Ed Book Fest Day 3

Hey everyone!

So last night was my final day attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I’m now poor and more than that, I hate going around Edinburgh when it’s full-blown festival season.  [Road rage while walking is REAL for August in that city, folks]

Who did I go see?

The lovely Samantha Shannon again

AND

Holly Black!! [I have loved her books since I was like 15, which is half my life guys!]

Kirsty Logan did a great job panelling, asking questions and making sure that they were the sort of questions that could apply to both authors.

Also, I’m pretty sure there’s some conspiracy that makes all authors really super at reading out loud.

[In general, I sound like a really unimpressed chipmunk, so like, obviously my author dreams are out the window, but I digress.]

The authors were asked about how they do their worldbuilding to introduce the readers to their worlds.

Samantha starts us off with the answers, talking about it’s a balance as you have to avoid info-dumping but you still need to give a way for the readers to submerge into the world. There’s also the difference with Fantasy in that a lot of times you don’t need to understand the beginning of it, so as she read the book to her family who did not read a lot of the genre they had so many questions on the first page alone. This part cracked me up as she said they kept interrupting asking who the stranger in the sea was, why was he in the sea, and so forth. Seriously, my sides hurt from that panel.

Holly agreed on the info-dumping and that you have to try and not bring the story to a halt while explaining things to readers. The plot must go on!

When asked about their writings of female characters in the Fantasy genre, I mean we know that it’s still pretty male-dominated but the women are slowly taking over but Kirsty had them speaking about what it was like, did they make the conscious choice to have their female protagonists or did it come naturally.

Also as they discussed the fantasy genre and talked about the dominating protagonists of it, Kirsty Logan gave us this gem:

Pale, Male, and Stale.”

Such an accurate description of the genre.

Samantha Shannon wrote a book she wanted after watching Lord of the Rings, as we know Arwen is more prevalent and gets to be a badass in the movie versus in the books so when she read the books and was so disappointed, it spurred her to write the book she wanted to read.

Holly, on the other hand, said it was obviously a conscious choice to make female protagonists but it wasn’t one she did for any reasons other than…

I’m a lady, writing about ladies.”

And honestly, that’s fair enough, because that’s why I write female characters in my own hobby writing.

Holly then goes on to say she was about halfway through the book when she realized that the characters were almost all girls when reading The Priory of the Orange Tree. And her reaction was brilliant haha as was Samantha’s response of,

It’s because I tricked you by adding some men.”

They talk veered toward their discussion of characters, we went into the ‘strong female’ archetype and dissection of it with Samantha while Holly said she loved characters who make mistakes but of course for women characters, as they discuss ‘strong female character,’

Women [are] often punished for making mistakes.”

And it’s true, many times male characters do not face the same scrutiny and backlash that women characters do.

I won’t give you a rundown of everything but suffice to say we also covered retellings, their purposes depending on their reason of writing the retelling and their story origin ideas and processes. This includes writing a standalone compared to writing series books and diversity in characters.

And I think I’ll leave you all with these thoughts and end it here, for now, I will go into a post of my own about ‘strong female characters’ and diversity of characters and worlds another time built off this discussion!

Here are some pics of the books I had signed!

I was SO excited to have Holly Black sign these, and I LOVED that she was happy to see these editions and even complimented me on my upkeep of them despite having moved about 14x with them.

img_4890.jpg

 

This was my second time getting a book signed by Samantha Shannon so I brought along my charity shop find of The Bone Season and talked with her a little, mostly telling her I already had Priory signed and I accidentally dropped it on my foot and almost died. I wanted to be way more …normal while talking to her but it was like 10:15PM, I was barely coherent.

IMG_4891

 

Ed BookFest Day 2

Hey guys, so here I am to talk about my second day of attendance to Edinburgh Book Festival.

Yesterday I got to hear AL Kennedy speak, the author of The Little Snake. Which I reviewed here.

It’s a call/response to The Little Prince and an amazing read that packs so much power in so few pages.

I’m also partially in love with AL Kennedy now haha, I mean, talk about WHAT a speaker!

Kennedy starts off with the readings and picked some great ones as they were some of my favorite scenes, and the quality of the readings really hit home of the impact and message of her novel. This is about a snake who is the personification of death, it’s about a little girl, and it’s about what they can learn from each other as well as what we can learn from them and their friendship.

And, I mean, it’s a snake that’s a harbinger of death and gets to end a politician’s life, so I mean, that was just an extra awesome moment lol.

Kennedy speaks of how Lanmo our dear snakey snake has some days off now as people are efficient at killing each other at this point in time [in the story and well to be fair in my opinion in real life as well].

