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[personal profile] renay
In the days leading up to this event, I spent my time either a) packing, b) working or c) reading all the books in the Old Man's War series, so assume mostly C. The series was just as good as I remember. I've changed as a reader a lot so I could see some of the man behind the curtain, but I also think that can be chalked up to Scalzi learning more about how to build stories since the first book was written. I so rarely followed professional authors before the late aughts that it's weird doing it now and seeing the progression of the artist. The reread was fun, I'm totally stoked to read my copy of The Human Division once my Hugo reading is done, I'm excited about the next installment, and left the event (shaking like a squirrel-addled poplar tree alksjdlkjasd) remembering just what John Scalzi means to me as a creator. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back! Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay
Cover of Where Things Come Back


I live in a very small city an hour and a half away from Memphis in northeast Arkansas. When I first moved here to go to college, I was really surprised at the lack of author events that weren't a) crime writers, b) cookbook writers or c) people writing specifically about the delta, especially given the state university. Maybe I shouldn't have been, though: author events are expensive and it's a widely known fact people in Arkansas don't read for fun (okay, maybe I am slightly bitter). All in all, I've come to terms with the lack of literary culture. That's why I was surprised to learn from my local YA librarian (who is, by the way, completely awesome) that John Corey Whaley, whose book was the most recent recepient of the Printz Award, was coming to our library. I was excessively thrilled because it's no secret I have Feelings About the Printz Award and Feelings About Southern Literature and Feelings About How Arkansas is Presented in Culture By People Who Mean Well But Often Screw It Up Oh God My Eyes. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay
Hello, Internets! This entry comes to you in three parts:

Part #1: UNIVERSITY
Did you know I am about to (maybe) graduate in December after I pass my last three classes (dubious)? YES. The Bachelor of Arts in English I have been working on since 2005 will be complete (possibly). We will not talk about when I started university because then we have to talk about how long it took me to earn one degree and the time I've spent on this one I could have earned a B.A., masters, and perhaps started on a doctorate. So: no talking about it. Agreed? Agreed. I am both terrified and excited at the prospect of never having to enter a classroom again.

screenshot from That 70s show with text reading talking isn't going to help me. what's going to help me is, like, drinking


Part #2: Author Event!
Earlier this month [twitter.com profile] echthroi and I trekked to Memphis to see Cherie Priest at an author event. It was harrowing and I continue to believe that I am not cut out for large cities. Why are there so many cars! Why is everyone going so fast! Why do they not warn for road construction!? Memphis is not even that scary, driving wise — New Orleans was much worse. I will never survive outside a city larger than 80,000 people. Cue terrified country girl in big city.

This was my very first author event, because publishers don't believe people in the South read and they never send authors I like to Memphis, sob. The only novel by Priest I have read is Boneshaker. I liked it, but my feelings were mixed? It's been so long I don't remember the mixed feelings in detail, only the "hey, this was pretty great!" because I enjoy books that take history, shake it, and then suddenly zombies (or dragons, or vampires, or dinosaurs)! How do you go wrong?

The event itself was pretty laid back, very chatty. There is some super awesome news that can't be shared on the internet and it's exciting! I hope she gets to release it soon, because seriously, I would be throwing some dollars at it, and I do not throw dollars easily. (eta: The news, it is released!) I asked the question put to me by some people who knew I was going, about Priest's interaction with book bloggers. Predictably, it went immediately to the ARC place. God, I have so many feelings about ARCs and they're pretty much all negative and after this even talking about them makes me want to set every concrete ARC I've ever received on fire. I want all ARCs to be digital so this can stop being a thing I have to combat when I say "I am a book blogger". Note: I did not ask about ARCs, I asked about her experience with book bloggers, and yet we still went to Planet Book Bloggers Want Free Stuff and Here's How You Get It. I wasn't specific enough at the time with my question, because ugh, crowds. Looking at me. Judging me. sdlk'fk'a;lsdlsd

Maybe I am in the minority here, but when I was a book blogger (back when I read books? In....2010?) I actually preferred to buy the books, or ask my library to buy them, rather than hound an author or their publisher for them. This goes back to me not enjoying asking for or accepting free things and my general terror of talking to strangers. I am horrible at it. I managed two requests directly to an author in three years when I was active. The reaction to my question threw me, because the answer ended up in ARC territory (which I don't care about) and then also went sailing down by the "this is how many hits this other teen book blogger gets" river, and I had no paddle and felt really awkward and embarrassed that my question about interacting with book bloggers went to a money/fame place immediately when I a) don't blog about books for ARCs or anything but my love/hate of a specific title, b) get like five hits a month and therefore rank about -1000000000 on the importance scale. Sigh. I promise, all the other people in the crowd, I wasn't asking how to get books for free. I am just really interested in how authors think about book bloggers, how they interact, if authors have had good/bad interactions with them, if they're looking for stronger relationships in the community, etc.. Looking back, I am not sure how my question was phrased and it was probably terrible and confusing. I had other questions that I wanted to ask, but after that I was too embarrassed to bother speaking up again. The lesson I learned was that book bloggers who don't accept ARCs are rare these days, which makes me sad. I remember discussing this with Dewey, I believe, in 2007, when the ARC movement was picking up as a social tool in the YA community and expressing regret over it. Insert GET OFF MY LAWN macro here.

I hesitate to label my first author event a success. The discussion was awesome and I love listening to writers talk about their work because they get so excited. I also got things signed! Priest was super kind and accomodating and signed both of the things I brought and I got a button. But the whole question thing just looped me and cast this really gross sheen over the event, like, great, I am That Person wanting Book Handouts. All in all, I am glad I went, and now know to prepare questions better next time, ask with more precise language, and perhaps make the person with me ask the potentially humilating ones. :)

title page of Boneshaker signed by Cherie Priest


Bibliography for Cherie Priest: Read more... )

Part #3: This Sucks, or, Vampires!
I am planning something. But to plan this something I actually need to do some research, which means I needed to create a list of books about vampires. I asked on Twitter, which got me started and led me to additional titles:

This is a list of vampire books. )

The problem with vampire novels is that they're everywhere! It's impossible to get beyond skimming the surface on your own without having to dive into the vampiric equivalent of a ball pit and hope there's nothing horrible underneath the brightly colored friendly plastic. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open!

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