This is a collaboration post between Sarah, here at The Little Contemporary Corner and Gemma from Gems Curiosity Blog! We ended up going to the same event for Caraval by Stephanie Garber in Manchester last week, which meant obviously loads of book blogger chat and catching up (okay, we also went to Uni together so we had A LOT to catch up on). Here’s what we got up to at the event!
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Anything in bold is Gemma, anything written not in bold is Sarah!
I personally had been excited for this event for a while. I love Waterstones book events. They’re always well organised and run so smoothly. On top of that, they have absolutely great authors attending. This time it was the turn of Stephanie Garber with her debut novel ‘Caraval’, and to say the least, Gemma was excited about the whole situation!
I mean, I’ve always wanted to go to a book event, but I’ve honestly always been shy. So no more of that! If I want to go to a book event, and there is nothing else to stop me, then I’m going to one!
This particular event took place in Manchester and involved Stephanie being interviewed for an hour, then ended with a book signing. It was a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and it was nice to see Garber talking enthusiastically about Caraval, her inspiration as well as writing in general.
This was one of the most interesting author talks I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in. Garber talked a lot about her experiences as a Creative Writing teacher (something both me and Gemma studied at University) and how she finds her students ‘naïve’ love of writing inspiring.
She also talked a lot about the inspirations behind Caraval.
She told us how she was mostly inspired by music and films and that she listens to film soundtracks when writing. A good portion of the discussion was about her book and how it become the book we all know and love. The Caribbean, Amsterdam and Belgium gave Stephanie ideas on the setting of Caraval (the beaches of the Isles was based on the Caribbean and the canals of the Caraval itself was based on Amsterdam and Belgium) as well as the Spanish-conquered lands inspired the book’s Conquered Isles. Stephanie discussed in great detail how she wanted a strong female lead, who was fearful, but overcame it in order to save a family member she loves dearly. In fact, Stephanie stated that she herself is overprotective of her younger sister and that she shares some characteristics of Caraval’s lead character.
We also learned that ‘Hearts Made Of Black’ was originally set to be the name of Caraval, alongside other things such as Caraval is actually the sixth book she’s written, the others are unpublished.
I always find it so fascinating and refreshing to hear authors talk about perusing their dreams of writing. As me and Gemma are both aspiring authors, I feel like it was very honest to learn she was originally ashamed of saying ‘I quit my job to write!’ It’s definitely something I’ve felt ashamed of before. As a writer who wants to get a book published one day myself, it was certainly inspiring to hear that she accomplished her dream. It definitely shows Garber is very determined.
After an hours’ worth of author talk and Q&A-ing, there was a signing (which let me tell you, was one of the most well organised and fast author signings I’ve ever experienced. Well done staff at Deansgate Waterstones).
When I went up to Garber during the book signing, she noticed my name, Gemma, and said that Gemma was the name of one of her space pirates; a pilot to be more precise. Let me tell you I was very excited to hear that!
Speaking of being excited, two things were announced at the event:
1) Film rights have been bought.
2) Her second novel will be released next year.
We both really did enjoy this event. Plus Garber was one of the most genuine and lovely authors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She was very insightful to aspiring authors and didn’t leave anything out about the true trials of writing a book. Caraval is one of the best books I’ve had the pleasure of reading, it’s story is incredible with so many twists and turns. If you want to read my full review of Caraval¸ I’ll link it HERE.
If you ever get the chance to attend one of Stephanie Garber’s events, I really do recommend you to do so. Also pick up Caraval if you haven’t already!