June 26, 2013

Fierce Reads NYC Tour Stop (Recap, Interview + Giveaway)

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Fierce Reads event held at McNally Jackson on Tuesday, June 18, featuring Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, Anna Banks, Emmy Laybourne & Gennifer Albin. I'd heard about the event a couple of months earlier and had immediately marked it down, eager to meet the authors. Thanks to Ksenia, I was able to spend a little time with them and ask them some fun interview questions before the event proper, as you're going to see below! 

(The people at McNally Jackson were gracious enough to lend us a small office space, which is why we had to do the interviews in two groups. Still, the authors were wonderful about answering all my questions, even when I was flustered or random interruptions would occur.)

The video coverage of Leigh, Gennifer & Anna got cut off, so allow me to include the transcript of the rest of their interview below:

Alexa: If you could live in any fictional world, which one would it be? And which character would you be in it?
Leigh Bardugo: Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood. Yeah, I mean, doesn't everybody want to go to Hogwarts? I mean, I love Westeros...
Gennifer Albin: Westeros?
*everyone laughs*
GA:  I want to be alive for two days in my fictional world...
LB: but I don't want to live there... I would like to go to a nice bathroom. I would like to brush my teeth. I would like to eat delicious snacks and I would like to do magic! I feel like I just adore Luna. Although I guess Hermione is more on point. But I feel like I'm not organized enough to be Hermione, so Luna.
GA: Which is a great reason to be Hermione... I was gonna - I'm gonna live with Leigh in Harry Potter. I'm not gonna lie -
Alexa: Are you going to be Luna too?
GA: I'm not gonna be Luna though. I like Luna but... I don't know who I would be.
LB: Tonks!
GA: Tonks?
A: Actually, that sounds very accurate.
[insert Harry Potter spoiler here]
Anna Banks: Do we have to be one of our own characters?
A: No, no.
AB: I want to live in the Hundred Acre Wood.
*everyone makes sounds of agreement/awws*
AB: I would be Piglet -
LB: Aww!
AB: Everyone's always looking out for that little guy. What a great world!
LB: I love that!
A: I don't think I've ever heard anyone answer like - answer that answer. That's a great answer!
AB: I mean, you've got all these great friends around you.
LB: Nothing really bad ever happens. Like the worst thing that happens is you get stuck in a tree.
A: Or in a rainstorm.
LB: I'll be Eeyore. *uses Eeyore voice* Okay...
*everyone laughs*
AB: I probably would be Eeyore, but my preference would be Piglet.
A: What are you current favorite TV shows or movies?
AB: The Walking Dead.
GA: Doctor Who.
LB: Game of Thrones. I'm also really loving Elementary, and Hannibal has been surprisingly good. And Chopped. I watched Chopped all of the time.

After my time with them, the authors spent a few minutes relaxing before the event started. They each talked about their books, and then answered questions from the audience. If you missed my tweets, here are some of the Q&As that cropped up during this part, as edited into text format:

Question: How did your characters/story come to you?
Leigh Bardugo: Some characters show up fully formed, while others take a little longer to find their voice.
Anna Banks: She was watching a documentary about giant squid. It made her wonder what else could be out there.
Jessica Brody: She saw a newspaper article about a 14-year-old who survived a plane crash.
Gennifer Albin: Her characters pop into her head and start talking to her. And all of them have secrets!
Emmy Laybourne: Characters appear to her too. But she also lurks in streets or in malls to find people who resemble her characters.

Question: Who's your favorite lit hero?
EL: Harry Potter
JB: Katniss Everdeen
AB: Scarlett O'Hara
LB: Jaime Lannister
GA: Lyra Belacqua

Question: Describe your method/tips/quirks when writing.
LB: She goes on walks, puts her Bluetooth in her ear and talks about what she's going to do for the day.
AB: She has to get up, get dressed and leave in order to write.
JB: She's trained her brain to think coffee is a "creative juice".

Question: Can you imagine writing a novel on a typewriter?
LB: She can imagine writing longhand, but not on a typewriter.
EL: Fun fact - Emmy had someone from the Philippines (!) type something up for her.
General Consensus: Typewriters are great, but not for writing.

