So last Sunday, March 6, 2016, I attended my first ever book signing event for the new year. Once again hosted by National Book Store, the event was for the Filipino fans of Victoria Aveyard, the New York Times Bestselling Author of Red Queen, and Glass Sword.
Red Queen, as some of you may already know, might not have made my top 15 books of 2015, but I enjoyed that book just the same, so meeting Victoria Aveyard was a great start to an author-filled year.
So, when I arrived at the venue, reading my copy of Golden Son, which happens to be my current read, I immediately saw my good friend Kevin of Tomebound, and Salve of Cuckoo for Books! After months of not seeing each other, of course we had a lot to catch up on! We talked about Glass Sword, which I lamely haven’t read yet, Winter, as well as tons of other books. Other bloggers were there too to meet Victoria Aveyard!
Once everyone was settled, beautiful Victoria arrived shortly, and we proceeded immediately with the Q&A. I’ve listed down some of my notes from said portion below:
- Victoria’s advice for aspiring writers? “Finish your first draft. You can’t sell a book that’s not yet finished.” She also stated that as an aspiring writer, one should write the end at the end. You need not prolong the story which might make it too dragging. Just forge ahead and give yourself the benefit of the doubt.
- For her, action scenes are her favorite. It’s easier for her to write about explosions and battles. She also wants to write romance, but it is her weakness and she admitted that she needs help in writing better love stories. Now in order to write a good romantic scene, she reads the work of other authors and learn from their writing style.
- When asked whether what’s important between the characters and the plot, Victoria gave a different answer. She said that the world building is most important for her. With Red Queen, she first thought about the arenas, the environments where the story would revolve on. It was only when Norta was idealized that she worked on her characters and the plot of her novel.
- Victoria made sure to create characters who would make a mark on the hearts of her readers. She believes that characters are really important, and quite difficult to conceptualize. They make the readers stick with the story, so it’s ideal to have characters who are relatable and interesting.
- The Red Queen series was originally a part of a 3-book deal. However, towards the end of the series, Victoria realized that ending it with only 3 books won’t fit. If she ever pulled off writing the ending with the third book, it would seem too rushed. That’s why it was changed into a 4-book deal. It was what the story required. Characters take detours and she needed to find a way to accommodate these detours to maximize the story into 4 books.
- When asked about the movie adaptation of her book, Victoria simply answered that everything’s going the way it should. As an author who also has a background in the film industry, she said that she knows where her job ends, since she, too, is a screenwriter.
- The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, and A Song of Ice and Fire are Victoria Aveyard’ top 3 favorite fantasy books. She read the Harry Potter books when she was 9, and feels like she went to Hogwarts even though she didn’t get her letter. Also, just like tons of bibliophiles out there, she was also deeply saddened by the deaths of Dumbledore and Sirius Black. As for LOTR, she read them when she was 11 and kept on carrying and reading the books. And lastly, A Song of Ice and Fire became her favorite because it was where she got the inspiration to write Red Queen from. Seeing different shades of morality makes for really realistic characters and extraordinary worlds.
- She learned the storytelling trick from film school, and for her, it was a highly internalized way of expressing oneself as an author. She also added that as an author, she hates outlining, but does it anyway, and that pacing is key to a great book. An author wants to get in and out of a scene as fast as possible, while keeping the story interesting. And lastly, she also added that “knowing your audience is also important”.
- When asked which scenes were the most difficult to write, Victoria stated that “Regrouping after a shocking, and negative turn of events was always hard”. For example, after a character death, the main character, in this case, Mare, always acts as a Lunatic, which made it quite hard for her to write about. She also added that the middle parts of Red Queen were quite difficult to write because it was all about the world building.
- In inventing character names and abilities, Victoria used the internet to generate some ideas. With names, she translated words to come up with last names. For example, she translated the word “heat” to get Cal’s last name which is Calore. With Tiran Osanos, she twisted the word ocean to come up with “Osanos”. As for the abilities, she just used Wikipedia to research on some supernatural powers that could make her characters come alive. But, as expected, she focused on idealizing her main character.
- When asked about the literary betrayal in her work, she happily told everyone that she got the inspiration for that from the Red Wedding from A Song of Ice and Fire. She went into detail at how it happened and we, as her audience, legit felt just how much inspiration she got from that horrifying scene from Game of Thrones.
- After the Red Queen series, Victoria hopes to write more fantasy books and try to write a historical fiction novel, although the researching part scares her. Also, she’s signed with HarperCollins for one more novel.
- As a trivia, she also educated us on the scientific reason for the split of the Reds and Silvers. According to her, it was the result of a nuclear mutation through radiation.
- When asked if she intended to write using mixed genres, she said that yes, she intended to play with Young Adult genres. She also told us that she was a “Kitchen sink writer” who throws everything and plays with it. She wanted to “paint with different brushes” and put them together in a personal way.
- And lastly, when asked what readers could further expect from Mare, she told that we were going to witness her emotional journey and her wobbles and fall to ungreat places with Glass Sword.
The signing came afterwards, and I was lucky enough to have my copies of Red Queen and Glass Sword signed by the author. I also got a “Scarlet Guard” Bandana, as well as bookmarks signed which I will be giving away on Twitter!
Please do take note of her amazingly attractive signature? Yes, it has so many curves, it’s actually breathtaking!
All in all, it was such a great experience! Victoria was lovely and she beautifully answered all the questions the bloggers had for her. Also, she’s absolutely stunning, don’t you think? ❤
A total of 1,200 people were all waiting for Victoria Aveyard that day! The crowd was so overwhelming and I’m glad we all got our chance to meet, greet and have our books signed by Victoria Aveyard! It was such an epic day!
Check out this cool artwork made by Victoria herself to thank her Filipino fans as well as the National Book Store team:
Now, as I’ve mentioned above, I’ll be giving away my signed bookmark and signed bandana to one lucky Victoria Aveyard fan! All you have to do is check out my twitter account, follow me, and retweet my giveaway tweet! I’ll be linking it down below so you could join in! It’s open only to my PH readers, and it shall end on March 25!
Ah, so that’s basically it for this recap! I would like to thank National Book Store for painstakingly bringing Victoria Aveyard to the Philippines! And to Sir JB and Sir Chad for inviting me to come to the event! I had such a fun time, and am surely looking forward to the next one!
Were you one of the lucky 1,200 who got to meet the lovely author? How was your experience? Tell me all about it in the comment section!
Until the next one! 🙂