I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Author Event: Gretchen McNeil and Michelle Gagnon

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , , ,
Yesterday I attended the author event with Gretchen McNeil and Michelle Gagnon at the Barnes and Noble at The Grove in LA.  I've devoured the suspenseful novels that Gretchen has written so far, so I was really looking forward to getting my hands on 3:59 and of course hearing her talk about it.  I at first didn't realize there were going to be two authors at this event, until Stacie at Shy Book Nerd told me, so I checked out Michelle's books as well (and they look really good!)

I got to the event pretty early as I was unsure about how it was going to be run, so I had time to rummage the store and I found an autographed copy of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  Score!  Later I asked an event coordinator if Rainbow had had a book signing there and she said no, she just dropped by for another event.

The Authors (the blonde lady with her back
turned is Leigh Bardugo!
One mocha frappuchino and tweeting fest later, I was seated and ready for the event to begin.  Each author talked a little about their book and also read an excerpt - I thought it was funny that they both edit themselves when they read their books - they can't help thinking what they could improve!  I forgot my blogging notebook, so I just took notes on my iPhone which gave my notes more of a bullet point style.  So here they are:

Books they read as children that they go back to and are inspired by as adults:
Michelle: The Hobbit, Madeleine L'Engle, and Nancy Drew
Gretchen: The House with a Clock in It by John Bellairs and Anne of Green Gables.  (Never heard of The House With A Clock In It - I must read it!)

Actors they imagine playing any of their characters:
Gretchen: Elle Fanning for Minnie from Ten
Michelle: the lead actress from the Australian film Tomorrow When The War Began (oops forgot to note down the name of Michelle's character. This movie sounds really good!!)

Gretchen was inspired to write after reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and when she told him at a book signing that he inspired her and it was likely she was going to get a deal at a publishing house soon he shook her hand and thanked her for telling him 'the best thing he had heard all evening'.

How is YA different from Adult:
Michelle: The characters in YA don't have the same resources as characters in Adult (for instance the the adult characters in her books can rely on resources available to the FBI) so you have to find a way to work around it.
Gretchen: In YA everything that happens when you're 16 feels like The Most Important Thing Ever and you have to feel that when you write it and that can be a little bit embarrassing. (LOL)

Almost the very last question Gretchen put to Michelle was what her next project was and she said it was a modern update on Jane Eyre.  WHAT!!! My ears perked up and I might have stopped breathing for a few seconds, cause that's TOTALLY up my alley!! I was like, CAN I HAVE IT NOW PLEASE?!  But then the signing started so we all lined up.

I talked to Gretchen first, about how much I love her books and how I can't wait to read 3:59.  Even though the ending might have less than a complete feel to it (help!)  I also asked why the time 3:59 and Gretchen said it was going to be 3:57 at first (just random) but the powers that be said it was the name of a gun (I didn't know that) so she changed it.  And when 3:59 clicks over to 4:00 it is rather dramatic, so it works.  And I have to give props to the guy who was nice enough to take the first two photos - he did the first one than said to do a silly picture, and I absolutely love the bunny ears pic!  Gretchen is so cool!

Then I talked to Michelle Gagnon, and though I wasn't familiar with her work (but again, so looking forward to reading her YA thriller series!) I squeed over Jane Eyre and asked her a bit more about the book (I think it might be called "Eyrie")  She said the "Jane" would be from Hawaii, and moves to San Francisco to stay with her rich troubled relatives, and I was also thrilled that she said *maybe* the lunatic in the attic might not have to be alive... maybe she's a ghost!  Did I mention I was looking forward to this book?  Yeah.  I am.  Michelle seems really cool too!

I had lots of fun at this event - it was pretty intimate and informal with Michelle and Gretchen chatting to each other and the audience like we were all friends.  I was so happy I went!

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  1. It was so much fun, thanks again for coming! Great meeting you, I'll write Eyrie as fast as I can!!!

    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog Michelle! I don't want to pressure you but I am ready to devour that book! :)

  2. "In YA everything that happens when you're 16 feels like The Most Important Thing Ever..."

    I think that actually sums up why I'm not a huge fan of YA. Not to say I wasn't the same way when I was 16, it's just a little much for me now. I only like it in very small doses.

    1. I think that's probably why I like YA actually - just with the heightened emotions it makes the story all the more interesting to me when characters are so invested in the outcome. But I do like to go back and forth between YA and more moderately emotional books! It's nice to get variety. :)

  3. Oh that sounds great! I've heard of 3:59 but haven't looked much into it.

    Glad you had a fantastic time and I love the photos! ;)

    1. I hope to read 3:59 soon! It's sounds so interesting! Thank you!

  4. I LOVE Gretchen McNeil. I got to meet her when she was near my hometown in May (RT 2013) and got all my books by her signed. Sadly, 3:59 wasn't out yet :(
    But I do have it. I just haven't read it yet. I haven't read so many books ... so I'm very jealous of you right now :)

    1. LOL well it's so hard to find the time! I always feel like I should be reading! :) I look forward to your review of 3:59! I want to read it now, but I still have a couple other books I should finish *sigh*

  5. Hey! I didn't realize you put my name in the post hehe! Glad you had fun. Gretchen is such a funny person and I really like the pictures you took with her, especially the second one lol. I wrote my recap of Gretchen and Kendare on my blog, now I have to do Melissa's. Have a great day!!!

    1. Of course - you are my source for book signings. :) I'm just going to head over to your recap post now!