Question: Which character from a book would you be?
EL: Fire
JB: Whoever ends up with Maxon in The Selection
AB: Piglet
LB: Luna Lovegood
GA: Anne Shirley

Question: Do you ever feel like you are the character in your book?
JB: When you're writing in the first person, it's hard to feel like you're not in the scene.

Question: Book recommendations?
EL: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
LB: Coda by Emma Trevayne
AB: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
JB: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
GA: Anything by Stephanie Perkins and Gillian Flynn

Question: Favorite genre?
EL: Post-apocalyptic. (Random tip: Buy a salt lick. All the deer will come.)
LB: Non-fiction while writing. Romance novels. High fantasy.
AB: YA sci-fi. But they must have a love story!
JB: Dystopian, like The Jenna Fox Chronicles.
GA: Contemporary YA, like Stephanie Perkins, John Green and Kody Keplinger

Question: Scariest part of writing process?
EL: February. That's usually the time she wonders if she'll make the page count she needs.
JB: She actually has an Excel sheet to chart her progress and feelings.
AB: Coming up with endings! (Random: She has never solved a Scooby-Doo mystery on her own.)
LB: She always has a beginning, middle and end. But she worries about how she'll keep up with writing.
GA: The moment when the return phone call or email comes after submitting a draft

The night ended with the signing, of course. I waited in line with my friends Rachel, Gaby, Rachel, bumped into Heidi and Ash who got in line behind us. Other blogger sightings include the West brothers and Hannah & Jackie. As the line inched forward, I took the liberty of showing Rachel my favorite part of Siege & Storm (spoiler: it features Sturmhond!). After getting books signed and grabbing some swag, Rachel and I ducked out to grab dinner at MacBar, which was delicious.

It was definitely a very fun night! All of these authors are very friendly and really funny, plus they go out of their way to make you feel at ease and to show their appreciation. It was honestly just a lot of fun to listen to them chat, especially when they'd veer off into random tangents! I'm so glad I was there.

But don't you worry! If you can't make it to any of the Fierce Reads tour stops, I've got just the thing for you: a giveaway! Yes, thanks to the lovely people at Macmillan, I have the following prizes up for grabs:

Fierce Reads 2013
a set of Fierce Reads books: Crewel by Gennifer Albin, Of Triton* by Anna Banks, Siege and Storm* by Leigh Bardugo, Unremembered by Jessica Brody and Monument 14: Sky on Fire* by Emmy Laybourne (Note: books marked with asterisks are second books in series)
a Fierce Reads poster
a Fierce Reads tote
To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter form below:
*This giveaway is US only.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. So many awesome authors in one place! I wish they had a tour stop near where I live. I read and loved Of Poseidon, so Of Triton is on my summer TBR pile because mermaids and summer just go together.

  2. Great interview! I always love learning about what authors are reading and which characters they love. Other than their own, of course :)

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. I've read The Grisha Series and Crewel - I actually have Altered, but haven't gotten a chance to read it yet!! Great interview & thanks for the giveaway!!

  4. Great interviews! It seems like they were all such a blast to hang out with.
    In answering one of the questions you asked (what kind of music do I listen to while writing) I might be one of the odd one's who doesn't listen to music- I prefer quiet. Sometimes I even turn a fan on for white noise if someone else is talking/shuffling nearby.

    I am DYING to get a copy of SIEGE AND STORM. SHADOW AND BONE was amazing... defiantly a favorite. And the others also sound good... Thanks for an awesome giveaway! ^.^

  5. Awesome interview! Thank you for the giveaway. I have not read any of these series yet. I am interested in reading all of these books.

  6. Jealous!!!! I love them. They are just so much fun!!! All of the sads that Fierce Reads didn't come to the Midwest this year!

  7. I've only read Shadow & Bone so I have some great reads ahead of me!

  8. Wow, what an awesome combination of authors! I have Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm on my birthday wish list, those covers are just amazing! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  9. I have read Of Poseidon, Of Triton, Monument 14, Sky on Fire, and Unremembered. Still need to read the others!

