Sunday, May 26, 2019

"Kingsbane" Book Tour Experience!

I am flying high right now. I'm writing this the morning after getting back from the Kingsbane/Claire Legrand tour and I still can't believe how amazing of a night it was. I wanted to write this as soon as possible so that I didn't forget anything so let's just dive into a recap of last night!

For starters, I went with my two best friends, Lexi and Bella. We left around 3 pm which gave us 4 hours to drive and get food in St. Charles. The event was at a library in a suburb of St. Louis, MO and it wasn't until we arrived there that we realized we'd been to a signing at that library before. It was pretty cool returning to it and we also realized that that library has a Drive Thru for books?! I wish my library had that! 

Anyway, the drive went pretty smoothly. I get motion sick so I took Dramamine and napped for a little bit of the trip. Other than that we just jammed to music and ate a lot of snacks. We got to the library about an hour before the event started so we decided to go ahead and drive around to get food. We ended up at White Castle, which I've never had before. I just got some loaded fries but I have to admit that next time I'd just get regular fries if I had to go back. Something about ranch and cheese on fries just didn't mix well for me. 

But then we went back to the library and went in. There were a few people there and we decided to go ahead and buy our books in advance rather than right as the signing started. They didn't have many of Claire's backlist titles like I was hoping. I was planning on getting Foxheart and Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, but they only had Furyborn, Kingsbane, and Sawkill Girls. Either way, I just decided to get the paperback of Furyborn for my collection and Sawkill Girls for a friend who couldn't make the event. I still had eight books of my own to get signed and one for my sister, so it wasn't a big loss. If anything, this means I'll have books to take to get signed next time she goes on tour (which is hopefully in my area again).

Somehow we ended up getting to sit in the front row for the conversation. Claire was so personable and fun. She talked a lot about how The Empirium Trilogy came to be, her inspirations, and a lot of the struggles she's gone through in getting these books published. She also talked about how she writes super long first drafts (Kingsbane was 250k words and written in just 5 months!) and then cuts them down in editing. One scene that got cut because it didn't contribute to the story movement was a scene of Rielle, Audric, and Ludivine getting drunk in a pub and playing an impressions game. I would love to see that scene! Hopefully one day, as Claire talked about, there might be a novella released or bonus content in her newsletters that show this scene. 

I think one of my favorite moments was when she discussed her fancast for the characters. The fancast she had in her head was from when she was younger and first started writing, so when she talked about them she told us to think of them as, "the energy of these actors but age-appropriate). For Corien, she said Cillian Murphy was her vision of him and for Simon, a young Daniel Craig. Interestingly, she said she'd never been able to find someone who embodies Rielle or Eliana so she hopes that if the books do get adapted that there are some amazing unknown actresses found to fulfill those roles. 

Claire also talked candidly about being a writer with depression and anxiety. Sometimes writing is therapeutic but other times it is just a stressor. Hearing how she copes with it while writing was pretty inspiring. Additionally, all of her writing tips were super helpful and I can't wait to try using some of them! 

She also chatted a very small amount about the frustrating aspects of publishing and how she's able to stay motivated throughout that. It's very hard to make money in publishing and a lot of it in America is centered in New York City where it's hard to work unless you're rich (and usually white). Despite that, Claire said that her passion for the characters and story are what motivates her to push through publishing and that, without Furyborn, she probably would have quit a long time ago. 

We then all lined up for the signing. We actually had to finish putting post-its in our books so we ended up at the end of the line and let the girl behind us go first since we had a collective 16 books between the three of us. Standing in line was fun in itself because I got to chat with my friends who I don't get to see much when I'm away at college and because we chatted a bit with the people around us. One of the girls in line near us had read Foxheart, the book I was hoping to buy there, and told me that it was really good and I should read it. We also chatted a bit with one of the booksellers and she had the cutest little owl-themed bag. 

We finally got up to Claire and it was amazing. I've never talked so much with an author before and it was such a great experience. For starters, she recognized me from my bookstagram (insert happy crying emoji here)! I've never had someone recognize me from bookstagram before. She said she'd seen my comment earlier about being excited for the event and was wondering where I was in the crowd/signing line. I'm still crying over this. 

So there we were, my two friends, Claire, and me, talking for a while. We all chatted about so many different things from writing to publishing to college. She seemed really excited to hear that I wanted to work at Sourcebooks after graduation since that's her publisher. We didn't talk much about the actual books but it was a really amazing conversation. It was so amazing, in fact, that I forgot to get a picture with her (insert sad crying emoji here). The bookseller did take a picture of all of us at the end of the line with Claire and she said it was for Facebook, so I'm definitely going to stalk that Facebook to see if I can get that picture. 

But at the end, it was just a lot of thank you's and drive safe's as we walked out. I think being at the end of the line was definitely the way to go since we didn't have to feel guilty about anyone waiting for a super long time behind us. 

Once we were in the car leaving, I knew I was most likely going to fall asleep from my Dramamine but I honestly didn't want to because I was so happy. We all talked in the car for a while about how amazing it was for a while before I ended up falling asleep. 

We hit some heavy rain on the way home. It was storming but we just drove real slow until we got out of the super heavy patch of rain. I was pretty exhausted when I got home since I'd hardly slept the night before and I would have slept in longer this morning if I didn't have work soon. Honestly, though, I'm still feeling giddy over last night so I'm not too angry at still being awake. 

Overall, this event was so much better than I could have ever dreamed. I was so worried about freezing up and not being able to say anything when I met Claire but she was so personable and nice. I absolutely cannot wait to meet her again and I know I will treasure this experience for so long. It was the best author signing I've ever been to and I am just so happy with that fact and the entire night. 

Here are all the books I that I got signed (minus my sister's book). Something to note is that I already had a signed hardcover edition of Furyborn from last year, hence why that edition is missing from the ones I got signed!

Furyborn US paperback

Furyborn limited edition ARC

Furyborn final cover ARC

Kingsbane US hardcover

Kingsbane Fox & Wit Special Edition

Kingsbane ARC

Winterspell US paperback

Sawkill Girls ARC

Temporary Tattoos & Double-Sided Bookmarks!

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