Sara Wilson Etienne’s Harbinger Book Launch

Last Saturday, February 4, 2012, I had the great pleasure of listening to fellow SCBWI-L.A. member and Westside Schmoozer Sara Wilson Etienne, talk about her much-awaited book, Harbinger.

Harbinger sign, photo by Lena Chen

Harbinger is about—

Well, see for yourselves:

Children’s Book World on Pico (Los Angeles)was packed with Sara’s friends and supporters. Half the Westside Schmoozers must have been in attendance. In fact, the signing area was so packed, some of the audience had to try and hear Sara from outside the room, as they stood in the main shop area.

A big round of applause echoed throughout the room as the bookstore’s owner proudly introduced Sara, who has been one of her patrons since way before when.

Sara Wilson Etienne being introduced to the adoring crowd, photo by Lena Chen

Sara took the time to enjoy the warm welcome. Smiles lit up the room. We were all beaming, happy to finally see Sara’s book in the “flesh”, knowing she’d worked so hard to get it there. Sara began by thanking the special people who helped her get the book published–her editor Stacey Barney, her agent, Michael Bourret (who was on hand to celebrate with her), and her husband Tony Etienne, who always believed in her. She went on to thank her critique partners, and the SCBWI LA schmoozers who gave them her support.

Sara Wilson Etienne savoring the applause

Tony was all smiles as Sara recounted her writing journey. Her idea for Habinger started 10 years ago, and she worked on it here and there. When she finally finished her first draft, she had no idea what to do with it–so she gave it to Tony. He read it and said, “Honey, it’s good but I don’t know what to do with it either.”

Sara also talked about how Holbrook Academy (which has its own awesome website and school brochures!),  was inspired by the college she went to in Maine. She had originally taken up Marine Biology there, but decided that she liked fiction more than fact.

One of the buildings in her old college felt so creepy that she used it as a basis for her own novel’s setting. Her husband Tony, a graphic designer and artist himself, created the map of Holbrook Academy seen on the first pages of the book.

Sara read the first few pages of her book before opening the floor to questions.

Sara reading from her book

The question and answer portion took awhile as a lot of the audience members wanted to learn a lot of about her journey to publication, and about the book itself.

As a way of involving other people in her book’s creation, Sara actually invited some illustrators she knew or knew of to pick their favorite scenes and characters from the book and create artwork based on that. This was a great way for Sara to help her readers and fans visualize Faye’s world. Sara features interviews with these 25 illustrators on her website daily.

All 25 illustrations will actually be shown at the Hive Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles on March 3rd, 2012.

Sara’s talk ended with more applause, and then we all lined up to get our copies signed.

Sara and I chatted a little while she signed my book.

I felt thrilled to be a witness to Sara’s amazing writing journey. I was so happy to finally get a copy of the book she’d worked so hard to finish and get published.

Sara Wilson Etienne and myself

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8 Responses to “Sara Wilson Etienne’s Harbinger Book Launch”

  1. I’m in the picture! I’m in the picture!
    Well, you can see the back of my head.

  2. Great post Nutschell. I was one of the unlucky ones in the main shop area hearing only part of what Sara said. Thanks for letting me see what I missed.

  3. Kelly Polark says:

    You are so lucky to be able to go to so many book launches! I do get to go to a book signing tomorrow for one of my very fave authors Adam Rex. So I am quite excited about that!

  4. Shelly says:

    That was a great time. Thanks for sharing. I love her blue hair.

  5. It sounds like it was a great book launch. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  6. mooderino says:

    Must have been wonderful for Sara to send the book out into the world with so much support. Wishing her every succcess,


  7. Akoss says:

    It sounds like you had a blast. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. What a fun and enthusiastic book launch. I love going to events to celebrate an author and his or her book (or books). If I can’t go in person, a great blog post is the next best thing. : )

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