The weather in Chapel Hill was horrific on Wednesday. Rain was pouring down, the entire county was under a tornado watch, and there was a collective reluctance to take one step further from car to bookstore than absolutely necessary–not that I can blame them. Even I took some *ahem* creative license with parking so I wouldn’t have to face the overflow lot across the street. But Flyleaf Books was warm and welcoming once I finally dashed through the rain to get there. I picked up my preorder, accepted the complimentary goodie bag, and found a seat. There were a surprising amount of people there, for the weather. But the Tour De Force of Roshani Chokshi, S. Jae-Jones, and the great Renee Ahdieh herself was enough to make even my creative parking job worth it.
Diversity, strong women and the proper way to eat hot cheetos: an evening at Flyleaf Books with Roshani Chokshi, S. Jae-Jones, and Renee Ahdieh
Em and I have met Renee Ahdieh more times than we can count on one one hand–and we saw Roshani Chokshi less than two months ago at this same bookstore. But the thrill of an author event never wears off–as was shown by the loud applause when the three authors swooped in. And the authors looked just as excited, with Renee even having nails that matched her book. They (and I) were there to celebrate the recent release of Flame in the Mist, which is #3 on the New York Times list. But I was also excited to see Roshani and ‘JJ’ (S. Jae-Jones) talk about their works.
Renee started the conversation off with a favorite go-to: What is the wackiest thing that any of the authors had done in the name of research? She cited, for instance, the previously discussed Kitchen Fire incident and how she and Sabaa Tahir are going to learn how to make katanas from a famous swordsmith somewhere in the Pacific Northeast. When the other authors hesitated, she tried to egg them on (c’mon, no shame–I’m already on a watchlist because my last name has two ‘h’s). But to no avail–both Roshani and JJ said that research was less wacky than necessary in their eyes. Roshani did admit to once sneaking into a San Tropez club by posing as an Arabian princess, though.
They then continued on to the topic of Hogwarts Houses, spurred on by the declaration that JJ was the most dangerous (to be fair, she was using a lollipop roughly as a villain might use a cigar the entire time). They talked about how it was to write characters with opposing personalities to themselves–JJ especially said she wanted to strangle her protagonist Liesl through the computer screen sometimes. But there were also interesting tidbits about how the characters came about–for instance, the protagonist of Flame in the Mist had Hermione as inspiration.
As could be expected, the topic then turned to food. This may have been because none of the authors had eaten dinner, but Renee asked what snacks were necessary to the writing process. JJ admitted to needing twizzlers and iced coffee in order to write, although she doesn’t like sugar (aside from lollipops) at any other time. When pushed, Renee admitted ‘I just really like cheese, guys’. She then made the claim ‘all asians like hot cheetos’, which neither Roshani or JJ could dispute (also, all of the smart people eat cheetos with chopsticks, apparently). Roshani, however, had the most horrifying writerly snack–she admitted to eating plain coffee grounds while writing, which made her look more than a little deranged. Fortunately, all agreed that the writerly uniform of ‘yoga pants just respectable enough to wear to the mailbox’ (a quote from JJ), accommodated a little strangeness.
When things came time for the Q&A, however, things got a little less silly and *very* interesting. The first girl asked how all of the authors balanced writing historical characters, and also writing feminist characters. The conclusion the authors came to was that there have always been strong women, even constrained by their historical circumstances, who still managed to do great things. Renee cited Mulan and the historical figure Ching Shih as inspiration for strong non-European female figures, and also pointed out that only women characters had to be specifically written as strong–male characters are seen as strong by default. But Renee also said that there are different forms of strength, a strong theme in Flame in the Mist.
The next question was even more of a whammy: How to write successfully from a diverse perspective? (the girl who asked said that she had been told by someone that writing from her own perspective of a black woman was not ‘relevant’, a statement that had all of the writers bristling). As they pointed out, after all, all of the writers were culturally diverse and wrote across their own culture and other cultures. Renee said that the best way to write diverse novels was to be responsible–responsible in research, responsible to every aspect of your writing, and responsible to the various elements of that culture. She said to always think about different perspectives and lenses, and to learn from criticism–no one’s experience is alike, after all, even if the they hail from the same culture. JJ followed with an amendment to the ‘write what you know’ rule: write what you know to be true.