  10. Book recommendations? Definitely "Golden" by: Jessi Kirby.
    I also love the Divergent, Shatter Me, and Delirium trilogies.
    And if you haven't read it.. the NEED series, by Carrie Jones.

  11. I've read Of Poseidon, Monument 14, and of course, Shadow and Bone. ;) I seriously laughed so hard while reading/watching, so I think I love ALL of these authors! Seriously, thanks so much for sharing!! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  12. I've only read Shadow and Bone. The other books are still on my TBR list!

  13. I have a thing for Fierce Reads Authors interview. It is always fun to read/watch. There's this certain banter between the authors.

  14. So many awesome authors! I, unfortunately, wasn't able to make it to the Dallas stop. (Silly job. I have things to do!) Book recs? Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and The Enemy by Charlie Higson. Both are post-apocalyptic type books, which for a second question, is one of my favorite genres! Thanks for this awesome giveaway, Alexa!

  15. I have read both Shadow and Bone, and Of Poseidon from the authors so far and I loved both of them. Thanks for the great giveaway!!!

  16. My book recommendation will definitely be Dare You To. :D

  17. LOVE this post Alexa and how cool you got to personally interview them!

  18. Great interview!! If you could live in any fictional world, which one would it be? And which character would you be in it? I'd chose Hogwarts...just for the magic and to go to school in a castle!

  19. I really like the Grisha trilogy and I'm just starting Anna Bank's series! I'm eager to read all these books! Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!

  20. I've read 3 out of 5 books. And really enjoyed them so far!! I cannot wait to continue with Siege and Storm. So bloody excited for that one!

  21. I haven't gotten to read any of these series yet, but I'm dying to! My favorite author at the moment is Jennifer Nielsen

  22. I've only read Shadow and Bone so far.

  23. I've read Crewel, Shadow and Bone, and Of Poseidon.

  24. Lovely interviews! And so many great authors in one place - I would have loved to have gone to something like this. One day, I'll convince everyone to come to the UK. ;) Thanks for sharing, Alexa!

  25. I've read Shadow and Bone, but nothing in the pile!

  26. So far I've only read Unremembered, but I loved it! I can't wait for the next book and to get my hands on all these other books too. Thank you!

  27. I haven't read any of the series yet, but I do own Shadow and Bone! :)

  28. Yay! I went to the Fierce Reads tour last year, and it was so much fun! Anna, Leigh, and Emmy were there, and I just loved them all! I've actually read every book you mentioned except for Crewel, which is on my list for review soon because Altered is coming out in October. I love your interviews! What a fun group of peeps to chat with. :)

  29. I was so happy to run into you guys, Alexa! Also really glad you posted this recap and had the chance to talk to them ahead of time, because of course I never got any such things done. =)

  30. i haven't read any of these books, but i definitely want to! and i'm thinking LB & I are twins separated at birth. ~daphne

  31. Fantastic interviews! From the series involved in the giveaway, I've only read Shadow and Bone. I'm eager to start the others though! They're on my TBR list. :) Thanks for the chance to win them!

  32. love love the interviews. From the giveaway list I have read shadow and bone and also the of Poseidon series. :) Loved them both and the rest of them have been sitting on my TBR!

  33. Super excited about this giveaway!

  34. I read Unremembered and LOOOVED it. I can't wait for the next book to come out. I've been meaning to get into the Of Poseidon series. I hear a lot of people saying they like it.

  35. This giveaway is awesome! I just ordered Shadow & Bone and I'm so EXCITED!

  36. Excellent interview! I have Shadow and Bone, but I have yet to read it.

    Writing by typewriter would be the worst (even though I love the sound of the keys clacking) because I abuse my delete button. :P

  37. Love that fun fact about Emmy on the question of writing a novel on a typewriter!

    My favorite genre/s (I don't want to choose one) are realistic fiction and dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction.

  38. Hahaha, I'd love to be Piglet too! :) I LOVED reading the interview- it was just soo funny! :)

  39. I haven't read any of these books/series (I know, shame on me), but I really want to! I've had Shadow and Bone on my TBR list forever, but I haven't gotten around to it (again, shame). Thanks for the chance to win :D

  40. Seeing that picture of the stack of books makes me drool...


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