20 May 2016

#EventRecap: The Raven King Tour with MAGGIE STIEFVATER + #GIVEAWAY

GUYS! I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. Also, I like maybe got an extra book signed and an extra book hugger signed for you to have so learn more about what happened at the event for me & then enter to win!!

Pre-Event Jitters: Late-April to Thursday, May 12, 2016

As soon as I found out that Maggie Stiefvater was going on tour, I was excited! I had been to the Barnes & Noble Livonia before for the Tor Authors Event (with Susan Dennard and Victoria Schwab) so I knew where I was going and that I would get to see the Michigan bloggers again which was half the point of the trip! I was super nervous though because HOLY CRAP MAGGIE STIEFVATER. But I had my hotel book right away (like the night I found out, I booked a hotel room) and I made plans to go, so I was very excited.

On the Thursday before the event, I found out it was wristband-ed, which put a damper on my soul because OMG WHAT IF I DON'T GET A WRISTBAND AND DON'T GET TO MEET MAGGIE. The store assured me that everyone would get their book signed but I was taking no chances, so I upped my plans and left Sunday night after work instead of Monday morning so I could get there right for 9am to get my wristband.

The Drive There: Sunday, May 15, 2016

When I went to Michigan in January, it didn't snow, so the karma gods said "LOL NOW IT SHALL SNOW IN MAY!!" Thankfully it wasn't too heavy or bad but I was driving at night time so when we got to Livonia, it was 11pm. And there was construction so the GPS was taking us in circles but we finally found the hotel. We checked in and then went to a 24 hour grocery store and got food to eat because we skipped dinner. I didn't get to bed until 2:00am on what was technically Monday morning.

Morning of The Event: Monday, May 16, 2016

I was up by 5:30am because it was like Christmas morning for me. I got ready and went over to the B&N for 8:00am because OMG WHAT IF PEOPLE HAVE CAMPED OUT OVER NIGHT (no one did). I ended up being second in line (and we lined up at 8:45am) and had wristband #2! Hooray! I felt much better because I knew I would FOR SURE get my priority books signed and that was all that mattered to me. I camped out and had brought 3 books to read while I was at the store because I ALSO WANTED TO SIT FRONT ROW so basically once I got into B&N, I wasn't leaving unless they picked me up and threw me out (which they did not).

I finished LADY RENEGADES by Rachel Hawkins while I was there and started EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR by E.K. Johnston but had to stop because I didn't want to have cry face when taking my picture with Maggie. (I have since finished EXIT and it was GLORIOUS and everyone should read it). As well, I had other people who camped out with me during the day including Amanda and Theresa. The best part about hanging out with book people is you can READ TOGETHER! So I was pretty happy to be able to chill with people and read at the same time.

I was updating the other bloggers I knew were coming on wristband numbers throughout the day because they were only giving out 100 wristbands and then tickets and doing it in numerical order. 

Afternoon of The Event: Monday, May 16, 2016

Photo Cred Sarah K.
At about 4:00pm there were more people in the store so the campers and I decided to stand in the area the event was taking place in, in hopes of getting front row seats (which we did). At about 4:30pm, most of the seats were full. But 6:30pm, there were so many people that the little area for the event was overflowing. It was AWESOME to see so many people -- especially actual teens -- there for this event! I know Maggie is a HUGE author, but it still nice to see that in actual numbers. 

The B&N gave away gift cards to the person who drove the furthest (me) and the person who was #1 in line (thankfully not me, I was already embarrassed enough). Then Maggie picked the last winner (#37) and OFF WE WENT.

Maggie's Talk

Photo Cred Sarah K.
Maggie started off by saying how before she left for this tour, she asked the internet to give her a topic for when she was on the road and there were some people who said "Talk about your character development" and others said "Talk about how you will SAVE GANSEY" but someone asked for an "inbetween" question to talk about how she "balanced" her life as a mother, writer, artist, and musician, so she told us some anecdotes about her day-to-day life, including her last commission portrait, her trip to the ley lines in Wales, and setting John Green on fire.

She told us that before she was writing full time, she would do commission portraits where she would go to an individual's house to do so. On her last one, she went to this person's house and the entire house was covered in pictures of this Very Ugly Baby. So she was hoping that there would be a second child (there was not). When she went outside, she saw that the baby was now a toddler so she had high hopes for this toddler to not be ugly. Nature had other plans for this baby though. Maggie was trying hard to think of a way to not feature this poor kid's face so she had the child do an over the shoulder look which meant you only saw a tiny bit of it's face. And that was that.