Someone else asked which strong female characters, historical or otherwise, the authors found inspirational. Roshani gushed about her adoration of the Empress Theodora, who rose from ‘actress’ to Empress and was by many accounts quite successful. Renee took the opportunity to point out that the whiff of prostitution had been used to cheapen strong women or diminish their achievements. She pointed out that Ching Shih had also been cited as being an ‘actress’, for example. She also talked about how her inspiration, Cleopatra, is known only as a seductress despite documentation of her immense intelligence and achievements. JJ continued by pointing out that Hatshepsut, another Egyptian queen, had only been able to maintain power by employing masculine symbols. However, JJ said that there were numerous trailblazers who were ignored simply because they weren’t white men, citing the Chevalier de Saint-Georges as a contemporary and equal to Mozart who history had conveniently forgotten.
There were the usual questions that pop up at these events as well, of course. Someone asked about what plate each author would be, and then there was the usual ‘what advice do you have for aspiring authors’ (answer: tenacity). We learned about Renee’s obsession with flying mythological beasts. Roshani laughed about having to convince her parents she really was dropping out of law school to write, not because she was pregnant (the writerly browsing of baby name sites did NOT help). Roshani did, however, let slip that all of her character names are ‘dead giveaways’ to importance/traits, and Renee admitted Kenshin was named after a certain anime show. She also told us the title of the sequel to Flame in the Mist (unfortunately, she swore us all to secrecy over it). All authors agreed they had no plans or desire to revisit early unpublished works, but were all VERY vague when someone asked about the stories that they most desperately wanted to write.
We then circled around to the idea of original stories–when someone asked about trends in YA, Renee said they were all far more organic than they seemed, and referenced Christopher Booker’s thesis that there are only seven plots that exist, it’s just your own flair that makes yours original. When asked about the tropes/plots they keep going back to, Renee said that the Chinese epic the Romance of the Three Kingdoms had always been a source of inspiration. Roshani confessed to liking Bluebeard/Beauty and the Beast stories, and S. Jae-Jones said she enjoyed the Death and the Maiden trope (readers of Wintersong and the Star-Touched Queen already knew this).
Finally it was time for the signing, which was neatly organized depending on whether you had bought a book from the bookstore or not. The calling of groups was, however, made worth it by a special treat–someone in Renee’s family had arranged for homemade Flame in the Mist-themed macarons to be present at the signing, and they were DELICIOUS. Renee once again recognized me, and even smiled indulgently as I scooped up multiple copies of the stylized character cards. I then stopped to chat with Roshani, who was an absolute doll and signed something for me even though I already had her signed books at home.
Laden down with books and swag and stuffing a chocolate macaron into my face, I felt happy even as I walked back out into the driving rain.
Let’s face it, it’s been a sucky week. My car broke down, Em had to fetch me, there was an abundance of schoolwork on top of everything. Fortunately, there was one beam of sunshine this week, and that was the Roshani Chokshi/Ryan Graudin event at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.
Retinol Death and Wringing the Writer:
an evening with Roshani Chokshi and Ryan Graudin at Flyleaf Books
It helped that Em showed up at my workplace with a magnificent Southern picnic, bless. The only downside was that she was a tad bit late to the event, whooshing into Flyleaf after Ryan and Roshani had started their discussion. The good news is, they were discussing Beauty and the Beast. Not Emma Watson, more how it was a timeless fairy tale and the inspiration for The Star-Touched Queen. They flitted around the different versions of Beauty and the Beast, such as Bluebeard, as she slipped in and found her seats (one chair for her and the other for the books, of course). Of course, Ryan’s hair being the color it is, blue came up naturally. This was made better when Roshani admitted that her college major had been 14th-century English Literature, because it was basically fairy tales.
Because the town of Chapel Hill naturally inspires these things, the topic soon turned to the South. As a denizen of this region, I’ve always thought that the open gentility and masked darkness makes this area a fascinating one. Roshani and Ryan both agreed. Ryan described the South, especially Charleston, as a place of great beauty. But she added it was a Miyazaki-esque beauty, quirky and almost creepy. It would be, she added, an inspiration for her internal gothic novel. Roshani, in contrast, said that the South taught her how to write genteel monsters, who would offer the enemy a glass of sweet tea before eviscerating him. There was also (naturally) some talk of Gone with the Wind. It was easy to see where both of them, especially Roshani, could draw a beautiful darkness from that work.
