Saturday, July 4, 2015

Recap: Leigh Bardugo Book Signing in PH

Almost two weeks ago on June 21st, we had the spectacular time meeting Leigh Bardugo and learning so much about her Shadow and Bone series, as well as her new book set in the Grisha world, Six of Crows. It was once again a pleasure to be invited by National Book Store to the forum where we got to meet the other bloggers again after two months, and of course converse with another of our favorite authors. Read all about this meeting and more below!

    • When ask if Leigh had to choose one amplifier, she said that she can’t imagine killing one because she’s a huge animal lover. Although if she really had to, she’ll choose firebird.
    • In terms of collaborating with somebody, Leigh would love to write with Laini Taylor because she thinks that Laini’s an amazing writer and like her as a person too. They also have different process, Leigh outline while Laini is very much about writes and then she reads what she writes and then goes back to it and she think they might kill each other because of it (haha). She would love to write with JK Rowling too just to meet her but probably spend the whole time just watching her.
    • Aside from high fantasy, Leigh has a horror story coming out, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys and it was one of her favorite covers of all time it is so creepy and weird. Leigh also has a story coming in Stephanie Perkins new anthology which comes out next year the Summer days, Summer nights. She really enjoys writing set in our world with a magical element and she sees herself writing that more in the future.
    • Leigh said that she would never cut a steamy scene. She outlines and It’s pretty rare that she cut scene and her books tend to get longer on her vision that there are gaps that has to be filled in. In Siege & Storm there were a bunch of events that original accredit as a battle scene that gotten to be a hundred pages long and the book was getting too long so Leigh took a bunch of the events which she imagine in Siege and Storm and put it in the middle of Ruin & Rising and reconstruct it.
    • Leigh has this dream of having a secret fan fiction acct and write secret sexy fan fiction characters.
    • Leigh is a huge GOT fans and most of what she grew up on is medieval England which she loves and with that she wanted to do something a little different and take her readers some place a little bit different.  1800s Russia felt like the right thing for her world. She wants to have this tension between the rise of modern technology and magic.
    • Writing and conceptualizing Six of Crows has been different for Leigh since the setting was fully existed in Leigh’s mind before she even sat down and writes it while in Shadow and Bone it is basically how the politics work, the magic. Six of Crows also have 5 different POVs, there’s flashbacks, heist, prison break, romance. Shadow & Bone was a classic “chosen one” story where ordinary girl discovers power leads revolution and Leigh wanted to write about people who were not chosen ones which the kids in Six of Crows portrays, they’re not kings or queens, they’re not looking for revolution they just wanted to survive. And Kaz the leader doesn’t have powers he was the toughest, the smartest most brutal kid in the room. She really feels that this is a different process different journey and it was really fun.
    • When Louisee asks Leigh to make a haiku, to describe Six of Crows:
    “Six deadly outcasts.
    One impossible heist, YEAH!
    You should order it.”
    • After writing Six of Crows Leigh said that she will have to take a little break from the Grisha world. She also said that she MIGHT write a book for Sturmhond but it won’t happen for a few years but she always know what his story is and who’s going to end up with. There was so much darkness in the book that Sturmhond has this confidence and optimism who is basically keeping Leigh company that’s why she loved writing about him.
    • As to what inspired Leigh on the Grisha world, it was when she used to be a makeup artist and got invited in a Halloween party and ended up doing make up 3 hrs straight for free. Instead of going out she opted out to stay at home where she was staying and fell asleep, when she woke up it was pitched black, country dark. She was completely terrified and when she calm down, she then realize that no matter how old you get, how smart you are the fear of the dark never really goes away,. And she thought what if darkness is a place, what if you have to fight the creature lurking on it, and all the idea from the trilogy really sprang from that initial moment.
    • Leigh intended the Darkling to be appealing and sexy. She always felt the most dangerous people in our lives walk in being beautiful, charismatic and they manipulate you to become attach to them and the challenges on writing Darkling was to keep him hot, and you have to judge him not by what he says or how compelling he is but what he actually  does.  Leigh also said that if she read this book on her younger years she’ll absolutely picks Alina with Darkling together but she believed that’s what fan fiction is for.
    • Darkling is a main love interest. One can be a love interest and an antagonist; it’s up to the reader to choose or not to choose. Leigh said that she is definitely a team story and can’t understand how mean people to each other over these fictional characters and just hope that all is Team Book. She doesn’t set out to write love interest but set out to write characters.
    • There’s a possibility to write a novella about Alina’s origin but probably post Stormhund book.
    • Leigh created languages to suit the moment of the world. She always wanted to be accessible to the reader and there are definitely things she would do differently in Shadow and Bone. Ravka takes its cue from Tsarist Russia, Kerch takes its cue from the Dutch Republic of the 1700s and Fjerdan is Scandinavian analog. In general she tends to take use from existent culture languages to keep things consistent but she also gotten a lot braver on her word buildings.
    • Life has really changed for Leigh after the success of the Grisha trilogy. 4 years ago she was broke, had a job she didn’t liked, a career she didn’t want to be in, Leigh sort of gotten lost in the way and now she have the job she dreamed having as a kid. Her friend even drew a picture of her when they were 14 yrs. old for her birthday where she was in a book signing (which she still have) and now she travels to a country she have never been before, sit and talk about stories. Leigh’s life has really been different since becoming a published author and really owes it to all the people who read her books. It is the most unreal, magical, incredible thing for her.

