Marissa Meyer Toronto 2014 Signing Recap!

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On February 24, 2014, Marissa Meyer, best-selling author of the Lunar Chronicle series, graces us her presence at Indigo, Yorkdale (Toronto) for the second time around and for those of you who had missed it, don’t worry, I’ll pretty much recap the event for you:

[note: I’m recapping the event based on what I remember so forgive me if I get something wrong! My camera died before I could record anything]

Around 6 PM we were told to grab our seats for the signing. As we wait for 7 PM to start, the Vice President of Indigo Events (@indigogreenroom) hosts a few contest giving away three $10! The first was “what’s in my purse/satchel” and he asks if someone had a screwdriver.  Yes, a screwdriver– But the best part is that, that’s not the most shocking thing, it’s that someone actually had one in their purse (well, it’s more of like a keychain screwdriver BUT STILL). Then the second contest was a volunteer of three people and they had to do a dance-off and one of my good friends, Becca from OMFGBooks, went up the stage against a twelve-year old and a sudden unwilling contestant (I don’t blame her, I would be mortified to dance-off too). In the end, it was a close call between Becca — due to her newly invented moves that even the VP won’t recognize from his time — and the twelve-year old who owned the staged with her robotic dance moves, however, robotic dance moves wins this one. And lastly, anyone that had the name “Marissa” or initials “M.M” were the ones to possibly win the last $10 gift card. At first, no one had said their name is Marissa so me being a “M.M.” excitedly raced her hand, only to realize one of my good friends, Melanie “Mel”, who I met from TMI set scout days, had the same initials as I had! VP was torn so Becca yells, “dance off!” to which I hurriedly point at Mel and say “god, no, all hers!” (while mentally thinking of strangling Becca due to the absurd idea). Both stroke of misfortune and luck, someone had come forward and said their name is Marissa.

There had been half an hour left and Natalie Garside (@NatalieGarside) who cosplayed as Cress comes to the stage and the fans fall in line to have a picture with her! How sweet!

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Turns out we even had a Scarlet in the crowd as well!

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This is “Cress” with her hairstylist/ sister(?) that helped her out with her amazing Cress-hair.

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Then it was finally 7 o’clock and Marissa comes forward to the stage and first introduces herself, then immediately tells everyone her answer to “have you always wanted to be a writer?” (her top question) to which the answer was: “yes, though it wasn’t until I was fourteen years old did I actually focus on being one.” Then she tells us how much she loved fairy tales and mostly the non-Disney ones, which ultimately led to her Lunar Chronicle series– along with her endless love for Sailor Moon. She entered many writing contests, one of which being NaNoWriMo and the other this contest that only she and another person had participated in (and she sadly came second), however, got her going with her outlining for the series and lastly the contest that, if you win, you will appear (?) at an episode in the renewed Star Trek series. The contest (Star Trek one) required 50,000 to enter (just like NaNoWriMo) and it was around August when she had learned of this contest, so she had a few months of major outlining, character profiles and research to do beforehand. When the contest began, she had vowed to write not 50,000 words but 150,000!  [she didn’t end up winning that Trek contest since they never actually made the show but she was still happy cause she had now the first drafts of Cinder, Scarlet and one-third of Cress]

“I just passed out for an entire week. I was a zombie!” She says after that Trek contest. Oh, I could just imagine! When she had regained her strength, she returned to the first drafts of what was baby-stages of Cinder, Scarlet and Cress, thinking that these books are absolutely genius.

Turns out, the first drafts were a disaster: “one character vanished out of thin air”, “too many subplots” etc. However, being the determined soul that she is, she had edited through these first drafts and eventually got to a point where she thought it was polished enough to be shown to possible publishers, she searched for a literary agent (as should every writer who wishes to be published). Marissa said, “my literary agent, who was actually the first I queried, had worked together in two weeks to create the bundle to sell to possible publishers.” They had sent out these queries Friday and in the following Monday she had gotten feedback of interest towards publishing her novel. “So it had gone fast pretty much after that,” Marissa added.

Marissa then shares to the crowd that her first ever movie seen in the theatres which is Little Mermaid and said she loved the movie that her Grandma bought her the Little Mermaid book… except it’s not the Disney version. It’s the real one, the one with [spoilers] the Prince ending up with another girl and the mermaid dying.

