Last Friday, February 17, 2012, fantasy authors Jen Reese and Sara Wilson Etienne had their book signing at Mysterious Galaxy.
They began with a little introduction about themselves and their books.
Jen Reese talked about her book, 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.
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.
Jen said she was reading a bunch of Middle Grade books such as Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I always have fun supporting local authors and SCBWI friends!
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