Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall 2014 Fierce Reads Tour Recap + Giveaway

Last Wednesday evening, I had the privilege of meeting three talented authors, Ann Aguirre, Caragh M. O'Brien and Marie Rutkoski, at the Fall Fierce Reads tour stop at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH. This bookstore and entire town is completely adorable, and it was the perfect backdrop for an evening filled with conversations about books.  

Of course, I didn't remember until the very end of the evening that I needed to take pictures, so I missed getting one of The Green Bean, an adorable caf√© where I got to do a little pre-interview with the three authors. We sat outside in the lovely September evening and chatted about were-beasts and love triangles of course. Then we walked over to the bookstore for the main event. 

Instead of outlining questions and answers from the evening interviews, I've listed out highlights from each author below. I apologize if I misheard/misrepresented anything.  The main talk at the bookstore was moderated by Even in Paradise author Chelsey Philpot

Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner's Curse and its upcoming sequel The Winner's Crime:

1) If the main characters in The Winner's Curse suddenly turned into were-beasts, Kestrel would be a Kestrel of course, and Arin would be a lean, sexy tiger.

2) Marie recommends Claire LaZebnik's The Trouble With Flirting, and says it's one of the best written love triangles she's read. It's also a really great retelling of Mansfield Park, probably the hardest Austen book to connect with.

3) In The Winner's Curse, the Valorian Empire is obsessed with the military. Marie said their culture was influenced by talks with her father and brother who have both served in the military.

4) There were a couple of moments in The Winner's Crime that broke Marie's heart to write. (I'm nervous already!) Books two and three will also have much more of Arin's POV. 

5) Marie says she writes Young Adult because books aren't as genre specific, and YA readers are more open to reading any genre as long as it's good. Adult lit tends to classify more specifically, and cut off readers as a result. 

6) The cover for The Winner's Crime was originally going to be red, but when marketing switched it to blue, Marie decided to put Kestrel into a blue dress in a pivotal end scene of the book. 

7) Marie says she likes writing from the male perspective and her next book - after The Winner's Curse series - will have an entirely male POV. Though she's not saying if it will be Middle Grade, YA or Adult. 

Ann Aguirre, author of Mortal Danger, the first in the Immortal Games trilogy:

1) If the main characters in Mortal Danger suddenly became were-beasts, Edie would be a honey badger, because she's vicious and doesn't care. Kian would be a dolphin, an animal that is helpful and altruistic, but also has a dark side. (I didn't know this about dolphins, and it prompted quite a discussion).

2) On love triangles: Ann believes many people see love triangles in books when they're not there. Like in her Razorland series, which was firmly a love T, with a third party looking longingly in on the building couple. She also thinks that triangles do make sense at times, especially when you're 16, though she doesn't often write them. 

3) On book two: The Harbinger, a character mentioned in Mortal Danger, will play a much bigger role in the sequel. Readers do meet him in the first book, though they don't know it at the time (time to re-read!). Ann thinks he's going to gain his own set of fans, but she says it's not really a love triangle. 

4) When asked a question about strong girl characters paired with bad boys, Ann says she doesn't really think that way about her characters, instead she likes to "write partners" into her stories. Characters who support each other - emotionally, physically, the balance between them flows back and forth. Each has moments when he/she support the other. Ann also says that Edie doesn't start off as a strong character, but she grows in strength as she learns to accept herself. 

5) Edie's struggles with bullying came from Ann's personal experience.

6) Mortal Danger is set in the Boston area because it has a subway and a nearby area where one could invent a boarding school, but also because its seasons, history, and architecture helped with the creepy mood of the book. According to Ann, "California is just not ominous."

7) Ann decided to write YA when she kept being asked by her kids when she would write something they could read. So she started the Razorland trilogy where "monsters eat children."

8) Ann really cried when writing one scene in Mortal Danger (you can probably guess which it is). She briefly wondered if she'd gone too far with it, before deciding it had to be in the book. Her editor was really upset about that part, and wanted to know if the story had to be written this way. But Ann argued that was important for readers and the characters to realize that in this story, no one is safe. 

Caragh O'Brien, author of The Vault of Dreamers:

1) If the main characters in The Vault of Dreamers suddenly became were-beasts, Rosie would be a "Poe-esque raven." Linus would be a wolf.

2) Caragh said if The Vault of Dreamers weren't the start of a series, she would have been happy with it as a standalone. She thinks the ending fits the book really well.

3) When Caragh writes stories, she likes to be surprised and says she would get bored if she planned everything out in advance. Most of her series planning ends up changing as she follows her characters and story. 

4) Caragh talked a little bit about getting into the head of her teen character Rosie, and how she enjoyed writing a character who doesn't always see the world clearly, whose perspective could be skewed. As a budding filmmaker Rosie has the ability to see things as if through a camera lens. But she doesn't realize how the world sees her, as a private, difficult person. Rosie doesn't know how to make friends and is oblivious about guys, not understanding that this guy likes her. 

5) The cover to Promised was being designed while Caragh was writing the book, and as a result she changed the jewelry one character wore to match the blue bracelet on the book's cover. 


