Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour Hit the Nati (and I Was There)

Last Friday night I caught one of the last stops on the rather brilliant Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, when YA authors Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jeri Smith-Ready, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, and Alyson Noel visited Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati (my totally fav bookstore).

Here's a little about the tour from a recent PW piece:

It’s quite the big deal: 18 authors, 12 days, 11 cities. Kicking off on September 13 in Austin, Tex., and wrapping up on September 25 in Brampton, Ontario, the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour is entirely organized and funded by the participating paranormal romance writers. The grassroots tour was masterminded by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely series) with the help of Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld series), both of whom will appear at every event, as will a third headliner, Alyson Noël (the Immortals series). Aside from this trio, the author lineup will change at each venue, with six to nine Chicks in attendance.

At their stop in the Nati, the store was packed fans, some of whom had been waiting for hours for the author-chicks to arrive. There was even a group of my publishing friends who stopped in for the event as part of a bachelorette party evening. (Who needs a cop-stripper and margaritas when you've got seven YA authors with sharpies and prizes?)

These chicks really are smart when it comes to putting on an event. They were funny, entertaining, and fast-paced, and there was a lot of audience interaction and picture snapping.

The event started with quick introductions (featuring some hot news about movie deals and such) then a 15-minute Q&A before trivia, games, and book signing. Here are some of the things the mostly female, mostly teen audience was curious about (with a few of their answers thrown in):

Q: Which characters in all your books would get along/hang out together?
Q: What character is most like yourself?
Q: What made you all want to start writing.
[Melissa: Nuns made me write down my nightmare so I wouldn't get possesed by Satan.] Q: What was your most challenging book to write?
[Jeri: The second book in any series. Or the last book I wrote.]
Q: What's your favorite book you've written How do you deal with writer's block.
[Melissa: I get in my big bathtub with a snorkel. Really.]
Q: Whose got tatoos? (only one of them did)
[Kami: My mother.]
Q: What's your worst Halloween costume?
Q: What was your first kiss like?
Q: Tell us a first impression of another author on the tour.
Q: What's your favorite Shakespeare play?

The questions were followed by a game of "Marry, Shag, Cliff." Audience members reveal which character in any of their books would they marry, which would they shag, and which would they throw off a cliff? (They told the audience. "If you're under 16, by shag we mean kiss.") Let me tell you--these readers really knew these these characters. It was tremendous to see their enthusiasm--and the stacks of books they'd purchased for autographing.

Here are some photos from the successful event (which was one of many):

The excited audience.

Margaret Shohl throws prizes.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stolh autograph

The signing line after just under an hour. 
(The authors are against the back wall.)

1 comment:

Cuppa Jolie said...

I wish they were going to be in this area. Looks like tons of fun.