Author Discussion of Mary: The Summoning

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Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

Goodreads¦ Amazon

Rating: Four out of five stars

Synopsis:

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.
Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.
A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.
Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.
A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

Review:

I actually was asked by Leydy from Once Upon a Twilight to review this book! You can find my review by clicking here! Overall I really loved this book, it kept me up at night and is the PERFECT Halloween read.

Discussion:

Before jumping into this discussion, I would like to thank Hillary Monahan for taking the time to answer these questions! I really do appreciate it. If you guys want to learn more about Hillary and her books (which you should totally do!) check out her website. You can also follow her on twitter, she’s very sweet and tweets fans back! Okay, now it’s time for the discussion:

Before writing Mary: The Summoning, did you know the details to Bloody Mary’s history or did you start researching her when you came up with the idea? What information did you find most interesting?

I didn’t know much about Bloody Mary except for my own childhood experiences.  I hadn’t even seen the Supernatural episode about her yet (which I get asked a lot—I SWEAR, GUYS, I SAW IT ABOUT A MONTH AFTER I SUBMITTED DRAFT ONE OF MARY TO MY AGENT IN 2011 AND PROMPTLY FREAKED OUT THAT I WAS A DERIVATIVE JERK.  Fortunately my first draft was a full historical and had nothing to do with the Mary in Supernatural.)  At any rate, I was traumatized by the legend as an early teen, or my town’s variation therein, so it was perfect fodder for a book.

Researching her didn’t get me very far, frankly.  Bloody Mary became a THING in the States in the 1960s.  Beyond that, it was girls in a bathroom—sometimes alone, sometimes not—a candle, and the name said three times.  From there, the details all sort of wandered.  Even the name of the ghost was different in different places.  I didn’t get my hands on the English toilet bogey variant (based on Bloody Mary the queen) until after I’d completed the book.

Have you ever tried to summon Bloody Mary? If so what was your experience like?

Funny story.  I was supposed to do the ritual, went into the bathroom at the school (as that’s where this urban legend popped up) and . . . chickened out.  But because I was afraid people would make fun of me, I ran outside swearing I saw something in the mirror.

Which I think is how this urban legend lives on.  Girls like me.  Being really dumb.

I noticed that you love the horror genre, what is your favorite horror movie, book, and/or TV show of all time?

I could go on and on about this for a while.  My favorite horror books are probably THE SHINING, THE WITCHING HOUR, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, and a new favorite is Emily Carroll’s THROUGH THE WOODS.

Movies?  Shaun of the dead. The Exorcist. Kubrick’s The Shining even though it has almost nothing to do with the book.  Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Tucker and Dale Versus Evil delight me.  So do a lot of Burton movies.  I love Nightmare Before Christmas so much, I have the merchandise everywhere.  I also adore the heck out of his version of Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd (to be fair I liked Sweeney Todd as a musical far before Burton came along.)

TV shows?  I did a whole blog post about this recently, but I’m a big fan of some of the early X-Files episodes.  Buffy, American Horror Story, Supernatural though I came to fandom late.  I’m also loving the HECK out of Hannibal for a psychological trauma show.

Were there any scenes in the book that terrified you?

Not scenes so much, though I think the church scene is one of the scarier ones simply because of where Mary comes from.  I also don’t dig bugs, so anything that had the beetles made me shiver.  Why I put so many bugs in the book, I do not know.  I think I hate myself and all my readers a little.

What are your top three favorite urban legends? If you had to ever choose, which of those three would you prefer to haunt you?

The Boogie Man, Bloody Mary, and the Hook Hand.  Honestly, none of them are invited to my tea parties, but I guess if I had to pick one, it’d be the Boogie Man as he’s based on fairy lore and I can get my hands on some iron and horseshoes to keep him off my doorstep.  Or locked in the closet indefinitely.

YA Mania Author Interview: Meredith McCardle

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This post is all about one of YA Mania’s featured authors, Meredith McCardle!

Before creating YA Mania, I only knew Meredith (but she didn’t know me) because I was looking up events that were near by house. Meredith’s book release party for The Eighth Guardian came up as one of the search results so I looked her and her book up on Goodreads. After reading the summary of the book, I was immediately intrigued and had full intentions of attending the book release party, but I couldn’t. That didn’t stop me from inviting her to the invite and thankfully Meredith enthusiastically agreed! I was finally able to read her book recently (check out my spoiler free review here) since a friend let me borrow her book. I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to purchase my own copy this Saturday!

