So, last Friday I was very lucky to get to go see Leigh Bardugo at a signing event at Easons in Dublin! It was really exciting because not many American authors come to do signings in Ireland, they usually go as far as England or Scotland and then turn around and go right back home so when I heard that Leigh Bardugo was coming I called my friend(who has not read her books) and said we’re going.
So on Friday I set off at 9am, completed an hour drive and then got on a train for an additional three hour journey! Finally, I was in Dublin and me and my friend found out way to Dundrum (like four hours early but hey we needed to shop and burn our mouths off at Nandos) anyway the time finally came and we made our way into Easons, sat down and awaited the arrival of Ms Bardugo.
To start off, Leigh Bardugo is ridiculously pretty! I mean seriously! She is simply stunning and articulate and so very funny. Her talk was amazing.
It was a pretty small signing, only about twenty to thirty people but as Leigh kept talking and answering questions a crowd gathered beyond the red velvet rope (seriously there was a red velvet rope) and started listening to her which I think is a testament to how interesting she was. She discussed a lot go things, from how YA designation is literally just a marketing tool and how a book being placed in that category does not diminish it’s value and I was just like “Preach!”, movies and tv shows and music and where her inspiration comes from. She talked for over an hour and honestly it only felt like fifteen minutes! She was just so sweet and so interesting and so funny that honestly I wouldn’t have minded if I had to miss my train home. (which was a genuine concern for me like all day!)
One of my favourite moments of the entire talk actually occurred at the very beginning. The moderator was asking about YA and of course he mentioned fantasy books and books like Divergent, the Hunger Games but when it came to talking about Contemporary books he referred to it as “John Green Real Life” and Leigh while not overly criticising sort of called him out on it by mentioning Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins and Gayle Forman amongst others, sort of casually reminding him that Contemporary is not a JG dominated field as some people like to believe. That had me sort of squealing in my chair.
She talked as well about her future projects The Dregs which is still set in Revka and occurs after the events of the Grisha Trilogy and will be “Ocean’s 11 meets Game of Thrones” which really excites me and should excite everyone else in my honest opinion! There is nothing I love more than a good heist and Leigh promised a good one!
She also talked briefly about Shadow and Bone being optioned by David Hayman (Harry Potter) and Dreamworks. She revealed that she was originally asked to write a screenplay but as she was in the middle of writing Siege and Storm she said no, now however she wouldn’t mind taking a crack at it now that’s finished. This sort of lead into a massive talk about movies and the YA movie trend. She talked about how contemporary’s like The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay don’t have huge budgets and therefore the studio is never very concerned about them whereas Fantasy costs a lot to produce and isn’t always successful (even ones not based on books) and so a lot more people get involved and change things and essential wind up ruining the film because they are so concerned about profit. I thought it was really interesting and since she worked in the film business you know there’s a lot of truth to what she is saying. That being said even though she couldn’t say much about where they were with the film or if they were anywhere Leigh did say she trusted Hayman and Dreamworks so maybe one day we will see Shadow and Bone on the big screen.
The talk then came to an end and Leigh listed her Top Three Books That Everyone Should Read:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (“Required reading for everyone”), Dunne, and Howls Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones.
Then came the signing!
The signing was really quick even though Leigh actually talked to everyone for a few minutes when they went up and she personalised every book! I told her the Darkling was my favourite character so she put a quote by him into my book and she revealed a little secret (slight spoilers) originally Nikolai was supposed to die at the end of Siege and Storm! Sacrilege, I know!
Oh and now fancy is her signature?
And then finally against all odds I actually managed to make my train!
Twas a good day!