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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Event Recap: Vegas Valley Book Festival + Giveaway

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
You may have noticed that while posts have been going live, I haven't been keeping up with responding to blog comments (thank you so much for those!) and that's because I just had a long weekend of fun and books in Las Vegas!  And it's important to know that I hung out with Paola from A Novel Idea because she makes everything fun all the time!  (With her awesomeness and for making me finally watch Pacific Rim, Mulan and both recent Star Trek movies!  Guh! They were all so good!)  I also got to see Stacie from The Shy Book Nerd who had an amazing suitcase of books to be signed!

The Vegas Valley Book Festival was non-stop flailing fun because from the very beginning the authors were so cool!  I was able to go to 3 panels on varying topics - Serial Killers to remixing the Classics to Resurrecting the Future (although on that last one the Moderator didn't really touch on the topic).  I took notes studiously but there were so many wonderful answers by these authors that it's hard to really capture in this post all the insight and humor they had to relate.  I noted several answers in my notebook on different questions, but I'm going to pick one panel and one question and talk about all the answers.  I'm going to paraphrase all the answers though, so I hope I'm getting the gist of it right!

One thing I'm always interested in is adapting or reimagining the Classics in new ways (it's part of my Jane Eyre obsession) so when the moderator on the Classical Remix panel asked if the original story limited the authors in any way I was really interested in the author's answers.

A.G. Howard (author of Splintered) said that with the Lewis Carroll books, not everyone is familiar with what goes on in Through the Looking Glass so she needs to make sure that people know what was in the original.  It helped her that her character uses the book as a guide through Wonderland.

Vivi Barnes (author of Olivia Twisted) wanted to improve on the characters (some characters in Oliver Twist really didn't get a good ending) which made the characters her own but she also needed to stay true to the original.

Gena Showalter (author of Alice in Zombieland) was much more straightforward - she took what she wanted from the original and discarded the rest.

Mary Lindsey (author of Ashes on the Waves) was constrained by her original story - Edgar Allan Poe's poem Annabel Lee - so she used 36 different works of Poe's and mixed in biographical information and Celtic lore. (I have to say- LOVE Annabel Lee soo much!  I can't wait to read this book!)

Claire LaZebnik (author of The Trouble With Flirting) wanted to make sure the book stood up on it's own, independent of the original (Austen's Mansfield Park)

Eileen Cook (author of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood) said she took inspiration from the theme of her original book (The Count of Monte Cristo) and went off in her own direction.

Stacey Jay (author of Of Beast and Beauty) didn't feel constrained at all - she was only inspired by the original.  (And since this is the only book on this panel that I have read so far, I wanted to say it was very interesting how she took so many elements of the original fairy tale and twisted them around to something so new and unpredictable)

All the authors and Event organizers
After all the panels, the authors started signing in two waves, so Paola and I lined up and got to talk to all the authors we so admired. (I did bother Alexandra Bracken to sign my copy of The Darkest Minds a little earlier, and she was extremely sweet as was her Mom who seemed so happy to see her daughter being fangirled, haha.  EVERY author we talked to was welcoming and excited to see US which is just so weird but I'm very grateful because it makes it extra easy to love them and their books even more!  I'm also so happy that I went to this event because I was introduced to many authors' works I haven't had a chance to check out yet, and I can't wait to read them someday.

Paola brought her super-nice camera to the festival so if you stop by her blog sometime soon, she's sure to have a fantastic post about the event with way better pictures!  And Stacie is sure to have an awesome recap and giveaways on her blog as well!

Now I got some signed bookmarks at the festival and I've been thinking about how to give away some on my blog.  I would like to send them out individually to people who are really interested in these books/authors, so I'm going to do a RANDOM TWITTER GIVEAWAY all this week!  Starting today I'll tweet the bookmark up for grabs and the first follower to respond will get it.  I'll also randomly pick a winner from this post's comments if you include which bookmark you would like to get.  Here's what I'll be giving out this week:

Two signed Ashes on the Waves bookmarks by Mary Lindsey
One signed Every Other Day bookmark and Raised by Wolves Series temporary tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
One Of Beast and Beauty postcard by Stacey Jay
One Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us bookmark by Kasie West
And keep an eye out for something Catching Fire related as well (unsigned though!)

Please click on the button if you aren't a follower already!  I will use the hashtag #VegasBookmark so you can keep track of the giveaways.  If I send a message that you've won, please DM or email (at bookishwhimsy(at)gmail.com) to send me your address and I will mail out the prize ASAP.  These will all be open internationally (except the Catching Fire giveaway).  I'm not responsible if these are unfortunately lost in the mail.  Thanks for reading!  And thanks to the Vegas Valley Book Festival for putting together such an amazing event!   I'm looking forward to going again next year!  And if I can just put it out there right now, if Melina Marchetta could be invited to attend that would be THE BEST.  

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  1. It sounds like you had an awesome time! :) A couple of my favorite books are retellings, so I loved reading your notes on what the different authors said from the Classical Remix panel. The bookmark I'd be most interested in is the The Distance Between Us bookmark; I recently read the book and thought it was really cute (between that and the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, I've been on a Pride and Prejudice kick). Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! :)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. Oh I'm totally with you on the retellings! I haven't read The Distance Between Us- actually had no idea it was based on Pride and Prejudice! So I really hope to read it! Thanks for commenting!

    2. @Paola I guess it's time for that re-read of Pride and Prejudice! ;)

  2. This sounds like soooo much fun. I love love book events!! I am jealous and wish I could've gone with you!

    1. It would have been great to go with a gang of bloggers! LOL Maybe BEA next year??

  3. Look at you, little miss Model of Efficiency!!! And here I am just flailing along, still not recapping our adventures over the weekend! I suck~

    Good thing I had you around to write all the notes while I stared at all the authors and hyperventilated! Love you lady!!

    1. LOL, it's my way of overcoming my bad memory - get it written down quickly! And I was happy to be the secretary and you the photographer! :D

      And now you must go write your Very Awesome Novel quickly so I can read it! Duchess love back!

  4. YOU NEVER SAW MULAN BEFORE NOW??? BUT... but... but... D= it has the best song ever!! Well I am glad that has been rectified.

    I never realised there was an Oliver Twist retelling! Ashes on the Waves sounds good because it's not just a straight retelling, she's obviously done a lot of research and work putting all those different stories together.

    Lovely recap Charlene - I'm jealous of these awesome events you guys seem to have all around you! =D

    1. LOL, I know! Shame on me! I just didn't get around to it when I was younger. I'm glad I finally watched it!

      I really hope I love Ashes on the Waves, it just sounds so good! And we are lucky with the events! Maybe you can try to go to BEA next year! (trying to get everyone I know to go so we can have a big party! :D)

  5. I love all these story ideas that are inspired by or adapted from a classic! Sounds like a fun event!

    1. It was so much fun! I just love book festivals - there are so many great authors and it's awesome to hear them talk about their books and about writing!

  6. Wow - that classics adaptation event sounds so neat. Very jealous that you were able to see it! :)

    1. I see you guys went to an awesome bookish event recently too so I'm sure we are even in the whole jealousy thing! :D