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Here’s Meredith’s official Goodreads bio:

Meredith McCardle is a recovered lawyer who lives in South Florida with her husband and two young daughters. Like her main character, she has a fondness for strong coffee, comfortable pants, and jumping to the wrong conclusions. Unlike her main character, she cannot travel through time. Sadly. Her debut, THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, will be published by Skyscape/Amazon Children’s in Spring 2014.

It’s time for the exclusive interview!

Q: In your bio you mention how you studied journalism and theatre, then switched to law and became a lawyer, and then after having your first kid you decided to become a full time writer. What is your advice to people who are in college and aren’t studying in the field that they love? Do you believe in having a ‘back up’ plan?

A: I definitely think it’s important to love what you do. You don’t have to love it every second of every day, but overall, it should be something that feels meaningful and worthwhile. If you’re still in college and you just know deep down that you’re studying the wrong field, I would highly recommend switching while it’s still easy to do so. Or at least taking a long, hard look at switching.

But I’ll also say that, as far as writing goes, it’s a pretty easy field to get into on a part-time basis. For years I was a /writer. As in a student/writer and a lawyer/writer. It’s hard to find the time, but if it’s something you really want to do, you *will* find the time!

Q: What is one book you can read an infinite amount of times, but never tire of?

A: The entire Harry Potter series. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read those.

 Q: As an author and a mom, do you ask your kid(s) to read your work? If so what were their reactions? 

A: My kids are still pretty young. They’re 4 and 1. So a bit too young for my book! But making sure that both of them build a strong relationship with books is high on my list of priorities as a mom.

Q: Would you prefer The Eighth Guardian to be a TV series or a movie? Who would you cast as Amanda/Iris?

A: I think it’s best suited for a movie, no doubt. And it’s funny, I get the Iris casting question all.the.time, so you’d think I’d have an answer by now, but I don’t. My only wish would be that casting directors stay true to Iris’s diverse ethnic background in making their decision and not turn her into, say, a hot blonde.

 Q: What sparked your love for writing?

A: Probably the fact that books were an important part of my childhood. My mom was an early childhood educator, so she understood the value of reading to children. Having my imagination sparked by reading at such an early age definitely influenced my desire to write.

Thanks for stopping by Meredith! Anyone who can stop by YA Mania should definitely pick up Meredith’s book The Eighth Guardian!

YA Mania Author Interview: Amy Parker

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Today’s post is all about one of YA Mania’s featured authors, Amy Parker!

The awesome thing about Amy Parker was the fact that she contacted ME to join the panel! She sent a sweet email asking to join and after reading I couldn’t say no. Even though she contacted me a few weeks before the event, I was bring her up to speed. I am beyond excited to meet her and cannot wait to get my hands on her book which looks absolutely amazing!

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Here’s her Goodreads bio:

AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at amychristineparker.com and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar

Q: On your website bio you mentioned that you lived in a haunted house, can you tell us more? Any creepy stories?

A: Well, let’s see…the house was over one hundred years old and was quite cool in some ways because it had a secret passageway to the second floor hidden in the kitchen pantry and an old horse drawn carriage in the barn out back. BUT every night I would hear footsteps coming up the front steps and when I went to see who was coming up, there was no one there. As soon as I would lie back down they would start again…in basically the same section of the stairs where they stopped. Then the attic door next to my room would rattle like someone was on the other side of it trying to get out. Once it actually opened up on its own as I was walking by and I ran and hid in my closet, certain that something was coming for me. Another time my five year old brother’s bedroom doors were both locked in the middle of the night—something he never did, we all kept our doors open and we were all screaming at him to open the door and he just wouldn’t wake up. When he finally did and we got inside there was a huge piece of the wall on his pillow—somehow it had fallen and we have no idea how or why. It was a rental house. We lived there for only a year and it was so creepy several of our relatives refused to stay there.

Q: Why are you scared of frogs?

A: I have no idea! I think it has to do with the hopping. It’s totally irrational and I know it but I can’t seem to talk myself out of it!

Q: I see that you’re a Stephen King fan, what shorts do you recommend for someone who’s never read his work?

A: The first short story of his that I couldn’t stop thinking about was called Gramma and is in the Skeleton Crew collection. It’s about a kid who is home alone with his dying grandmother who sort of freaks him out because she’s bedridden and large and as the story goes on, he realizes, a witch. He goes to check on her and it appears that she’s died…but then she starts calling to him telling him she wants a hug. It creeped me out BIG TIME. So for me if you’re new to Stephen King, you should start with that collection.

Q: Have you always written full time? If not, what did you do before writing?

A: No, in fact I only started writing full time about two years ago. Before that I was a full time stay at home mom and before that I was a fifth grade teacher.

