3 Jul 2016

Event Recap: #IndigoTeenBash with E.K. Johnston, Morgan Rhodes, & Teresa Toten

On Thursday, June 30th, I went to an event in Toronto to see E.K. Johnston, Morgan Rhodes, and Teresa Toten! I met up with some of the awesome GTA bloggers and there was trivia and general fun and on top of that, I got the rest of my Morgan Rhodes books signed! I had a lot of fun and want to tell you all about it! 

I got an extra signed book, but you can win that over on my review of A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES and THE DARKEST MAGIC which goes live on Books Are My Fandom on July 23rd! 


I had some Starbucks and chatted with the GTA bloggers about life, books, and everything in between while we waited for the event to start. There was a guy playing piano so mostly we were trying to guess what pop songs he was playing. Before the event started, we had taken up basically one whole section of the event's chairs. We all agreed that we want one of the #ReadTheNorth shirts.

The Event

The event was a free for all, and anyone was allowed to ask anything of the authors. Most people tried to ask questions that all three could answer, but some were specific for the authors. Below I give you a little taste of what was discussed and what you can expect from the author's work.


Morgan Rhodes

Morgan was asked which series she prefers writing, FALLING KINGDOMS or it's spin-off/companion SPIRITS AND THIEVES, to which she said that at first it was the contemporary aspects of SPIRITS AND THIEVES. However, as she started writing more and getting the ideas for how everything would overlap, she enjoyed the Mytica aspect of SPIRITS AND THIEVES so she thinks overall she just enjoys being in the world of Mytica.

For the names of the characters, Morgan didn't want to use typical Medieval names since that is pretty typical of these types of high fantasy novels. She was watching Spartacus and thought that Roman-Greco names would be better and has some bookmarked baby name pages for future characters but the original cast was easy to name. 

Morgan's advice for writing titles is to not get too attached to anything and have an editor who can think of something really great for your books. She writes YA because she feels as though she has finally found her voice and niche after years of writing other types of novels (under a different pen name). She likes being able to show how characters grow and age through the awkward stages of their lives and what it means to be a teenager because she is a teenager at heart.

If Morgan was to be a character in Game of Thrones, she would be Cersei Lannister.  


Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Spirits and Thieves #2
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: June 28, 2016

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes's highly acclaimed Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, danger looms and the mystery deepens as two warring evils vie for possession of one elusive, powerful book.

Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca's spirit to Ancient Mytica--the same book that their enemies would kill them for.

Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.

Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca--and the remarkable book in their possession. 
Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess -- the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, reality TV, and is an extremely picky, yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a national bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.

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E.K. Johnston

Kate always knew that if she were to write a retelling, it would be of A WINTER'S TALE and be called EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR. She also knew that it would be about the high school cheerleader, but she didn't quite have all the rest of the pieces of the puzzle. In 2012, she was inspired for the rest by her local MP and she wrote the whole book in a Chapters in Waterloo. She was able to get the forensic piece and some of the emotional piece because she knew people who worked with sexual assault victims and a good friend of her gave her one of the scenes so she could have the right tone, emotional resonance, and ensure that it felt true.

Kate enjoys writing the contemporary piece to novels and her next novel has crime and police involved in a contemporary setting. Her one regret for her first novel, THE STORY OF OWEN, is that it reads really white even though Owen is definitely not white. She said she has some face blindness and has a hard time describing characters on page, so she sends a picture of what the character should look like and gets someone to describe them for her so she can accurately portray the character. 

When Kate was starting to write, she was reading books by her LiveJournal friends that were becoming published YA authors. This became her niche and she has since decided that it is where she will stay for her writing. She described the YA Author community as family whereas the Adult Author community sees one another as competition. 

If Kate could be any character from Game of Thrones, she would be Nymeria the direwolf.  


Author: E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Dutton Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don't cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team's summer training camp is Hermione's last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there's a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They're never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she's always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn't the beginning of Hermione Winter's story and she's not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.

You can follow Kate on Twitter (@ek_johnston) to learn more about Alderaanian political theory than you really need to know, or on Tumblr (ekjohnston) if you're just here for pretty pictures.

E.K. Johnston is represented by Adams Literary.

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Teresa Toten

Teresa discussed how her books take her a very long time to write because she has to walk around her house to plot and write dialogue and only spends about 20 minutes writing out of 2 hours of the time it takes to do a scene. She said that she isn't very good at plotting, which she found to be difficult when writing BEWARE THAT GIRL because it is a mystery novel. For thrillers, the number one piece of advice is to plot everything meticulously but she couldn't do that so instead she just had more rounds of revision and edits.

In terms of naming her novels, it is always a bit of back and forth between her and the publisher until they find something that fits the novel and what she wrote. She finds that her working title is typically altered, or at least slightly varied, from what her drafts are initially called.

Teresa writes YA because she doesn't like adults. Teenagers still have the ability to believe anything is possible and Teresa loves to capture that in her writing whereas adults don't have this and are, therefore, boring.

If Teresa was to be a character in Game of Thrones, she would be Tyrion Lannister.


Author: Teresa Toten
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: May 31, 2016

For fans of We Were Liars, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this powerful psychological thriller with multiple mysteries is set against the backdrop of the megawealthy elite of New York City. Toten delves into the mesmerizing yet dysfunctional world of those who manipulate but seem ever so charming. With its gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists, Beware That Girl will keep readers guessing until the very last line.

The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.

As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?

My earliest and most fervent ambition was to grow up and take my rightful place among the other mermaids. When cruel and insensitive adults crushed that dream by insisting that mermaids did not exist, I settled on the more mature aspiration of becoming an intergalactic astronaut. Then I realized that math would likely be involved. So, in the end, I went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto where I got a BA and then an MA in Political Economy taking great care not to take a single English or Creative Writing class. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was never ever going to be a writer. That would be silly, fanciful and well, unrealistic. And then I started to write...

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The Signing

I was pretty lucky because the majority of my books by these authors were already signed. I had called a Chapters to get a copy of EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR by E.K. Johnston signed so all I had with me to get signed for me were the two newest books by Morgan Rhodes, FROZEN TIDES and THE DARKEST MAGIC. However, I picked up the first three FALLING KINGDOMS books in paperback and A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES in paperback for Dani, a hardcover of FROZEN TIDES for Sarah, and a paperback of FALLING KINGDOMS for Alice. I also grabbed an extra copy of A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES because why not. I also had an extra copy of GATHERING DARKNESS on hand so I brought that to get signed as well.
Picture from Vikki VanSickle

I talked to Teresa about how her book sounds AH-MAZING and was going to request my library grab a copy so I could read it (but I may just buy it on Kobo because why not). She told me she loved my hair and I blushed. I said thank you to Kate for signing my book in Kitchener and an extra thank you just for writing EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR because [reasons] and she was very appreciative. Then I monopolized Morgan's time and had her sign all my books. She recognized me from when I met her back in September in Niagara Falls and we chatted about how our lives have changed. I basically begged for good things to happen to Magneo but she said "100 bad things might happen to them" and I was crying a little on the inside about that. 

I chatted with the bloggers that were there for a bit, but left pretty soon after that because I had a two hour drive home and did not want to hit Canada Day traffic. Overall a successful blogging/signing! 


  1. Thank you for getting me signed books, my beastie!

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