Yet again, I am back at my favorite independent bookstore here in North Carolina, Quail Ridge Books. I have talked about this place like every month and it is not a bad thing. Back in July, I was looking at Sarah J. Maas’ website to see if she did an event here in North Carolina. Once I finished that, I headed over to Twitter, since I live on Twitter, and I saw that on September 7, 2017, she was going to be doing an even through Quail Ridge, just at a different location. My mom and I preordered the book and we got our tickets for the event. This was probably the most different, and most exciting event I have gone to and I am so thankful for this day. Here’s a little story of the whole event.
And I am sorry about how terrible all of these pictures look. The lighting in that building was terrible. I’m dead serious. I don’t think I have seen any amazing photos of this day yet. They all have some problems with them when it came to the lighting. Plus, as soon as Sarah J. Maas and the moderator Brittney came onto the stage, that was the first thing they commented on.
Who is Sarah J. Maas?
Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.
I did an author talk about Sarah J. Maas about a year ago and you can check it out here. If you want to check out her books or some of her other books, make sure you check it out
Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Released: September 5, 2017
Pages: 672 (Hardback)
In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.
Since we started planning this trip back in July, we had no idea what was going to happen with the school year. Something new I was doing this year since it is my junior year, I decided to go and join my marching band. I had been in the band but since I was the strongest clarinet player since the others graduation, I decided to join the fun. Little did I know we would be having a football game the next day. Thank god my band director and I have a great relationship so she allowed me to have practice off since she knew I would make the time up. She also knew that I understood everything and could pick up on stuff really quickly. Anyway, I got home and I showered. My school smells pretty bad. Like have you ever been in a basement and it smells like mothballs? That is what my school smells like. So, of course, I had to go and shower. But I got in the car and I drove with my mom to Raleigh, North Carolina.
I sadly had to do homework on the way there but it was really easy stuff. You know like Square Root Inverses and Domain/Range/whatever. So we did that and my sister face timed us about 20 minutes in and she had some homework questions. Me being me, I had to help her (my mom was driving also). Her teacher didn’t put the questions they were supposed to answer online so I had to go and tell her to email her. My sister literally sits there and tells me that the email was the first ever she has sent. And she types so slow. She types with one finger. It took her about 5 minutes just to find the email address. I mean, I’m not a fast typer but I’m not a slow typer. I’ve taken computer classes and I understand the keyboard. It probably took me about 45 minutes to write and edit this whole entire post. Anyway, let’s just get on with the post.
Since the event was held at a middle school instead of Quail Ridge, my mom and I knew very little about where we were going. You should have seen my face as soon as we drove onto ROWAN street. Seriously. Sarah J. Maas was on Rowan street for her book Tower of Dawn. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. We found the middle school and yet again, my sister goes and calls us because she couldn’t figure out how to do her homework. When I hung up the phone, we were helping her for 20:59. No kidding. 59 seconds. That’s beside the point. But while we were in the car, I saw my dream car and probably about 3 cop cars with their sirens on, about 5 minutes apart from each other. It was really weird. We got to the location. That was all that mattered. I was going to see one of my all time favorite authors in the world.
I knew a few things about this event since it was only like the third stop on her tour. I knew about the photo booth, the keychains, notes, videos, letters, and the fact that only 50 people get the chance to go and meet her. On the way there, I had to give my mom a little background information about the book series and all. I will say this: my mom left this event wanting to read her books and enjoying the whole thing.
We left our car and we had about 10 minutes before we could get through the doors. Though I don’t live in Raliegh, it is scary that I am beginning to recognize people from other events. Like I saw the same person my dad was sitting next to at the Marie Lu signing. She was also at the Sarah Dessen even because she was a few spots behind me in the signing line. We stood in line and my mom and I were just talking about the football game that would be happening the next day. If you are wondering, my school lost… yet again. But when the doors open, we still waited for about 15 minutes before we got my book and tickets.
I’m sort of regretting the fact I didn’t write Sarah J. Maas a letter now. Part of me wants to do one now since somehow I can win a scholarship by sending an author a letter. I bought a big book of scholarships and it is one of them in there. If you want more information on that, let me know about that. But we got my book, and I got my Party Pack for the book, along with the keychain. I am obsessed with this keychain. My mom regrets not picking another one up for her as well. She was going to give the other to me. But since there were a few people at the photo booth, I sort of decided to skip over it because I didn’t want to wait in line and all. Plus, I wanted to get a good seat, which I did. I really loved my seat.
