Meeting Sarah J. Maas

So if you’ve read the Throne of Glass series or A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series, you know who Sarah J. Maas is. And even if you haven’t read them, there’s a good chance you may have heard of them since she is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Well this past Friday I had the chance to go a signing in a quaint little bookshop in Doylestown, PA.

Now I love reading and books, but I’ve never gone to meet an author before. But these books are so amazing I just had to go with my friend once she suggested it. My new friend Emily, who’d I’d actually met at school and bonded with over both loving the Throne of Glass series had gone to meet Sarah twice. So we hoped in her car after my class and set of for Doylestown from Delaware. Now it was only supposed to be an hour and a half car ride but it ended up taking an 3 hours to get there. We were in traffic almost the entire time and as time passed we had more anxiety about being late.

According to the flyer seating didn’t start until 6:30 and we arrived at about 5:50. We were both starving and Doylestown was this adorable downtown with lots of old looking stone buildings but we skipped our meal to go see what the bookstore looked like. Sure enough the front row was already full so we plopped ourselves down in the second row to wait until 7, when it started.

At first I felt a little awkward being between all these strangers but we all immediately had a connection. I am not the most outgoing person but I love to read and these people were not about to judge me for my choice in reading material. We all got talking about all different books and what we loved about Sarah’s books. We talked about Booktubers on Youtube and when I mentioned Polandbananasbooks people actually knew who I was talking about for once which was an amazing feeling. And so the time flew by and all the seating filled up and then suddenly I was 1 row away from Sarah J. Maas.

Kara Thomas was there also doing this even. In fact this even was really for the release of her first book, The Darkest Corners which is a true crime novel that Sarah compared to Gone Girl and True Detective. Sarah was really moderating the event. It was cute because she had prepared 18 questions even though they had time for about 3. Kara was actually a great speaker and gave great answers and Sarah was hilarious. Her personality is just so bubbly and goofy.

A couple highlights they discussed were:

-Sarah asked Kara to play “F***, Marry, Kill LOTR edition” however since there were kids in the audience she changed it to Kiss Marry Kill for Frodo, Legolas and Aragorn. Kara had an instant answer. “Kill Frodo (duh), Kiss Legolas and Marry Aragorn”. Sarah followed up with telling us she had a life size cut out of Legolas in her office so she would have to say kill Frodo, F, not kiss “because things escalated quickly” Aragorn and marry her one true love Legolas. I was all about that because Legolas has always been my one true love out of the entire fellowship.

-While moderating Sarah complemented Kara by telling us that we would all be horrified to know that the first thing she does when she gets a new book is flip to the last page and read the ending (gasp). But she was so enthralled with the mystery in Kara’s book that she made herself read the entire thing without flipping to the end.

-Another highlight came during the questions section. They were speaking to people who were aspiring writers about people doubting them. Sarah was telling a story of how she had a creative writing elective in high school and the teacher told her that fantasy was not real writing and fantasy authors like Philip Pullman (the golden compass) were not real authors. Well Sarah told us she kept and online journal and went home and wrote angrily that she hoped this teacher got crushed by a giant box of fantasy novels. She went on to say that she had yet to send this particular teacher a copy of her book with “niener niener” written on the inside cover, but she’d like to think she was above that. She got a loud shout that “she doesn’t deserve a free one!” from the audience.

-During the discussion of not letting anyone doubt you both Kara and Sarah got into talking about how they got started writing. Everyone got a good laugh when Sarah said most of her writing started writing all kinds of Harry Potter Fanfictions where she would sort the Sailor Scouts into their Hogwarts Houses. It was just fun to see an acclaimed author admit that she was a nerd and a geek at one point and wrote fan fiction. Both Sarah and Kara were asked what they were like in high school and both said they were in the nerdy category. However Sarah went on to say how she walked around with a chip on her shoulder with her headphones in and even though she was a nerd if anyone bothered her while she was listening to her music or anything she would just give them this look.

-This led into Sarah brining up how she had recently taken the Buzzfeed hybrid Harry Potter House quiz and how most people would assume she’s a Ravenclaw because she’s a writer but apparently she’s a dumb jock because she’s a Gryffindor (same whoop whoop). However then she said that she’s actually a Slyderdor so she is an “ambitious dumb jock”. Someone in the audience pointed out to her that means she’s basically Harry Potter and when she said “oh that does mean I’m Harry Potter” she was met with applause. Kara told us that she is a rare breed. She would also assume herself a Ravenclaw but “guess I’m not smart enough for that”, and is actually a Slyerpuff. Of course most people may see that as an oxymoron of sorts but she had a great little explanation of being ambitious but not at the cost of her friends.

The whole interview process was really great. All the audience questions were great because there was almost no one there who had read Kara’s book yet but no one asked Sarah really specific questions. Everyone asked things that could always be discussed by both of them like how Sarah’s fantasy world building differed from Kara’s realistic world building.

At the end if was time to line up and get books signed! I had been told that at previous events she would only sign 3 books so I painstakingly decided to bring Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire. I also bought A Court of Thorns and Roses because you had to buy 1 book from the bookstore to get them signed. Emily went first, got her photos, got her books signed and her photo. And then it was my turn. We told her how we’d just met recently and bonded over our mutual love of her books. We told her about our long drive from UD. I got my individual photo and then we got a nice group photo (which her husband photo bombed in the back but that’s fine cause have you seen him? Inspiration for Dorian?). Right before it was time for me to walk away I showed Sarah a snapchat art because I’d been bored recently and on a roll and had done a great Legolas and it made her laugh.

Leaving the bookstore I was practically shaking. We were starving of course so we walked down the adorable streets of Doylestown and found a cute pizza shop. After that we found this awesome used book store across the street and browsed for a bit before we finally called it quits and left.

All in all it was such an amazing experience and I’m so happy that I met Sarah. She’s so awesome and funny and seems so down to earth and I’m so hype for her next book to come out in 8 days and then for Empire of Storms in the fall! If you like her books and ever have the chance to go meet her do it because it was awesome and I will forever be a star stuck fangirl anytime I think of the encounter.

 

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