    After the Q&A, we lined up to have our books signed and interact with Leigh one-on-one.

    Dea and Mary Ann with Leigh Bardugo

    Random pictures with other Book Bloggers

    We also met new people at the event, Kevin(Tomebound) and 
    Salve(Cuckoo for Books). They are vloggers which is so awesome!Hi there Leslie hehe!

    Finally, a picture with all the bloggers at the event while holding precious SoC arc :)

    As per tradition, we went to the public signing venue after the forum and waited with the rest of her fans for the event to start.

    We also gather some facts while we were at the public signing. Here are some of them:

    • The paperback of Ruin & Rising will have the Darkling prequel story
    • In terms of her characters they arrived fully formed in her mind
    • Initially she was going to kill Mal but she fall in love with the character and have to keep them live
    • She always knew who was right for Alina
    • There’s a little bit of Leigh in every character she made. Alina and her share similar humor, they were both pretty pragmatic about life.
    • Alina’s relationship with Mal is inspired by her relationships with her friends.
    • In terms of writing, Leigh mostly relays her idea to Joanna Volpe (her agent). Leigh also said that one of the inspirations for Six of Crows was when she was driving around LA and she wanted to re watch ocean’s eleven and suddenly has this idea to write about heist, ocean’s eleven meets game of thrones. As for her writing routine Leigh mostly stay 2-3 mos. on her house, order a lot of take out, until the book is done.
    • One of the best things for being an author for Leigh was meeting people you admire for years and for her it was Holly Black.
    • She always knew that she wanted to be a writer. One thing she does when she had writer’s block is she put her Bluetooth earphones and talks to herself so people won’t think that she’s insane (hehe)
    • Leigh recommend to “read everything, never let anybody make you feel ashamed for loving young adult, whether its fantasy or contemporary” and she says to all the people who asks for her advice about writing is “you don’t have to go to a fancy schools to be a writer. All you have to do is read and write, read everything and love books”
    • It was really hard for Leigh to balance her writing and promoting.
    • As for the updates about the motion picture for Shadow and Bone(YES there is, yay!) though things are moving Hollywood is slow so Leigh doesn’t want to get the readers hopes up until it is really happening.
    • Leigh said that she thinks Jai Courtney (Eric from Divergent) would be great to be the Darkling.
    • Leigh Book recommendations are: Tamora pierce, Winners Curse (Marie Rutkoski), Graceling (Kristin Cashore) and also Illuminae (there was a twist in the story and felt like she was punch in the gut and recommended highly by her) which she recently read . As for contemporary, she recommends: I’ll Give You the Sun, Eleanor & Park and her recently read the Dumplin’ (Julie Murphy). 

    There were also cos players at the event and some of them won Six of Crows Arcs as well as the early birds!
     I mean look at those outfits, they really deserved it.
    Photo from NBS

    Leigh Bardugo with her Filipino fans (Manila and Cebu event)
    Photo from NBS

    Our signed copy of Leigh's books
    And yes people, that is a Six of Crows ARCs! How gorgeous *sigh* 

    To end this recap, here's a message to everyone in the Philippines who poured Leigh Bardugo all the love and support!

    Thank You so much again National Book Store for making all these awesome events happen and to Leigh Bardugo!

    PS: We'll be attending the next event, Katie Cotugno, Melissa Kantor and Robyn Schneider book signing tomorrow at Grand Atrium, Shangri-la Plaza. See you there!

    Leigh Bardugo's signing recaps:

    Precious of Fragments of Life
    Maricar of Blackplume
    Jeselle of Lifelong Bookworm
    Leslie of  Bibliophilekid
    Chyna of Lite-rate-ture
    Kevin of Tomebound

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