Q: Are you a part of any ‘fandoms’? Which ones?

A: Not officially! But if I were going to join one, hands down it would be the Harry Potter fandom. I loved those books and am dying to get to Universal Studios asap to see Diagon Alley.

Thanks Amy! If you’d like to purchase her book Gated, stop by YA Mania and pick up a copy!

YA Mania Author Interview: Christina Farley

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Today’s post is all about one of YA Mania’s featured authors, Christina Farley!

I actually ‘met’ Christina after inviting Meredith to YA Mania. Meredith had emailed me asking if she can invite a friend/co-author to join the panel and signing, which I obviously agreed to. After emailing Christina, I cyber-stalked her and her books and was surprised to find out that she has lived my dream life. She’s traveled the world and used that experience to write books. Her first book, Gilded, is actually set in South Korea- one of the many places she’s visited. I aspire to be like her, I want to travel and learn about different cultures and their mythologies. If it weren’t so hard to find a steady job in the field, I would’ve definitely become an anthropologist! I would love to immerse myself in different cultures!

Here’s Christina’s official Goodreads bio and a cute gif she made:

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After teaching and traveling internationally for ten years, Christina started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write the GILDED series, a YA based on Korean mythology about a Korean-American girl who takes her destiny into her own hands.

Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, driving too fast, and eating dark chocolate.

Christina writes fantasy for teens. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary, LLC.
Learn more about Christina by visiting her at www.christinafarley.com or by chatting with her on Twitter @christinafarley.

And now for the exclusive interview! Note: This interview was done via email

Q: In your bio you mention that you traveled for ten years before writing Gilded. Does that affect your writing? Is so, in what ways does that experience affect your writing?

A: Absolutely. I incorporate many of my travels and adventures into my books. There are a number of scenes in my books that are real life events that I’ve thrown in a little fiction with them. Not only do these places inspire me for settings, but they spark new ideas for stories. GILDED is set in South Korea where I lived for eight years, SILVERN is set in North and South Korea, and the third book (still not officially announced) is set in China where I also visited.

Q: Out of all the places you’ve visited which is your favorite?

A: It’s a tossup between the south island of New Zealand and Innsbruck, Austria. Both are so magical. I love mountains (isn’t that ironic since I live in Florida!) and quaint towns, and both these places have that. Plus their food is to die for.

Q: As a teacher, do you try to incorporate reading into your students’ lives?

A: Reading and writing have always been huge components in my teaching. My students tell me that we read and write A LOT in my class and I tell them that makes me very happy. And then they groan. The reality is that those who read every day are more successful in school and later on in their work fields. Reading broadens a person’s scope and knowledge, and empowers them to go beyond in their accomplishments.

Q: After the Gilded series are you planning to continue writing?

A: I love telling stories so I will definitely keep writing. I have about a million stories floating through my head at this very second. But I do have a middle grade that is in my agent’s hands, and as soon as I finish fine-tuning Gilded #3, I have another YA series that I’m super excited about tackling. I can’t spill any details yet, but all of these stories will be set in overseas locations in places that I’ve lived or visited. And they will appeal to fans of the Gilded series with elements of fantasy and strong female characters.

Q: You wrote a short story when you were ten and it was rejected by a literary magazine, do you still have the story? What is it about?

A: That’s a great question! I don’t have the story, which is good and bad. Good in that it was awful, bad in that I would love to show where I began and how a person with hard work and determination can get published.

Thanks Christina! If you can go to YA Mania make sure to stop by Christina’s table and buy her book Gilded!

YA Mania Author Interview: Megan Duke

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Today’s post is all about one of YA Mania’s featured authors, Megan Duke!

If you’ve been following my blog from the start you know that I absolutely OBSESSED with Megan Duke’s books. Megan has written Small Circles, Three Sixty, and Ninety Degrees– which are all amazing books that I recommend everyone to read as soon as you can! I’ve told Megan this in the past, and I’ve also written a blog post about it, but these books really spoke to me on a personal level. I was able to relate so much with one of the characters and it really gave me hope that things would get better and that it’s okay for me to be happy. They taught me to embrace life and make the best of what I have because I never know what can happen. I can honestly say that this series is in my top three favorite series of all tome- no lie. So you can imagine how ecstatic I am that Megan is driving all the way from TENNESSEE to come to YA Mania. It’s unreal and I cannot wait. Here’s Megan’s official bio from Goodreads:

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Megan Duke was born in 1992 and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She currently resides there with her fiance, Trent. Megan has spent most of her young adult life writing. She attended fashion school at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville for one year, but after realizing her true passion, she left school and pursued a writing career.
Megan is best known for the coming of age novel, Small Circles. Before releasing that particular story, or its companion: Three Sixty, she began writing a futuristic sci/fi trilogy called The Mind Breaker Accounts. Since then, she has planned to write two more companions to the coming of age novel, as well as finish the Mind Breakers trilogy with the final book planned for release in 2015.
For Megan, telling a story is more than just writing words. To her, it’s about sharing something that could possibly make a difference. Whether that be through futuristic fiction driven by the power of mind control, or a simple contemporary novel about friendship and happiness, it’s the impact that matters, so read on!
She continues to write every day.

