Posts Categorized: the king’s english

A Night With Author Maggie Stiefvater at The King’s English

10 Oct, 2012 by in author interview, Heather Gardner Photography, maggie stiefvater, scholastic, the king's english, the raven boys 15 comments

Anyone who knows me well knows of my love for two things…books and Maggie Stiefvater‘s writing. I first discovered her writing with the Shiver series in which I bawled like a baby, and then moved on to the Bones of Faerie series which fit my obsession for all things fae. Later I picked up  The Scorpio Races at BEA somewhat dubiously, since it was a standalone about sea horses ( not the nice little harmless ones… no, these are flesh eating horses that come out of the sea) and once again cried my eyes out. So imagine it was no surprise when I squealed like a little girl after I got a copy of The Raven Boys at ALA and saw Maggie walking in the exhibit hall.
Me and Maggie Stiefvater at BEA- Scholastic party
Could I let her pass without making a fool of myself…oh no. Meeting her in a room full of people at the Scholastic Party in NYC was not enough for me…
so I had to or wave her down in Anaheim to simply blurt out “you rock.” But this is oh so different from what happened last night at The King’s English.
The awesomesauce Rachel from TKE set up a cozy little pre-signing blogger meeting with a few of us and THE Maggie Stiefvater. In which we got to sit down and ask her whatever we wanted, armed with our name tags, cameras, front row tickets to the signing and the giddy smiles only book nerds can have. SO what did we talk about…?
Of course we wanted to know about Maggie’s passion, the Mustang Gansey drives in The Raven Boys. Stiefvater said she spent a lot of time on a flatbed as a child with a father who liked to put back together cars that literally had to be towed in pieces. Her dad would “fix them up then move on once he got them running.” She remembers riding in an old Jaguar with the floorboards missing and seeing the road beneath her feet, dragging animals along with them. And her love of cars has carried over into adulthood as Maggie owns her own Mustang, plus is getting her very own Rally license.
Since a fast ride is not enough, Maggie would like to own a helicopter. She’s spent time on tour stops trying to squeeze a helicopter ride into her schedule–perhaps to spot ley lines or the corpse road she described in the Raven Cycle Series. (Her agent isn’t so hot on the idea, ’cause you know she can’t be late to her events) Speaking of agents, hers is David Levathin who will also be coming to The King’s English on October 15th at 7 PM.
But, I digress. We learned Maggie’s favorite book that she has written is The Scorpio Races (which was originally titled Red As The Sea)  and one of her favorite recent reads is When Things Come Back  by Corey Whaley.
An author she absolutely worships? Susan Cooper, whose Dark is Rising series brought Welsh mythology into the modern day. Maggie did a great impression of how star struck and stunned she was to meet Susan Cooper and offer her a hug (which is big coming from a non-hugger Maggie) We were all laughing out loud at the many faces and dramatic antics of Maggie. If you ever have a chance to see her in person, YOU MUST GO.
I asked Maggie about her Bones of Faerie series and if we will get another book….the answer is YES! Requiem (tentatively titled) will come out in Spring of 2014. She’s currently working on The Raven Boys book number 2 which she just cut 25,000 words from. Interestingly enough she cut 90,000 words from Forever.
Her solution to writer’s block is very loud music and deleting. There’s a special folder on her computer labeled “Outtakes” where all the deleted scenes go. (wouldn’t we ALL like to get our hands on that folder?)
The Raven Boys is the first book in a  four book series. She says she’s always wanted to write a four book series “since she was a little maggot.” The plot brings Welsh mythology into her home state of Virginia. (It is one of my favorite reads of 2012 -creepy, atmospheric and magical) Book one features yet another hard core boy like Cole in Forever–a damaged soul with a past.
This was something I was interested in–where does Maggie get these characters? So I asked.
She pulls them from her own past experience and friend’s lives, especially from her college years which were rough. During that time she lost some of her hearing as a professional bag pipe player. 
Maggie’s love of music comes across in her book trailers which she composes the score for and draws herself using acrylic and colored pencil. She is also famous for using a black Sharpie to decorate her guitars.
Her bestselling Shiver series came from a desire to write a bittersweet love story that would make readers cry (she got me on that one!) It was supposed to be about wolves, NOT to be confused with were wolves which she hates. She attributes lots to her critique partners, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff
who “she couldn’t do without.” The three of them collaborated on the book The Curiosities.
So, in short…or long, did this event get chocked up as my all-time favorite at The King’s English? Why yes–yes, it did.

Thanks again to the staff at The King’s English for treating us like royalty.

And to Maggie…THIS made my night
If you would like a signed copy of Maggie’s books, check here at the King’s English site to order.
I’m spreading my Maggie Stiefvater love far and wide and am giving away an ARC of The Scorpio Races and paperback copy of Shiver. US residents 18 or older enter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Lost Saint Launch Party

29 Dec, 2010 by in the king's english, the lost saint 6 comments

Stacks of The Lost Saint ready for check out at King’s English

Bree reading to the audience

Bloggers Cranberry Fries, JenniElyse and Catie S

Answering audience questions

Me with local authors Nichole Giles, Windy Aphayrath and Elana Johnson

Bree siging our ARCs

Copies of The Dark Divine, the first in her trilogy

Me with Brittany, two TwilightMOMS

Last night author Bree Despain and The King’s English bookstore kicked off The Lost Saint with questions and answers, book signings and blue iced sugar cookies. I have to day Bree’s covers are some of my very favorites.

