Splintered) and Debra Driza (MILA 2.0). This was a quick event because many of the authors had places to be because of crazy ALA schedules. Each introduced themselves and there most current book quickly.

I didn’t take notes this time because it was such a quick one but I’ll share what I remember 🙂 Also A.G. Howard didn’t show up in time for the Q&A (so she won’t have any answers) and Lauren Myracle was late and therefore only some were answered. I am going to use initials to indicate which author was answering.

  • The authors were asked for recommendations for YA books. MG said he does not usually read YA unless he is asked to blurb on the cover. He says this is because he feels like he is taking his work home. EH had a similar answer. DD recommended In The After and HS recommended someone I had never heard of and of course do not remember.
  • The authors were asked about reading reviews. Most answered they do not read reviews unless an editor or agent sends it to them. MG on the other hand likes to see when his books are rated higher on Goodreads than other popular books. Also mentioned how his book Plague was always close to rating with a book of the same name and would check regularly to see who was being rated higher.
  • The authors were asked about how they overcome writers block. MG said he makes himself anxious (i.e. I have to write X amount of words before doing Y). LM and DD talked about their online writing groups and various exercises they do with them. EH doesn’t have this problem, she actually has a reverse problem of getting too into the writing and forgetting about commitments (i.e. her kids or laundry).
  • The authors were asked if anything in their books happened to them personally. DD joked that she was actually an android. EH said that her one series (about meth addiction) is based on her daughter’s struggle with addiction. HS said nothing in her book happened to her personally but the mental break down/dealing with mental illness was something she personally dealt with. LM said a lot of the things that happen in her book happened to her when she was a teenage.
  • The authors were asked which of the books that they’ve written is their favorite. MG said whichever is the last one he finished (which was Light in this case). EH says whichever book she is currently writing at the time. LM says her books are like children and therefore could not pick a favorite. DD and HS both currently have one published so the choice was not hard.

It was a quick afternoon but it was a good one. I got the chance to meet a whole bunch of authors I have never met before and had a great time.

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Me & Hilary T. Smith, Me & Debra Driza, Me & A. G. Howard

Giveaway!

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