Here’s the exclusive interview with Megan! Note: This was done via email

1. I know you’re a huge John Green fan, if you can only read one of his books for the rest of his books which one would you choose and why?

Looking for Alaska, definitely!

2. Before you released Small Circles you attended a design and technology school. If you never would have written and released Small Circles would you have still been involved with design? If so what do you think you would have done?

I was more interested in visual merchandising, which is exactly what I did for Abercrombie and Aeropostale. I used to want to design my own store. I really want to open my own bookstore / coffee shop one day, and I want to be highly involved in the design process.

3. What are a couple of books that you would love to see adapted on the big screen?

Panic by Lauren Oliver, The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (2 of those have already been optioned!)

4. What are your writing plans for the next three years? 

I plan to release Infinite Limits in December of this year, Instead of This – Book 3 of The Mind Breaker Accounts in 2015, and I have plans for a stand alone novel that I’ll be working on after that.

5. If you were attending Hogwarts, what house would the sorting hat place you in?

I would like to say Gryffindor, but it would probably be Ravenclaw.
Thanks so much Megan! If you can drop by YA Mania, Megan will be selling copies of Small Circles, Three Sixty, and Ninety Degrees so come on down to buy your own copies!

YA Mania Author Interview: JD Netto

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Today’s post is all about one of YA Mania’s featured authors, J.D. Netto!

YA Mania is taking place this Saturday, August 2nd, at FAU High School on the Boca Raton campus. If you’re in the area stop by to meet new authors and discover new books. There will be games and an author panel so it should be loads of fun!

JD also met up with me and my sister at Barnes and Noble so we can interview him as well. I’ve met JD last December when me and my sister went to our first ever book signing, which was for The Whispers of the Fallen. It was a great experience and I was surprised at how nice he was. Before meeting JD, I though authors were untouchable. I was convinced that they were too busy to talk to fans; was I wrong! Because of JD, I realized that authors actually wanted to meet their fans and that was the push I needed to make my Goodreads account and to start contacting authors and reviewing books. So if you’re reading this, thank you JD, for being the first author to really talk to me because who knows- if it weren’t for that signing I might have been planning this event or have this blog!

Another great thing about him is that he actually remembered who me and my sister were. I’m sure he’s met tons of fans since, but he actually remembered that my sister had long hair so when he saw us he asked if she got a hair cut. That surprised both of us, especially with the stereotype that guys don’t notice anything haha. Alright, enough with the blabbing here’s JD Netto’s official bio from Goodreads:

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J.D.Netto (Jorge de Oliveira Netto) is Brazilian-born. Raised in Framingham, MA, J.D.Netto always had an eye for epic fantasy and story-telling. At an early age, J.D.Netto had the habit of locking himself in his room, turning on any soundtrack he could find, and there he wrote for hours. During his senior year in High School, J.D.Netto had an idea that changed his life: ‘What if Lucifer had a Diary? What if the Diary was a secret? What if the secret was a reality?’ These simple questions led J.D.Netto to write for six consecutive years, creating the world of Elysium. Apart from writing, J.D.Netto is a graphic designer, musician, and an illustrator.

Now here’s the interview! Note: This interview was digitally recorded so it’s basically written the way JD spoke. Because he discussed a few unannounced news I had to cut it out. I was the interviewer.

Q: Do you have any plans for another book series after The Whispers of The Fallen series?

A: Yes, after The Whispers of the Fallen I am going to write a series that I had a dream about. I can tell you that it’s going to take place in Paris and it’s going to have something to do with actual demons- not fallen stars, and it has something with the Catholic church. So it’s going to go down that route, but it’s still high fantasy!

Q: In the Eragon series, the main character realizes he is a dragon rider and owns a dragon named Saphira. If you could be a dragon rider what kind of dragon would you have and what would it’s name be?

A: I would have the Norwegian Ridgeback from the Harry Potter series. I would have to name him a really cool name…..Peter. *JD and interviewer laughs* When I call for him, I’ll say “Yo, Peter!” *interviewer: That’s actually really cool because people will think some guy is going to come out but it’ll actually be a dragon* Exactly! That’s why I would name my dragon Peter, so people could be fooled.

