Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Author Event Recap - Kelley Armstrong - Ontario Public Library Month



At the end of September, I was in the library when I saw this…


I couldn’t believe it. I thought it must be a mistake. When I got home I checked the library website and even Kelley Armstrong’s list of appearances on her website, and discovered it wasn’t a mistake. *cue all the squeeing and fangirling*

I’ve been reading Kelley’s books since before I started this blog in 2010. Besides loving paranormal books, I had a fascination with Kelley because she’s Canadian. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out she was coming to my small city, to the library that I basically consider my second home because I spend so much time there.

As soon as I found out about Kelley’s appearance at the library, I posted about it on Facebook and tagged several local friends so they’d know about it (and so I’d have someone to go with). I made plans to go with Michelle, a friend I’ve known since preschool but hadn’t seen in 7-8 years, and meet up with JaimeKristal, a friend from high school, who also happens to be my editor, and who I hadn’t seen in 11 years. I was so psyched because not only would I get to meet one of my favourite authors, it would also be a reunion!

Michelle and I arrived around 10:45 for the event, which was scheduled to start at 11:30. We snagged the last of the seats, and as we waited for JK, the event planners added a bunch more chairs, which filled up quickly. By the time the event started, the room was packed and there was standing room only.

Cheryl, the librarian who coordinated the event, introduced Kelley and I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who was almost overwhelmed with excitement. She said that people had started arriving to the event at 9:30 (when the library opens), and that there had never been an event with a turnout like that one.

Kelley talked to us about how she got started writing, talked about her current and upcoming books, and then did a reading from The Summoning. After that she did a question and answer period where she ‘bribed’ people to ask questions by giving out goodies like books and Omens tote bags. She was so smart and funny and just plain incredible. She’s the Queen of Paranormal, but she’s so humble and down to earth. She joked with us, told us stories, and was so open.


Some interesting tidbits we learned from Kelley:

  • Have you ever wondered how Kelley got into writing paranormal? Was it because her parents loved it? Or maybe because they were against it and an interest grew out of a sense of rebellion? Neither. It was a love of Scooby Doo!
  • Her first published novel, and the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series, Bitten, has been made into a 13-episode TV series. It was picked up by the Space network in Canada and was supposed to start airing early 2014, but now the Sci-Fi station in the States wants to pick it up (!!!) so they’re trying to coincide air dates.
  • Someone asked her if she’d done a cameo in Bitten, and she said no. When asked if she would if asked, it was a definite NO. She said the idea terrified her.
  • Even though the Women of the Otherworld series ended last year with the publication of Thirteen, Kelley says she still plans to release a novella a year from that world.
  • When her daughter got old enough to become interested in Kelley’s books and asked if she could read Bitten, Kelley said no…and from there, the Darkest Powers trilogy was born. She wanted to write something her daughter could read.
  • Later on, her sons wanted to read her books, and Kelley told them the Darkest Powers trilogy was suitable for kids 11 and up. Their response: ‘But there’s a girl on the cover’. She tried to convince them to read it by assuring them there were werewolves and zombies and no kissing. Their response: ‘But there’s a girl on the cover holding a necklace’. From there, Loki’s Wolves, which she co-wrote with Marissa Marr, was born.
  • When asked about advice on writing, her response was simple (and something I’ve said a number of times to people who have asked me for writing advice): write. If you want to write, write. Don’t talk about it, don’t over think it, just write. She also recommended that people who want to write should read widely.
  • When asked what kind of education you need to be a writer, she said none. Then she amended that by saying you didn’t need any specific sort of education, but the more education you had, the better, so you’d be knowledgeable about a lot of things. She said she’s always taking courses and learning things that could come in handy in her books - sword fighting and bartending being among them.
  • She loves Steven King’s books.

After the Q&A came the signing. This is what I looked forward to and dreaded most. For someone who’s an avid reader, a book blogger, and an author, meeting one of your favourite authors is like meeting a rock star. I was nervous that I’d dissolve into a squeeing fangirl and totally embarrass myself. Luckily Michelle and JK were awesome and kept me talking and laughing so I didn’t have too much of a chance to get nervous…although my hands were shaking by the time it was our turn to meet Kelley! She signed my two books (The Gathering and Exit Strategy), and I got to talk to her for a minute. I told her I was a book blogger and that she had donated signed copies of her books for my Canadian Author Spotlight last July, and I wanted to thank her in person. I got a picture with her, and then I got extra time with her while JK got her books signed and then…well, then Michelle brought out her ginormous bag of books. She had to drive two hours to get to my city, and she brought every Kelley Armstrong book she owned. No joke. Kelley was so gracious and signed each one while chatting with us. 

Kelley and me

Kelley and Michelle
Kelley and JK
Signing the mountain of books Michelle brought

It was an amazing day. It’s been a few days and I still can’t believe I met Kelley Armstrong. I MET KELLEY ARMSTRONG! :-D 


Have you ever been to an author event? Have you met Kelley? Do you enjoy her books? What are some of your favourites?
 

5 comments:

  1. Woot! This whole thing is awesome. I'm glad you were able to meet her AND reunite with old friends. ^_^

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  2. So fun!! Isn't Kelley awesome?? She's a local author for me, so I've seen her numerous times, but she's always so friendly and open. I'm so glad you were able to meet her! :)

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  3. I've seen Kelley twice this year and she's always so much fun! I love that bit about her daughter wanting to read Bitten ... ha ha. I would say no, too!

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  4. AHHHH. SO COOL. I would have been shaking with you if I was there. I ADORE KA so I'm super happy you got to meet her!

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~Marie

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