February 7, 2013

Pitch Dark: Dark Days Tour


A few weeks ago, I learned that the Pitch Dark: Dark Days Tour would be making a stop in a city near me. Each leg of the tour has a different set of authors, and I was pumped that I'd read and loved books from all four of the authors visiting Georgia! The fabulous ladies who stopped in at the Little Shop of Stories were: Brodi Ashton (Everneath / Everbound), Cynthia Hand (Unearthly / Hallowed / Boundless), Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me / Unravel Me) and Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky / Through the Ever Night). Y'all, is this not an incredible line-up of authors?!

I'd actually never been to Little Shop of Stories before, but I loved the unique setting. It's an independent bookstore dedicated mostly the children's books. While they've cultivated a selection of adult books, the focus is definitely on little minds and their imaginations. I really enjoyed getting to explore the store for a while before the event began!

The event started with each author giving an elevator pitch for their series, and then came the meat of the signing. Prompted by the moderator, the authors answered questions about why they decided to write in the Young Adult genre, how they started writing, the role of love triangles in their novels, the writing and editing process and more.

Photo from @PitchDarkDays - and that's me (my hand) as I talk Team Tucker!
My favorite thing from Brodi Ashton was her answer to why she wrote for young adults. She noted that "there is no time in your life where you feel things so completely" and how she wanted to be able to write for that kind of emotional response.

I loved hearing about how Cynthia Hand originally started writing literary fiction but changed direction after falling in love with young adult books. She also talked about the way she begins with an idea of the vision in each book, but they often change and take a different shape than she expected as she goes along. 

Interestingly, she mentioned that she didn't think of her book as having a love triangle because she always knew how things would shake out. At one point she said that she "always knew where Clara's heart belonged." I haven't finished Boundless yet, but that totally sounds like Team Tucker for the win. Want another shocker? She planned to kill off one of the two guys in Hallowed! It was the reaction from her editorial team that finally made her reconsider that decision.

Both Brodi and Cynthia were so lovely and signed bookmarks for me. I read Everneath, Unearthly, Hallowed and (am reading) Boundless on my Kindle so I didn't have a books with me to sign. I also forgot to get pictures with them because I spent too long talking about Team Tucker with Cynthia (and got a high five from Brodi for my team choice). They were delightful, and it was so amazing to meet them both!


Tahereh Mafi may have been my favorite author on the panel for to the discussion portion of the evening. She had such fascinating answers and was totally hilarious! She spoke about being a lifelong reader but never imagining that she could write a book.

I really identified with her when she talked about rediscovering the world of fiction after college. She mentioned feeling like she needed to be academic and lost the joy of reading for fun. She said that she forgot what it was like to read a book just to enjoy it and talk about it with her friends. I know exactly what she means - college can really dampen your love for reading!

When asked why she wanted to write for YA, she mentioned that "readers of young adult are open to so many more possibilities." I loved the way she expressed herself in that moment, and I knew exactly what she meant about how there's more to explore in young adult fiction.

The audience couldn't stop laughing when she mentioned that she gets a little concerned when people say they love Warner after only reading the first book. She mentioned that she knows there are more layers to Warner but doesn't think they are obvious after Shatter Me so she worries about people who are attracted to him based on that book alone. I completely agree with Tahereh!

Interestingly, she was the first one to mention that she doesn't see her book as a love triangle (later echoed by Cynthia Hand). She said that she knows exactly who Juliette ends up with it and thinks it's pretty obvious. Hmm...

When I got to Tahereh in line, I talked her ear off about my fear of turning Team Warner in book two. She told me that I needed to get back to her after reading Destroy Me and Unravel Me and let her know where I stood. And then I babbled some more about loving her book and being turned off by the strikethroughs at first and then totally loving them. I'm sure I said more but I can't even remember what because I was just too excited!


I brought Shatter Me with me from home and waited for the signing to buy Unravel Me. It was so fun to be able to meet Tahereh on her book's birthday - what an exciting day for her! I haven't had a chance to read Unravel Me yet, but I can't wait to dive in! (And how awesome is Tahereh's handwriting?!)


Finally, the gorgeous Veronica Rossi! Seriously, y'all, she's even prettier in person than on the back of the book. And so nice, too! I read both Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night on my Kindle, so I ended up just taking the first book to the signing. Oh the angst of trying to decide what to do for a signing if you read the book on your Kindle!

Veronica actually wanted to write for young adult because she wanted to tell a coming-of-age story. Well, that was her mature answer. She then added that it's also because she is "perpetually between 13 and 17 mentally" and has that maturity level. I loved that answer! Too funny!

I loved when she talked about how the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspired her with the idea of a stable love triangle - Roar, Perry and Aria. Roar and Perry are good friends, as are Roar and Aria. And then, obviously, Perry and Aria have the love part of that little triangle. 

She mentioned that Roar and Perry's friendship was one of her favorite parts of her book, and I completely agree. I loved hearing about how she developed their voices and tried to make them authentic male perspectives. It was so sweet hearing her talk about how her two sons made her want to write great male characters. She mentioned that she had her husband read Perry's portions so he could help her work through his perspective, as well as being in a critique group with five guys. She then made a joke about how she was only allowed to have Perry tear up once a book!

It was so wonderful being able to talk with her about my secret wish for book three. There is one character who we barely get to meet in Through the Ever Night before he/she is killed, and I told her that I'm secretly hoping it's like, "Surprise! There wasn't actually confirmation he/she died in Through the Ever Night!" She laughed and said I'd have to wait and see... I swear there was a twinkle in her eye that said maybe my wishes will come true.

