The One With All the Author Signings: Claudia Gray, Robin LaFevers, Sarah Dessen


Event: Author appearances by Claudia Gray, Robin LaFevers, Sarah Dessen
Cancelled Event: Rainbow Rowell (*side eyes Anderson’s Bookshop for canceling*)
Location: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Date: March – April

Okay, I’m the first to admit it. I was totally slacking on writing recap posts for the author signings I’ve been to lately. Spring is in the air and apparently that means author tours galore! There have been soooo many lately that I decided to combine some of them into one (and I say some because I still have two more events to go to in May that I’m VERY excited for).

Also another reason I’ve been slacking is that I never take notes or anything when I go to author events so I kind of feel like as soon as I leave, I forget everything because I’ve just been so dazzled by seeing such an amazing author. I’ll do my best to try to recap well for you (and not bore you).



Firstly, I went to go see Claudia Gray back in March. I was somewhat ashamed to admit that I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I had an ARC of her new book SPELLCASTER and it looked super interesting! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Claudia Gray, she’s also the author of the Evernight series, if that rings any bells!

It was a pretty small crowd at Anderson’s but I kind of liked it because it was more intimate and we got to do a lot of Q&A with Claudia. Here were some interesting things I learned from the signing:

  • She used to be a lawyer. We tossed around the notion that she may have gotten her organized and working well under pressure from law school OR maybe that’s why she did so well in law school! I thought that was really interesting though. Half the time I forget that authors have/had other jobs before they were writers! 
  • The spells in SPELLCASTER are done by drawing up memories. The more powerful the memory, the more powerful the spell and obviously a person with more memories can draw up more of them and more vivid ones to create more powerful spells. I thought this was a really neat concept! I really like that there’s that extra element in there so that it isn’t just “can” or “can’t” as far as casting a spell.
  • She actually DID have some say in her cover for SPELLCASTER. I can’t remember what the original cover was and unfortunately this is where I stumble when I don’t take notes, but she DID say that she saw the original cover and just didn’t like the way it looked. It was the same girl, but it didn’t look true to the book (I THINK it was the girl holding her hands out or something and she thought it just looked hokey) so they repositioned the model and added the blue flame rising from her hand and voila! An awesome cover was born.
  • She has a book coming out in 2014 that will be a new series called the Firebird series (I think it’s a trilogy?) and OMFG you guys. This book sounds AMAZING. I honestly wish I had written it haha. It’s about a girl who can travel into different alternate realities, some of which are very similar to her own current world and some of which are entirely different. It just sounds absolutely incredible and I cannot wait for its arrival in 2014!

Claudia Gray was such a great person to meet! She was very talkative and seemed totally natural in front of people which was especially nice in front of a smaller bunch! We’re too timid to ask a lot of questions sometimes (I have GOT to start preparing questions beforehand) so it was nice to have an author who wasn’t afraid to hold her own up there!



Robin LaFevers!!!! Gosh, that was so exciting to be able to meet her. If you aren’t familiar with her books, she’s the amazing author of GRAVE MERCY and new release in April DARK TRIUMPH. I’ve never been one for historical fiction, but these books are so amazing. It was really great to hear Robin speak about her books because I found out alllll kinds of new stuff that I never knew before (I actually took notes on this one, guys)!

  • Robin LaFevers has ALWAYS been interested in historical fiction. She said even when she was two years old, she was interested in things like the medieval and Renaissance eras.
  • She never intended to write GRAVE MERCY. She called it her “affair” and was writing it on the side while she kept working on her middle grade series (which I also had no idea she wrote middle grade books — There are actually quite a few of them). GRAVE MERCY just really came together for her and she even surprised herself at how dark of a story this entire series was.
  • She started writing GM because she knew she wanted to read a book like it, so why not write it? She said that as a writer, sometimes you just have to write what you don’t see on the shelf and to write what you want to read!
  • She writes LOTS AND LOTS of drafts. I don’t know how she does it, but she ends up writing several drafts of these books before she gets to a good copy. GRAVE MERCY was in third person originally and she said that Ismae was getting lost on the pages because she WAS supposed to be behind the scenes. She ended up re-writing in first person to make Ismae really come alive and connect with the audience.

