Friday, February 1, 2013

ASUNDER Book Launch

I was very excited when I found out that Jodi Meadows was going to launch Asunder - book 2 in her Incarnate series - at a bookstore near Boston. OF COURSE I made plans to attend, and had a lovely date night with my husband. Thankfully, he enjoys attending YA book release parties with me, although our reading interests are different.

 "Dedicated to the fine art of browsing," the Brookline Booksmith is a great store for new and used books, and book related gifts. And we did spend quite a bit of time browsing! Too bad this store is a little out of the way for me to visit frequently. 

Jodi Meadows really was fantastic. She talked about her road to publication and answered a lot of questions (see below for my notes on her discussion). After meeting her, I could see why Ana and Sam both have such strong but gentle dispositions. 

Not only did Jodi Meadows come to the Asunder launch, but Sam and Ana and a dragon were there, all knitted by the author. I like how Ana has placed herself closest to the dragon, because we all know how Sam feels about them. But sweet Sam is trying to pull her back. What a great couple they are!

For asking one of the first questions, I received a butterfly the author knitted. (My daughter is holding it here. Notice that her skirt also has butterflies on it.)

 Ms. Meadows is another author who is an artist as well as a writer. Along with knitting Incarnate themed items, she drew pictures in the books she signed. The inscription says, "You are more than just a butterfly."

Notes from Jodi Meadows' talk*:
  • Jodi Meadows started writing her first book in 2003. But it wasn't until many years and hundreds of rejections later that she began Incarnate
  • Meadows said that the stacks of rejections that she received over the years helped to prepare her for the range of responses to Incarnate. Because "readers can be scary." (I totally agree with that!)
  • All of Meadows' previous book attempts were written organically, the story developing as she wrote them. But with Incarnate she wrote synopses on characters and world building before she started the book.
  • Although Meadows had been holding onto the idea for Incarnate - a young soul in a world where everyone else was thousands of years old - for years, she always told herself that it was "too hard" to write. But after being rejected so much for other projects, and giving up on being a published author, she began to write the story for herself. It was a freeing experience to write without the pressure of publication. (Thankfully for us, she eventually decided to try and publish the book.)
  • Incarnate was always planned as a trilogy, and the hardest book of the series to write was the third one.  
  • When asked about how she came up with all the gender neutral names: In her original draft of Incarnate, Meadows had used what she called a "cutesy naming system" for all of her characters. They'd have the same names in each lifetime but the spelling would change based on their gender. So Ana was originally called Erin, but that would change to Aaron, depending on whether she was a male or female at the time. Meadows nixed this when her editor said "this is kind of dumb." (We all laughed at this part.)
  • She was asked about the importance of music in her life, because it is integral to both Sam and Ana: Meadows said she used to play the flute and struggled with wanting to be good at it, but also realized that there would always be better players. Ana also came to the realization that she could never be as good as Sam who has 5,000 years of experience on her. Meadows used to dance as well, and music is the key to movement and choreography. I could definitely sense these themes in the series. 
  • Meadows' favorite character besides Sam and Ana is Stef, because she's "sassy." 
  • When asked about the audiobook: Meadows said she didn't have much input in who was chosen. She also hasn't listened to the whole book, because it was strange to hear someone else read it aloud. But she liked the portions that she heard, including the voices the reader did for the characters (like sassy Stef).
  • When asked about the fact that souls can be reincarnated as either gender: Meadows said that she likes the idea that "love can transcend gender." She also has had generally positive responses to this aspect of the book.   

  • I asked Meadows her opinion on love triangles (Are you surprised?): She said she thinks they're hard to pull off. She always roots for the "good guy," and "just wants the girl to be happy" in the end. She mentioned Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade series as triangle that works, which also has great music themes. (I agree!)
  • Meadows was asked about her current favorite books and authors: She said she likes fantasy. A few of her favorite recent reads: 
    • Taken by Erin Bowman
    • Defiance by CJ Redwine
    • Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
    • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
  • Reading Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, was the first time that Meadows realized that she could write for a job. Then she went and wrote a story that sounded suspiciously like that book. Thankfully, Jodi Meadows is all grown up and has her own fantastic ideas now!

After Meadows' talk, we had a yummy rainbow cake to eat! I didn't catch the name of the very talented baker, but it was tasty.

I just finished reading Asunder, and enjoyed it as much as (and maybe more than) Incarnate. It is a lovely sequel. See my thoughts HERE. 

*I apologize in advance for any inaccurate information. I took notes during the question/answer period, but it is always possible that I misheard a piece of information. 


