Pages Navigation Menu

Armchair BEA: Day 2, Author Interaction & More Than Just Words

Armchair BEA 2014

Author Interaction:

Well, being the blogging noob that I am, I haven’t had much opportunity to interact with authors . . . YET. I’m attending Dragon Con at the end of August, and there will be a multitude of authors there. I’m going to need an entirely separate bag for the books I want signed—Leigh Bardugo, Cinda Williams Chima, Diana Peterfreund, Faith Hunter, and that’s just the beginning. SO. That will be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Of the few interactions I have had, I’ll admit to doing the fangirl dance when my favorite author (Ilona Andrews) retweeted my review of Clean Sweep. Now the plan is to make it to the RT Convention next year, and meet her in person. I’ve had a twitter conversation with Marie Rutkoski, and Jennifer Estep commented on my review of Rebel Belle<——another big fangirl moment, but that’s it so far. And yeah, those are small things in comparison to real life interactions, but I still think it’s pretty dang cool. See! There are definite perks to noob-ness—you still get ridiculously excited about the little things.

More Than Just Words:

There are a variety of ways to enhance the reader experience beyond words on a page, and in my circle of blogger friends, the most popular way is the audiobook. Sadly, for me, this isn’t a great option. I have auditory ADD, and even when I’m determined to focus on listening to a book, I constantly have to jerk myself out of the zoned-out stupor I continually find myself in. I recently had a bit more luck with Sabriel by Garth Nix, but I give the credit to Tim Curry, who is as awesome a narrator, as he is creepy a clown/spider thing. I have read a few graphic novels, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a huge fan—I don’t go looking for new graphic novels to read on a regular basis . . . or ever.

BUT if one of my favorite authors puts out one as an addition to a series (this happens a LOT in UF), I will get it. The first time I did this, it was entirely the product of my OCD—if I love a series, I MUST know everything about the series, and if there’s new information to be found in a graphic novel, then by golly, I will read that graphic novel. But I found that I enjoyed it. Everyone imagines what characters look like while they’re reading, but mostly (for me) it’s a vague impression. Even when an author reveals a dream cast, real life people don’t always live up to our imaginations. Graphic novels are kind of a happy medium. Most of the time, the author works closely with the artist, so the characters can look exactly like what the author wants them to look like. I’d rather have an accurate illustration of a favorite MC than a kinda-sorta-but-not-really real life comparison.

How about you? How do you feel about graphic novel interpretations of beloved book characters verses dream casts?

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



  1. I hear you on the auditory ADD, I swear I have it as well. I love interacting with authors and twitter or on their blog really is a great way to do it.
    I would love to attend BEA, in fact I am making it my goal to be able to go some year. It would be amazing!

    • It’s the one kind that doesn’t get a lot of attention (HA!) b/c you can combat it by taking notes. Which is fine when you’re in school, but who wants to do that while listening to an audiobook? It would kind of defeat the purpose . . . And yeah, BEA would be awesome. Maybe that can be my #2 goal after RT 😉

  2. It’s always great to meet a new blogger. I’m on the ooooolder side at 10 years, and my how things have changed. We have access to authors more now than ever, and I hope you find that you have great experiences! 😀

    • Yeah, I can’t even imagine what the blogger community looked like ten years ago. And so far, my experiences have been wonderful!

  3. I’m with you as far as having trouble staying with the narrator. My right brain kicks in and I’m off on yet another flight of fancy. The narrator has be such a strong voice for me to stay. That said, I did enjoy and manage to listen to all The Moby Dick Big Read daily audios last year and enjoyed them. However, I read the text as I listened. They published a download a day for each chapter. You can still find all The Moby Dick Big Read audios online. (Welcome to blogging and Armchair BEA.)

    • Thank you, Vikk! And exactly—my right brain cares not a lick about my desire to focus on an audiobook, LOL. Reading the text would definitely help (kind of like taking notes in a class), but that kind of defeats the purpose for me, b/c I want to listen audiobooks in order to multitask. Still, there are infinitely worse problems to have 😉

  4. I haven’t had any in person interactions yet either, just not in the budget right now. I’m hoping to start going to some events next year though.

