The time I was considered family

Posted August 30, 2017 by Stacee in Signings / 6 Comments

When Leigh’s launch party for Wonder Woman was announced, I was definitely interested. The only problem is that anything wristbanded at The Grove is sort of a mess for me. It takes a lot of work to get up there at the opening time.

I was able to see Leigh at SDCC and we talked about the event. I told her that I was going to try to come up and she said she would save me a seat. Flash forward to a week before the date. Leigh had posted her event schedule, I again told her I was going to try to make it. She again told me that she saved me a seat. There is a little bit behind the scenes stuff here, but I won’t bother you with that.

I got to The Grove around 2:30. I bought a book and asked the BN employee about my situation. She told me that Leigh had her own guest list for DC and family, that I was probably on that, and that I didn’t need a wristband.

I made my way up to the event area just to see what was happening. I ran into Sara and ended up hanging out with her and her boyfriend. At one point, one of the employees started flapping new shiny HC pretties of Warcross. I walked over to him and we chatted and he let me pet it and take a photo.

They also had a photo set up with a shield and no, I wasn’t allowed to run around the store with it.

Seating started at 6pm. Sara and her people had group B and I was still waiting for my special wristband. I found Leigh’s Random House publicist and introduced myself to her, thanked her, and chatted with her for a minute before going back to the seating area. Since I was the first person to check in with her, I was able to sit anywhere in the front, so I took the first seat.

Leigh and Marie came out right after 7pm to a packed room and thunderous applause.  The questions started right away.

What was your first reaction to being asked to do these books?

L: Random House emailed me about it and I said if it was Wonder Woman yes, if it was anyone else, no. They came back and said it was Wonder Woman.

M: I don’t read all of my emails before I answer. Random House asked if I would be interested and I said sure, Nightwing! And they came back and said, that was not a choice, that I needed to read the attachment on the email.

Were there rules?

L: The obstacles were interesting. I pitched an idea and there’s a lot of approvals. It’s good because you don’t want to finish writing a 400 page book and they tell you it’s not what they wanted. There’s weird things that happen with canon. I got to put my own spin on some things and some things I had to ask.

M: I love your Themyscira.

L: It was mostly a way to make sure that anyone can be an Amazon. I wanted it to be that anyone who gloriously dies in battle and calls out to a female deity can be there. I really want to go there, but they do so much cardio.

M: When I read the first few pages and saw that it was starting with a race, I was like, “you do you, girl.”

L: And you got to play in Gotham!

M: YES! I didn’t think I would be able to do that. It’s gritty and dirty and getting to play there was amazing. It was very surprising that they didn’t give me a lot of info, but it was cool. They just said that Bruce needed to be a teenager.

L: And then you turned up Nine Inch Nails.

M: And became double emo.

Was watching the movie jarring?

L: I didn’t know anything about it.  The script was on lock down. There were things that were so similar and so different. Like not to throw shade, but there were so many more women in my book. And there’s no Steve. They would tell me nothing about the movie and when the first teaser came out, I asked if they wanted me to change it. I liked that Warbringer is in our world now. She gets to have Doritos. She gets to see dudebros on the subway.

M: And go to Duane Reed.

You both have a bunch of kick ass characters, who would be the sidekick?

L: I want Kaz to be Batman’s sidekick. I feel like a Ketterdam/Gotham crossover would be amazing. Inej would be great because she’s and acrobat.

M: I think Day would love Diana. He would idolize her.

L: He would go do things and she would want to know why he did it.

M: I think any of my characters would love it.

L: Except Adelina.

M: I think Adelina would be a better person around Diana.

If you had to go in as a another sidekick, what would be your ability?

L: This is so hard for me because I would want to say writing in my sleep…but I guess I would want to change into a puma. I would like to be Voltron or something.

M: That’s a good one. We could work together.

L: We could form a giant puma.

If you could write a villain from comic books, who would you choose?

L: I feel like Harley would be challenging, but fun.

M: Then I’ll write Joker.

L: Wait. I lied. I want to write Lex Luther.

Did the pressure get to you?

L: I forgot about it until today. I felt it early on. I don’t think it’s radically different from any other book. You always have it in the back of your head that you should quit and take up welding. I mean, people always need things welded. This was just a louder chorus of people. You can’t make everyone happy. There are people who will want it to be like the movie and people who don’t want it like the movie and people who want it to be like Six of Crows and spoiler, it’s not. Kaz could not be any more different than Diana.

M: That’s a good way to put it. It’s different because it’s not a character who is birthed in my head. I had to put my spin on it. Diana is just so good.

L: And that’s why it was so hard to write it. I had just finished CK and would think everything is horrible. Then I would go to WW and think everything is perfect and humanity is okay.

M: Getting into Bruce’s head was sort of hard. You’ve got so much money. Like a lot of money, why are you so emo?

Do you think Kaz would let Diana work for him?

L: No. She firmly believes in right and wrong. She would be so put out by him. She’d probably put him in a time out.

Hogwarts houses for you and the Justice League?

L: Aren’t they all Gryffindor?

M: I think I’m a Slytherpuff.

L: I think WW is a Hufflepuff. A really strong Hufflepuff.