  1. Oh, this is SO cool! I'd LOVE to meet Jodi. From the little bit I've talked to her on Twitter & Facebook, she just seems amazing. And of course, her books are awesome.

    So glad you got to go to this, and even better that your hubby was willing to go with you. :)

    1. She really was amazing, Em! I hope you get to meet her some day. It is always exciting to meet authors who write the books I love, and find out who created beloved characters.

    2. So true...and then when you can see a little bit of the author in the characters, it's pretty cool.

    3. EXACTLY! I could see both Sam and Ana in Jodi.

  2. How come every time you and RAY go to an author meeting you get amazing FOOD?? I never get that when WE go...? :( hmmmmmmmmm. Very trixy!
    Great post though, so fun!

    1. We will have to just go to meet more authors together and fix this problem. Maybe there will be something fun on Thursday!

  3. Wow, Lauren! This is one of the best author event recaps I've ever read, thank you SO much for taking such awesome notes and posting such amazing photographs! I literally just finished INCARNATE last night (I know, I'm so behind the times) so it was especially great timing to see your post.

    But damn it, now I want rainbow cake.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I debated typing out the notes. But it's something I'd want to know if I was reading someone else's post, so I decided to add them. Yes. That cake was quite good, and festive too! Hope you enjoyed INCARNATE! It's a fascinating series, and ASUNDER was just as good. I look forward to seeing your thoughts.

  4. I agree with Wendy, I love your recaps, I feel like I was almost there with you at the event!

    I LOVE what she had to say about writing for herself. I know that whenever I think about writing down all the stories that are floating around in my head I eventually come to that same conclusion she had it's just "TOO HARD." Whenever I hear someone who has successfully gotten past those thoughts it definitely renews my own faith:)

    That cake is GORGEOUS. I hope you got to sneak a slice home for your kids because making something like that definitely looks "TOO HARD." :)

    1. One day we will go to an event together, Heather!

      Are YOU writing a novel as well? That is awesome. I'll be first in line to buy it. And yes, Jodi's talk was inspiring, especially that the idea that finally "made it" was the one that she thought was "too hard." I'm so glad that she decided to try.

      Yeah, no way could I make something like that. She had to split the batter 6 ways to bake it and that icing is no joke! I didn't get to take any home, but I ate a big slice in everyone's honor ;).

    2. Oh, I have about 5 different ideas for books floating around in my head right now that I would love to one day get down on paper. We'll see if that ever happens:) But thanks for the future support! You would definitely be someone I'd want as a beta reader:)

    3. I am impressed. I'll be your biggest fan. We read so similarly that I know I'll love whatever you write!

  5. Hi Lauren I attended this launch (I was "pink sweater girl"). I loved your indepth questions and thought Jodi had some great answers. I still have yet to read INCARNATE (too many library books first) but it *is* next on my list when I'm done and I am really looking forward to it. How good was that cake?! Mmmm! :-) The baker was an editor friend of Lauren (um, Jodi's agent). Hope you had a safe drive home!!!

    -Rachel (aka pink shirt girl, who asked about the books that inspired Jodi :-))

    1. HI Rachel! I remember that pink sweater of yours ;). And thanks for telling me about the cake baker. I need to find a friend like that! I hope you love the INCARNATE series. After meeting Jodi, I have an even better sense of her characters and story.

  6. Oh my gosh!. What a great date night, what a great launch! What a great time with Jodi Meadows! I WANT HER TO COME TO NORTH CAROLINA so I can take all of my Incarnate books to her for her signature and tell her in person how much I love Ana and Sam and the audiobook and re-reading and everything about Range and Heart and all of it. I'm so glad she got this series and her thoughts down and published for us, and I'm thrilled about the new book and the third book and whatever new ideas she has for us in the future.

    Also, LOVE that Ana is between Sam and the dragon. That is perfect! They're protecting each other. What a great time!

    1. You MUST meet Jodi Meadows some day! I swear that I love Sam and Ana more - and feel like I understand them better - because of her spirit. She really is a lovely, gracious author (all of the ones I've met are btw). I know, Sam and Ana! They take care of each other so well. I love them.

  7. I got to meet her (another book I need to read because the author is just SO AWESOME) and I thought she was so cute and funny! That cake looks delish!!

    1. The cake was quite yummy! I love when author events come with festive foods. At the MONSTROUS BEAUTY book launch we had mermaid martinis that were fantastic.

      You DO need to read this book, and I agree. Jodi Meadows is wonderful. I got such a better sense of her world and characters after meeting her. I love when meeting an author makes their story better. Thanks for stopping by!


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