Sunday, November 11, 2012

RECAP: Apocalypse Tour + Giveaway!

Yesterday afternoon I got to go to Belleville Ontario to attend the Apocalypse Tour. I was invited by Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams of Books and we were met at the Chapters by Ciara from  Lost at Midnight Reviews and Emilie from Emilie's Book World.

Chrystal and I got to the Chapters around 12:30 and decided that we would do some shopping first so that we could spend time with the authors when they arrived. I found it really fun to be looking around a Chapters with someone else who was there to buy books, too. I normally go with my family or my boyfriend, Jay. They are extremely supportive of my blog, but they are not actually readers, so the experience is very different.

Finding any books we were missing for the signing was super easy--the nice people at Chapters had set up a display near the signing table with the books so that people who came to meet the authors would be able to pick up the books if they wanted them. (And who wouldn't--we had an absolutely awesome line-up of fantasy, apocalyptic and dystopian YA authors present and the chatter and fun at the signing table made it very inviting.) From what we were told, the distinct thing about the Belleville signing was that, aside from the four book bloggers present, all the people who bought books for themselves or as gifts were likely new readers. I thought that was pretty cool.

(from left to right: Lesley Livingston, Megan Crewe, Maureen
McGowan, Courtney Summers and Cheryl Rainfield..
Photo credit: Chrystal.) 
We had a bit of extra time between finishing shopping and the authors arriving, but that gave us all a chance to chat. Chrystal and I went back to see whether Chapters had all of the Wondrous Strange books but they were missing the first one.

By the time that we came back,. the authors had begun to arrive. It took a bit of finesse, but I managed (with some help) to get all the books I had brought or bought organized so that they could be signed.

As I approached Lesley Livingston, I noticed she had a book with her. We realized that it was Wondrous Strange and I mentioned that I'd wanted to get the trilogy but that book one was sold out. She turned to us, said she had brought it for a giveaway, and went, "Congradulations!", handing it to me. So Chrystal ran back and grabbed the other two books and once I had them all together I got the whole set signed.

Thanks, Lesley! 
This worked out fantastically well since the overall turn-out to the Belleville event was small and cozy, and the rest of our little group already owned and / or had read the book.

Lesley's signing was pretty interesting. She has different colors and different little messages for each book, and I had five books of hers with me after what had just happened. For anyone curious, the messages for each book are:

Wondrous Strange: "Love, luck, joy, and good hunting."

Darklight: "Faerie tales are NON-fiction."

Tempestuous: "Magick time!"

Once Every Never: "Tempus Fugit!" (Time flies)

Starling: "En garde!"

If you want to see the signatures, make sure you check out my recap video where I take the time to share them all.

My Video Recap with all my signed books!

Next up was Megan Crewe, author of The Way We Fall. (Click here to see my Waiting on Wednesday for that last year.) I had grabbed the book shortly after it's release and it had promptly gotten sucked into the abyss also known as my bedroom, but I found it a few days before the event and brought it with me to get signed. I have a great respect for people who recognize and value just how dangerous a virus can be, and I found it very interesting learning how the idea for the book came to her. (Want to find out? Read on to learn how you can... ;) )

Next up was Maureen McGowan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last weekend at the Ontario Blog Squad Meet Up 2012. It was really great to see Maureen again and to have her sign my copy of her dystopian novel Deviants. I picked that up while we were at the Chapters, since I wanted to support / thank Belleville Chapters for hosting the event. (I think I spend around $100 total on books yesterday.) I feel a certain kinship with Maureen, because we both have characters whose emotions are connected to potentially dangerous powers. I'm really looking forward to reading Deviants and seeing where we match and where we're different.

One of my favorite books of 2012. 
The next author I met was Courtney Summers, whose apocalyptic novel This Is Not A Test was one of my favorite books read this year. She signed my copy of This Is Not A Test and the copy of Cracked Up To Be that I got for Christmas last year.

The last author I met, and admittedly the person I spent the longest chatting with, was Cheryl Rainfield. That's a bit of a story, but I'll try and keep it brief.

