This past Sunday, Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, New York hosted another one of their YA Sunday events. The guests? Incredibly popular young adult authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Sarah Rees Brennan.
We were seated about an hour before the event was due to start. I expected to stave off boredom by doing some reading, but the Oblong Books employees kept everyone entertained. The staff held giveaways in which the prizes were advanced reading copies or Mortal Instruments, Curseworkers, and Team Human book swag. The staff also gave funny talks on some of their favorite YA titles, including Megan Miranda’s Fracture and Jesse Andrews’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Once the authors entered the building, they went right into their readings. Holly Black, co-author of the middle grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles and author of the (amazing!) Curseworkers series read a bit from her yet-to-be-turned in manuscript of her upcoming vampire story, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The chilling scene left off on a cliffhanger leaving attendees wanting more–which we can have in the fall of 2013.
Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices author Cassandra Clare read the prologue to Clockwork Princess, the highly anticipated conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy, available March 2013. The prologue tells the story of how characters Will and Jem first met before the beginning of the series.
The Demon’s Lexicon series author Sarah Rees Brennan read from her upcoming gothic YA novel, Unspoken (to be released in September of this year), after explaining that her two companions heartily mocked her idea of reading from the already released Team Human. To go with the scene, in which main character Kami turns down a boy asking her out by starting to strip, Sarah Rees Brennan started to strip herself while balancing a microphone and her book. No worries, due to layering she kept it classy.
After the readings, audience members were invited to ask questions. Prizes were given for fans asking questions–Black gave out antique gloves (her characters in the Curseworkers are required to wear them), Clare gave out clockwork angel necklaces and rune keychains, and SRB gave out ARCs of Unspoken. The questions revealed information about their books, their writing processes, and how they came to know one another. The three authors are incredibly funny and have great chemistry together–you can tell that they are good friends by how much teasing and anecdotes play a part in their talks.
The signing was so well organized. Audience members got a color-coded ticket with their group number on it with their book purchases and were called up according to their numbers. During the signing, I spoke with the very approachable authors about a variety of topics, including my kindle case (pictured above with their signatures), writing great friendships in young adult books, and The Vampire Diaries.
If you have the opportunity to take part in an event at Oblong Books, I encourage you to do so! The staff knows what they’re doing when it comes to planning tricky book signings. Plus they were highly entertaining during the hour-long wait in between seating and the readings. Also, if you ever get the chance to go see Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Sarah Rees Brennan speak, DO IT! Those three ladies are absolutely hilarious in addition to being fantastic writers.