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It was so great to meet Robin LaFevers and WOOOOO got my books personalized. Love, love, love.


I was sooooo excited to go see Rainbow Rowell a couple weeks ago. UNTIL IT GOT CANCELLED. I have my suspicions as to why (which I am SUPER bummed about) and it was through no fault of Rainbow’s, that’s for sure! I absolutely loved ELEANOR & PARK so I was incredibly sad that I didn’t get a chance to meet her, especially when she was still in town and everything! I guess I’ll just have to find her at BEA.



Sarah Dessen, guys! How could I NOT go? I have a small confession……… I haven’t read any of her books yet! EEK, don’t kill me! I have three of them and I definitely plan on reading them soon! Seriously. I promise! I have been assured by everyone that I WILL love them (and I believe you!)

Anyway, Sarah was a blast to listen to! She has a natural grace and casual demeanor that made it seem like she’d been friends with everyone in the room for years! Even though I wasn’t as familiar with her books, it was so much fun to hear her talk about all of them and what made each one of them special for her.

I apologize for the lack of details about Sarah Dessen, but it’s hard to remember when I haven’t read the books yet 🙁 Shame on me!!! She was so incredibly nice though and this was one of those times where meeting the author just makes me want to read their books even more. (Okay, that’s all the time… But you know what I mean.) I love hearing all of the personal connections. They really make a book that much more special. Now I can’t wait to start reading!


Kind of an awkward picture, but fun all the same!

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As a special bonus, fellow blogger Rachel from Rachel Reads came down from Wisconsin to see Sarah Dessen so we got to meet at the signing! I still don’t know a ton of bloggers from the general area (I’ve only met a few) so it was so much fun to meet someone that I talk to a lot via our blogs and Twitter!


Oh yes, there is a giveaway! I don’t have books from every author mentioned in this post, BUT I do have two of them to give away to one lucky winner! The giveaway is for a signed ARC of SPELLCASTER by Claudia Gray and a hardcover of ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell. I really wanted to get E&P signed for the giveaway but alas, no such luck. They are still pretty great prizes though 🙂


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until Friday 5/3/13. US and Canada entries only, please. (Sorry, international!) Go forth and enter!

Here are a few more upcoming events that I will be attending! If you’re going to be at Anderson’s in Naperville, IL for any of these signings, let me know and we can say hi! 🙂

Lauren Oliver, Lauren Morrill, Lenore Appelhans — May 2nd
Richelle Mead — May 5th
Dark Days Tour — May 9th

Hope to see you there!!! 

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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21 thoughts on “The One With All the Author Signings: Claudia Gray, Robin LaFevers, Sarah Dessen

  1. Cait

    Such a fun post!!!! I so wish Anderson’s was closer than a 3 hour drive because I would be at ALL of these signings! I was actually going to go see Sarah Dessen until I had a family thing come up. She is my favorite YA author of all time –so I’m hoping beyond hope that she’ll be close again sometime soon. So glad your schedule is full of these! Have fun tomorrow night! (And start with The Truth About Forever…it’s my favorite!)

  2. Tara

    I wish I had more opportunities for author signings. They must come through Raleigh, I just don’t know how to get them on my radar! What’s your advice for knowing when they are coming? Also — I’m so excited about Eleanor and Park. I think it’s one of the only books on my 2013 top 10 “must read” list that I haven’t read yet. If I don’t win it, I’m buying it very soon!

  3. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I just went to an author event featuring Lauren Morrill and Lauren Oliver (I see they are coming soon to your area) and they were fun.

    Too bad about the Rainbow Rowell event being cancelled! That is soooo disappointing.

    I will be seeing Robin LaFevers in May, so I really, really need to read Grave Mercy. Everyone says it is AWESOME.