Then she tells us the real story of Rapunzel, and that’s because she thought the real story to Red Riding Hood might be a bit too gory for the kids in the crowd. It was a fun tale of oohs and aahs, especially with the kids who just saw Tangled and thought, “aha! that’s Rapunzel’s story!” 

Right after that, we did a little Q&A (here are some I remember):

1. What’s so wrong about the real story of Red Riding Hood that you can’t tell the crowd?

Well, it involves cannibalism and a strip tease– not appropriate for the little kids! (laughs)

2. Are we to see a Cinder movie sometime soon? 

A Hollywood studio has bought the rights to Cinder, yes, and I’ve been told that the script does exist and that now they’re just looking for a director. 

3. Are there any actors/actresses you have in mind?

No… not really. I’m happy with almost anything but… Kirsten Stewart (laughs) LOL!

*there had been a bit more questions asked but I had already forgotten — I’ll update the post in case I remember anything! (Sorry!)

Signing began right after the Q&A and I had been lucky to be #6. When it was my turn, I was dumbstruck so I just went in for a hug (I’m sorry to creep you out, Marissa!) to which she did a little gasp. Then she saw my Cinder copy  she asked about the markings and I said they were some of my favourite lines and scenes. Then I asked her if she liked her visits so far here in Toronto. “I love it! Well, I’ve only been here like two times but I’ve got friends here so it’s nice each time I visit”

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That was such a fun event! So glad I made it the second time around — I look forward to another visit from Marissa here in Toronto and for her many more books to come through the years!

Thank you Marissa Meyer for coming to Toronto for the second time and we surely can’t wait for your third, fourth, fifth…

Happy Reading!

-Michelle

I would like to thank Raincoast Books for sending me this lovely package of chocolates, glow-in-the-dark stars and pins! You guys are the best ❤

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INTO THE DARK, A THE SHADOW PRINCE BOOK by Bree Despain

Enter for the chance to win THE SHADOW PRINCE book 1: INTO THE DARK! The finish copy is set to be released March 11, 2014 (boohoo). [HERE] — you can also find the first teaser from Into the Dark on the link 🙂 — Best of luck everyone!

If you don’t know what INTO THE DARK is about (where have you been) but here it is from Goodreads: 

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

 

Introduction: Book Blog (+) and (-)

At the age of 13/14, I gradually became aware with the Book Blogging world (which then became Vlogging as well). I looked up to these people for they not only get the advantage of reading books in advance, their opinions matter to hundreds and thousands of people and I remember thinking: since I love reading, writing and sharing my passion so much — why not have my own book blog? 

So following that thought I did some research on what it’s like to run a book blog, what attributes of yourself is key to a successful blog, how to gain connections, etc. Upon seeing many opinions on running a book blog which ranged from: an absolute pleasure to it makes reading homework/this is too much/how do you do all that — I still decided to launch my own book blog which then had been poorly titled, Lit Up My World and fortunately, I did not struggle with requesting titles from publishers.

Now if you’re thinking of running your very own book blog here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Negatives

  1. Let’s just get this straight: if you wish to run a book blog solely for the reason that you  just want ARCs then please do not continue. Book blogging is not an express ticket to ARCs, it’s simply your platform to voice out (rather, type out) your opinions on books you’ve read or would like to read.
  2. It makes reading homework.
  3. This may be just me but you have to be a tad bit artistically inclined to design your own blog so then you can distinguish your book blog among the thousands of others.
  4. Time management, organization and commitment. This is something I’ve been very guilty about for weeks, if not months, because I just either couldn’t manage my time, did not have any organization in my life or the blog whatsoever and many days spent felt like I was too… tired to read, and truth be told, I haven’t read in a very long time and if I have, I slack off with writing a review on it. Sincerely apologizing to all readers/publishers. 
  5. You read the first book in the series and it’s an ARC… THE EXCRUCIATING WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL.