The conversation turned to writing, also. Roshani made a joke wishing that writing was more wringing the writer than anything else, squeezing out the kernels of a story in order to get the book and then put them together. Roshani said that rather than Athena, springing fully formed from her father’s head, a story was more like Dionysis or Sisyphus–a slow, painful growth that eventually turned into something recognizable.
The conversation also turned towards travel, with Ryan citing travel as inspiration for parts of her novels. Ryan said that parts of Wolf by Wolf, such as the fight on bamboo rafts, took place in a Chinese village she had visited once. The Walled City was inspired by her experience with volunteer tourism and poverty. Roshani said that her story was essentially ‘fan fiction mythology’. But she said that she wrote the story of Maya in order to cement her ownership over Hindu mythology. As a biracial person who had learned old legends secondhand, almost, she felt the need to claim them. And maybe waggle her finger in the air a little, her thumbs stuck to her temples.
When they started talking about their novels, Ryan said that her favorite character was Imogen from her upcoming novel Invictus, for her dreaminess and tendency towards flightiness. Of course, since Invictus hasn’t been published yet, she cited Luka as her favorite from a published work. (Invictus, by the way, was described as “Doctor Who meets Firefly, plus some heists thrown in’–so it sounds right up my alley). Roshani also spent some time talking about her new book series, Gilded Wolves. She described it as Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones–only set in the Belle Epoque, specifically 1881. The book has colonialism and appropriation as a major theme, which led to a discussion of when there’s an exchange and when there’s simply a robbery of cultural identity. For instance, part of the Gilded Wolves plot is that the European characters take forged cultural objects from the conquered natives and use them to amass power.
The usual question of writing tips came up afterwards, although Roshani and Ryan gave some, er, interesting answers. Roshani’s tip was to invest in Retinol, because you’ll be scowling at your computer a lot. Ryan’s sage advice was ‘every book is a new death’–which sounds more depressing on page than it did coming out of her mouth.
Another question someone asked was for book recommendations. Monstress, Done Dirt Cheap, The Hate U Give, and Strange the Dreamer were rapidly thrown out (for our thoughts on Strange, come back next week!). Saga was also a recommended read, although Roshani advised not to read it around parents. This is advice that I could have used when starting it, honestly.
The highlight of the evening was when, in the book-signing line, Roshani recognized Bibliobibuli from our Twitter–specifically, our review of The Star-Touched Queen and the accompanying mini-movie-thing. It was a great boost to our respective egos, and the first thing I heard when answering Em’s phone call (imagine me holding the phone slightly away from my ear as she screamed ‘ROSHANI REMEMBERED US’).
Of course, the undoubted second highlight was when Em kidnapped me and dictated the evening at Flyleaf to me as I wrote, chained to my keyboard.
*update: I’m not really kidnapped. Plus I got pie.*
*Further update: Emily didn’t tell me to write that part either.*
*No. Really. I swear.*
*yet another update: the pie got taken away.*
I-40 during Rush Hour is practically guaranteed to put me in a bad mood. It’s not totally clogged, or at least not enough to make it reasonable to find another route. It’s just…slow-moving, to the point of painful. Even at 6:00, on my way to an event at Quail Ridge books at 7, it’s slow enough to make me annoyingly not-early. That, having to double back to apartment because I thought I’d forgotten my phone (it was in my purse) was making me do what Emily calls my ‘murder walk’ on my way in. It’s almost enough to make me swear off Quail Ridge Books, only they keep pulling great YA authors like Marie Lu in to speak.
Who would YOU pair Adelina with, or my meeting with Marie Lu
My mood didn’t magically dissipate when I walked in–I could hear that Marie Lu was already speaking, and it sounded as if the event had been going on for a little while, but I couldn’t sit because I had to pick up mine and Em’s books. And yet, as I was standing in line, tapping my feet in annoyance, I heard Marie Lu musing on ‘people I’d ship Adelina with…hmmm…the Darkling, maybe?’ That was as good a way as any to lift my spirits.
I got my books and slipped into a seat near the back as Marie Lu finished telling us why Adelina and the Darkling would be a good/horrible mix. I had the Legend series in my bag, and my brand-new copy of Midnight Star cradled in my arms, along with Em’s brand-new copy of Midnight Star.
