Fangirl Bookish Memories

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is bookish memories. This can be anything from waiting in line for a book release to meeting an author to finding an out of print book. What are your memories?

10. Fairy tales!
When I was little, they were my go to reading choices even though I couldn’t associate with wanting to live happily ever after. What drew me to them was Europe and for a little girl growing up outside El Paso, Texas, trust me Europe seemed amazing. I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could go see where Cinderella lived and company. :sigh: My four-year- old self still insists I didn’t try hard enough to find Snow White when I was living abroad.

09. Winning the golden ticket!
danbrownOkay not THE ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the Borders (:sob: I miss you!) golden ticket for a signed copy of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. In 2009, they ran a scavenger type contest and would tweet the location of the clue. No clue in my city, but the neighboring town had one and it was a 40 minute drive (in rush hour traffic) and I did question if it was worth the drive. On arrival, I thought someone beat me to the ticket because the location of the clue yielded nothing until, I removed all the books from the shelf and it was behind the last book. The manager laughed when he caught me dancing and I was very pleased with my win.

08. David Gandy!

Okay he’s not exactly a bookish moment, but during my chats with other bloggers he’s been mentioned so why not add him to the list?

07. Fictional Boyfriends
Um…let’s just say I have way too many and I don’t have enough room in bed for all of them. LOL! I just hope they all realize how much I adore them equally and don’t fight over me. Who’s on your list and how many do you have?

06. Book series!

He often envied people who hadn’t read his favorite books. They had such happiness before them. ― Charles Finch, A Stranger in Mayfair

I love this quote by Charles Finch that appears in his fourth Lenox novel. It’s very true! I love discovering new book series and going on a journey with the characters. It’s bittersweet when they end, but you can always revisit and get to know them all over again. Some of the magic is lost, but in my opinion, you experience that magical feeling when someone you know starts a beloved series and falls in love.

05. Getting books signed!
I’ve mentioned before, if given the opportunity, I won’t pass up a signed book. 2012 was a great year for my bookcase! I do have to say the best inscription of a book to date, comes from Chelsea Cain and most of my friends know of my love for Archie Sheridan from her Archie/Gretchen series. When a former friend had the opportunity to attend a book festival with Cain present, she went and got me a book signed and I will always be thankful to her for that because I know Cain isn’t her type of author and she took time out of her busy schedule to attend. Thank you M!

04. Meeting Deborah Harkness.
Deborah Harkness is the first author I’ve met at a book signing. Prior to that, I had no idea how these things were conducted despite everyone telling me what to expect. It was exciting and the line after her Q&A was long, but when the moment came to hand her my books, I didn’t want to say anything in case I interrupted her concentration while she signed them! She was lovely and happily answered a question I had.

03. Interviewing Charles Finch.
I had the opportunity to interview Charlie for another blog (see #1); it was exciting, but nerve wracking. Most of you probably know how it feels, taking the plunge to ask for an interview. He truly is an amazing and thoughtful person. Hopefully we’ll meet one day and I hope my fangirl letter to him didn’t scare him off.

02. Meeting George RR Martin.

Let me explain…a few years ago, I was helping out at the annual Medieval Spring Lecture series run by undergrad university and there were a few whispers among the History / English students that someone big might be attending. The first night of the series, the know-it-all in our group began to fangirl and I was about to ask him what was wrong, when I looked up to hand a program to an attendee and I almost passed out! It was Martin himself and we chatted a bit about the lecture series, etc. By the end of the week he knew my name and the following year, he remembered me. I don’t think he attends the lectures anymore since Game of Thrones has become popular, but it would be lovely to see him again.

01. Book blogging

Although Literary, etc was established in June when my friend Arlinda suggested it, I didn’t take it seriously. A few months later, I was asked to be part of a blog that was being created and the first 2 words in their name were my suggestion. I left in early December due to scheduling conflicts and different agendas. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and there are times I regret accepting the offer to join because I had really good friendships with some of the girls. Since my departure, the friendships have ended and it makes me incredibly sad. Most of my content was removed and no mention of my departure was announced (makes it seem as if I never existed). I wish them well and I have no hard feelings towards them. To: K, R, E, T, A, & M-thanks for the fangirl moments and wish things had turned out differently.

Deborah Harkness Q&A

imag0302On August 1, 2012, I had the honor of attending a reading & signing by author Deborah Harkness. I walked on clouds for weeks afterward. She read two sections from Shadow of Night & answered some questions regarding the series. She was very kind and I wish I had more time to talk to her, but there was a line behind me.

Located below are the questions asked by those in attendance. Permission was granted by Harkness to post the q&a (thank you!). Some of the questions are phrased in a way that is meant for her to answer, but instead of “I” you’ll see them answered in third person. The reason for this is partly because of the way my notes were written. I was scribbling like crazy in the background while she spoke.

Please note:
There is a spoiler at the end. I asked this question to her privately. I’ll make sure to remind you as you read that there is a spoiler before you get it to, so if you haven’t read Shadow of Night, you won’t hate me for spoiling it. Other than that the rest of the questions / answers are spoiler free.

How did you come up with the concept of A Discovery of Witches?
It was while she was on vacation, at the airport she saw a series of books on vampires living amongst us. She began to ask questions, such as, if vampires lived how did they keep their identity secret? What profession would they be in? She began to ask family members and friends these questions. She then began to write down ideas and from there began to write A Discovery of Witches.

Do you share any similarities with Diana?
She laughed when asked this question because she says she gets asked this a lot. They are both historians with an interest in Elizabethan England with regards to alchemy. She too like Diana has spent countless hours at the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Diana comes across a long lost manuscript, Ashmole 782, and Harkness herself found an ancient once thought to be lost book of spells, Book of Soyga.

Which character is she more like?

Diana’s aunt Emily.

Why does Matthew know every famous historical figure?
Matthew knows everyone because he’s actually based in part on a real life person. George Chapman wrote a poem called “The Shadow of Night” (which book 2 gets its title from) and dedicated it to a fellow poet by the name of Matthew Roydon. There’s no known information about Roydon and Champan was familiar with group members that made up The School of Night. Harkness came across Roydon’s name while writing her master’s thesis. When she began to write A Discovery of Witches it made sense to use Matthew Roydon as part of Matthew Clairmont‘s past (readers know that he is Roydon) because there’s no information about him. What if Roydon was a vampire? Part of how she thinks and weaves pieces of the past in her books.

Why write about Diana’s life being difficult in the 16th century?
Life for a woman in the 16th century was more like a never ending family vacation. Add the mixture of being a witch, then you know life would be extremely difficult. As historians we think we know history and how to act, but put in that situation, in a time period we’re familiar with and we come realize we don’t know that much. She wanted to showcase that.
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