Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why Amy Plum Rocks!

A few evenings ago, I was incredibly fortunate enough to meet the lovely Amy Plum, author of DIE FOR ME, and the it's newest sequel, UNTIL I DIE.  While on her Revenants Road Trip, one of her four tour stops was at the beautiful Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington.  And she did not disappoint a bit!

I was already excited to meet her, having left many gushing comments on her Facebook fan page about her upcoming visit (and her kindly taking time to reply).  So, when she arrived and started setting up, I was so happy to finally meet one of my favorite authors (and fawning over her unbelievably awesome boots!)  Even more to my surprise, when she saw me sitting in the front row, she turned, smiled and asked "Hey, are you Lori?" I nearly fell over out of my chair.  But, luckily, I kept my composure, smiled my biggest smile, and got a huge hug from her (yay hugs!)  :D  She even remembered I work in a library and gave me some bookmarks for the students (seriously, Amy is an absolute sweetheart!)
                                                     The lovely Amy Plum talking about writing.

We talked some more before she got her speaking event started.  Needless to say, the whole time I was thinking to myself "I'm talking to Amy Plum!  Amy Plum is chatting with me! She knows my name!"  (I've worked really hard to hide my total uncoolness as much as possible, and it must've worked).  Amy launched into her background in writing, where she got her inspiration for revenants (she wanted to write about a different paranormal creature and found the term revenants in French, which I can't possibly pronounce or spell, and thus was born our fave revenants!)  Vampires are a little overdone in YA/literature in general, and werewolves "drool" (I cracked up at that bit and agree, drool is not sexy!)  I have to say, Amy has got to be the best public speaker I've ever seen, smoothly flowing between stories, being so personable with the crowd, making eye contact with ease.  She even read us all a chapter portion from her newest book, UNTIL I DIE (which is absolutely AMAZING!!! I must blog about this later!!)  I so wish I could speak in public as easily as she can (and dress as beautifully!)
                                                        Reading a chapter from UNTIL I DIE.

During the question and answer session, the crowd had many fantastic questions and Amy's answers were flawless.  I asked her which character she enjoys writing the most, because I think asking a writer which character is their favorite of all is like asking a parent which kid is their favorite (though I guess some may actually be able to answer that with no problem...)  She really likes writing Kate and Georgia the most, and I can completely understand why.  They're such great female leads, strong, loving, and even with their flaws (they're human after all, and flaws are what make us more interesting), they're still champions in my opinion.  She even said parts of them are similar to her, the teenage versions of course (and do I wish I could be as cool as these girls!)  I also asked what she's been reading lately, and she said she really enjoyed Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH.  
                                                                         Amy answering questions from readers.

When it came time for the signing part, everyone was eager to get their books signed.  Amy was so generous to us all, taking time to talk to everyone individually, answering anymore questions, offering writing advice to the aspiring writers in the group (myself, included!) and giving everyone beautiful DIE FOR ME and UNTIL I DIE bookmarks, as well as gorgeous Eiffel Tower bookmarks (I'm still marveling at mine!)  When I finally got through the line to meet Amy (again), she was so incredibly sweet, thanking me for coming (though I can't thank her enough for coming to Lexington!!), signed all my books and gave me extra bookmarks (did I mention how sweet this incredible lady is??)  She graciously took pictures with me and my son, who was utterly charmed by her.  She even took more time to continue chatting with me while signing a stock of books for the bookstore.  I told her about my manuscript, how much I hope to one day to be a published author, and she offered me the kindest, most generous advice and support, more than I could ever hope for. If I could ever become half the writer/speaker/kind-hearted soul that Amy Plum is, I'll be doing incredibly well.
                                              Me, Amy and her fabulous boots!  (I so need a pair!)

I can't say enough great things about meeting Ms. Plum.  I've been lucky enough to meet many wonderful authors, but I can honestly say Amy is the absolute kindest, most generous writer I've ever met.  Really, she's just one of the most thoughtful, caring people I've ever met.  With all she writes in the future, she'll forever have a fan here!  Here's hoping I'll have the chance to meet her again someday.

Meeting Charlaine Harris...again

Last week, I was lucky enough to meet the fantastic Charlaine Harris again.  She had a scheduled event in Lexington, KY, which brought out a crowd of at least 500 fans; the biggest author event I've ever attended.  I had met Ms. Harris last year in Ohio and learned that if you want a good seat at one of her signing events, get there early!  (Which I did- 4 hours early..and front row seats!)

                                     (The crowd, from my vantage point, about half an hour before the event).

Ms. Harris was an absolute delight.  The crowd roared with applause when she came out, cheering, clapping, all much to her surprise.  She spoke briefly, and very humorously, about her new book, DEADLOCKED, the next-to-last book in the incredibly awesome Sookie Stackhouse series.  She then quickly started taking questions, and immediately, dozens of hands shot into the air, fans eagerly hoping to get their questioned answered by Ms. Harris.  There were questions about all her book series, but of course, most asked about Sookie or True Blood (the HBO series that's based on her Sookie Stackhouse novels, for those of you who possibly live under a rock and have never heard of the show).  Even though we were given questions not to ask Ms. Harris before the event (such as, How does the series end? Who does Sookie end up with? Are you Team Eric or Team Bill?) there was the inevitable questioner who asked if Ms. Harris would give a shout-out to Team Eric.  Ms. Harris, being gracious and funny at the same time, explained why she wished no one would be a certain Team Whoever since she feels the books are really about Sookie, not her love interests. 

Afterward, she graciously signed books for everyone.  With the massive number of readers in attendance, I felt a bit sorry for her having to sign her name into hundreds of books (but she's a total professional and could probably handle it all with ease).  I hope I'll get the chance to meet her again someday.

                                                                          (Charlaine answering fan questions).