My mom and I got there about 45 minutes early but I am happy that we did. There were people that were looking for seats, and not getting to sit next to one another, stuff like that. I got one of these seats on the side and you know how some auditoriums curve in on the sides and each row’s end chair is out a little? Yah. I got one of those seats. I wanted to see Sarah J. Maas and all her beauty perfectly. I sort of feel bad for the others who had some problems with seating but at the same time, I don’t. That makes sense, right? The event was supposed to start at 7 but it didn’t honestly start until 7:20. It wasn’t like I was watching the clock or anything… But it was worth the wait. It really was.
The event was moderated by the amazing this amazing book blogger named Brittney. She has this blog called Her Bookish Things and it is so beautiful. If you get the chance, you should go and read her blog. I love it. But I actually didn’t expect myself to end up crying, well almost crying, twice. I’ll get to that later but I was so excited as soon as she came out. And something I have to do, and it is a habit I have, I had to look at her shoes. I love shoes and I really liked her. They were just basically black but they were like a skinny heel and pointed. I could tell all of this from my seat. I’m not insane. But we started out and Sarah goes and starts describing the book.
I’m not going to go through the whole event since there are some things that I just feel like I should just keep special and just between the people who went. But my favorite question had to be the very first one, which was for her to describe the book in three words. And the first two words out of her mouth were sexy and steamy. Yep. And it makes me want to read it even more. There were things like if characters went against each other, which I laughed my butt off through this if the characters had social media, and Sarah’s love of the Mongolian Empire, along with the fact that everything that happens on Ancient Aliens is real. Which I totally agree with.
One thing my mom really enjoyed about the event was the fact Sarah was just so enjoyable to listen to and was hilarious. The scary thing is, Sarah’s laugh is just what I thought it would sound like. My mom didn’t understand a few things like ‘the wall scene’ that is coming back (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but as soon as we got in the car to go home, I had to go and explain. Like I said, my mom didn’t understand some of it, she still understood a lot of it. She loved listening to her because she didn’t feel like there were so many stupid questions and that there was a lot of stuff that related to the whole series, and A Court of Thorns and Roses, as well. And if I haven’t said it, my mom now wants to read all her books. But she has to read other books for her college class currently and for her library job. I’ve been telling her to read them for a while now.
I love her husband. Like he was literally like thirty feet behind me the whole time and God, he was funny. There were times that she would go and have to ask him for the answers and he would have something hilarious to answer. And Sarah had to give us this lovely speech about how Rhysand is not based off her husband, even though he is “tall, dark, and handsome.”
On the Saturday before the event, I read Elie Wiesel’s Dawn. No matter what, Elie Wiesel and I have some sort of conversation right after I read his work. When I read Night, he died the next freaking day. Sarah’s great grandfather helped Elie Wiesel right after the Holocaust. I couldn’t. But Sarah told us the story about her grandmother and how she inspired her. I’m not going to share that story but there were tears that were going to come. And it was so hard to fight back the tears as soon as Sarah starts crying.
One thing I loved that Sarah did at the end of the event was let us know how her dad was doing. If you follow her on Instagram or get her newsletters, you know he had a heart attack, and let me tell you, I was part of the crazy people who sent love and prayers to her family. Even though I never personally met them, it was one of those things that I wanted the best for their family because, in my heart, all the authors I read are my family. Sarah went into a little more detail about the events and all and by the end of the whole thing, it was hard for me to keep my eyes dry. It was almost like I was back at my Spring Concert and this guy who’s dad was killed in a work accident stood up and told us about his dad’s death. It was hard to get through the next song because it was so emotional. I looked over at one of my friends and she was in tears and as soon as I did, I knew that it was a mistake because it was so hard to not cry. And they picked the worse time to put it because it came right before On A Hymn Song of Philip Bliss. If you haven’t heard this song, you need to. It is beautiful and it makes me want to cry when I think back to this.
Sadly, I was not one of the lucky 50 who got the chance to go and meet Sarah J. Maas. There were so many times I was like 4 off. I was number 44 and guess what, number 43 was called. I was so upset and I knew that if I got my hopes up, I probably wouldn’t get the chance I never win stuff like this in the first place. At least the book is signed and I know that I would love to go and see Sarah J. Maas in person again. Maybe my mom will read one of her books by then.
Have you gotten the chance to meet Sarah J. Maas? What were your experience? Have you read the book yet? Who is your favorite Sarah J. Maas character? What authors have you gotten to meet? Who was your favorite and who would you want to meet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!