Thanks so much to Penguin Teen for allowing me to feature the fabulous ladies on the Spring 2017 Penguin Teen tour, or #Slaydies as they like to be referred to!
This event was definitely a highlight for me on a rainy and dreary North Carolina Monday. It’s been about two years since I last visited Quail Ridge Books, and the last time I was there it was a much smaller place, and their new (to me) location is absolutely gorgeous with it’s red walls and spacious floor plan. Also, I totally loved walking around prior to the arrival of the #Slaydies and discovering the goodies they have on their shelves. I totally found an original vinyl of LET IT BLEED by the Rolling Stones! Seriously, if you are going to visit Raleigh, you need to make the North Hills Shopping Center and Quail Ridge Books one of your first stops.
Apparently this was the first official panel at Quail Ridge, according to Nancy, who was hosting! So that made this even more special. The floor was packed with the members of the Quail Ridge Teen Board, the lovely and large family of Natalie C. Anderson (who is a fellow NC Lady!), some fellow long distance drivers (*waves to Zoey!*), and some local readers.
Nancy started the event off with forty-five minutes of panel discussion with Alwyn, Renee, Natalie, and Lesley. I think my favorite question of these was definitely how the main characters from their novels would get along and how they’d pull off a heist Ocean’s Eleven style. Amani and Shazi, per Alwyn and Renee, respectively, would rush in guns blazing, as it were without a proper plan, whereas Tina would be judging them for not creating a proper plan, and Fallon would just be wanting to figure out when the fighting would take place. I’d seriously watch this movie…maybe a crossover would be a fabulous idea?! *wishes*
After this the crowd was able to ask some questions and they were excellent! First we had the “what kind of plate would you be” question, which, I think everyone would want to be a giant plate for ALL of the food, although I have to agree with Alwyn and say that I’d want to have one of those plates that are shaped like a book. (They are REAL!)
I think everyone agreed on which character of theirs would survive the Hunger Games, most definitely the Celtic Gladiatrix, Fallon.
My personal favorite question was my own (I mean, Duh), which was: Since all four novels feature such fierce female characters, what would each be doing in light of the women’s movement today? See Video for all four answers!
The next question was what kind of advice they would give to aspiring authors and what they learned from the process.
Things we learned here:
-Alwyn wrote 6 full novels before even querying Rebel of the Sands
-Renee has almost 200 rejections to her name
-Natalie was given an office that looked like Hogwarts (so fancy)
-Lesley insisted to “not let the bastards get you down.”
-Three of the Four #Slaydies were published off of cold querying, so don’t give up!
After this we were able to get all of our books signed by the Slaydies and chances to chat with them all individually. If you haven’t picked up a copy of any of these ladies’ books, go grab copies now!
Thank you so much to Alwyn, Renee, Natalie, and Lesley for such a fabulous evening and to Penguin Teen for having me cover the event! Keep an eye out for my interview with Lesley Livingston about The Valiant and my 5 Bard review of the book as well!