I sat down in time to hear the conversation shift to Marie Lu’s newly announced book, Warcross, which was exciting. Em had mentioned she had a new book/series/thing coming out, but I hadn’t heard any details. It was exciting to sit and listen to Marie Lu describe it in her own words, especially since I didn’t know anything about it.
Warcross is described on Goodreads as ‘two teenage bounty hunters are hired by a young billionaire to catch a hacker in the world’s most phenomenally popular virtual reality video game’, and is expected to be published in 2017. Marie Lu added that it was set approximately ten years in the future, and that fans of the Legend series could expect it to bear more than a passing resemblance to Antarctica. (For people who haven’t read the Legend series, it’s a world that basically functions like a real-life version of the Sims). She also mentioned it’s something of a tribute to her love of video games, and that it’s the only first draft she didn’t hate writing.
Her new DC Comics book also came up. Again, Em had mentioned something about YA authors being recruited to write novels that tie into comics/movies, but I didn’t know that Marie Lu was in on the plan. She talked about how she’d decided to write about a young Bruce Wayne coming into his billionaire inheritance, which sounded VERY cool. She also dropped hints that it was going to heavily involve a special inmate of Arkham Asylum, for those who actually know the Batman storyline. Later, in the Q&A, she talked about how difficult it was to balance between writing her own story and writing a DC Comics story.
What I enjoy about the Quail Ridge Books events is that the Q&A is long enough that everyone feels satisfied, while not being too long. Especially this time, the questions were often quite interesting. There were questions about the books, like what Marie Lu imagined Day and June doing nowadays or whether there really was an alternate ending to The Midnight Star. But more of the questions were directed towards Marie Lu as a person/author, which I appreciated. It was as if the teens in the audience really wanted to try and reach her as a person, not just as someone who wrote the books they loved. And she answered each question thoughtfully and at length. She also took care to make sure as many people as possible could ask questions.
Finally one of the Teen Board members announced that the Q&A was closing, and that we should all get in line for the book signing. We did so, me somehow managing to balance five books. I wasn’t that far back in the line, but it still took a while to get my books signed. Marie Lu was very engaged with her readers, answering questions, making small talk and moving around for pictures and selfies. She even signed some fan art of Adelina that a girl had made. While I appreciated this as a reader, it was difficult to wait in line–fortunately, it was made easier by a very entertaining toddler. I only wish I were less shy and tongue-tied, or that I’d had the courage to mention how much I liked her boots (excellent taste in shoes seems to be a trait of YA authors).
That being said, I left with my head held high, in my own excellent boots and the knowledge that every single Marie Lu book on my shelf was now signed.
I was in a no-good, very bad mood Tuesday afternoon. I had missed the bus back from class that would have made me early, and the bus that would have at least gotten me back to my apartment on time didn’t show up. (I have a suspicion that the transport system is designed to defeat me at every turn). I double-checked my route to Raleigh, and found out that it was 10 minutes longer than I thought it would be, due to a slowdown on I-40. I searched my apartment for snacks, or even decent sandwich supplies, and found a few cashews. Thus armed, I set out for Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh.
Two Authors and a Bookstore
Why was I driving through rush-hour traffic to Raleigh, one might ask? Why was I going to this particular bookstore? Oh, well, there was a simple answer. Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger, and Sabaa Tahir, author of Ember in the Ashes and the brand-new Torch Against the Night, were going to be speaking and signing books. Emily and I had plans to meet there–because neither of us can resist a signed book, and we had a suspicion that a night with these two authors would be highly enjoyable.
I met Em there, both of us about 15 minutes later than we planned on being–but we still had plenty of time. We grabbed Em’s books, plus the ones she was getting signed for a friend, and found seats a few rows back from the front, my mood improving as we sat there. We took the time to people-watch, noting however that most of the crowd was comprised of young-ish females (although, it must be noted, the crowd wasn’t exclusively so). Mostly, though, we waited for the moment when Sabaa Tahir and Renee Ahdieh would make their appearance. They emerged at 7, with only one small thing knocked over.
I honestly hadn’t been sure how the talk would go, but I found myself very much enjoying it. It was clear from the outset that they were both very good friends, in a vaguely goofy yet totally relatable way. The digressions on food were hilarious, and I loved how easily they bantered back and forth. Not surprisingly, both were also excellent storytellers. They were able to easily and skilfully build the picture of how Renee’s kitchen almost caught fire, or the awkwardness of Sabaa’s meeting with George RR Martin. They bounced from topic to topic in a way that wasn’t set, or stilted, but entirely organic, and I loved it.