When writing THE RAVEN CYCLE, she wanted to discover the magic for herself, so she packed up her family and went to Wales so she could traverse the ley lines herself. On the
Photo Cred Sarah K.
flight over, her child threw up in the airplane and was immediately cleaned up by the flight attendants. Maggie thought that this was something she had never seen before while flying but the attendants told her that it happens all the time which shattered her dreams. When they arrived, she was very jetlagged and spent most of her time leaning on things and agreeing to doing whatever her husband wanted, even if she didn't really know what she was saying yes to. At this one location, her husband was chatting up the people at the front desk and when she went to join them they said that they knew she was looking for folklore/creepy things that only locals knew about so she started to get really hopeful. They told her these vague directions that dealt with landmarks that only a local would really know. She asked what would happen when she got there and they said, "You get to a church where if you stand inside of it, it makes you feel funky" to which she said, "Are you sure I'm not there now?"

You can read the full story of setting John Green on fire from Maggie's point of view here!

Overall, Maggie was majestic like a unicorn and had everyone giggling the whole time. She told us about how some days she doesn't know how to classify herself, whether as a writer, artist, mom, etc. and just tries to make the best of it. Even if you aren't a huge fan of her work, I would recommend listening to her speak. She has a lot of spunk and good stories. She is a master at making everyone feel welcome, comfortable, and like they are her friends rather than fans. She is literally the best. I have a huge crush on her.

Maggie Answers Questions

When answering questions, a lot of them were one word-ers or a "I'm not going to answer but rather just smile at you" but here are some that I found most interesting. She told us that she would not answer spoiler-y questions about THE RAVEN KING and would prefer more general ones so no one felt to alienated. She also pronounced "Algionby" for us and when asked what Hogwarts house she was in let us guess (to which I said Slytherin and was correct). 

Maggie was asked how the characters changed from when she first started writing THE RAVEN CYCLE to when she actually published THE RAVEN BOYS.

Photo Cred Sarah K.

Maggie started writing THE RAVEN BOYS when she was 19. At that time, it was a story solely about Ronan and his dream thieving. The other characters, however, were just opposites of Ronan: "Scholar Ronan" "Less Evil Ronan" and "Female Ronan" and Adam and Noah were the same character (which got a lot of "WHAT"s from the crowd). She said that as she started to really dig into what the story is about on a molecular level that she realized that it needed to focus more on the outside of the story (i.e. Glendower and Cabeswater) and less on just Ronan. So when revising the story before being published, she already had some novels under her belt and knew how to write characters in a way that made them compelling, have more than just one personality traits, and that could fit into this setting. 

Why is the Sewing/Phone/Cat room at 300 Fox Way described with "cat"? Do they have a cat?

When Maggie was travelling through Kentucky, she stayed at this cabin that had a general store across the road. There were lots of cats OUTSIDE, but none INSIDE. However, the smell inside the general store had the distinct odour of presence of cats, even if it had been a while. She said that the room at 300 Fox Way smells like a cat had previously been there and that they probably had a cat at some point.

Maggie was asked if writing THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS was different than writing THE RAVEN CYCLE and if she knew the ending of both before she sat down to write the first books. 

Photo Cred Sarah K.
With THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS, Maggie's initial thought was that she wanted to write a book that made people cry. She had some plot points she wanted to get to during the course of the story but she wasn't dead set on anything except that she wanted it to be about WOLVES, not werewolves, but WOLVES. So she wrote SHIVER and before it came out, she had the majority of LINGER written. At the time that SHIVER came out, she was still relatively unknown: she knew her books were selling but it was not as though she knew how much and couldn't put faces to the numbers. 

When LINGER came out, she was getting ready to head to California on a plane with her sister and her father (which was nice because she doesn't get to travel with them much) to go to the launch event so she called her editor and said "David, if LINGER hits the NYT Bestseller's List, call me on this phone." But then her phone died, so she called him back on her dad's phone and said the same thing. However, her plane was delayed so she didn't find out any news before she got on the plane. When she was finally taking off, she had resigned that she wouldn't know until she landed about the list and was told by the flight attendant (in a rather cheerful but DEADLY way) that cell phones and electronics had to be turned off. Part way into the flight a phone went off: her father's. So she took the call and found out that LINGER was a NYT #1 Bestselling novel and COULDN'T CELEBRATE. She said she bugged her sister the whole time about how the trees were in the shape of the number one. When Maggie finally got off the plane and went to the event, she was shocked because there were so many people there and now she realized that a lot of people were reading her books and she could put faces to the numbers.

So she wrote FOREVER and had this in the back of her mind. She wrote all 85,000 words of FOREVER and gave it to her editor who said it was "Fine." This was not good enough for her so she through it all away and got back into the idea that this was a story to make people cry. She started to do research on "obscure ways wolves die" and found out that a wolf fell into a sinkhole and couldn't climb out, thought "YES" and went back into the story to produce what is FOREVER today.

With THE RAVEN CYCLE, it was pitched as four books and she had all the major plot points across the four books written down and sent in before she even started. There was no doubt about the major things that happened in this series but that she took a couple different routes to get there than originally planned. However, she always knew that the ending would be as it was even before she started writing it. And she didn't let the idea that people were reading the books detract her from writing the story she intended to publish.

