Monday, October 6, 2014

Unmarked Tour - Kami Garcia in Conversation With Brendan Reichs with Surprise Visit from Carrie Ryan

So on Saturday my family and I attended a signing for Kami Garcia's Unmarked Tour at Book-A-Million in the Concord Mills Mall in Concord, North Carolina.

If you happened to be one of the few to see previous posts on this site you'll know that we've planned on it since I first found it online.  Not only because we'd met Margaret Stohl and well you can't meet her without really wanting to meet Kami Garcia too, but also because Brendan Reichs made such a huge impression on my boys at Bookmarks that any chance to see him again is one that we want to take.  This event was a whole lot smaller than Bookmarks, but it was still fun and all the kids have talked about since we left, definitely worth the drive for us.  Plus they didn't have notices about not filming at this one so my husband and I worked as a team and he filmed on his phone while I took photos on my camera which I think will make for a really nice post.  Also with it filmed I'll talk a little less I think.  Anyway to begin on with the video of this awesome event.

Just a quick note about this.  I know on the channel that I describe the video as being uploaded for use on this blog and they are being uploaded for that purpose, however anyone who wants to share this elsewhere or download this as your own keepsake if you were one of the few in attendance feel free to do so.  I promise I'm not proprietary of it.  I'd be totally appreciate of a link back to this blog if you post it elsewhere but that's not required.  I can't promise to get videos of every event we go to because some like Bookmarks say no filming and some of the things we're planning we're going to without my husband.  My husband got a new phone and I'm really impressed with the video it takes, mine however not only doesn't hold a charge as long but it's a lot older and video from it is not nearly as impressive.  Not to mention I can't run a video camera and a real camera at the same time.  I can have my daughter try but she's usually too excited and busy asking questions to really attempt that.  She wants to try when we go to see Lauren Kate and Robin LaFevers but we'll see how that goes.  My husband is a lot calmer than well any of us.

The video is multiple smaller videos merged together so it might miss a second here and there but it was his first time making more than a five second film on his phone and he was afraid if he didn't keep stop and starting that he'd end up filling his memory before he could actually save  any of it and lose the whole thing. it also changes size because he filmed some with the phone upright and some with it sideways so I had to rotate some of the shots.  I also tried to edit out any accidental floor or butt shots.  We're not Hollywood filmmakers so don't expect perfection :)

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013. 

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable & Unmarked, the first two books her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION. 

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke. 

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Find Kami online at her WebsiteFacebookTwitterTumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTubeGoodreads, & Amazon.

The Presentation

Now while my awesome minion, aka my husband was taking video of the event.  I was taking pictures. and unfortunately since my camera doesn't know how to do that silently you can hear that in the video.

So obviously I took a lot of photos, but I'm one of those people with the unfortunate talent of pressing the button on the camera right as someone shuts their eyes or whatever they're saying makes them have some sort of embarrassing expression.  You know that person who somehow always manages to make you look stupid on film?  Yeah, that's me.  I don't intend to, I'd rather not actually but somehow if a bad photo can be taken I will be the one to take it.  So my policy on photography is to take tons and tons of photos because somewhere in the bunch will be a few good ones.  Since like the rest of the world I switched from 35mm to digital cameras this is feasible because it's not like I get prints of all of my photos.  I intend to make photo books of my pictures someday because they seem like they'd be a lot easier to store than the totes upon totes of photos I have from before I switched to digital cameras, but like most of the things I want to do it won't happen for a long time and if I actually get around to finishing it a miracle will have occurred.

You can see in the video and the pictures that we clearly had a great time, but I have to tell you the most awesome moment for me was at the very beginning when Brendan Reich came in and not only did he recognize my family from the last event we attended where he was at, but he remembered my middle child's name.  Trysten is my quiet sensitive child, and he's one of the ones who's just now taking an interest in reading and that's because of how much he loved the last time we met Brendan in person.  Brendan made a real impression on both of my boys, but by remembering Trysten's name he actually got my son involved.  Last time at Bookmarks yes it was all any of my kids could talk about for weeks afterward, but my oldest and my youngest were the ones raising their hands and asking questions or in the case of my youngest raising their hands to make random statements and suggestions.  Trysten just watched and laughed then talked about it afterward.  This time he asked questions too which really impressed me that he had the confidence to speak and inquire in the group.  He doesn't normally do that, like I said he's the quiet one.  (Honestly, he's my only quiet one because I wonder sometimes if my other two stop to breath when they're talking.) I really feel that the reason he was able to do that was because of how special it made him feel that Brendan remembered his name.  The whole way home he kept mentioning "Brendan Reichs remembered my name."  I'm pretty sure by the end of the school day today he'll have also mentioned this to all of his teachers because he was really proud of that fact.  And the whole time he was mentioning I was thinking 'Brendan Reichs is my hero.' because this talented writer not only gave my boys an interest in reading, but going to see him made my son feel both confident and special.  I don't think there's much more a parent could ask for in taking their children to an event.

