The Orphan Queen Launch Party At Books Of Wonder Recap

Monday, March 16, 2015

Paper Bindings - The Orphan Queen Launch Party

The What:
The Orphan Queen launch party.
The Where:
Books of Wonder in New York City
The When:
March 10th, 2015
The Who:
Jodi Meadows (The Orphan Queen) / C.J. Redwine (Defiance series) /
Cynthia Hand (The Last Time We Say Goodbye) / Brodi Ashton (Everneath series) /
Joy N. Hensley (Rite of Passage)

Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party Event
From the second I walked in, excitement ruled the moment.

To Go Or Not To Go

As some of you may know, I've never had the opportunity of attend ANY book event before last Tuesday. Either it was too far away, I 'couldn't' go by myself, or work refused my time off request.

When the Jodi Meadows event was announced, I really wanted to go. The Orphan Queen was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. And the more I talked to the author on twitter, the more I was convinced she was an awesome person. Going to her signing, I decided, would be my last big hurrah in New York before I moved.

I'm Off On An Adventure

the orphan queen launch party at books of wonder in new york city
My ride is here, and I'm off!

After checking with my friends, who sadly could not come, I decided to be brave and tackle New York City on my own. I've travelled to NYC on a train before, so I knew how to get there, and googlemaps said all I had to do was walk a couple dozen blocks.

Not so scary.

Things I Learned Wandering From Grand Central To 18th Street:
It's a CASTLE.
  • Trains are definitely my thing - If I could, I would ride around and around just enjoying the scenery.
  • I am the only New Yorker without an umbrella - Except for that lady with a plastic bag over her hair, of course. I won't lie, the whole time I'm powerwalking through the rain, all I could think of was Resident Evil. I don't remember which movie it was, but the scene where the infected girl is walking though Japan(?) against the flow of pedestrian traffic and was the only one without an umbrella. Yeah, I think I might have an overactive imagination...
  • Walking 24 blocks in NYC is nothing - Unless of course it was raining.....AND you were carrying precious cargo that couldn't get wet AND you had no umbrella. I all but ran to the train station. Granted, I think "running" is NYC pedestrian for "walking." So I fit right in.
  • Navigating NYC streets is actually pretty easy - Thank god it wasn't Boston with roads that don't make sense. All I had to do was follow the number changes.
  • When you act like a New York City resident, people think your confidence and 'I don't give a damn' attitude means you ACTUALLY live there - One hawker came up to me as I left Grand Central, but I gave him this that city WTF look and he backed away in search of more gullible prey. I was feeling confident on my blending in skills until someone asked me for directions and I debated on if I should tell the truth (I have no idea, what the street you are talking about.) OR if I could get away with saying I don't speak English (my acting skills were not up to par.)
  • New York City driving ranks right up there with getting a pedicure in hell....with spikes underneath my toes - Why honk when NO ONE can move? Why bother following any rules of the road? Does green mean go? Or was that red? In fact, the only rule I think NYC has is that the pedestrians will do whatever the hell they want and you shouldn't hit one. That would be bad. 

Finally I Arrived.

Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party Event
All lined up and waiting for the guest of honor.

I must say my confidence took a major hit when I walked in the door. After staring at all the signed pretties on the signed shelf and telling myself I could only buy the books from today's event, I grabbed my books and paid for them. But when I walked over to where the signing was to take place, I felt like I just walked into the cafeteria on the first day of high school. (Only the kids on my bus attended both my junior and high schools. Everyone else in the building already had their established groups since they all attended junior high with each other. And it was just like that.)

Everyone was chatting and hugging. "It's good to see you again." "How have you been?" I took a seat. It's really quite a feeling when you walk into a place and you were all alone and everyone knew each other already. You really start questioning yourself, not because you came to the event, but could you really go to BEA and market yourself there. Would everyone there already know everyone?

Someone mentions "dragons" and I added a couple comments to the conversation.  Dragons are my thing. <3 If anything could get me to talk to random strangers, books and dragons were it. Books with dragons? I HAD this.

From there, I talked a little. There wasn't much I could say as the conversation steered towards people I didn't know and personal experiences that weren't my place to comment on.