    • Good luck with that, Ashley! It certainly helps when they’re close by (I’m only 90 min. from Atlanta, so I don’t have to fly there).

  5. I hope you get to go to RT and meet your fave author 🙂 Seriously, meeting authors is so awesome but so scary and you’re like um omg what was I gonna say to you! lol

    • I know! I’m terrified that I’ll just stand there like a dolt and get really red in the face, LOL. Hopefully, like dreams of being naked in front of the class, that won’t actually happen 😉

  6. I went to a Cupcake Party in Cleveland and hoped to meet Chima, but she couldn’t make it. I haven’t met many authors in person, but that’s okay. Hope that Dragon Con is lots of fun!

    • Oh, that’s too bad. I hope she’ll make this one. And even if she doesn’t, there will still be several dozen other authors, so I’m sure it will be lots of fun 😉

  7. I am exactly the same with audio books. All of a sudden I realize 15 passed and I didn’t hear anything lol

    I’ve been to BEA several time shut those interactions are fairly rushed (but fun) and I’ve been to AAD (Authors After Dark). It’s very laid back and encourages interaction over the whole weekend so that’s always fun.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • OMG, IT’S IN CHARLOTTE!! Sorry, but you know I had to google AAD, and it’s going to be in Charlotte, and guess what? I’M FROM CHARLOTTE. I can hit the Con AND hang with the family (and by “hang” with the family, I mean “not have to pay for a hotel.” *snickers*). Thanks for the heads-up, Karen 😉

    You know I am going to ask you to take pictures right? Like lots and lots of them! So that I can virtually fan girl over them with you. Also I had no idea Jennifer Estep commented on your review! I JUST went to check it out and ohmygod that is AMAZING! *flails*

    • SORRY! It hasn’t come up in conversation! But YES, I am going to Dragon Con. With Tabitha and some non-blogger, but geeky friends. AND my favorite Syfy actors/actresses are going to be there. It’s going to be AMAZING. LOTS of pictures, I promise! And I KNOW!! I saw it, and I froze, and just sat there staring at it, LOL. *flails*

  9. I love when authors comment on tweets about their books. I do a dorky happy dance!

    I loved what you said about auditory ADD. I suffer from ADHD, have all my life, and every time I have tried to listen to an audiobook, I just zone out and have no idea what I just listened to. It makes me sad, like I feel like I am missing out on something.

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

    • Oh, me too. On both counts. When the Ilona retweet happened, I was texting all my friends and my sisters, and they were like, “you’re on twitter?” LOL. And with the audiobooks, I can absorb just enough to know that if I could pay attention, it would be awesome. Oh well. There’s lots to be said for curling up with a good book too 😉

      • LOL that is my family’s response, as well. “wait, you actually use twitter? ”

        Yes! It’s just enough to know that if I could actually focus on what I was reading, it would likely be an absolutely amazing thing, but then, I see a funny cat video.

      • LOL! Or just my cat being funny. Oh wait, I forgot my bagel in the toaster . . . *snorts* EXACTLY 😉

      • And God forbid I get a text asking “did you see X on Facebook? ” because then I am gone for HOURS

      • You get me . . . LOL. You. Get. Me.

  10. Ah yes, the first author retweet. I remember it well. And when an author actually posted a blog post with my review linked in it? Scrape me off the ground.

    Wish we had a good Con here in Colorado, but the Denver one really not impressive to me.

    • You can help scrape me off the ground when (if?!) that happens to me, Nathan 😉 I. Would. Die.

      And yeah, I’m actually pretty fortunate location wise. Even before I starting blogging, I noticed that most author tours stopped in Atlanta, and Dragon Con is turning out to be a MUCH bigger deal than I originally thought. Denver is pretty awesome though. Something good is bound to come through eventually, and lucky you will be right there already 😉

  11. I am so like you. As many times as I have tried audio books it always ends up the same way so I have given up. Perhaps the only way it will ever work is if I have the author hear reading the book to me LOL

    • LOL. That would definitely hold my attention too! Until that happens though, I mostly have to pass.