The theme of her launch speech was “sequels are hard.” She spent four years working on The Dark Divine and originally it was written as a tragedy with no ending for a second book. She had only four moths to write the second in the trilogy. The front cover of The Dark Divine was originally something completely different with a girl’s face silhouetted with a moon. Her editor spent three days looking for a new image after no one liked the first cover. The photo for the covers was taken by an Argentine photographer who is up and coming in modern photography. There were only three photos in the series and the third is not usable. So, a new set will be taken for cover three. Bree is hoping the theme for book four will be emerald green.

Bree uses music and writing classes to inspire her book which are currently optioned or a movie. As well, fellow YA writer Sara Zarr was instrumental in supporting her during the process of book two along with her husband and critique group. (who were on hand with TLS blue streaks in their hair)

Here’s some footage of Bree’s speech from my jumpy phone hands

Also, we picked up two bottles of The Lost Saint blue nail polish and some bookmarks to give away to our readers. The nail polish is open to US addresses only as it cannot be shipped outside the United States. The bookmarks are up for grabs internationally. To enter to win fill out this form. Giveway ends January 4, 2011.

Paranormalcy Signing and Giveaway

13 Sep, 2010 by in book giveaway, paranormalcy, the king's english 6 comments

Happy Monday everybody! I have been reading up a storm and have a ton of reviews to write but first a post about the weekend. Saturday I went to the Paranormalcy book signing at the King’s English bookstore with Kiersten White. She is originally from Utah so it was fun to have her introduce some of her friends from her very own High school days, two of whom inspired a scene from Paranormalcy about being blond and needing to wear mascara. During the question and answer session we learned:
  • Paranormalcy was not the first book she pitched. She wrote another which got rejected over and over before going back to re-edit and submit Paranormalcy. If at first you don’t succeed writers try try again.
  • She loves reading contemporary YA and middle grade books
  • Supernaturally is the name of book #2 in the series. Due to be released around April of next year. It’s about Evie and life where she gets a lot of the things she’s always wanted but realizes life is still hard. We’ll learn a lot about Evie’s past and enter the faerie realms. A new character named Jack is introduced, Kiersten’s all -time character to write
  • Kiersten draws many of her paranormal creatures from traditional folklore. One of her favorites is the hag who sits on people’s chests and makes it so they can’t wake up or drags them into the water. She also loves the Pixies and kelpies of European mythology
  • You’ll never see a love triangle in her books. She did not intend Paranormalcy to be a love triangle. She also thinks as a storyteller it’s important to have a resolution and ending to each of her books.

Kiersten has a super fun and bubbly personality. It was so fun to meet her and she even tweeted all of us who came to thank us.

There were at least 20 Utah authors including Emily Wing Smith, Sheralynn Pratt, Bree Despain, Nichole Giles in attendance. And we spotted two other Utah book bloggers : Cranberryfries and Emsreadingroom. Thanks to The Kings English for having such well planned events!

Just for our blog followers (old and new) we are giving away an author signed hardback copy of Paranormalcy to U.S. readers. Please fill in the form here

Contest ends October 13, 2010.

Bree Despain’s Launch Party

04 Jan, 2010 by in Heather Gardner Photography, Matthew Kirby, paranormal YA fiction, the Dark Divine, the king's english, The Six, utah authors 2 comments

Bree and I…she is just beautiful!
Saturday Bree Despain hosted her launch party for the Dark Divine at The King’s English bookstore in Salt Lake City. I arrived at 3:05, five minutes late, and had to wait in line two rooms away from where Bree was reading. They finally let us in and we found a seat on the floor where it was standing room only…and we still didn’t all fit! Spotted in the crowd were Sara Zarr, author of “Once Was Lost,” Brodi Ashton author of “Echo,” Emily Wing Smith author of “The Way He lived”, AmyO administrator of TwilightMOMS, Bree’s writing buddies “the Six”, Bree’s husband and two sons as well as Matthew Kirby of the 10-ers.
Bree read to us all from The Dark Divine where Grace tells her family she accidentally ran into Daniel, the dark main character of the book. She explained to us how she named the book with the help of her six writing friends’ vote after originally pondering the title “Daniel Divine.” She shared writing and editing tips with fellow aspiring authors in the crowd and updated us on how the sequel is coming along. It is obvious from Bree’s reported life schedule that her family comes first and her husband is very supportive of her writing.
After the reading we all filed in line for purple frosted crescent moon cookies and a chance to get our purple Dark Divine nail polish. Bree was kind to each of her guests and personable. She is very approachable and friendly. The owner of the King’s English, Anne Holman congratulated Bree saying “We have hosted a lot of very famous authors here at the store and Bree just blew them away!” They sold out of all copies of The Dark Divine to guests at the signing. Congratulations to Bree on her great launch! Pick up the Dark Divine, you won’t be able to put it down. Scroll down on the blog for our five star review as well as TDD journals and jewelry.

Brodi Ashton and Cam Ballou, guests and friends of Bree

Here are Bree’s upcoming events as listed on her website

“1. On January 5th, I will be the special quest on the “Book and a Chat” show on You can listen online, and even call in and ask me questions.

2. On January 6th, is hosting a group chat in honor of TDD. Come chat with us and ask me your questions.

3. I’ll be doing a reading and signing at the West Jordan (Jordan Landing) Barnes & Noble on January 16th at 2pm.

4. I’ll be participating in an Authorpalooza at the Sandy B&N on February 6th. This is a great opportunity to meet several local authors at once, and pick up great V-day gifts for your friends and family.

5. On February 13th I will be signing books at the Orem B&N. Come get a signed TDD for the special someone in your life–just in time for Valentine’s day.”