So I checked in at home again, giving an update to my family who was worried about me, yet very proud that I went on my own. While I was checking in, I heard a name: Hannah @ The Irish Banana. My head shot up, I knew that name. It was my aha moment.

This wasn't a clique I was trying to break into, I already knew some of these people. I just needed to meet them in person.

So after the talking portion, I know I'm jumping ahead, I wandered over and introduced myself. For the record, Hannah is just as nice as she seems online.

Now, The Main Course.

Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party EventI wasn't expecting the author camaraderie. Looking back, I cannot explain why I wasn't expecting these ladies to be friends with each other. So it was a bit of a pleasant surprise to watch them interact with each other. There was a lot of humor involved. It added a whole new layer to the signing.

After dealing with several rude New Yorkers (really, you are putting us all to shame) on my way to Books of Wonder, it was like I entered a parallel world once I was inside. Everyone was super friendly. As the ladies were chatting and the hostess, later the crowd, started asking questions it felt more like a gathering of friends than getting to meet someone famous.

I really liked that.

It made me less nervous when I got the chance to talk to them as they signed my books. I'm not that shy of a person, but I tend to stutter when I get nervous so I'm not one to talk right away.

Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party EventThe ladies talked about the books they were here to promote, but they also gave us some information about their upcoming works. A Christmas Carol retelling with a female protagonist. A Lady Jane retelling, that's happier and funnier, and hopefully doesn't involve losing her head. A Snow White retelling with a dragon shifter Prince. (C.J. Redwine: "I win." Yes, yes you do.) Joy Hensley was a little secretive about hers, but that just made me more curious.

There was a lot of talk about hot boys. Jodi Meadows only writes about boys she likes...if she was a teenager that liked teenage boys, that was. The hero in C.J. Redwine's Shadow Queen book is basically Chris Pine from Star Trek and Flynn Rider from Tangled. ("You're welcome." Oh thank you mighty overlord for your generosity.)

Brodi Ashton told us she wanted Everneath to be Anna and the French Hell. Personally, I haven't read either series yet, but that comment alone has me really curious about them.

Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party EventSome one in the audience asked what animal their main character might transform into if they were a shifter. The were quite a few interesting answers (Osprey from Jodi, I really want to meet this crew now. Again the dragon prince was mentioned by C.J. - can this book just be out already?) But the one that amused me the most was Joy's rhinoceros answer. How could I not want to meet this heroine after that comment?

Every time someone mentioned a dragon, the little fangirl/dragon lover inside of me squealed a bit.

After the question and answers wrapped up, we moved out of the way to allow them to clean up the area for the signing. I met Hannah, then I wondered back over. Jodi Meadows had a copy of her Incarnate book that she liked her fans to sign. Since that was a really cool idea, I just had to write something. My not so secret message was left on the page where the chapter heading said "Fire." Because that was the first thing that jumped out at me.
Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party Event
Finally my number was called and I got to stand in line. It was a really cool experience getting to talk to these ladies. I wished I could have come up with something fun to say or a witty question to ask, but I had nothing. Maybe next signing.

I really learned a lot by going to the launch party. Not only could I get myself to NYC and navigate around it's streets. It was ok to be the new person. I've been around the book blogging world for a few years, but I'm not one of those instapopular blogs. So in a way, I still feel like that newbie as I branch off and am turning my blog in the direction I want to go in.

But it was ok for me to be the newbie. Because I'm not always going to be that newbie. Until March 10th, I've never gone to a book signing before. I didn't know what happens at one, all I had was my imagination.

Now, I do. I've learned a lot from watching and interacting with the people who attended. Not only did I have a lot of fun, but the next event I go to, I will feel more confident because of this experience. I've been to a convention before, and now I've been to an author signing. I know I'm oversimplifying things, but for the first time I really feel like I'm prepared to tackle BEA/BookCon in May.

I can do this.

Books of Wonder NYC Orphan Queen Launch Party Event


  1. Yay! I'm glad it went well :) ah 9th grade and being the outsiders. Good job on district planning school district lol

    1. Oh the joys of 9th grade..... *sigh*

      I ended up having a lot more fun than I anticipated. Sad that you guys didn't get to come with me, but at least we all get to brave BEA/BookCon together.


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