Win finished copies of the three books featured on this tour.

Giveaway is for US residents only (Sorry, international readers!)
You must be at least 13 years old to enter
See my policies HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a great event! Interesting about Marie's reasons for writing YA and I'm nervous about The Winner's Crime as well. Also interesting how Ann kept that part of her story that the editor didn't necessarily want. And finally, what is Caragh O'Brien talking about, that the ending of Vault of Dreamers fits the story and she would have been fine with it being a stand-alone???? What????? I still don't know what happened at the end. I wish I had been there to ask her to explain it to me. Great post! ~Pam

  2. I'm completely terrified to read The Winner's Crime lol I requested it but ack! SO nervous.

    Edie as a honey badger sounds just about right lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  3. I read the Vault of Dreamers and enjoyed it. I have heard so much about The Winner's Curse that I can't wait to read it!!! Thanks so much for the giveaway. I with the tour was coming to Kansas City this time.

  4. I can't wait to read these books! They look so good. >.<

  5. Would have love to have been there, all amazing authors. I've had all three of these books are on my and my daughters TBR and am eager to read.

  6. This event I am sure was fantastic!! All the books are on my TBR list!!!!!

  7. The Harbinger!!!! WOO-HOO! I do love the bad boy. And I really can't wait to see what happens in The Winner's Crime (especially the parts that broke her heart to write). Awesome event!

  8. Beautiful post Lauren. <3 And I am so so so jealous that you got to meet these amazing authors :D I LOVE Marie. <3 So so much. Sniffs. She's awesome and her books are perfect. Dying for The Winner's Crime. <3 But aw. Mortal Danger. I had some issues. I loved her other YA series so much. But this. Sigh. And then. Book two, you say: "not really a love triangle." NOT REALLY is the same as a love triangle. Probably. At least in my eyes :( SNIFFS. Anyway. Thank you for sharing about this amazing event. <3

  9. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE how all these authors give us insight into why they chose setting, or POV or genre!

    Awesome interview :)

    thank you :)

  10. Thanks for the great interview recap! I just saw these three on Sunday, and they are certainly an entertaining bunch. :)

  11. I'm glad that you had a great time at the event! It sounds amazing. Thank you so much for the giveaway :)

  12. Thanks for the chance to win three great books to read!! :)

  13. I really need to get out of boring AL because nothing exciting happens here in bookstores. I would love to attend events and get books for my followers and myself. Glad you had a great time!

  14. Cracking up at these were-beast questions. And hmmmm on the "imaginary triangle" comment. But great job on the questions -- so fun!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  15. I agree with Ann Aguirre about love triangles making sense when you're 16. I think you're just so all over the place at that age. What a cute bookstore! I get so overwhelmed with these author events I forget things all the time, like taking pictures. Looks like you had a fab time, though! Great recap! :)

  16. Lauren you are so lucky that you have so many fantastic author events near where you live. I love books which break my heart and leave me a mess, so I certainly can't wait to read The Winner's Crime and Mortal Danger, although I maybe a teensy bit scared too. Thanks for sharing this brilliant recap with us! :)

  17. Wow - I can't believe you got to meet these 3 amazing authors! I love the answers from each author and found it interesting that Ann pulls from her own experience with bullying for Mortal Danger. I can't wait to read all of these books! Thanks for this super giveaway - I would love to win!

    Suz Reads

  18. This is a super sweet post! It seems like it was a blast, and I am glad you had such a great time, and got to meet these lovely ladies!

  19. (Alisha Sienkiel in rafflecopter)

    Thanks for for the interviews! I found them very interesting!

    I've already read The Winner's Curse and I loved it. I can't wait for the sequel. The other two books are both on my tar and look interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!!! :)

  20. what an amazing & generous giveaway!!!
    congrats & much success to Marie, Caragh & Ann!!!!

  21. I really enjoyed reading about the authors thoughts about their writing and books. I'm now a bit wary about reading parts of the books, though and know I'll have to re-read the one I've already read. I love that the authors don't flinch from including the harsh realities in their writing.

  22. It must have been so fun to meet the authors. I would like to read The Vault of Dreamers. I have read Ann Aguirre's Enclave series and they were so interesting to read!

  23. Sounds like an awesome event, Lauren! I love the were-beast question, lol. I definitely see Arin as a sexy tiger and Edie as a honey badger. :) I remember that post where Ann said readers were seeing a love triangle where there wasn't one, and I have to agree. And not just in that instance. It's one of the reasons I don't let them bother me because I feel like sometimes we see these things when they don't really exist and let it detract from an otherwise great story. Anyway, thanks for sharing this! I love your recaps...I always feel like I was right there with you. :)

  24. Thank you for sharing! I love reading about events and inside scoop on authors and their books! These sound like great ladies and great books!

  25. Thank so much for the amazing giveaway!
    I wish the Fierce Reads tour was coming near me, I would absolutely love to meet all three of these lovely ladys! (:

  26. I wish the Fierce Reads tour was coming near me, I would def go and meet everyone. Hopefully their at BookCon.

  27. Also, for some weird reason I can't confirm my follow request.


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