I also really appreciated the emphasis on research. For all the wisecracks about how in Fantasy you can just make stuff up, it was clear that both Sabaa and Renee had a passion for making every aspect of their worlds as real as they could make it. Renee talked about making all of the Persian dishes mentioned in her books, Sabaa gushed about a katana-making class she was going to be taking, and Renee gave us all a mini-lecture about how high heels were created by mounted archers in the Middle East to give them a more stable foothold when standing and firing arrows. Both of them clearly LOVED to know things, and my heart swelled two sizes in solidarity.
The night ended with a quick Trivia game and then an open forum for questions. Kudos to the small child who apparently had both Ember and Torch memorized (Sabaa: YOU are AWESOME). But there were also numerous questions about the writing process, including the standard ‘advice for aspiring authors’ question. Sabaa Tahir answered in a typical manner: Read everything you can, don’t give up, but then she also said something about ‘don’t ever get complacent’ (I’m paraphrasing). Basically, don’t get all hurt and offended all the times your book gets rejected or something doesn’t work out. Put on your big-girl (or boy, or whatever) panties (or thong, briefs, boy shorts, or pants if you’re British or just like going commando) and deal with it. Which, honestly, I find to be refreshing advice. It’s a lot like ‘never give up’, only it leaves out the petulant obstinacy when things go well, and focuses on making things go better.
And then, of course, there was the book signing, wherein I had both Sabaa and Renee sign my books, and I got novelty bookmarks, and also a poster with a map of the Empire on it. Renee also remembered Em from a previous book signing, which blew me away. I mean, how many thousands of faces has she seen lined up in front of her? That gesture made me, as a fan, feel hugely appreciated, and more than a little touched on Em’s behalf. I came away feeling very happy with both Sabaa and Renee, and also with Quail Ridge Books. They put on a great event, and from the calendar I got it looks like they’ll be having a few more good events down the line!
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The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
By: Marie Lu Continue reading
Now, Summer is a wonderful time of year for a number of reasons…the warm weather, the fact that a lot of places put their feet up and relax…and, of course, there is no better time for the average book lover. While the typical pose for book-reading is curled up in a chair with some tea and a blanket (preferably while it’s raining or snowing outside), I would like to present the case that summer is, in fact, the best time for book lovers.
1) The Great Outdoors
I love reading inside as much as the next person, but there is a special allure to expanding my space for reading. When I’m home, I set up a chaise lounge in the front lawn and read to my heart’s content. This year, I have high hopes for the ENO hammock that a dear friend bought me as a graduation present. There is nothing quite as wonderful as reading in the warm sun while a breeze gently blows through your hair.
2) The Time
While this year I have a 9-to-5 (well, 8-to-5) job, in past years I’ve made summer a prime time for relaxing. This mostly means the opportunity to read all the books I’ve wanted to read, but couldn’t, over the course of the year. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll take a try tackling my Goodreads to-read list. Of course, it’s also a perfect time to reread the Harry Potter series, or some equally time-consuming task.
3) The Books
Especially for those who don’t have a chance to read throughout the year, vacation time is also prime time for book-buying and book-reading. I mean, what else are you going to do under your umbrella at the beach, gawk at the beautifully bare-chested men? This is a perfect excuse to buy all the books you want to buy–just mosey on past the James Patterson beach-reads section and feel free to read what you want to read! Or, if James Patterson beach reads are your thing, read them unabashedly.
4) The Book Money
Em and I tend to work at least part-time during the summers…and, since we’re lucky enough to have wonderful parents, that money tends to go into book-buying funds (or travel funds, or whatever). Anyways, point being, summer jobs are not only good for the resume, they’re good for the book fund. And, if it’s your money, you can spend or save it any way you want. Like on books.
5) The Library
For those of you who don’t have book funds, or summer jobs, there’s an equally fantastic opportunity at hand–your local public library! I used to go to the library every few days during the summer, not only because I could, but because the local library had a great selection of YA that I loved browsing through. Especially if you want your book purchases to count, the library is a good place to go. The librarians tend to be able to steer you towards some really wonderful books if you ask, or you can pick a book from the shelf at random without worrying if you’re going to regret your purchase later.