Seriously if you have sons who're reluctant readers and get the chance to meet Brendan Reichs in person, bring them, if they're anything like my boys it will make a difference. He's funny, entertaining and personable and how awesome is it that he remembered my son's name?!  With the amount of people authors encounter online and at events expecting any authors to remember your name or face or online conversation is fairly ludicrous.  I mean they talk to and meet thousands of people.  Expecting to identified as more than a fan isn't reasonable of a reader to fact.  For a writer to remember the names and faces of fans they've met before is so beyond awesome because of the sheer volume of people they meet due to their careers.  As as reader all I expect from a writer is to produce a great story in whatever book I've bought, at an event I will admit if I'm driving an hour or more to meet them I do expect my book purchase signed.  If we've been entertained and leave with a signed book I feel absolutely ecstatic about having gone.  I don't quite think there are words to express how much Brendan Reichs remembering my child's name impressed me. and made us happy to have attending this signing.

Now don't get me wrong, Brendan Reichs was not the only draw of this event.  Kami Garcia and Carrie Ryan were great.  They were interesting and entertaining.  Kami made my daughter feel awesome because she remembered a twitter conversation we'd had where I told her that the lead character in the Legion series - Kennedy Rose has the same name as my daughter.  Which is beyond awesome, but she also teased Brendan because while he remembered Kennedy, he didn't remember her name and it's the same as the character in Kami's book.  She teased Kennedy throughout the presentation by telling her that this is all the cool stuff she has to look forward to.  Kennedy was of course ready to kill me off just to get to the hot twin boys Kami promised her lol.  Of course I had to scowl at my kid because when your daughter is audibly plotting your death, whether you think it's funny or not you must at least scowl her way.  It's required or something.  My daughter has complained about her name for years which is weird because I swear she named herself via a series of strange reoccurring dreams.  She's always wanted something a bit more common, last suggestion she gave me was Victoria. (Not happening.) Kami made her feel like her name was cool and hopefully I won't have to hear the why'd you name me this tirade again.  Being named Jennifer, I can't even contemplate why the child would want a common name.  But I guess it's natural, we probably all wish we were named something different. Anyway, Kami made a big deal about her name being awesome and Kennedy loved that.  Anything that involved my drama queen getting attention she adores.  My oldest is not shy in any way, shape or form.

Additionally these writers have the patience of saints, I swear.  My children asked question after question and made odd random statements throughout the whole presentation and they didn't even bat an eyelash at it.  They stayed friendly, upbeat and continued to make my kids feel valued and special the entire time.  As a parent I just feel that's so awesome.  It was actually to the point that I think I covered my youngest's mouth up at least twice just to get him to let them speak.  My youngest has no filter, at all.  We're working on it, so a lot of his questions are more random odd statements than questions and he's in that stage where he's brilliant and knows it and must correct everyone around him even when he's not right.  He actually is an extremely bright kid, but being a know-it-all isn't an attractive trait, we're working on it.  The fact that they were so patient with him, with all three of the kids was truly impressive.

The only downside to the day I will say is that Book-A-Million doesn't keep a lot of books in stock of authors that aren't signing.  Carrie Ryan wasn't a planned guest.  So they had one copy of three of her books as their entire inventory.  These were snapped up by a store regular before anyone else could even ask about them.  When she showed up, I think you can actually hear me in the video saying I want to buy more books.  I'd have liked to have bought at least 5 (two hardcovers, three paperbacks) of her books, one for each member of my family and had them signed, except those books weren't available to buy.  In the store's defense they didn't know she was coming, however I strongly feel a book store should have more than one copy of a book in stock.  I mean don't they have like a store room where they could keep extra copies or something?  It just seems like they should be prepared just in case an author, especially one local to the area, randomly shows up.  So we were all super disappointed that we couldn't get a book.  They said they're trying to arrange a scheduled signing with her just organized through the store itself rather than corporate so I plan to call back and find out how that's going because I plan to go if she does.

Anyway with a video provided there's not a lot to say about the event since you can just watch it.  I will say we have a great time and if you get the chance to meet any of these authors, put it on your calendar, leave your home and do so.  It's completely worth it and a great time.

Brendan Reichs has a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a law degree from The George Washington University School of Law in Foggy Bottom. Upon graduating from law school, he returned to Charlotte, NC and worked for three years as a litigation attorney. He now co-writes The New York Times bestselling Virals series full-time, with his mother, Kathy Reichs. 

This young adult series includes: Virals, Seizure, Code, and most currently, Exposure and follows Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan of the Bones novels and hit TV show. Tory is the leader of a band of teenage “sci-philes” who live on a secluded island off the cost of South Carolina and are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

Find Brendan Reichs online at his WebsiteFacebookGoodreadsTwitter.