Q: When did you start drawing?

A: I was three years old when I started drawing, I actually learned how to draw before I learned how to write. I went to school, to perfect it. It’s still one of my favorite hobbies and my favorite thing to do. I actually have fans that buy scenes from The Whispers of the Fallen. There was actually one fan from New Zealand who contacted me requesting the scene with Lucifer and the shadows, in Chapter 15. She bought the original and wanted to hang it and it was pretty cool.

Q: What do you think your patronus would be? How about your boggart?

A: My patronus would be a stag. *speaking of Harry Potter* I love Snape, he was my favorite character and I was really upset when he died. My boggart would be death, not that I’m afraid of dying, I’m afraid of death taking the people that I love before their time.

Q: What is your favorite place that you traveled to?

In Rebellion, in my acknowledgements, I mention that I love Colorado, I love Aspen. It means a lot because me and my best friends go every year. On January 13, 2013 I started writing Rebellion on a plane to Colorado and then this year when I was there I finished one of the very last chapters of Rebellion in Colorado. It was good closure for me because I finished the book two months after that.

Thanks for meeting up with us JD! If you can attend YA Mania, JD will be selling copies of The Whispers of the Fallen and Rebellion so swing by to grab a copy!

YA Mania Author Interview: Michelle Madow

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Today’s post is all about one of YA Mania’s featured authors, Michelle Madow!

YA Mania is taking place this Saturday, August 2nd, at FAU High School on the Boca Raton campus. If you’re in the area stop by to meet new authors and discover new books. There will be games and an author panel so it should be loads of fun!

Michelle met up with me and my sister at our local Barnes and Noble to do this interview. She is super sweet and I can tell she is really passionate about her work. I really appreciate that she took time out of editing her third book in The Diamond Sisters series to come chat with us! Here’s her official bio from her Goodreads page:

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Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s latest YA novel, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014. It is the first in an upcoming trilogy. The second part, Diamonds in the Rough, will be coming out in November 2014.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook (/MichelleMadow) and Twitter (@MichelleMadow).

Now here’s the interview! Note: This interview was digitally recorded so it’s basically written the way Michelle spoke. The interviewer was my sister.

Q: Your first novel was inspired by Taylor Swift’s Love Story music video, do you often draw inspiration from music?

A: It was mainly just the Remembrance that I did, I just happened to see that music video and this whole idea about this girl who was reincarnated from the Regency Era, England just popped into my mind after I saw the music video. But my Secret Diamond Sisters series was inspired when I was walking through the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, so I just draw inspiration from whatever is going on in my life.

Q: I know that you’re a Twihard, are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Also, if you can be a a vampire would you want to be one?

A: I love that question! I always say that I am Team Jacob for myself because if I had to choose between Edward and Jacob I would choose to date Jacob because I think he’s more fun. But I think that for Bella, Edward was the right choice for her. So I like Bella with Edward and Jacob is all for me! If I can be a vampire, I’d definitely be a vampire. Why would I not wanna be a vampire? You can live forever, you’re pretty indestructible, and you’re gorgeous in Stephanie Meyer’s world- if you turn into a vampire, you turn into a supermodel. What’s not to like about that?!

Q: If you could live in any book world, where would you live and why?

A: I would definitely wanna live in Harry Potter World because I really want to go to Hogwarts! It seems like a really fun school to go to. Just like everyone else, I’ve always wanted to get my Hogwarts letter in the mail, I’m still hoping that I’ll get a graduate school letter will arrive (with Harry Potter!). My friend actually sent me one of those letters as a joke once. So, definitely Harry Potter’s world!

Q: What has been your favorite fan encounter?

A: Probably the first time a fan recognized me, like when I was walking around Book Expo America in 2012. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and she said hi to me, it was the first time anyone recognized me at an event so that’s definitely something I’ll never forget.

Q: You’ve been to many events like BookCon and ALA, what’s your favorite event and why?

A: Well I’ve been to Book Expo America the most, I’ve been going for about nine years, so that’s definitely probably my favorite because I went when I was 19 and that was the first time I met Stephanie Meyer- which is something that I’ll always remember. I just love it because they always have piles of books everywhere and I get introduced to so many books that I might have not picked up on my own. BEA has really helped me expand my reading and interests so I met new authors, so I love that convention.

 

Thanks so much for dropping by Michelle! If you can attend YA Mania, Michelle will be selling copies of The Secret Diamond Sisters and her Transcend series so be sure to drop by!