  12. Ilona is sooo cool, Jessica! I met them last year at RT. *squee* I hope you get to go to RT next year. I’m thinking of going too. Oh, and definitely take an entire bag for books to Dragon Con. That is what I learned at RT last year – clothes aren’t that important. 😉 I haven’t tried fiction audio yet. I’m thinking about it but I think I’d be like you and not being able to stay focused. We’ll see…maybe. 😉

    One of my best blogger moments was finding myself thanked in the acknowledgements in one of my favorite author’s book. What she wrote to me made me cry and it was so unexpected. But an awesome moment. 🙂

    • Oh geez, Brandee, how could Ilona be anything BUT cool. Once I meet her, I have no idea what my new goal will be. Seriously, meeting her is IT, LOL. And you should! Don’t you already live in TX? I know TX is a big state, but come on . . . when it’s that close, how can you not go?

      And yeah, that would be AMAZING. I’d cry too. That’s a huge part of what all this is about. Sharing the book love 😉

  13. “Auditory ADD” made me laugh, because I have it, too, especially when it comes to fiction audiobooks. I’m okay with nonfiction for some reason, but whenever I listen to a novel I find myself having to rewind A LOT which takes some of the fun out of it.

    • Yeah, I suppose out of all the different types of ADD there are, auditory is the least hindering. I mean I can still sit down and read a book, my mind just wanders if I try to listen to one . . . which is obviously the problem with audiobooks, LOL. But could definitely be worse. And that is funny. I’m pretty sure the opposite would be true for me 😉

  14. My father used to read to me as a child and although I always stayed awake during his reading, I somehow now associate being read to with sleep, which means I constantly fall asleep during audiobooks. And I find it even harder to stop myself “reading” an audio book!
    Great answer, hopefully I’ll see you at the Twitter party later!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    • I always got bedtime stories too, but (thankfully) I don’t think being read to makes me sleepy . . . Or maybe it’s just that I don’t sit still long enough for that to happen, LOL. And I’ve never been to a twitter party, but I’m thinking about it . . . fearfully . . . 😉

  15. Great answers. I have yet to pick up a graphic novel, I don’t know why, I just don’t do it. I really need to check one out. I hear ya, I love audiobooks but I have those moments when I zone out. I highly recommend though Luke Daniels narration of the Iron Druid Chronicles his is amazing!

    • Well, maybe Kevin Hearne will jump on the UF graphic novel bandwagon and whatever he comes up with can be your first. And if they ever develop a cure for auditory ADD, I’ll be sure to check out Luke Daniels as a narrator 😉

  16. I love audiobooks so skipping over that LOL

    Author Interactions in person I adore! I love talking to them on twitter too. Can’t say I am a big fan on them commenting or sharing reviews just because I am kind of like those are for the reader (though they are great for the author). But I realize I am in the minority on that and it doesn’t happen to me often anyway 🙂

    I haven’t ever read a graphic novel. They look pretty and shiny but I haven’t plunged into that yet. I figure I probably don’t need another bookish addiction LOL

    • I know you do, LOL. You don’t know how much I wish I could listen to books and do crafty things at the same time like you do!

      And at this point, I’m pretty sure ANY (except negative) author attention is still enough to make me all fangirly. And for once, I’m in the majority about the author sharing reviews thing. I would be absolutely thrilled if an author liked one of my reviews enough to spread the word it. And graphic novels ARE pretty and shiny. I can’t remember whether or not you’ve read Kelley Armstrong’s WotO series, but I know she has at least one graphic novel available for free online. It’s called Becoming. Just fyi 😉 You might call me an enabler . . .

      • I finally got to the first book and liked it! I have finally started in on all those series that I haven’t been able to get too 🙂

      • Perk of no more NetGalley? 😉 And I just tried to find Becoming, so I could shoot you the link, but apparently it was taken down, and will be rereleased some time later this year. Drat.