 The Signing

Carrie Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Forest of Hands and Teeth series and Infinity Ring: Divide and Conquer. Currently she’s working on a four book middle grade fantasy adventure series co-written with her husband, John Parke Davis, the first book of which, The Map to Everywhere, will be out November 4, 2014. Her next YA is a romantic thriller titled Turnabout which will be out summer 2015. 

A former litigator, Carrie now writes full time and lives with her husband, two ornery cats and one gullible dog in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Find Carrie online at her WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads, & Amazon.

The Haul

If you're wondering why there's a couple things that say Bookmarks on them in the overall haul photo, that's because remember my daughter's t-shirt from that post?  Well she forgot to ask for signatures from authors she met in the morning.  So she brought it with her to catch Brendan Reichs's signature.  I figure we'll keep watch with the list from that festival with any signing we're going to and if she didn't catch their signature that day she can bring the shirt with her and ask to get it signed with the books.  The picture that says Boomarks on it is a poster print I had made to frame from that day.  It includes a small copy of the Festival poster as well as the best photos that include my kids of them with different authors they met.  The pictures  I don't include in my blog post because I'm paranoid that way.  We actually do a few copies of those prints.  Everyone in my house has a collage frame the kids have ones for photos of them with the authors, we have one that has photos of all the kids with the authors.  They're different in that my daughters only includes the photos she's in, the same with my sons just the photos they're in.  Ours includes any of the kids.  Then we have the poster collage print that my husband and I at least are trying to gradually get signed by the authors.  My sons didn't pose for many photos at Bookmarks, so they don't have a copy of the poster print since they're barely in it.  I'd have to have photos to put them in it you know?  And it's not that I have a favorite because I don't, it's that I don't make my kids pose with famous people because no matter what they've done those people are still strangers.  They have to want to take a photo with the person for us to take one.  So at Bookmarks they only took a photo with one author and it was the last one of the day mostly because they'd seen their sister do it all day long.  I guess it was seeing that she was fine after doing it so they would be too.  My point being they're not really in our Bookmarks poster so they didn't get a copy while my daughter did as she's in every photo.  Oh and that we're gradually trying to get the poster print signed (our copy) as we manage to catch the people in it again and we have other individual prints of the photo in the poster in a collage frame on the wall that we're not attempting to get signed.  Why that is relevant who know, but I babble if you've read any of my other posts you can't help but see that.

As far as the amount of signed books goes, two of them are books my daughter and I got signed by Margaret Stohl at Bookmarks and brought back to have signed by Kami Garcia.  Knowing we were planning to see Kami Garcia and Brendan Reichs between Bookmarks and this signing when we made a trip to Edward McKays, a local used bookstore that allows you to trade in books you don't want for store credit, Kennedy and Cole looked for backlist titles by the authors that they didn't have yet to use their store credit on since I told them they were only getting one book from each author.  Unfortunately I've yet to win the lottery.  We bought 11 books (two were Christmas presents for other people and aren't featured above in case they read this post.) at the store, that's a considerable sum to fit in the budget, one book per author per kid seems sufficient.  They knew which books I'd ordered for them before we hit Edward McKays and Kennedy managed to find Beautiful Darkness & Beautiful Chaos while Cole found Seizure when we were there.  We go to Edward McKays anyway, we didn't do it just because of this.  They also carry DVDs and Movies which have the same trade in your old for credit to use toward new to you stuff policy.  They're at ages where their interests change constantly plus we don't live in a mansion you can't just keep getting new stuff and never get rid of anything or you'll run out of space.  Theoretically that could happen with a mansion too, but it would probably take a lot longer.  An apartment fills pretty quick.  So for the most part despite there's more signatures for some than others, the purchase we made was fair between everyone because that's how I try to parent.  Why I'm explaining this again, it's part of my rambling.

If you have photos you'd like to share of the event please feel free to email them, the email is in the sidebar.  And comments are always welcome.  I'm just starting this up and putting it together and lets be honest I'm not doing a great job of it.  It's a slow process for me.  So actually a comment would be really surprising, but definitely welcome.  If you like going to Bookish Events and would like to join the team (that right now consists of me and my recruited family) and help with this project please email me.  And I'll try to get more copied into the calendar that I can find via searching, shortly.  I'd also by the way welcome guest posts from people or other bloggers who just want to share about an event they attended.  It's not like I have a lot of content of my own, more posts would be good as long as they're actually on the topic of Bookish Events.

Bio photos came from a Google Image Search and Bios are copied from either Goodreads, Amazon, their website or an event bio from another site.  My point being I didn't write the stuff in gray, it's way too professional for me to have written it lol.

In conclusion to another rambling post, The Unmarked Tour was awesome.  If it's coming near to you go, if not pick up The Legion Series and read it because those books rock.  While you're at it buy the Beautiful Creatures Series, The Virals Series and The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series because they're great books.  If you get the chance to see these authors in person put it on your calendar and make the trip because they're awesome.  Thanks for reading.

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