Giving Some Love to the Local Scene

This past Saturday I went Librarycon hosted by our local library. I have an artist friend, Jared George (show him some love, his art is great- he actually created my little avatar for my facebook page and the front page of my site), who had a booth there last year and said it was fun, but small. I figured after a 5k earlier that morning and before my baby shower that evening, it would be a good small event to check out. I was pretty interested in seeing what local artists showed up.

Oh. My. Goodness. I guess word really got out because, according to Jared, this year there were over 2,000 people who showed up. It was actually pretty amazing and completely my type of scene. Hundreds of cosplayers young and old and everything local: artists, podcasts, comic book shops, costume makers and, most importantly to me, authors.

I have a great interest in local YA authors because I am aspiring to be one myself and it’s nice to see what the community is like. I also feel like it’s easier to talk to someone from your area because it takes the “mystique” away and leaves a real, live, breathing person in front of you.

There were several local authors there, but four that drew my attention: Bethany Hagen, Brian Katcher, Sarah Jude, and Angela McCubbins. Since I’m on a book buying ban until the end of September (so far away) I meekly asked if they minded if I took bookmarks, information and snapshots of their books to add to my TBR. It was nice that none of them were even the least bit put out by this and, after explaining why, Sarah Jude even made a comment of complete understanding.

landry parkBethany Hagen is the author of the Landry Park series. She was super sweet, very smiley, and open to the several questions I had. One of them, probably going to be the one you may notice first if you check out her work, is that her paperback art for her first novel is different from her hardback art. It matches the second book, but I was curious since this doesn’t happen too terribly often in the book world unless a movie is in the works. Apparently Barnes and Noble felt that the first cover (the one I posted) was too “sci-fi” for what they felt the book was trying to portray so they went back to the drawing boards to find something they felt suited better. I love both covers, but I’m a bigger stickler for having all hardbacks or all paperbacks, so the mismatched covers won’t bother me. My good friend Laurie and my husband actually conspired and got me this book without me knowing so that I didn’t have to break my book ban. They did such a good job of it that I was completely stunned when Laurie approached me with a signed copy of it from Bethany Hagen with a personal note inside to “keep writing!” I am hoping to be a quick enough reader this week to have this book review up on the blog next week.

To see more about Bethany’s work, you can go here: www.bethanyhagen.com (click on her name) or  her twitter page.

improbability of ana and zakI will admit to being a tiny bit starstruck by Brian Katcher because I had screenshot his book, The Improbability of Ana and Zak, off of a #bookstagram hashtag not even a week before that. It was a little surreal to see a book styled all beautiful, as is the way of bookstagram, on my phone and then in front of me with the author right there, no less! He was also super friendly and down to earth which is a running trend in all the authors I talked to. He actually has written four different novels, all in slightly different genres ranging from typical romantic comedy to thriller. Since I feel like I’m kind of an one trick pony when it comes to my writing, I am really interested in seeing how his author voice comes across so many genres. According to goodreads, there is also a fifth book coming out soon, but he didn’t mention it during our short talk so I don’t know anything about it. I actually have requested The Improbability of Ana and Zak and Everyone Dies in the End from my local library and I’m just waiting on those to come in. I do plan to review the first one on my blog around the 19th. Rachel also plans to review it on hers as well. You can find more information on Brian Katcher and his work here: www.briankatcher.com or his twitter page.

may queen murdersSarah Jude‘s table caught my attention before her book cover did, surprisingly. It was a simple, fun, dark and gothic set up with pins featuring her book cover and title on it and bookmarks spread attractively. Yep, folks, that’s the type of geeky thing that catches my eye. A well displayed bookmark and attractive pin. She herself was very bubbly and chatty and piqued my curiosity when she stated that she was so excited for fall to arrive because she feels that it’s the perfect season to read her book. Since we Bookworms (Rachel and I) thrive on Halloween and Fall everything, I was instantly drawn in. I realize that this isn’t an uncommon phenomenon and that most people will state that their favorite season is Fall. But I don’t know how to describe the feeling you get when a YA author with a cute book table and a witty repertoire sits in front of you and talks about having even one thing remotely in common with  you. Maybe it’s just me, and it probably is, but everything in my soul wants to pull up a chair and say “tell me about every book you’ve ever read and are your favorite reading socks thick wool or knee-high and nerdy?” Okay, creepy moment over, I promise. Anyhow her book The May Queen Murders has a phenomenal cover and I’ve already added it to my Goodreads to be read shelf and requested it from the library. To find out more about Sarah Jude or her book you can go here: www.sarahjude.comher twitter page, or her facebook page.

transferenceI didn’t actually get to speak too much to Angela McCubbins because by this point we had passed approximately six author tables and at least a dozen vendor tables, all bearing candy, stickers, pins, and other such trinkets that my (almost) three-year old has an uncanny sense of sniffing out. I found myself handling a pretty epic toddler sugar rush in the form of a curly-haired blonde boy dressed as Batman. This really only gave me time to make brief eye contact, quickly ask if it was okay if I grabbed a bookmark and snapped a picture, and then find a place for my little Bean to go work off his energy. Luckily for him, there was a Star Wars scavenger hunt elsewhere in the library. Unluckily for me, I didn’t get much face time to chat with the author of Transference, the book whose tagline caught my attention even with everything else going on. “What if your family had secrets that could change your life forever?” I’m a pretty big family person. My immediate family (Husband, Bean, Squish) is first and foremost on my list of priorities, but I am very close to my parents and siblings and try to keep an active interest and dialogue going despite all of our busy schedules. Our parents just transferred to teach at a school in Virginia, our brother is in the air force, three of us sisters are pregnant and due within a month of each other, and everyone is juggling jobs, preschool, daily humdrum, and a social life if we can ever manage it. So when I can find a book that ties family in with “sci-fi freakiness” as goodreads states it, I’ll snatch it up for the feel good fuzzies of reading a book centered on family. I wish I had more to give you about the author as a real live person in front of me but I can tell you that she has a great smile and was very nice for the five seconds I got to speak with her. If you’d like to find out more, you can find her website here: www.angelamccubbins.com and/or her facebook page here.

Have you ever read any local authors that you loved? Want to suggest a good book to add to my TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

-Angie

 

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