  17. It was so much fun meeting all the authors at RT this year…and really all my big names were there Ilona Andrews, Kevin Hearne, Kim Harrison, Jennifer Estep, and more! As usual though, I’m much better at interacting with people virtually than in-person when that introverted shyness rears it’s ugly head. I usually just got out a quick, so nice to meet you, love your books, please sign, and then jump out of the way so the thousand of other people wanting to talk to them swarmed me. LOL! You’re going to have a wonderful time at DragonCon!!

    • I know! I cannot wait! And honestly I’m glad to be starting with something a bit smaller than RT . . . RT as a first Con might have put me in the equivalent of an author sugar coma. Heck, Dragon Con could very well do that too, LOL. Here’s hoping I can get out the, “so nice to meet you, love your books, please sign,” before seizing 😉

  18. I’m loving these thought-provoking posts!!! And dear friend, you are NO blogging-noob…I had to clear that up! 😉 There’s nothing like fangirling and god help me the day I meet the author of my dreams and I have so many that I can’t begin to narrow it down to just one! GAH! Although the authors you’ve mentioned seem like a really solid start! 😉 Dragon Con is going to be amazing!!!

    I have yet to read a graphic novel of a series I loved because I’m not sure that I know of any. But I have read graphic novels of comic books which is pretty cool. And it’s cool because it’s longer than a comic book, much longer. I can read a comic book in a few minutes (that’s what kills me about reading those) and prefer a novel over the standalone weekly or bi-weekly issue.

    Even though I would love to cast Henry Cavill, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, etc in just about EVERYTHING….no one ever lives up to my imagination. Sometimes the characters are faceless but I can still see them clear as day, does that sound weird?

    PS: I keep saying that I will listen to an audio book but I get so distracted with my GPS (because of traveling), if I’m in my hotel room, I get caught up with work on my laptop…I’m not sure that I’m the best candidate for an audiobook. :/ Maybe one day.

    • Woot! Thanks, Cristina. Nobody wants to be the noob, LOL. And I know, right? I’m kind of a little bit glad that the first author I meet in person isn’t going to be Ilona, b/c well, for one, there would be no place to go but down, and two, I think a few practice runs are in order. Hopefully after Dragon Con, I’ll be able to K-I-T keep it together (ever seen Bowfinger, my movie-loving friend?), and not make an idiot of myself. *crosses fingers*

      If you already love graphic novels, then I hope you get sucked into a good UF series that has graphic novel companions, b/c they’re pretty amazing.

      And NO, that does not sound weird at all. That sounds like you’re in my freaking brain. But that’s not exactly new, is it?

      I think you may have ADD too, LOL.

      • Bowfinger….I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but between Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin they had me lol’ing before lol’ing existed! And do not get me started on the production crew. And I have all the faith you will be able to K-I-T at Dragon Con…lol!!! 🙂

        I knew I had ADD…I just knew it! LOL!!!

      • I’m not even a huge Martin or Murphy fan, but that movie is HILARIOUS. It’s probably been 10 years since I’ve seen it, but I still find ways to quote it on a regular basis.

        And if you do, you’re in good company 😉

      • And you know what’s sad about those two is that the lost their mojo for the longest time but you are so right, that movie is HILARIOUS!!!! I’m thinking we were, quite possibly separated at birth! Lol… 😉

      • You aren’t even kidding. Totally separated at birth!

  19. apart from the rare exception I’m not a fan of graphic novels based on a book. I love graphic novels, but only if they are graphic novels from the start.
    A graphic novel based on a book is like a movie based on a book: the chances of it looking like I want it to look are slim to none.

    • The graphic novels I’ve read haven’t been a different version of a preexisting book, but entirely new stories, like a novella or a prequel, so the movie based on a book-type problem hasn’t been my experience so far. Were that the case, however, I definitely wouldn’t like it either.

  20. I’ll never get to meet authors face2face, lol, not unless they’re in Europe for some reason and I happen to be in the same country (cause they won’t be coming to mine, I’m pretty sure, lol.)

    Soooo with you on the audiobooks, I just can’t do them.
    I think graphic novels are cool, but I’m not too crazy about them for some reason. They’re cool, but I don’t feel the itch to get them, even if I have the novels in the series.