Positives

  1. “Do you get paid doing all this?” “YES! Through books” “Wow… isn’t that too much wo–” “yes and no, it’s worth it though”–> actual conversation I get when people find out I run a blog.
  2. It’s gratifying to know your opinion matters to people, that you influence people in selecting books through your passion.
  3. Great community! Everyone’s always helping each other out. Seriously, you can find a contact page on every book blogger’s site and they will accommodate any newbie because they know exactly how it feels. Especially speaking with the publishers’ publicists, they are all very nice and considerate.
  4. If you’re an aspiring author, practising your commitment and organization skills will greatly enhance your chances in finishing your first book or getting published

Tips

  1. Before requesting titles from publishers, ensure you’ve at least had 3 or 6 months of practice/ blog life. Unlike me, I did not prepare for it so now I’m struggling to cope with it — however, don’t mistake me. I LOVE my Ficsane Reads. 
  2. If you live outside of United States, or even if you do live in USA, have GoodReads and Netgalley. ARCs are expensive to make so sometimes they resort to sending them out through eARCs.

That’s all I can think of for now. I hope you study the art of book blogging before jumping into it but what matters most is that you ensure you enjoy it — the world, as it is, isn’t a pleasant place… let’s not add more burdens on your shoulder. Best of luck! Let me know if you need anything or any questions you’d like to ask.

 

Writing: Excerpt from NOT FOR ROBOTS

NOT FOR ROBOTS is a blog/page of essays tracking Laini Taylor (author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone series) progress in writing and the path to getting published!

I thought I’d share with you this awesome blog and this relatable piece from her Introduction to the blog.

If, however, you find writing both glorious and maddening, necessaryand impossible, dazzling and stultifying, there might be something here that clicks with you.

I’ve wanted to write books ever since I can remember. I was always going to be “a writer.”… I was a bad combination of dreamy and lazy, and add to that aspects of my personality (such as perfectionism) that conspired to prevent me from finishing things. Also, it’s very easy for us non-robots to persuade ourselves we’re on our right path in life, even when we’re actually sort of languishing in the wheel ruts beside our path, and not really on it at all. I, like many others, stood beside “my path” and watched wistfully as others boldly trod it.

I wasn’t writing.

The years passed. I did other things. I edited books written by others. I went to art school. Traveled. Got married. Moved to another state.

And then, finally, something snapped. I realized that if I wanted to write books. . . I had to, er, write books. And so, painstakingly, I began to do that. It was hard. 

As for everyone else, whether you be participating in NaNoWriMo or just writing on your own: best of luck! 🙂

Love, Michelle

The A-Z Survey

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I saw Novel Sounds do this, which brought me to Perpetual Page-Turner. It was too cool for me to pass up!

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Cassandra Clare

Best Sequel Ever:

I’m torn between: Clockwork Prince and Crown of Midnight

Currently Reading:

Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea, coffee, or ice cold water

E-reader or Physical Book?

Physical book all the way, but I do have an e-reader for eARCs

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Wishful thinking, mindless dreaming: William Herondale. Since I am very much like Tessa.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton… I am so glad

Hidden Gem Book:

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Hmm… does having dinner with Cassandra Clare count?

Just Finished:

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

It’s not like I won’t ever get into these genres, I just won’t be reading from them anytime soon: not much of contemporary, steampunk (even though TID is my absolute favorite series FOREVER), adult, and erotica

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

** easy way to find this out. Go to your Goodreads “read” list, don’t scroll down but where you are on the screen there will be this little tab on the bottom that lets you choose how you want to scroll or how many books you want display. There is also a sort option with a drop down and you can sort by page.

Major book hangover because of:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Number of Bookcases You Own:

I don’t have any. All my books are scattered and stacked around the house.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Preferred Place To Read:

Mostly the floor… then the bed or balcony. Or a nice bench at the park.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.” – Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me.

*This can be my biography

Reading Regret:

I regret not giving some books a chance, like Cinder, which I ended up loving.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Clockwork Prince, Crown of Midnight and Unravel Me

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Currently, Cristin Terrill “All Our Yesterdays”

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Since Clockwork Princess is out, I’d say A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas or The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare

Worst Bookish Habit:

Book hoarding, eating & drinking while eating, and no matter how much I take care of my books as I read, there’s always that bend on the cover or tear at the spine.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

No bookshelf but I’ll just count from the stacks: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Your latest book purchase:

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Just last night, started reading Unbreakable by Kami Garcia from 3AM, ended up sleeping at 7AM and I’ve got 2 chapters left to read.