Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Meeting Sarah J. Maas! (and why you'll want to meet her too...)

I am a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass series. When I found out she was signing copies of her latest, QUEEN OF SHADOWS, at a Bensalem Barnes and Noble (an hour from my house), I jumped at the chance to meet her.

In case you haven't been swept up by the THRONE OF GLASS craze yet (in which case, where have you been?) the series follows Celaena Sardothien, the kingdom's most deadly assassin. In the first book she enters a competition to become the King's personal assassin in order to gain her freedom from the salt mine where she's been imprisoned.

The latest installment, QUEEN OF SHADOWS, came out September 1st. It. Was. AMAZING. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say it's my favorite of the series so far. It's action-packed, and many of the events tie back to the prequel novellas (THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE). I love the novellas so much, and revisiting some of those characters and plotlines was fascinating. Sarah J. Maas has such a solid grasp on the world she's created. Every character, every reference, every seemingly random piece of information has its place, and this lady knows EXACTLY where it is. Stellar worldbuilding and character development!

The Bensalem stop was toward the end of her book tour, and she'd just flown in from Albuquerque. So she was tired but full of things to say. About Celaena, about Chipotle, about OUTLANDER (which I think I need to finally add to my TBR after all this talk about Jamie). Not to mention, her Disney princess hair looked FLAWLESS, and she was sporting this super sparkly leopard ring:

Sarah did a half-hour Q&A moderated by the fabulous Steph from No BS Book Reviews, and then the signing line started. Since I'd arrived suuuuper early I was lucky enough to be number eleven in line, so I was one of the first to talk to her. And she is FANTASTIC.

Here's why you should run to the bookstore next time Sarah comes to town:

Talking about Sarah's time-traveling/insane writing schedule
1. She took her time talking to everyone. I respect authors SO MUCH when they actually make eye contact with you while signing your books. Sarah not only did that, but she asked me as many questions as I asked her. She wanted to know where I'm from, what I write and if I'm looking to send my work out. We probably talked for a solid two minutes, which is actually a long time for a signing line.* And from those two minutes, it's apparent how genuine a person she is and how much she cares about her readers.

*MAJOR points to the Neshaminy Mall B&N staff for not rushing readers through the line. I was in the first group to go through, so I don't know if it continued, but they let Sarah take her time talking to everyone I saw. When the facilitators have a low-stress attitude, it makes the event a thousand times more fun. Thanks, B&N!

2. Sarah is HILARIOUS. Between referring to her teenage years as "back when we still drove oxen up and down the roads" and calling her husband Dobby, she had everyone cracking up.

3. Relating to my second point, I burst out laughing (see photo evidence) when Sarah and I were talking. I asked her how she's managing to write two books a year, one THRONE OF GLASS novel and one A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES novel, both of which are enormous beasts of books. "I have a time-turner," she informed me. We started talking about how her life has become so scheduled and filled with deadlines, and she insisted that was why she was so pale. "Because of the time travel?" I asked, figuring time travel had to be pretty exhausting. "No, because I never leave my house." She said it's okay, though, she'd much rather be inside anyway.

4. You will want to be part of her squad. During the Q&A, Steph asked Sarah who would be in her "Bad Blood" squad, a la Taylor Swift. I'm pretty sure everyone in the room was about a second away from volunteering as tribute. Sarah has a posse of writer BFFs, including Susan Dennard (the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY series, and TRUTHWITCH coming January 2016) and Alexandra Bracken (THE DARKEST MINDS series, and PASSENGER coming January 2016). Writing is such a solitary job, and having a group full of supportive writer friends (especially ones you can sometimes do book events with, like these ladies do) is awesome.

5. She's so motivating. She started writing THRONE OF GLASS when she was sixteen, and now there are six books on my shelf with her name on the spines. I left the event ready to get back to my own writing.

In case you couldn't tell, I had a little bit of fun at this event! Thanks again to Sarah for being wonderful and the Neshaminy Mall Barnes and Noble for facilitating the signing in such a friendly manner. And if you haven't started THRONE OF GLASS yet, what are you waiting for? Check out my spoiler-free reviews of THRONE OF GLASS and THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE (the novella bind-up).  

After I wrote this post, Sarah announced on Twitter that THRONE OF GLASS has been optioned for TV! *happy dance* Who else would LOVE to see this story on their TV every week?


  1. Ooh, on TV? That'll be cool! Thanks for sharing pics, she sounds like such an amazing author!

    1. I'm so excited about ToG possibly being on TV, too...I think there's too much material in each book for it to be squashed into a movie. Maybe it'll have a Game of Thrones vibe!


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