18 November, 2012

Author Event - Laini Taylor at B&N Americana

Hi, everyone! Last Friday Laini Taylor stopped by the B&N Americana in Glendale, CA to sign her new book, Days of Blood and Starlight. Luckily it was scheduled for 7 pm, which meant that I could make it there after work. Due to some bad parking mojo, I made it to the store just in time to buy my book before the event started (and Leigh Bardugo was behind me in line!). Big thanks to our friend Liz who got there early and got us rock star seats. 

I'd met Laini last year at Book Soup so I already knew that it would be a really fun event, and she didn't disappoint. Laini started off by telling everyone a little bit about how the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, came to be. (This is where I start paraphrasing so some of this might not be exact but it's close to it). She was in the middle of writing a really epic post apocalyptic sci fi novel (with ballerinas!) and just wasn't feeling that spark with it. So she gave herself a free day to write which turned out to be one of the most fun writing days she'd ever had. In that free day she had written a story about Karou and her father. She had so much fun with these characters and wanted to know more about them. In the end, she finished her sci fi novel so and then immediately started writing Smoke and Bone.

Laini said that Daughter of Smoke and Bone was originally supposed to be a standalone book but the story and world kept growing.  Right now, the goal is to finish the series with the next book though she says she wouldn't say no to writing another book in that same world someday focusing on different characters.

Laini talked about writing Blood and Starlight and how hard it was to write a book about war. She said that, at times, she wanted to skip the hard parts and get back to the kissing. :) The book had to be dark but not so dark that people didn't want to go into that world. 

Some tidbits we learned from the Q&A:
  • Laini finds the snarky, teen dialogue between Karou and Zuzana easy to write.
  • Yes, there will be more Zuzana on Book 3.
  • On worldbuilding: She often writes fantasy worlds that are set in the real world. She doesn't do a lot of research but writes interesting tidbits down in her notebook, which she may find much later and use in a book. Wikipedia is one of her research tools.
  • She believes folklore and folk tales are helpful if you want to get a sense of a culture.
  • She doesn't like to outline. Though she knows how she'd like Book 3 to end, things happen, and there is a possibility that it might go in a different direction.
  • On what she's read lately: Robin Hobb (epic fantasy writer that Laini is a big fan of), Holly Black's Curse Workers series, Codename Verity, The Name of the Star

After the Q&A it was raffle time! Laini was raffling off two gorgeous pieces of jewelry from the new Smoke and Bone jewely line. I arrived late and didn't see the raffle box or I totally would have entered. I love the cool, creepy vibe of the pieces. 

our friend roxy actually won. yay, roxy!
Books were then signed. :)

If you're interested, Laini has a nice recap of her two days in L.A., including an awesome picture with some hardcore fans.

Thank you B&N Americana for another well organized event. Thanks to Laini, for being funny and sweet and awesome. We are all super excited to read the new book! Lastly, I leave you with this impressive photo of the long line for the signing. You should click on it to see it in full size.  

More photos on Facebook and on Flickr from our friend Katie.

click to enlarge (go on, do it)

More event pics available in the Facebook album for the event.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the link to katie's photos. they're fantastic!