Worlds Collide Tour: Meeting Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo!

img_6195In October, it was announced that Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows Duology, with Rainbow Rowell, author of Fangirl and Carry On, would be coming on a UK tour, Worlds Collide! There were only going to be four stops to this tour, and luckily we were close enough to one of the venues to attend (although because of super bad traffic, the journey took five hours?!)

Bee is a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo, and we’d met her almost exactly a year before when she was first promoting Six of Crows. We thought it would be really poetic to see her again a year later, when the series was finished and we were so much more confident than we had been in 2015. It also gave Bee a chance to have the rest of the trilogy signed that she missed out on last year. And, it’s no secret that we were the biggest fans of Fangirl, being twins studying Creative Writing and all…there was a lot of hype, and that kept us going when the traffic was at a stand still.

Tphoto-1he event took place in the Manchester Central Library, and was our first event not held at a Waterstone’s, so we were a little concerned we wouldn’t know where to go, but the long queue was clue enough for where we needed to be. Because we didn’t need to pick up copies of either author’s books, we managed to head straight to the seats and find a pair in the front row.

The format of the event was different to anything we’d seen before. Rather than having an interviewer prompting them with questions, Rainbow and Leigh led their own discussion, first telling us about how they first met. It turns out that when Rainbow was writing Carry On, Leigh was writing Six of Crows, and both books were going to have a character called Baz. Of course, in Leigh’s final product, the leader of the crows is Kaz, but it was still fun to hear about this little conflict at the beginning of their relationship.

They went on to discuss the stereotype ideas they had about each other’s writing, but how they really did fall in love with what they ended up reading, so the moral is always don’t judge a book by its genre, or the author’s slightly kooky name.

Unlike any other event, they then took it in turns to help each other act out scenes from their books. Rainbow performed the scene in Carry On where Simon is trying to make Baz admit he’s a vampire, Bella Swan style, and Leigh chose the scene in Crooked Kingdom where Nina is teases Matthias about what ‘barbarian’ means. It was beyond interesting to hear the scenes in the author’s voices, as that’s not something you get to experience often, and definitely helped to illuminate the vibe both authors wanted those scenes to have. The words really came alive, and it made me appreciate scenes I normally wouldn’t pay too much attention too as moments of development between characters.

So after just over an hour of chatter and a Q&A, the signing portion started. We were in the fourth group to be called forward, and you can probably guess the lines were Disney World long. We got chatting to some super lovely ladies, Nabilah and Charlie, about the event and the books and just about anything and that made time fly. So much time had flown in fact that that the library turned off all the lights and we were all cloaked in darkness for fifteen minutes before they were turned back on, saving us from the terror of flash photography.

photo-2Getting to tell Rainbow how much Fangirl meant to us, and how accurate we thought she’d represented twins was amazing and a highlight of the event. Seeing Leigh again was cute too, she was just as quirky and hilarious as before. And although we didn’t get more than a few minutes with each author, we got to say everything we wanted, and the interaction was definitely worth it!

cardsLeigh was also giving away badges and playing cards with the Crows on them: we managed to get my favourite, Inej and Bee’s favourite, Nina by trading Kaz with Nabilah (thank you!!) and overall, we couldn’t stop smiling when we walked away.

So, although we had one heck of a journey to get there, the atmosphere of Worlds Collide fans and aspiring writers was great, as always and the value of signed books will always be worth travelling for! It felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity, and one we were so glad to take!

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Book Signing: Meeting Leigh Bardugo!

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This was the best event ever!

There, summary complete!

Seriously, though, this was the BEST. We only managed to get tickets for the event two days ago, and weren’t even aware that the signing was happening until this week, so it’s been quite a whirlwind adventure of tracking down ‘Six of Crows’ and meeting one of Bee’s favourite, favourite authors.The event was scheduled from three until five o’clock. We had to pay £3 each for the event, but had no idea what was in store (literally, ahah!) We’d met Sarah J Maas earlier in the year, and for that we were allowed one book signed and one dedicated, with no photo ops and only a badge to remember the event by. THIS signing was unlike anything we’d been to before.

photo 1After running around the entire building to try and find just where they’d decided to hide Leigh Bardugo, we eventually made it to the top floor where seats arranged like a mini theatre, with two chairs stationed at the top. We had no idea how exclusive the event was, and we’d guess there were about 30 people there in total. Luckily, we managed to snag seats in the second row, so our view was fantastic! Also, Leigh is incredible at projecting her voice so no one missed anything she said.