    Glad you had a good time at the author events. Oh, and one more thing. I’ve only read one Sarah Dessen book (Dreamland, when I was in library school) and feel like an awful librarian and YA blogger. LOL. I should really correct that. 🙂

  4. Stacy Renee

    I’m wondering if you had to drive a long ways to go to these signings or if you live in a big city or something. I’d have to drive almost 3 hours to the next book even in my state and there are no authors that I’ve ever read let alone heard of that are going to be there. 🙁 It also doesn’t help that there are absolutely no bookstores near me. Anyway, I think it is awesome that you got to meet so many great authors! I haven’t read any Sarah Dessen yet but I hear her books are really good, and I’m impatiently waiting for my chance to read ‘Grave Mercy’. I didn’t know it was a historical fiction but I really love historical fiction so I think I will love it.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Actually, Anderson’s bookshop (where I went to all of these events) is in the Chicago suburbs and I live one town over! Takes me about 15 min to get there 🙂 I’m just excited to have an amazing local indie bookstore that hosts events like these!!
      Grave Mercy is so great!! I really hope you enjoy it if you pick it up. Thanks for the comment!!

  5. Christina

    I just got a copy of Dark Triumph and am dying to read it. I’m so jealous that you met Robin LaFevers, how awesome! Thanks so much for the great giveaway and letting us learn more about some terrific authors.

    Christina @ Ensconced in YA

  6. Alexa Y.

    YAY FOR AWESOME AUTHOR EVENTS! It looks like the ones you went to were a whole lot of fun indeed, and I’m especially envious when it comes to Sarah Dessen. She’s one of my favorite authors, and I’m definitely hoping I get the chance to meet her at BEA! Also, you MUST meet Rainbow – she is awesome!

  7. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    You met a lot of awesome authors! One day I hope I can go to some author signings, it is hard when you live in a smaller city and usually they are all two hours away. Sarah Dessen is awesome! I need to read some Rainbow Powell, I’m so out of the loop. I also NEED to jump on the Grave Mercy train. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Monica

    What awesome writers you’ve gotten to meet lately! I wanted so badly to go to the Sarah Dessen event – I saw her once before – and her enthusiasm for what she writes is contagious! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  9. Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

    The only book I’ve read from any of the authors mentioned here is Grave Mercy, which I really liked. All the other authors are on my bucket list! I’ve never read a Sarah Dessen novel either, so don’t feel alone! Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  10. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    I live in Wisconsin and have just started trying to look into author events nearby, and I can’t find any outside of Milwaukee and Chicago. Anderson’s Bookshop looks like it does host a ton of authors, so maybe I should look into it and be willing to brave the three-hour drive for an author I really want to see. I did want to see Robin LaFevers, but I found out about it that Friday and had plans. Oh well. That’s awesome that you live close enough to attend events there fairly frequently! I hope your May events live up to your expectations (and don’t get canceled randomly!). Would one of them happen to be Holly Black? I noticed she’s going to be there in early May and I’m pretty tempted, but I am too busy that day as well.

  11. Natalie

    I just started my first Sarah Dessen novel, and I’m loving it! I’m reading The Truth About Forever. And I totally agree with you – It’s Sarah Dessen, how could you NOT go to the signing, regardless of whether you’ve read anything or not?! She’s a YA staple, just one we haven’t read yet 😛

  12. Brandy

    I would totally fangirl over Sarah Dessen! 🙂 I’m sad for you that you didn’t get to meet Rainbow… but hopefully you can track her down at BEA. 🙂

    I’ve not read Grave Mercy yet, although it’s sitting on my shelf. I’m excited to read it though!


  13. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages

    I love that picture of you and Sarah Dessen leaning towards each other!

    You should definitely check out Sarah Dessen’s books, I only read a book by her for the first time about a year ago and I’ve been slowly catching up. I will say space them out because while they’re definitely good, they all pretty much follow the same formula and it can get to be a little much.

  14. Alyssa @ Books Take You Places

    I learned that Robin LaFevers loves Juliet Marillier!!! This is because you texted me during the event LOL and I feel like now Robin and I should be best friends, ya know? I wish we had more author events near me and also? BEA SO SOON!!!

  15. Haley Gottardo

    You never mentioned what Claudia said about meeting Snarkles. Lol. Nevermind. I’m surprised that not many people showed up. Then again, it was a Wednesday. You should read the Evernight series! It’s really good.

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