6) The Back Porch
The wonderful thing about being from the South is knowing that, no matter where you might happen to be, there’s a porch close by–ideally screened-in and with a porch swing, or at least some extremely comfy lounging furniture. Sweet tea is optional. Is there any better place to read a book than on the back porch on a warm summer’s evening? Nope. There is not.
7) The Neapolitan
Every year right around this point, I’d pull out my chaise lounge and bikini and try to tan. And, inevitably, my mom would snicker about my ‘neapolitan’ legs–I’d inevitably grab a book to read while tanning, and then just as inevitably stay on my back and keep reading the entire day, leading to legs that were tan on the front and pasty on the back. This year, I plan to own it–who says anything has to be one color, anyways?
8) The Drinks
The book-lover knows that, when curled up in an instagrammable pose reading over the winter, coffee, tea or maybe hot chocolate is the only drink for a good binge-read. In the summer, our choices are far more varied. Southern-style sweet tea pairs perfectly with a romance on the porch, or maybe try some orange juice and sparkling water when reading an elegant fantasy novel in the sun. Over 21? Try a chilled beer with a gritty action novel, or maybe sangria for a more magical story.
9) The Unabashed Reading
Maybe you have a secret love of paranormal romance. Or maybe you want to actually read that classic you just got the sparknotes for in high school. Go for it! One thing I love about summer is that, unlike the rest of the year when people at least pretend to be focused on jobs and schoolwork, summer you’re expected to relax. Summer isn’t just for fancy vacations and iced coffee–it’s a time to treat yourself in any way that you feel like, and a good book can be the perfect treat, no matter what it is.
10) The Camaraderie
Since Em and I go to school in different places, summer is usually the only time we’re able to really spend time together. While we’re still going to be in different places over the summer, we plan on making the most of the time we do have to hang out. But hanging out with friends doesn’t have to mean an endless round of coffee shops or tanning–why not swap books, or talk about all the pros and cons of that one MC in that one series. Or just spend an afternoon reading together? I promise you, it’ll be an afternoon well spent.
We here at Bibliobibuli YA have a rather long bookish Christmas list. However, we are heathens so will probably be receiving none of the following.
Some of these things may not possible.
Also, we are poor and so are all our friends. And our parents laugh at us if we ask for more bookishness and say silly, nonsensical things, like “You already have a lot of book things, you do not need more.”
They are obviously liars or our real parents were abducted by aliens.
The point being, we made a list and want everything on it.
So, happy holidays lovely readers. Go forth and celebrate this unusually warm winter season in the best way you deem possible.
Hello, dear readers!
In anticipation of YALLfest, which is in a week from now, Emily and I have decided to share some tips we’ve learned from two (one) year(s) of going, and also some common-sense ideas which we try to apply to our own trip. Hopefully these help, or at least infuse you with deep, deep envy at the fact that we’re going to be in Charleston next week. Continue reading
Hello, faithful readers!
We keep up with this blog because we love stories, and you presumably read our blog because you also love stories–funny how that works, isn’t it? And, because October is generally seen as kind of a creepy month, stories just abound. It’s a time when we can pretend that the supernatural elements we love to read about can be glimpsed in the world around us…and, if we’re lucky, they might not think we’re lunch.
We here at Bibliobibuli, then, thought that the perfect way to celebrate Halloween was to share our very own scary story with you–enjoy!
Here is a story.
Once upon a time, there were two girls goofing off during AP History. I mean, they weren’t supposed to be goofing off, but it was ridiculously easy when thirty kids were literally crammed into the classroom–oh, and on top of that, this was the first year of the Laptops. They gave all of us old Dell computers and said we HAD to use them in class, can you believe it? (I have no idea if this is still a thing, they might have actually gotten wise by now).
So, maybe you don’t know about YALLfest. It’s nothing to be ashamed about–I didn’t either, up until about this time two years ago. However, if you don’t know, this is the perfect time to look it up and then plan to go down to Charleston November 13-14.
If you haven’t guessed, that’s where Emily, myself and perhaps a few others plan to be that weekend. Why? Oh, only to meet our favourite authors, get our favourite books signed, and report back to you, dear readers, about everything you missed by not going to YALLfest. But, to convince you to go, we’re going to spend most of the rest of the time reminding you of all the reasons why we, personally, are looking forward to it.