The even started with a reading, probably about 4 pages from roughly the middle of Six of Crows giving us a delicious insight into the relationship between Nina and Mathias, and also an example of her Irish accent! Next there was an interview for about an hour, with really intriguing questions that covered the majority of the basics about the book, the Grishaverse and her writing process.

During the interview process, Maddie decided to whip out her phone and take some notes so that we could remember all of the  quirky details and funny stories that Leigh told, so we’ll share a few:

  • [After using the analogy of the boiling pot and the palette] “Everything about my brain is food!”
  • [About her favourite new character from Six of Crows] “Matthias was the easiest to write because he’s a DRAMA queen.” But her favourite character was either Nina or Kaz.
  • She reiterated a few times how much she disliked researching about boats! “I won’t care about boats and I never will!”
  • For Six of Crows she talked to a guy that had worked for the CIA to get information about impenetrable fortresses, which is a key plot point in the new tale.
  • Six of Crows is going to be a duet – we say duet because Leigh said she didn’t like the word duology (“sounds like some kind of body cream” – which is true) – and even though she said she could have written 12 books in the series, she wants to take a break from the Grisha and experiment with other magic systems. Coming next year, she’s written a short story in the new anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins and talked about how fun it was to write a contemporary (“there’s no death?!”)
  • However, she did promise more kissing in Book 2, not to mention some cameo roles of our favourites from the original trilogy!
  • Grisha is pronounced Gree-sha. The ‘Gen’ in Genya is pronounced like ‘gen’ in ‘genesis’
  • She loves a good love/hate relationship, embodied in Nina and Matthias.
  • The inspiration for Shadow and Bone came from when she was staying in the mountains and she’d fallen asleep only to wake up at sunset and all of the lights were off. It was a house unknown to her so she had no idea where the lights were or where to find the knives to protect herself in her panicked state – she wielded her shoe instead! – which got her thinking about what would happen if it was just dark forever and you couldn’t turn on the lights? What would lurk in the dark and why would people go in there if it was so dangerous? And what power would you need to defeat the darkness and thus Alina and the Darkling were born!
  • Leigh said that she was “drawn to deep moments of darkness”, for example what happens to to the villain in fairytales after the story is over?
  • She claimed she would make a terrible spy, would want to be a heartrender and is a Slytherin. (All of the Crows patroness would have fangs, too, apparently!)
  • After writing a particularly difficult or emotional scene, Leigh would write a large chunk of Matthias/Nina banter.
  • Leigh doesn’t write chronologically (necessarily) and likes to outlines although she won’t always know exact details.

Then the floor was open to everyone else to ask questions! But, we’re going to do a separate blog post on all the interesting, writing advice that Leigh gave us!

photo 7photo 4We both got a copy of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows signed. Leigh asked each of us who our favourite characters were from the Grisha trilogy, and personalised the dedications in our copies accordingly! (Isn’t that such a sweet touch? Bee said Alina and I said Nicolai!) The three of us talked about our unusually American names and their origins, our degree as Creative Writing students and who we wanted Alina to end up with at the end of Ruin and Rising. I got to tell Leigh how Bee recommended the series to me, and how it got me into the high fantasy genre, and Bee got to gush a little about Laini Taylor (any opportunity!) I also got a book recommendation from Leigh, and she compared us to Cath and Wren from Fangirl! (Isn’t that the best compliment ever?!!

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Oh gosh, it was genuinely one of the best afternoons of our lives. We’re so pleased we got to take advantage of the opportunity and that we now have a beautiful book to read, Six of Crows. 

T5W: Anticipated 2015 Releases

We’ve previously talked about the Top 15 books we want to read this year, and in that list are a couple of new releases, so we thought we’d think of a couple of others that we’re also super excited for!

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1. Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
Rebel Belle made Maddie’s Top 14 of 2014 and hopefully the second book is just as good if not better. Also, she needs some answers for the HUGE cliff-hanger!

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass
A mix of faeries and fairytale retellings. This is basically the perfect read for both of us, I’ll be reading for the faeries and Maddie will be reading for the Beauty and the Beast intertextuality!

3. The Heir by Kiera Cass
After finishing The Selection Series, we’re excited to see what could possibly happen next, although we have a few concerns that The Heir will end up being a gender bend of The Selection, we still hold out hope.

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4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Bee is super excited to finish the Shadow and Bone Series, and can’t wait for the next fantastical adventure by the same author. The premise sounds incredible and action packed, so what’s not to love?

5. PS. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Although it’s a known fact that we at Heart Full of Books, are not the biggest Jenny Han fans, and weren’t that impressed by To All The Boys I’ve Love Beforethere does seem to be legitimate grounds for a sequel, as the first book felt like a prequel to hopefully something amazing that will happen in this sequel.