I adored this signing, and I'm so glad I decided to go! It was so fun to be surrounded by people who had all read and loved the same books, not to mention the joy of meeting some of my new favorite authors. Be sure to check the tour dates - and GO if they're coming to a city near you!

18 comments:

  1. Ooh fun! I wished this tour came to me! I mean, we did have a signing in NYC with Cynthia, Brodi and Jocelyn Davies but I really wanted to see Tahereh and Veronica as well because I also loved their books..in addition to my obvious obsession with Unearthly haha.

    Looks like you had a great time! And you are adorable! :)

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    1. Yeah, I enjoyed seeing Cynthia and Brodi but I was definitely most looking forward to seeing Tahereh and Veronica because they are amazingggg!

      And thank you :)

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  2. I am smiling so much now! And getting giddy about meeting these awesome authors TONIGHT!! They all sound fantastic. I am really interested in their comments about the love triangles...hmmm. Because the Shatter Me series Isn't complete, it's hard to judge that one. But I'm not sure I agree with Cynthia Hand's comment. That one especially read as a triangle. I get that authors always know where they're going, but I don't think that readers always do. I LOVE LOVE the idea of a "stable love triangle," which I have honestly NEVER thought of. But it is a completely beautiful concept. I adore that Roar and Aria have bonded so much, but her heart always belongs to Perry, and that Perry and Roar have a deep friendship too. SO FUN that you met all these people. Where is Little Shop of Stories? Is it in the city?

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    1. Yeah, after reading Boundless, I disagree with Cynthia's comment. I think she knew where Clara was headed, but she made her character pretty dang wishy-washy so it definitely seemed like a love triangle to me! And isn't the idea of a stable love triangle SO cool?! I loved hearing Veronica talk about that :)

      And Little Shop of Stories is in Decatur. I hadn't been there before, but it was really cute!

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  3. shh you tall lovely lady, just embrace Warner. I saw the comment where Tahereh said she's concerned about the Warner love from Shatter Me but whatever, I always knew he had layers underneath his psychopath tendencies!! I wish there was a stop near me but alas, there is not. thanks for sharing and fantastic photos! <3

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Elena! I finished Unravel Me last night and... I'm not Team Warner. I think he becomes more human, but I haven't fully embraced him yet. We shall see what happens in book three...

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  4. This post is AMAZING. I loved that you were able to recap a lot of what they had to say, and it made me want to go on tour just to see all of them.

    So, let me see...

    I obviously need to read Hallowed and Boundless, stat. So glad we're both on Team Tucker for the moment (though I've heard my mind could change!).

    I also am still Team Adam after reading Destroy Me and Unravel Me, though I will admit I'm a little more understanding of Warner. Team Kenji though, that's the BEST team.

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    1. Thanks Alexa! Glad you enjoyed :) I was so excited that all four of them were going to be near me - such a great chance to meet four awesome authors!

      GO TEAM TUCKER!

      And I don't know if I'm really either team right now. I think Warner becomes more human, but Adam also becomes more mopey so.... I don't know! But I ADORE Kenji!

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  5. This looks like so much fun! I haven't read much from the authors who stop here in UT, but I just found out the Tahereh is coming on the 21st of this month with Ransom Riggs. I cannot wait! She just seems the coolest! I may have problems though because I was leaning towards Warner at the end of Shatter Me. However, I just have a thing for fictional bad boys.

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    1. So exciting that Tahereh will be near you! You definitely have to go see her - it was so fun listening to her talk because she was really interesting! And I think Warner was more human and understandable but I just don't know... I haven't switched teams yet!

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  6. Great post, Hannah! I'm so impressed that you remembered so much of what the author's said! I can never remember things said from author events - I have a terrible recall memory for things like this :( It's like people who can quote movies after only seeing the movie once!! It's so unfair lol.

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    1. Haha I don't have that great of a memory - I knew I wanted to blog about it so I took some notes on my phone so I would't forget what they said :) Otherwise, I would have been like: They were so nice. And they talked about stuff.

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  7. Ah, this sounds like such a lovely experience, Hannah! I love that you wrote down what these authors said, it was so interesting to read. What Brodi Ashton said, "there is no time in your life where you feel things so completely", is SO beautiful. And I wish I had been able to meet Tahereh Mafi when she came to Holland, because I love her. (And um YES: how cam people love Warner after book 1?) Also, you look so pretty in these pictures! :) Love this.

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    1. Thanks Judith! I'm glad you enjoyed the recap :) And I loved that Brodi quote, too. I'm mad you didn't get to meet Tahereh, especially because I'm guessing there aren't a ton of American authors who tour near you. Maybe she'll come back and you can see her then!

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  8. That is so great you go to go to this! Not gonna lie I am a liiiiitle jealous! I love ALL of those author's books and your commentary of the event was fantastic! I have to point out I was intrigued by Warner after Book 1, but totally found love for him after reading Destroy Me (have you read it? It's beautiful!) AND I totally was thinking the same thing about the death in Through the Ever Night, I was just like, uh uh, no way, that is not how this ends. Great post! :)

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    1. I definitely understood him more after Destroy Me (just read it the other night) and then thought he became much more human in Unravel Me. BUT I'm still not rooting for him to end up with Juliette. I still think there's something a little off. I don't know - we'll see! AND YES TO THAT DEATH. There is just no way. I'm convinced that [name] was still alive but they didn't know it because they had to run for their lives. Just no way.

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