Last Friday, February 17, 2012, fantasy authors Jen Reese and Sara Wilson Etienne had their book signing at Mysterious Galaxy.

Jen Reese & Sara Wilson Etienne at Mysterious Galaxy

They began with a little introduction about themselves and their books.

Jen Reese talked about her book, Above World.

Above World

I was happy to note that she too is a martial artist. It’s no wonder she’s a big fan of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender series. She says the show was a big influence when she wrote Above World.

Sara Wilson Etienne also talked a little bit about Harbinger, and explained that the setting was largely influenced by her old college campus in Maine, where she studied Marine Biology.


The two authors went back in forth, comparing main characters, setting, plot, and writing processes. Afterward, Sara and Jen opened the floor to questions.

Jen Reese & Sara Wilson Etienne open the floor to questions

The first question was what had influenced their love of  fantasy writing. Sara said it was Madeleine L’Engle’s books, and Jen responded by saying it was her love of Dungeons & Dragons.

Asked what books were on their To Be Read pile, Sara responded that it was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Jen said she was reading a bunch of Middle Grade books such as Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze.

The Freedom Maze: a novel

Both authors apparently write to lyric-less music. While writing Above World, Jen listened to the Harry Potter Soundtrack, as well the Soundtrack from Pirates of the Carribean.

Jen Reese

Sara confessed that she was a big fan of Battlestar Galactica, and actually listens to the soundtrack as she writes her next novel.  More often though, she listens to the Singer Rose soundtrack to set her in the mood for writing.

Sara Wilson Etienne

When asked if they had any tips for aspiring authors, Jen and Sara both recommended using the Scrivener writing software.

The Q & A ended to applause, and the authors sat down to prepare for their autograph session.

As Sara signed my book, I asked her if she had practiced her autograph signature before she was thrown into the world of book signings. She said hadn’t really had the time, but now she having to adjust to writing her maiden name Wilson again (after 10 years of using her married name Etienne).  We had a whole conversation on the merits and disadvantages of women taking their husband’s surname when they were married. She said she was happy to take Tony’s last name as she thought it was cooler (more unique) than her own.

Sara and I chatting as she signs my book,photo by Lena Chen

Of course, I bought copies of Jen’s book as well.  It was no surprise that we ended up chatting about Airbender and martials arts.

Myself with Jen Reese, photo by Lena Chen

I always have fun supporting local authors and SCBWI friends!

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12 Responses to “Sara Wilson Etienne & Jen Reese Book Signing@ Mysterious Galaxy”

  1. Pat Hatt says:

    Looks like a fun time, never watched The Last Airbender series but on my list.

  2. […] Windsor has a great summary of the event (with lots of pictures!), or you can follow the album link below to see the pictures that Chris […]

  3. Brinda says:

    I love seeing all the pictures! It sounds like you had a great time. I’m a martial arts fan as well and practiced taekwondo.

  4. Sara likes Battlestar Galactica? She is so awesome.

  5. How fun. I love going to book signings. These authors sound friendly.

  6. Lydia K says:

    I’m so jealous! You’re always meeting these cool authors!

  7. I love the idea of a join book signing. That would way less intimating.

  8. Allison says:

    Sounds like a good time! Btw, I tagged you on my blog, if you feel like participating in one of those question-answer blog events that are spreading across the blogosphere :)

  9. Melissa Bradley says:

    Very cool book signing! Thanks for sharing this experience. It’s always inspiring to me to hear about authors and the booksignings. I haven’t done one yet, so I hope to be able to do that one day soon. Congratulations to both ladies!

  10. It sounds like it was a great book signing! :)

  11. Sounds like an excellent session. I always find these sorts of sessions so inspiring. :-)

  12. Sounds like you had loads of Nutshell!!!!!!!!!!!! Battlestar Galactica is sooo awesome! And cool folks will always love it. *wink*

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