M: Queen Hufflepuff.

L: Like a mighty badger.

M: I think Bruce is Gryffindor.

L: He wears a cape. It’s like one step away from being Gilderoy Lockhart.

What are you working on now?

L: I have The Language of Thorns soon. This has been a dream project. I put it on twitter and asked if it was something anyone would read and the response was really what got my publisher to go forward. I’m working on The Ninth House {I think that’s the title?} which is labout secret societies and basically a J. Crew catalog but with murder. I’m also working on something I can’t announce.

M: Warcross is my latest and it comes out soon.

L: I’ve read it and it’s delicious and I have a crush on the wrong guy. Can we say his name?

M: It’s Zero.

L: He wears all back and a helmet. It’s like I love Daft Punk and I don’t even care.

M: I’m working on Warcross 2 and that is my life.

Who do you ship with WW and Batman?

L: I don’t go with canon. I don’t miss Steve. Enjoy white-hetero heaven. I feel weird shipping my own characters.

How do you incorporate diversity?

L: I’ve stopped using the word diversity and thought about it as inclusion. The world has a lot of different people. Adventure is for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your body can do on a particular day or the color of your skin or who you love. Diversity makes for better stories. We’ve seen the same narrative many many times. The best example I can say right now is Iron Fist. We’ve seen this white guy get powers before, but if you put a different person in there, it’s so much better.

M: There’s a show called Into the Badlands and it’s amazing.

L: There’s a great fight scene with a man in a wheelchair and they’re great scenes. As someone who walks with a cane and will maybe be in a chair in the future, it made my heart sing.

Genre you want to write?

M: Contemporary is so challenging. You can’t just make something up.

L: Or have a convenient explosion.

M: I would love to, but I doubt it.

L: I would love to do a picture book. Like the most gothic picture book ever.

What is your writing outfit?

L: I’ll be lucky if I get on pants. If I’m on deadline, I’m in my pjs and I’ll grab a cardigan from somewhere. Sometimes I’ll walk the dog that way.

M: Yes. I’m the worst dressed person on my block.

L: That’s why I can’t move to Silver Lake. I try not to be so precious about my set up, but I really want to be that eccentric person who leaves the house in my robe. I can’t write when I’m on tour. Can you?

M: No. If I’m not at an event, I’m sleeping.

L: I like to have a nice view and a breeze. I can’t write in a hotel. I love writing on retreats. Peer pressure is so effective.

M: We just went together and it was so fun. We got so much work done.

Where did you come up with the names?

L: Matthias was always that. Kaz Brekker was originally Baz Brekker and then Rainbow Rowell came out with a book. Jesper’s name was originally Heron because he was such a lanky, stork like person and I thought it would invoke the image. Then I realized that there were just too many names already in the book that sounded the same. For me, I can’t lock into a character until I know their name. For someone who is going to die in 2 pages, it’ll be Doug.

M: It comes to me piecemeal. I can’t get into their head until I know their name, but doesn’t always stay that name. For TYE, I had Italian baby name websites open.

What are you looking forward to in Batman?

M: I got to make my own villain and that was pretty cool. I’m sad I don’t get to keep playing with her.

What was your favorite part of WW?

L: I loved writing Themyscira. I got to write an amazing island of ladies. I loved writing Diana and Alia’s friendship. There’s the thing about an Amazon oath and it felt like how I am with my friends. No matter if I only see them once a year or every day, they can count on me and I can count on them.

There were several other questions, but I started taking photos and just wanted to listen and enjoy.

The signing started around 8:10 or so.  They switched out the director’s chairs for a signing table and squishy chairs.  I was first in line and when I got to Leigh, I thanked her for saving me a seat.  She said of course, that it wasn’t like I was some rando.  I gushed about the book and told her that I wanted to make sure she knew I loved it.  And then she thanked me for posting my reviews everywhere.  I probably gave her a semi-confused look, and she said that she wanted to make sure that I knew that she saw them and appreciated it.

{I forgot to take a photo of my signed book, so here’s a crowd shot instead.  Photo taken from Barnes & Noble’s tweet.}

From there, I waved hello/goodbye to Marie and once again thanked Leigh’s RH publicist for being so awesome.  I said goodbye to Sara and her family and then started a long drive back to San Diego.  I got home at 11 and was up at 4 for work…still completely and totally worth it.

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6 Responses to “The time I was considered family”

  1. That’s so amazing! I love Leigh’s books something fierce. Thanks for letting those who couldn’t make it live vicariously through your post.

    • Stacee

      Leigh’s books are almost as amazing as she is. I’m happy you enjoyed the recap!!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  2. Ahh, you are so so amazing Stacee. <3 Hugs. I LOVE that you are such a big fangirl and able to go to so many signings :D Eeee. And ahh, Leigh and Marie both seems aaamazing. <3 Wish I could have been there too. Sniffs. One day, I hope :) Thank you for sharing all about this awesome signing. <3 I'm thrilled that you had such an amazing time sweetie :)

    Carina Olsen recently posted: Review: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
    • Stacee

      Leigh and Marie are awesome separately and so so so much fun together. I didn’t even capture all of their tangents.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

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