For me, this was an author event like none other because I'd already read (and loved, loved, loved) at least one book by each of the authors. As if I could have not attended, right?
[Quick backstory: Stephanie and I first met at a writer's conference here in Seattle several years ago. It was before either of us had book deals or agents, but we both had books in progress. (Hers became Anna and the French Kiss and mine became Freefall.) Later, Steph and I ended up accepting agent offers on the same day, and got book deals within weeks of each other. Our debut novels came out two months apart. Add to all of this the fact that we both have drummer husbands and a bazillion things in common, and you can probably guess why I was super excited to get to see her in person again for the first time since that conference.]
For the event, Sarah and Sandra from Clear Hearts Full Shelves made the drive up from Portland, and it was lovely to get to hang out with both of them. (And, Sarah, we AGAIN forgot to take pictures together! What's up with that?) I also got to talk with a few other readers and book bloggers, whom I often see around on Twitter and Facebook, so that was very fun!
For the panel itself, Stephanie, Gayle, and Nina were all lovely and it was such a pleasure to get to hear them talk about why they write what they write. I also enjoyed learning their (short) answers to the question "Which is your favorite scene from each of your own books?" (I would tell you what they said, but after I smiled in recognition for most of them, my mind kind of erased the information. Damnit!) They each read short excerpts (from page 69, dude) and shared how they worked to establish their characters in each of these scenes.
[Sidenote: Dwayne is in the middle of reading Gayle's book, If I Stay right now, and I'm going to start Where She Went very soon, so we both plugged our ears a few times while Gayle was talking to make sure we didn't get spoiled. Because you just never know!]
At one point during their talk, Nina pointed out her critique partner in the crowd (Carly, I think she said), who has a book coming out in 2013 (yay!!!). Steph then announced that Carly and I need to meet since we are both Simon Pulse authors in the Seattle area. (We absolutely do! Unfortunately, I missed getting to talk with her after the event. Email me, Carly! I Googled, but I can't seem to find you. Maybe I misheard your name.)
Steph then told the audience that my editor had given her an early read of Live Through This, and that she highly recommends it!!!!!!! She had so much enthusiasm and said such complimentary things about my books that I had to dab my teary eyes on Dwayne's sleeve. Ahhh, that Stephanie! ♥
Despite the fact that Dwayne had to get up early today, he was happy to wait with me until the very end so that we could chat with Stephanie for while afterward. So we did that, and it was lovely, and then I snuck into this picture with all three of the featured authors:
In all, it was a fun night for me, and I'm so glad that these amazing authors all made the trek to Seattle!