So we’ve gone a bit quiet again recently, partly due to the opening of our store, Two Candle Thieves, and also as Angharad’s away at the moment and I’m just finishing up with my degree. Hopefully once the last of my assignments are submitted and Angharad’s finished gallivanting about in the south of England, we’ll be posting more frequently again!
Today’s post is a bit different from anything we’ve done before (partly because we’ve never attended book signings before – unless you count the Jacqueline Wilson event I went to when I was 12…) but anyway – I thought I’d share a bit about the Laini Taylor event I went to in Liverpool a few days ago!
As soon as I saw that Laini was touring the UK, I knew I had to be at one of her events – I’ve absolutely loved her writing ever since I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone around five years ago, and I had been waiting to read Strange the Dreamer ever since I heard that she was writing a new novel. Unfortunately, Laini wasn’t visiting Manchester on this tour, so after considering the three nearest event stops to me, I decided to attend the event at Waterstones in Liverpool – I’ve been to Liverpool many times for photography work, and as I was anxious enough about going to a bookish event for the first time (and on my own) I wanted to be in a city that I was fairly familiar with!
Luckily, I ended up not having to go to the event alone, and met up with Amy (www.amyjanealice.com), Lauren (www.northernplunder.blogspot.co.uk), and Beth (www.iambookmad.com), three fellow Manchester-based book bloggers. I’m usually an awkward mess when meeting new people, but these three are so lovely and it was so great to meet some book lovers who live close to me! So after travelling to Liverpool and grabbing some food, we got to Waterstones, and I couldn’t have been more excited.
There was a little talk and Q&A – Laini spoke about how Strange the Dreamer was originally Sarai’s story, called the Muse of Nightmares, but Lazlo just kept coming back to her, and so the first book in the series became his story. I’m so glad she chose to write the book this way, as I have to admit, Lazlo is definitely my current bookish crush. I feel as though I should have taken notes during the talk (as a few other people there were) so I could remember it all better, but I was just so awestruck that I didn’t even think to do so!
One interesting link between Strange the Dreamer and Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the mention of being impaled on spikes – this is at the very beginning of Strange the Dreamer (so no spoilers here, don’t worry!) and mentioned briefly in Daughter of Smoke and Bone (about Czech nationalists attempting a rebellion against the Nazis, and subsequently being impaled on a gate surrounding the building that had become Karou’s art school). Laini hadn’t actually noticed this link until it was brought up but assured us all that she doesn’t have a phobia of being impaled on a gate.
After the talk, we queued up for the signing – the four of us were panicking a bit about getting the train back, but the lovely Waterstones staff moved us closer to the front of the queue (with the help of a very kind man who let us cut in front of him – if you’re somehow reading this, big thanks to you!!). It got to my turn to speak to Laini, and I was honestly so nervous! I got up and handed her my books and mumbled some rubbish about how it was my first book signing, I was sorry that I’d brought so many books with me to be signed, and some other nonsense. Laini was such a lovely person though! I also gave her one of our Welcome to Weep candles and got a photo with her (below). We were all given two Strange the Dreamer moth temporary tattoos, which are so pretty that I can’t bring myself to actually use them and have stuck them on my bookcase instead!
I do feel as though I was such a puddle of awkwardness, but hopefully next time I’ll be less nervous now that I know what to expect from author signings and events a bit more. I’m really hoping to somehow be able to attend YALC this year, and if I do I’ll get to meet Laini again which would be amazing!
love Becky @