    • Well, maybe some will come to a country near you, and you can meet them that way. *crosses fingers* And hey, there’s always twitter!

      I’m not crazy about them either. They’re more expensive, and have less content. That’s why I only usually do it if it’s one of my favorite series. I’m a the-longer-the-book-is-the-better kind of girl, and I don’t need my books to have pictures 😉

  21. I’m not a fan of audiobooks. I have tried it, didn’t care for the voices. I would attempt it again but it’s not something I’m eager to get in to. Love your background by the way!

    Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

    • I think it’s pretty cool too! Carmel does all the blog design stuff, and she certainly does a fantastic job. And I had a bad experience with one of the first (and only) audiobooks I listened to. The narrator was just AWFUL, but like I said, they’re pretty popular in my blogger circle, so I’ve got a list as long as my arm of recommended narrators, should I ever try to make a real go of it.

  22. I felt the same way when my review of Clean Sweep was mentioned in an article about narrator Renee Raudman. SQEEEEE! I hope I can make it to RT next year to meet you in person. 🙂

    • ME TOO!! Is that a possibility? I kept hearing more and more people talking about going next year, but I’m almost afraid to get my hopes up, LOL. And yes, I would totally SQUEE about that 😉

  23. My first book signing was for Kim Harrison and it was kind of a disaster. It was a HUGE event and I waited like 4 hours with a 6 year old and 3 year old. Then I got up there and was too shy to speak. She said some things to me but I’m not sure I said much back. I was shaking and freaking out a little. I think we did a picture but it was awkward and not so good. After that I realized I just need to FORCE myself to step out of my shell and every signing since has been good. I’m anxious to hear how yours goes, it looks like you’ll meet lots of good ones at once. I love the big events like that!

    • Oh no! I almost drove to her GA signing when her last book came out in February, but I had maybe posted one review on here, and I chickened out, and maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing, LOL. The opposite of freezing-up happens to me when I’m nervous, so there’s no telling what I could’ve said. At least now I feel like I’ve got my footing, AND one of my more veteran blogger friends will be going with me, so hopefully she can keep me from shoving my foot too deeply in my mouth. And I’m actually kind of hoping that SO MANY at once will kind of numb me to it, you know?

  24. It is a lot of fun when an author comments or retweets, especially in the beginning. I think we all feel just like that. It feels good to be recognized.

    • Exactly 😉 But I can’t wait to meet some of my favorite authors in person. That will be amazing!

  25. I personally can’t do audio books because I can read much faster than I can listen, so it drives me nuts.

    Have fun at Dragon Con! That’s a great lineup of authors.

    • Yes! That’s the other thing. I can read way faster than I can listen too.

      And thanks! It really is, and more are being added to the list all the time 😉

  26. Oh wow, you’re so lucky you’re going to Dragon Con! I’ve never been but it sounds like fun. Yeah, keep tweeting those reviews or fangirl book moments, I think authors love it when you do!

    • Yeah, Dragon Con is going to be fantastic, and Tabitha’s going with me, so fun x50 😉 And I definitely will.

  27. Ahh!! Dragon Con! I’ve wanted to go! You’ll have to do a post about it 🙂 I’m going to Comic Con and am happy that publishers and author attend that, so I’ll get to meet some there.

    BTW Jennifer Estep is awesome!! She is such a blog and fan supporter and her series are addicting.

    Thanks for visiting my blog for ArmchairBEA!

    • Comic Con!! One of my life’s ambitions is to go to Comic Con! I’m definitely doing a post when I get back from Dragon Con, and I hope you do when you get back from yours too.

      And she is so nice, and I’m addicted to ALL of her series. Assassins are my favorite 😉 Thank you for visiting back!

  28. Audiobooks just don’t do it for me. DragonCon is going to be fabulous. I am going to be off to San Diego Comic Con in about 2 months and am super excited! This time I am going to post more on my blog about it.

