Book Event

Rediscovered Books hosted Marissa Meyer’s virtual launch event for her newest book Cursed which is the last book in her duology after Gilded, a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It was cool to hear that Rediscovered Books hosted one of Marissa Meyer’s first books she ever launched.

Many attended this virtual event where Meyer came with golden tinsels in her hair to represent the book! She started by sharing her inspirational photos that she used to develop the story. Apparently, she creates boards on Pinterest for all her books. This duology’s board was filled with pictures of creepy atmospheric settings, images, monsters, and creatures. Anyone can check out her boards on her Pinterest!

How Meyer came up with her retelling was something she brought up. Her thought process was that the main story was pretty lame when it came to happily-ever-after. She also found it obvious that the king was the villain of the story. So, she made the king the villain of her story, to do the original story justice, and decided, because she is her, that it needed a romance. That is when she came up with the brilliant idea of Rumpelstiltskin being the romantic interest. Also, funny fact, she wanted people to swoon for the king and then feel shame for swooning for him in this second book, so hopefully that worked haha.

She had her audio book narrator come in, which many people said that her books wouldn’t feel like Marissa Meyer books unless they are read by her, Rebecca Soler. This narrator said when doing a series, she has to go back and listen to herself and take notes on who is who, who wants to kill each other, and how she did the voices before. She also jots down adjectives to describe a character to be able to form a voice around them.

After the audio read, Meyer gave fun polls, where we learned that The Runaway Pancake is actually a classification of folktales. Also, that Rumpelstiltskin’s classification falls under Name the Helper. Another fun fact, scholars believe his name might have originally meant Little Rattle Ghost.

If she could change anything in her books, she said what haunts her the most is that she didn’t give Prince Kai a last name. Also, that she didn’t have more LGBTQIA+ characters in The Lunar Chronicles.

Her favorite world to build was the world for Gilded and Cursed because she loves fairytales, lore, and researching. She said she could research and do nothing else, but at some point, knows she has to write the book.

The easiest world she built was for Instant Karma because it is her only contemporary and there wasn’t as much world-building involved. Now, she is working with Locksmith Animation, which is an animation company in the UK, who are looking to adapt The Lunar Chronicles into a tv series. She is very enthusiastic and optimistic because during her meetings with them, she said that she could tell they knew what she was trying to accomplish with the series and why readers liked it.

Excitingly, Meyer said that she held onto lots of things for book two that she didn’t put in book one of this duology. I can’t wait to dive in and read all the reveals and twists that she had set up in book one but didn’t present. And more excitingly still, she revealed the title of her next book, which will be With a Little Luck. It is a companion book to Instant Karma and a ‘careful what you wish for’ kind of story. On top of that fact, she has many things in the works, including, more fairy tale retellings, graphic novels, swag, and more.

Thank you so much Rediscovered Books for the amazing event and letting many people from all around the world to get to attend.

Show Me In Words

Meeting you in the bookstore

I want to know what’s in your mind

All the places you’ve been

All the worlds loved combined

Show me in words

In conversations so deep

Sitting, opening the pages

We can be entwined underneath

Book Event

Oxford Exchange Bookstore hosted an event talking about the book The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling.

The most awesome part of this discussion was dissecting the horror genre a little. Everyone agreed that The Death of Jane Lawrence did not feel like horror, but that it had some horror elements and gore that was very well described that set the tone for the story.

This book brought about the discussion that the horror genre is great because different horror books can be at a different level of scary depending on the reader and may mean different things to each individual reader, even if it is the same book.

But maybe the best definition of horror I heard tonight was that horror is something that instills a new fear and throws someone off. I feel that like definition resonates with me when it comes to what I am looking for when I read a horror book.

The theme of shame was brought up. A reader found that theme in this book. Shame may be something for readers to think about and grasp onto while reading this book.

Everyone loved the bone wedding bands in this!! Some even would have wanted one for a wedding band themselves. Also, some liked the main character and some didn’t. The ones that didn’t couldn’t find her relatable in marrying a guy she barely knows and then being surprised about his lies. The ones that did had said that the things the main character did were things they would have done also. So that goes back to the beginning of this in how horror books are seen differently by different readers, maybe even more so than most other genres are.

Book Event

Mysterious Galaxy hosted an event with Brandie June to discuss Curse Undone, which is the sequel to Gold Spun. This duology is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin with the main girl character being a con artist and Rumpelstiltskin being a hot fairy boy. She made it that way to make it different, distinct, and to be able to think about the characters in a different way who are normally flat.

June explained how in order to not get stuck, she writes a note to make an epic battle or anything else she needs to add and then moves on. She actually has to write an entire really bad first draft before she goes back and edits. For these two books, in the later drafts, she had to figure out how good or bad she wanted Rumpelstiltskin to be as a whole and in parts. One of the scenes she remarked seeing very clearly was the golden ball.

To answer a question asking about why she likes retellings, she said that she loves how retellings customize their own worlds. One of her favorite Rumpelstiltskin retellings was Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik.

June thought that these books would be a trilogy at first. She knew that not everything would fit in one book, but then it was decided, based on her arc, that a duology would be better and make sense. She had a huge rough draft for the trilogy and had to cut in half and make an ending for her deadline.

June explained how she went through a lot of rejections and how her first book did not sell. But without that happening, she never would have written Gold Spun. Now, she is re-querying again with a new project because she had to part ways with her agent. What she finds works with the stress of querying is to keep working on other projects. Continually working is something she can control and manage and writing more helps her become a better writer.

Brandie June was so nice, easy to listen to, and very insightful. I enjoyed the event carried on by the awesome staff at Mysterious Galaxy and June’s great personality.

Book Event

Tonight, I got to listen to a panel between June Hur, Kristin Dwyer, and Axie Oh to celebrate Susan Lee’s debut Seoulmates.

It was cute how all four of them gushed over K-dramas. It was also funny that Susan Lee admitted that how she writes stories is by following the beats of K-dramas and if she gets stuck, going back to the episodic beats. She said because of that she feels like she is writing fan fic.

It was interesting to hear Susan Lee and the others talk about how most times they get too much in their heads with worry about if what they are writing is too risky and unrealistic, but then they remember that they are writing K-dramas.

When they asked Susan Lee what K-Drama she wished she had written, she said What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim because it is a great example of being formulaic.

Something I learned from this was that K-dramas were usually formulaic, but now are staring to lose their way because episodes will be added as they film after they see how popular they are and what they need to add or not. So, because of that, it takes away from the formulaic feeing that used to let watchers know what they were getting. Now a lot of it feels added on or stitched together.

Let Me Fall for You

Let me fall for your duet

Let it make me complete

Let your words fill my lonely

Let joy be released

Let the sing-song pattern soar

Let it fill the open sky

Let your song be something heavenly

Let it bring me back to life