Before leaving for Apocalypse Tour, I spent the last week researching all of the authors who were going to be there. I'd read This Is Not A Test. I owned The Way We Fall. I'd met Maureen McGowan the weekend before. (And should have met Lesley, too, but the event last weekend was HUGE and I had a bit of trouble sorting through everyone!)

Cheryl was the real 'mystery'. So I went online to get samples of everyone's writing for my kindle. I checked out Deviants and Starling no problem, but Hunted was not there. Instead, I found that Cheryl had written a contemporary YA called Scars, and decided to check that out to get a feel for her writing instead.

In short: I was completely hooked and ended up ordering it and Starling via Amazon (leaving Deviants and Hunted for Chapters purchase.) Fortunately, Amazon was punctual as ever and my books arrived right when I needed them to.

Cheryl and I at Apocalypse Tour.
Thanks for the photo, Chrystal!
I probably chatted with Cheryl, off and on, for 45 minutes to an hour of the time we were at the event. Between discussing Scars, writing, books we liked, how reality and fantasy can and should blend to help get important themes to wider audiences and our dogs there was definitely a lot to say.

I think one of the most interesting things that came up was the talk we had about how varying experiences can connect people and how books can help to bridge any sort of misplaced gap, granting a reader the ability to find understanding, or even empathy. I've never faced the issues Kendra has (cutting, sexual abuse, being a lesbian)... But that doesn't mean I've never been bullied. Doesn't mean I've never felt anger or sadness or frustration that boiled to a point where I had to find a way to let it go. Doesn't mean I've never feared rejection from someone I liked as a teen--or ridicule for liking someone. (In terms of popularity, I was at the shallow end of the dream pool.) Our discussion lead to the thought that in this way, contemporary can mirror fantasy or science fiction, since all fiction is essentially a chance to try being someone else and getting to live in their skin.

I could probably write a whole post about or conversation, but since I don't want this to run too long, I'll sum it up by saying that I was very glad to meet Cheryl and that chatting with her was both interesting and inspiring. I came away with a lot worth thinking about.

To all of the authors who attended the event, I would like to say that it was totally awesome meeting you. I had an absolutely fantastic afternoon. I'd also like to thank Chrystal for inviting me and Ciara and Emilie for keeping an eye on my stuff when we grabbed Darklight and Tempestuous, helping come up with the surprise and being fun to hang out with. :)

Now, when Chrystal put up her recap she mentioned I have a surprise for you all. Ready to find out what it is?

Time For The Surprise...

In addition to interviewing a different author each day this week, I also have a totally awesome bundle of swag for you all to try and win. Here's how it's going to work:

My apologies to the one person who posted with their e-mail. I realized that method would not work for the kind of giveaway setup I want to use.

Here's how this works. Each day, there is going to be a post with an author interview. Each interview has a piece of information in it that is the answer to the question I have set up about the author listed. To get your bonus entries, come and watch each video and fill in the answer in the message box with that author's name.

The blog comment question is:

How would YOU survive the apocalypse?

I hope that clears things up! Here's the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


  1. How would I survive the apocalypse?

    Well, I'm old, I'm tired, and I have all the survival skills of cheap nail polish ... sooooo, if perchance I *did* survive, it would be 99.99% sheer miracle lol
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

  2. It was great seeing you again, Kat! Great recap of the event, too. :)

  3. Love your recap of the event and I am super excited to see all of your videos! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'm so bummed (and very, very bitter lol) that I didn't get to go on Saturday. Being from an even smaller town than Belleville, I'm sure you get what it's like to never have ANYONE come to your town (okay, except maybe Avril Lavigne), right? I never go anywhere or do anything and the ONE time I have plans, FIVE FREAKING AUTHORS COME TO MY CITY!!! UGH! Anyway...*takes deep breath*...I'm glad you had a great time and got to talk to all the authors. I hope more authors will come to Belleville and that you and Chrystal will be able to come back and we can ALL hang out! :-)

    As for how I would survive the apocalypse...I guess it depends how the world is ending. Is it fire or rain or zombies or something else? I'd probably stock-pile a boat load of supplies, get a rifle and learn to shoot, and hole up somewhere safe.

  5. I would survive by living in a bomb shelter

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