This is more than talking about The Little Snake though and I loved where Kennedy was coming from with the discussion in general.

Kennedy also goes into depth about how today there are people/companies out there whose sole objective is to keep humans from being kind to one another but that, in the end, they will always fail and man do I think that is SUCH an important message to promote because there are times we can lose sight of that, that hopefully more often than not when someone is in need, others provide.

Of course in a more digital age, it can be way too easy to ignore what others might need or to lend a helping hand, and yet we still manage to have gofundme and petitions, so, Kennedy provides this glimmer of hope that I think we all need right now;

The Proper purpose of being human is to help.”

Also, a good point is brought up, the sliding scale of annoyance is drastically cut down now, it’s more like ‘I’m annoyed, I wish you were dead’ instead of like ‘Eh, I’m annoyed, but I don’t want you dead.’

And, well, I was SUPER awkward, yet again, I can’t help it, there’s something about authors that bring out the most awkward of turtles in me, BUT I was happy because this was the first time I got the courage to ask a question during the question time of the panel.

I asked Kennedy why she chose the snake versus other aspects of The Little Prince to adapt, and well, it’s a love of reptiles and feeling that maybe there was more of a connection to the animals than people when reading the story. Kennedy also bears a hatred to the rose that I really could identify with, inner child me and me now both detested the rose, and I think that the imagery Kennedy provided with the rose being eaten by a million sheep and then found in the remanents of their waste is pretty much the best ending for the rose.

Then I got to talk to some great people in the queue and Kennedy signed my copy that Canongate Books gifted me, and it was like such an awesome end to my first week at the book festival and I can’t wait for my last event on Tuesday which is with Samantha Shannon and Holly Black.

Okay, this turned more into a gushing fan rant and discussion of the panel rather than a little summary but I have no regrets.

And I mean….Look how close I was! [This picture is before the panel started as they don’t allow photos during, whoops, didn’t know that until then!]

IMG-4859

 

Oooh AND AND Here are some pictures of my signed books if you all want a glance!

IMG-4862

The one in the middle is my notebook for the Fesitval lol I just wanted it in the picture too

 

Ed Bookfest Day 1

Hey guys!

So I’ve been busy the past couple of days. Saying that I’ll be catching up on blog hopping today with my blessed day off from running to Edinburgh for the Book Festival…which…has been amazing!

**That featured image belongs to EdBookFest definitely not meeeeee, please no one sue, I am poor*

IMG-4837.JPG

I saw Joanne Harris, and she signed my copies of Chocolat and The Gospel of Loki and she was just the sweetest person ever, I felt so star shocked meeting her and then Alexander McCall Smith.

Harris mostly discussed her newest novel The Strawberry Thief her writing process and how it feels to come a bit full circle with the world of Chocolat  and how her works aren’t different genres but rather more like same ideas from a different perspective. < I loved that so much I wrote it down.

Rosette is also such a different child than Anuk in these books and I loved the reading Joanne Harris did of her chapter. A girl considered different but she has a voice and Harris does her justice in bringing that voice to light.

She also discussed so much else about evil and more on Rosette that I’m going to leave for another blog post. Suffice to say I am an even bigger fan now after hearing her speak.

It was a bit of a crammed day because right after her book signing I have to turn tail toward the tent I had just left before it to Smith’s event. He was hilarious and just like this spark of life that I aim to be now let alone like five years from now lol.

He discusses his writing process, and it was so interesting to hear the differences described between him and Harris, both wonderful writers, two completely different processes [I mean that’st o be expected but it really hit home after hearing both in one day].

Smith is a man who loves what he writes, he finds the humor in it and doesn’t mind having a laugh at what he’s writing, but he also provides such warmth to most of his stories as well.

Meeting him, I only own Dream Angus [Thank you Canongate!] and the rest are more library reads for me when it comes to his works. And let me tell you, this man is a genuine sweetheart. He shook every single person’s hand, he sat to the side of the table so people could take better pictures with him and he stopped to chat with everyone, he didn’t care how long the line was, everyone was given his time.

I also had a fangirl moment and gave him a thumbs up instead of saying bye as I got flustered. I’ll probably never live that down.

Today I went, just to take my daughter to look around while the hubs was in a talk, we get to do a bit of coloring and of course, I broke down and bought her a book, and even got one for the hubby.

Anyway, I’ll be talking more about what both authors spoke about in different posts.

I leave you with my parting gift which I’ve also put on Instagram and Twitter because I find it pretty funny

3C840C46-8934-4460-9E74-5819E3D144C6