Meeting Maggie AKA Why I'm Typing From The Grave

Photo Cred Sarah K.
I was FIRST IN LINE to meet Maggie after and I told her how I loved THE SCORPIO RACES and she told me that too was her favourite. I told her how I appreciated everything she ever did for all of us when writing and that I had read all her books (and brought them all with me) but that this stack (TSR and TRC) were my priority books. She said "Oh you have the UK versions" to which I said "I like the covers better with their typography and I decided that I should have them instead but I also have the German editions even though I can't read German" and she looked shocked. She also told me there are more typos in the UK editions than all the others. I asked her what joke Ronan wrote to himself so he would know it was his own handwriting and she just smiled at me which I took to mean that's not a question getting answered any time soon.
Photo Cred Sarah K.

When I went back up the second time, they gave me an extra book hugger thing which I then asked them if they could give me another if they still had more at the end of giving everyone two but they said no (sorry! I tried!). Maggie recognized me, obviously, and Alex asked if I was driving back tonight and I said "No I am going to Windsor tomorrow, it's going to take me about 7 hours to get home" and Maggie said, "I hope you have good music" and I told her that my dad and I were listening to an audiobook about a mobster from Hamilton, Ontario since I lived near there and she said that was cool and I was cool (And I DIED HERE) and I said "Yeah, good father-daughter bonding time. Over meth" and THEN I LEFT. So I am the person whose last word to Maggie Stiefvater is METH.

Haven't started Maggie's books? Check them out...

Clicking on the cover will take you to Goodreads OR my review of the book if I have it posted.





Two prizes = two people. Win a signed copy of THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater or a signed book hugger! International. Ends June 20th, 2016!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Okay I can't pick. I've only ever read TRC and I love them all equally. If I had to pick I'd say TRK because I was able to get a doodled copy of it and I hug it regularly. No regrets.

  2. The Raven King series is my most faaaaaaav and The Raven King is one of my favorite endings to a series!

  3. Hmmmmm ... so far my favourite is The Raven Boys but I am about to start Blue Lily, Lily Blue :D

  4. Would you believe I haven't read anything by her! I'm very sad about that.

  5. I love all the events you go to and your crazy drives to secure books first. You're living your best bookish life, and it's awesome.

  6. Okay confession - I haven't read any of her books! I keep telling myself I will then I never do :(

  7. So far I've only read the first 3 Rave Boys (hard to pick just one of those) but I will be reading The Raven King and Scorpion Races.

  8. Hard to pick a favorite book. I loved the Shiver series but I think the Raven Cycle series is my favorite. So I will go with Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

  9. Hides in shame... I haven't read any, but I hope to read Raven Boys soon. I just bought it for my Kindle!

  10. My favourite is The Scorpio Races!!! <3

  11. Sad to say I haven't read any of her novels BUUT I have begun The Raven cycle and am absolutely loving it!

  12. Like some others here I have a confession - I haven't read any of her books yet! I do know though how much love her books get so I can only imagine how great they are! I'd love to star her Raven cycle series and this giveaway would be amazing!

  13. I really do love all Maggie's books, but I can tell that The Raven Cycle is my all time favorite. Love it till the moon and back :)

  14. I LOVE MAGGIE'S BOOKS! I also loved The Scorpio Races! I miss my raven boys--there will definitely be rereads in my future. Snow in May? I would love for it to snow in the UK--it's too warm for me at the moment.

    I also want to know what Ronans' joke was--wonder why she wouldn't tell you? Maybe Maggie doesn't even know? She wrote that there was a joke but didn't think of a joke because it wasn't revealed so there was no need to think of one?

    I'll be seeing Maggie in July at YALC. I have no idea what I'll say to her *cue awkward author/fan moment lol*. She is actually the reason I decided to go.

    Thanks for the giveaway, Jamie! :)

  15. I have to go with Shiver as my fave.

  16. I love your post! You were so excited so I'm happy you were able to recap the signing after dying! It was so great to see you again and to actually be able to talk more than last time and I wasn't COMPLETELY awkward. I see myself by your elbow, and now I want to know what I'm looking at. Haha!

  17. I've read only The Raven Boys, the first book, and I can say that one is a favourite, but the next in the series are on their way and I can't wait to read them. <3
    I wished I could have meat Maggie, but where I live are zero chances she will be able to come. So happy you got to meat her! :)

  18. Every book in The Raven Cycle has been great so far, but Blue Lily Lily Blue is definitely the one that went on my all time favorites shelf.

  19. Now you are making me even more nervous/excited for the book signing coming up. The store is like "nah, you'll be cool" and I'm all "BUT WHAT if THERE ARE LINES AND I DON"T GET A BOOK SO I CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE SIGNING?" Basically, I think I'm going to be like you and show up freakishly early and not leave unless I get kicked out.

  20. I hope The Raven Boys, I'm going to read it soon!

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