Sunday, March 6, 2016

ApollyCon 2016



Last weekend I took a little drive up I-95 to Savannah for the awesomeness that was ApollyCon 2016. Officially... the release party for Jennifer L. Armentrout's latest book in the Titan series, The Power. But even more than that... an incredible gathering of authors in one space, interacting with readers/fans, signing books, taking photos - basically a bookish girl's dream. I had several must-see authors that I was excited about (Katie McGarry and K.A. Tucker were two big ones) but the biggest draw? Jennifer L. Armentrout, of course (you know I adore her), and Pepe Toth. If you've known me for any length of time you know that Daemon Black is my #1 book boyfriend. And, in my mind,cover model Pepe Toth *is* Daemon Black. (I might even admit to following him on virtually every social media platform. LOL I seriously have a thing for Pepe/Daemon.)
Drew Leighty ("Seth" - cover model for Titan series) and Pepe Toth ("Daemon Black" - cover model for Lux series)
My sweetie/best friend/book event buddy (aka my husband Robert) and I drove up on Friday so I could hit up registration and nab my tickets for the "ticketed authors" (which they ended up doing away with *sigh*).  

The next morning we got to the event just after 9 AM to line up outside. Like the genius I am, I hadn't purchased the tickets that allowed (among other things) entrance to the event one hour earlier than the general admission. (Note to self: *always* get the VIP tickets, it's worth it!). Supposedly VIP got in at 11 AM and everyone else at noon. Then the event staff announced that had been published in error and it was actually 12 and 1 PM. So there was roughly 4 hours of standing in line before I ever stepped inside. 



Finally it was 1:00 and... welcome to the madhouse. :) I made a beeline for Katie McGarry's table and had the best time talking with her. She is incredibly down to earth and humble and I felt like I was chatting with my next door neighbor. Next up was Abbi Glines, who I met before in 2014 and she was lovely then, but I have to be honest and say that she seemed to be going through the motions here. Maybe it was just me, but there was little interaction (even though the line wasn't overly long) and even Adam ("Cage York") seemed bored. Hm. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Cora Carmack. I wanna hang with this lady! She seems like so much fun, she was super bubbly and I loved meeting her. I was so happy to get my books signed by Rebecca Donovan but a little embarrassed because I've yet to read them. She was super sweet about it though and made me promise to let her know what I thought when I read them. (Side note: Rebecca is sooo pretty and her outfit was *on point*! It was very gothic/steampunk and 100% gorgeous.)



Earlier this year I received ARC's for He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker and To The Stars by Molly McAdams and participated in their blog tours. I had the idea to print those blog posts and ask the authors to sign those as well. I saw Molly first and she actually stopped to read the review before she signed. And then stunned me into silence when she said, "I remember this one!" Once I was able to speak again (ack!) I said I didn't think authors ever read reviews (most authors I've met said they avoid them like the plague). Molly said she never reads reviews at Amazon or GoodReads but always reads reviews on her blog tours, good or bad. She made a few comments on my review and then she started to get choked up which meant I started to get choked up... just, wow. I had a similar experience with Kathleen (K.A. Tucker) - although less emotional. LOL She also said she remembered the review and even quoted a particular phrase from it that she remembered (!). Those two experience were definitely highlights of the day and truly memorable. 



I had bought a tee shirt for Robert earlier in the year to wear to future book events and it made its debut at ApollyCon. The amount of attention it received was almost comical. People commented on it all day long and even took pictures of it. (And that shirt played a part in getting my books signed by Sarah J. Maas after she had already closed up her table!). Pepe Toth even fist-bumped Robert when he saw it and said "Great shirt" so that kinda made my day. LOL

I knew I had to get in line for JLA even though there were several authors I had yet to see. Robert to the rescue! I stayed in line for JLA while he managed to get through several lines, including: Alexandra Bracken, Jay Crownover, Wendy Higgins and Jen McLaughlin. Unfortunately, by that time Sarah J. Maas had closed her table but... Alexandra Bracken and The Shirt saved the day! Robert was in another line when Alexandra came walking over with Sarah to show her Robert's shirt. Robert had already met Alexandra and they had talked about the Never Fade trilogy since he's read the books (I haven't - ha!). She was showing Sarah the shirt and saying hi to Robert and that gave him the perfect opportunity to meet Sarah and mention that I had given him books to have signed. So Sarah signed them right then and there, even though she was done for the day. Way to go, Robert!


Meanwhile, I was still in the mile-long, barely moving JLA line. The event was supposed to end at 4 PM and most authors packed up and left but Jennifer (plus Pepe Toth and Drew Leighty) stayed until everyone got their books signed. They finally had to move us to another location down the street because the hotel needed the room for another event. But, after just shy of 3 hours in line, I made it! Standing in front of JLA and Pepe Toth. Jennifer was as kind as always and remembered me and Robert from previous signings. Drew signed all my Covenant series books (along with Jennifer) and Pepe signed my copy of Oblivion, my favorite signed book of the entire day. (He wrote: "Let me know if you need another bodyguard." Uh, YES please! LOL)



CAN WE JUST TAKE A MOMENT AND APPRECIATE HOW GORGEOUS HE IS? ♥

By then it was just after 6 PM and we'd been basically standing in lines for 9 hours straight. We were both exhausted but it was so worth it. With Robert's help I was able to get every single book I took with me signed. He is such a trooper! 

Another highlight of the day was meeting my fabulous friend Sarah from Words With Sarah. (If you don't follow her blog you totally should.) Sarah is my best blogger friend and I simply adore her.♥  She finished up way before I did (because she's smart and bought the VIP ticket!) but she came down to visit while I was still in JLA's line. It was so great getting to meet face to face and I wish we'd had more time to hang out. But hopefully we'll meet up again this summer at Sassy in Jacksonville!

Me and Sarah... isn't she gorgeous? :)
 It was a fantastic weekend in Savannah, an amazing time at ApollyCon, and if it's ever anywhere close by again I'll definitely be there! I met some of my favorite authors, got 40+ books signed, met some great people, and made some memories I'll cherish.

ALL MY SIGNED PRETTIES
Do you attend book events? What has been your favorite?



2 comments:

  1. I have never been to a book signing! I've got some autographed copies but haven't met any of my favorite authors in person. I do have some cool emails saved up though.. HA.. It's nice to see you had so much fun! I love Robert's shirt of course. He's awesome to be your date on these things..or as it turns out he may have read some of his own books at this one. Love that. Looks like fun! Maybe one of these days I'll get to go to a book event. Much like the Scrapbook events you and I have attended in the past!

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    1. I love going to signings. It's so great to be able to actually meet an author whose work your admire and enjoy, to have that little connection and a few minutes of face to face time where you have the opportunity to say "I loved this and it meant something to me. Thank you." But in the absence of that, the internet has made author interaction so easy! Between email and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram... it's so easy to reach out and make contact. And getting that in return is pretty exciting. :)

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