Yesterday, October 25th, I was able to attend one of my favorite author events hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL!
Sarah J. Maas is currently embarking on her World Tour for her most recent and HIGHLY ANTICIPATED finale to the Throne of Glass series: Kingdom of Ash!!
Here are a few looks into the event and some of my thoughts while listening to Sarah talk about her writing experience and all things TOG:
This was a ticketed author event, and from what I overheard, these tickets went fast!
There were multiple ticket options, a VIP (included a signing line opportunity), a standard ticket, and companion option. I heard about this event a little later than most people, so I wasn’t able to snag a VIP ticket (which apparently sold out in the FIRST MINUTE – crazy, right??) or the companion (which were also sold out before I got to Anderson’s site), but since I have met Sarah in the past, I wasn’t upset in not being able to meet her again.
So in all, my tip for author events is to follow them on Twitter and through your local indie bookshop to be able to grab signing line spots quickly.
After battling the long line at the door (which looped across the building.. twice), I was able to snag all the bookish goodies exclusive to those who were able to make it out!
Included with the purchase of a standard ticket:
- Signed, hardcover copy of KoA
- Exclusive tour tote bag
- Exclusive art print from Charlie Bowater (AKA the artist behind many of the SJM content)
- Exclusive world tour button
Once they round up all the 1000+ people who came to the event, there was an added bonus. Golden Tickets were placed inside a limited number of the books for a chance to enter into the signing line. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of the lucky few, but it was a fun opportunity for fans to see if they won!
Interview with Sarah
And then it was time for Sarah to speak!
This wasn’t just a Q&A with the author. She inspired the audience.
All of the questions moderated by one of Anderson’s booksellers were unique to her and her series. If you know a little about her, you’ll understand her connection with music in terms of her writing. It was entertaining to hear her speak about this because it is exactly how I become inspired for my characters, settings, and plot too! Talking through her process of discovering songs and how they emotionally connect with her stories didn’t top the cake until she brought up her unique inspiration for Lysandra’s character transformation.
She shared a key moment for the series (and she wouldn’t spoil any moments in KoA) pertaining to the final line she would later write. After visiting Costa Rica, she described how one beautiful moment in the mountain-tops drew her to understanding how the series would line up. After waiting years, she was finally able to write those emotional words down, and needless to say, it was a heartwarming moment for the audience to hear.
This was a deeply raw conversation that she shared with her fans. Listening to her was like hearing a friend speak to you, and she is definitely a fan-oriented author. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to an audience member and surprising her with access to the signing line, she is an author that doesn’t let the fame take over and still acknowledges her deep appreciation to her readers. And she is hilarious! She had the whole auditorium raving and crying with her so many times.
She also spoke of the irritating moment when she turned in her draft of KoA and soon after found out the glue that would be used for the book’s binding was not going to hold up. One of my favorite aspect to Sarah’s books is how HUGE they are. We all know the changes they had to make with the ‘bible’-thin paper after Queen of Shadows and how they shrunk the overall thickness to the subsequent books. But even with this formatting, she was still over 1,000 pages.
Determined to not change a single word to this story (which clocked in over 250,000 words!!), her publishing team began hard at work to make this behemoth of a book into a smaller page count. And within their short deadline, they were able to shrink it down to the current 992 pages.
So you may notice that the formatting is slightly different from the spacing and the chapter headings. Can you tell a difference??
And to wrap up the night, she indulged the audience in showcasing a few future projects such as Crescent City (an adult fantasy with tons of steamy romance) and ACOTAR spin-offs. I am so excited to read these books!
This was the best author event. Not only was I able to participate in an epic celebration to the conclusion to one of my favorite series, but I left that auditorium feeling inspired for my own writing. Understanding other successful author processes have been a joy to walk through.
This wasn’t just a come-in and leave event. This was a come-in, become incredibly inspired, learn more about the author, and leave knowing that you can accomplish your own dreams.
When Sarah began writing her series at 16 years old, she was able to rework the plot and shape it into what has become one of the largest series in YA! Like she stated at the event, if she can do it, so can YOU!
I highly recommend that if you ever get an opportunity to meet Sarah on a book tour, buy a ticket. And like with this event, your purchase not only supports Indie Bookstores, but you will get an experience that is well worth the money and travel.
I know many of her KoA 2018-2019 World Tour stops are sold out, but I’m sure she will be out and about with her many future books coming soon!
Did you go to one of Kingdom of Ash World Tour stops?? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Until next time…