2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Monday, 5 May 2014

An Evening With Laini Taylor - 1st May 2014

Monday, 5 May 2014

On the 1st of May we were overjoyed to have Laini Taylor join us for the evening. She is an author that we tried so hard for so long to host and so when the tickets were announced and you guys snapped them all up? THAT was incredible. We are so proud of our local scene and how strong it is becoming with every event. Keep getting in touch and getting involved - everything we do is for you (and clearly a bit of an indulgence for us) so make sure you have your say. You can email any feedback you have for us or even your author event wish list to us here so we know who you want to meet.

Thank you all for coming, both Laini and us appreciate all your support. Don't forget to email us your photos if you want us to include them!

Click through to read more about the evening and see pictures!

So that's Laini's thoughts from the evening, here's Laura's:

I arrived at Waterstones High Street branch (always important to get the right one) yesterday a little ahead of 7:30pm, the advertised time of the signing. As I was quite early the only people I expected to be in store were the book sellers obviously and general costumers. 

When I headed up to the book garden, which is as lovely at it sounds, there were already a handful of people seated with books on laps. It was clear then that Laini was a lady people were keen to meet and wanted a prime spot amongst the rows of seating. Everything I'd seen, heard and read so far was convincing me I'd made the right decision to start reading Laini's books when I did so I'd have the opportunity to meet her at this event!

Between 6:45pm and 7:30pm more and more people started to arrive, some purchasing books on their way in, from the absolutely stunning display the store had set up and others already carrying them and got settled into their seats. Once the room started to fill up there was a definite buzz of chatter and excitement about meeting Laini soon. 

I chose to sit on the end of the row of seats closest to the stairs, as from previous experience of events in the book garden I knew that we'd see Laini as soon as she started to climb the stairs. Mind you Laini is easier to spot than most people as she has pink hair! 

Just after 7:30pm Laini did indeed walk into the book garden with two ladies from her publishers. Once people realised Laini had arrived a hush slowly descended over the room, we were in the presence of someone really quite special now. 

The first thing I noticed about Laini was what a fun, smiley person she was and this was before she'd even spoke. She was dressed all in black apart from this gorgeous multi patterned skirt, which several people sitting around me commented on and then of course there was her amazing hair which was even more stunning in real life than it appears in photographs!

This event was a little different to others I've attended and it was clear the team at Waterstones had worked hard behind the scenes to make it happen. At the front of the room a table, chairs and microphones were set up. Bex then took to the mic to introduce Laini to the room and thanked everyone for coming. Laini was full of smiles and waves as she made her way to the front of the room where there was a chair and microphone waiting for her.

A Q&A session between Bex and Laini then went on with some audience participation. Bex asked Laini to tell us about her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. She said a girl with blue hair came in her thoughts and she took things from there. Laini went on to talk about the change in direction her studies took from an English related course to art college. She's clearly artistic in a number of ways! One of the many things that stood out about Laini was how funny and witty she was. She raised lots of laughs from us all.

Laini also talked about the love she has for certain locations that she knew well in her books and other places she had an interest in and was able to visit after writing about such as Prague. She talked about how some aspects of the books were a certain degree of wish fulfilment. She told us how she started writing DOSAB in a bid to write something for fun again compared to what she was working on at the time. This also happened to coincide with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which is when writers attempt to write a certain number of words of a new novel throughout November. 

Laini also talked about how the book is being adapted by Hollywood to become a film which is huge. While the final decisions are made by others involved Laini has ideas and some input. Naturally when a film is mentioned conversation turns to cast. Laini's vision of an actress to play Karou is top secret to those who attended the event but was a very popular choice in the room.

When I read the book I found myself googling certain words which enhanced the story for me as I had a better understanding of the word. It was often another word for something, the whole book was full of really beautiful words, phrases and descriptions. By the end of the book I felt as if I'd travelled to the same places as Karou and all without leaving the house. 

When Bex opened the questioning out to the room I used the opportunity to ask Laini if those words came naturally to her or did she herself have to research for another way to say something. She said that she's always loved words and used words that were already at her disposal rather than words from a list in a thesaurus. The fact that such beautiful words were already in her vocabulary makes me like Laini and her books all the more. DOSAB really is unlike anything I've ever read before and I'm excited to see where the journey of the second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, will take me. 

I'd arranged to collect my book on the day of the event as I hadn't been able to get to the store before hand and there's something quite lovely about buying a new book and getting it signed on the day. Shortly after Laini started talking Gemma handed me my rather beautiful hardback copy of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Laini's latest book and the third instalment of the DOSAB series. I just happened to look inside and Laini had already signed it for me. 

After everyone that wanted to had asked their question it was time for Laini to settle in downstairs where she would begin signing her books for everyone. Yet more evidence of the planning and preparation that went into this event were the beautiful homemade by Amy, cakes and cake pops. There were even blue cakes with blue icing in honour of Karou's hair!

One of the two ladies from the publishers that had joined Laini for the evening gave everyone in the queue a bookmark and temporary tattoos of eyes or hamsas that are a running theme through the book. While waiting in the book signing queue I got talking to a couple of the girls I was standing with. There was a real diversity to the people that had turned up. There were lots of teenagers but also people in their 20's like myself, 30's and older. There were moms and daughters, couples and people who had come alone. Of course there was somebody with blue hair. 

As I already had my book signed my "signing" experience was just a chance to tell Laini how much I enjoyed her book and ask her my other burning question which was less about her books and more about Laini herself -the hair! I was desperate to know how long she'd had it pink. She told me seven years. We had a little chat about hair. I said it seams right that I should have pink in my hair seeing as my username across the internet has been pinkmad17 for a while now. 

When I was just a couple of people away from meeting Laini I spoke to the other lady from her publishers and said that as I'd already got my book signed I just wanted to say hello and maybe get a picture if it was ok. She said it was and even offered to take it for me. I'd been telling people I was going to meet an author with amazing pink hair. I wanted a picture to prove just how awesome she is.

Click to enlarge the photos:




  1. Yay! Love the picture of all the hamsas together ��

  2. Holy snood, there's me in my bright-as-heck unicorn shirt! Thanks for such an awesome evening! :D

  3. Ooh, I didn't realise my photo with Laini was on here, haha!

    It was an awesome event and Laini was amazing!


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