    • Gees, two of my Comic Con attendees in a row—SO jealous! That will be amazing, and I will look for that post 😉

      • Oh I just saw the person above me is going to go to that too. There aren’t too many bookish things but there is still some and that is perfect!

      • I agree. If I was hitting Comic Con, I would definitely be about the bookish things, but . . . I would also be about the Loki things, LOL.

  29. I enjoyed your post!

    I haven’t had much exposure to graphic novels – besides Persepolis. ABEA has given me a whole list to go and check out during the summer.

    I am a huge fan of audiobooks. I hadn’t heard of Sabriel by Garth Nix. I will look into that book this summer too.

    I wanna go to Dragon Con…

    Yes, please do a post on it so that we can experience it too.

    Armchair Dragon Con! LOL!!!

    • Thank you! GAH! I can’t stop laughing about Armchair Dragon Con 😛

      I haven’t either, really. Just a couple from Kelley Armstrong as add-ons to her WotO series, and I have both of Kim Harrison’s from The Hollows, but I haven’t read them yet—I’m in the middle of a read-a-long, and that previously mentioned OCD won’t let me read them out of order.

      Sabriel is one of those dark YA fantasies, and it’s part of a hugely popular series, so I don’t know why I never read it, but Curry was an incredible narrator.

      I will definitely post on it! LOL!!!

  30. I’m trying my first audiobook but like you say it’s a little difficult for me as well. Comics are nice I agree too mainly when you love the series. Some were a little disappointed for me but some were awesome. But well I confess it’s too many comics for one book so I don’t usually try them.

    • See–two peas one pod 😉 I don’t mind the occasional comic either, but too many of them . . . not my thing.

  31. Great post Jessica! I absolutely love the interaction with authors, having just met so many of them in Berlin was awesome. And yes, you will be star struck in real person by some 😉 But it is fun, and those I have met are all so nice and love to interact with their fans. If you really want them to remember you, bring them some chocolate 😉

    • You are a GENIUS. I am so doing that. That way, even if I do act like an idiot, they won’t care b/c chocolate 😉

      • Make sure you have a reviewers business card, with your email address and the blog name, to hand to them, or attach to the chocolate 🙂

      • I will! I actually just got my business cards in the mail a few days ago. So excited! Thanks, Aurian 🙂

  32. as for the audio books, I am so lucky I do not have that attention issue. I listen to audio while I work and if not for audio, my reading time would be severely limited. I often times find that now I will remember what happens in a book based on where I was at work or what road I was driving down. Weird, but hey, helps me remember the book. A flip side to that is I get sad every time I drove over this one freeway overpass… I mean, that is where a main character died. I remember that character every time I drive over that overpass. Strange, yes. It makes the characters even more real some how…

    • Oh no!! See, that is why I wish I could do the audiobook thing. (Not so that I can be sad driving over overpasses, LOL.) I feel like I miss out on a LOT, and I know that it cuts into my reading time. AND if I didn’t have to stop everything to read, I could get so much more accomplished. There are lots of crafty things and other types of hobbies I’d like to explore, but if I do . . . that’s time I can’t spend reading.

  33. Oh, so excited for you! Attending Dragon Con? WOW. I’ll come to the US some day, you’ll see. 😉 Also, hehe I read your reply to Jennifer Estep. Was surprised to not see a tons of exclamation points. Jessica sure is very professional. ^^ I don’t mind graphic novels, but I won’t necessarily read them. It’s good to know that they’re there if I feel like missing my favourite characters but, other than that, they kind of leave me with a neutral opinion. 😛

    • Dragon Con is going to be frickin’ awesome. And I’ll come to Canada! My sister-in-law is Canadian, and they’re moving to Ottawa at the end of June. She’s from Alberta, but I’m sure I’ll be up there some time to visit. And thanks!

      Yeah, me too. Not really my thing, but if I’m jonsing for a fav character fix, it’s nice to have that option.

  34. I like graphic novel versions but sometimes I think I’ve been disappointed in them.

    • I haven’t had that problem yet, but then I’ve only read a handful, and most of those have been free. I’ll let you know what I think of The Hollows graphic novels when I get to them 😉