Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I promised I'd write about Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda's visit before I forgot. As everyone knows, I was thrilled to host them, I’ve read both series and had questions!

They are an unlikely pair. Rachel Hawkins was born in Virginia and raised in Alabama. This means she uses words like "y'all" and "fixin'" a lot, and considers anything under 60 degrees to be borderline Arctic. Before deciding to write books about kissing and fire (and sometimes kissing while on fire), Rachel taught high school English for 3 years, and is still capable of telling you all about The Canterbury Tales if you ask.

Sarwat Chadda, on the other hand, has a completely different accent (English) and says things like “naff” and “bloke.” His love of storytelling began with his first game of Dungeons and Dragons. He spent long nights creating dark tales of adventure, weaving in real history, myths and legends from all sources, but most heavily from the Crusades. He went on to become an engineer! Oh, and won a writing competition, which resulted in an auction for Devil’s Kiss. Brought up a Muslim and married to a vicar’s daughter, Sarwat created Billi SanGreal, a heroine of both cultures.

The things they had in common were their strong kick-ass heroines and how funny they were. They told stories of their backgrounds and paths to writing, about their books and characters, about their covers (and oh, you should see the Bulgarian cover of Hex Hall. Rachel suggested maybe they had misread it as Sex Hall.) And about other covers (how a certain model on a certain YA angel book was much shorter than she’d imagined him to be). They talked about their magic Starbucks moment when Rachel learned she was now a New York Times bestselling author and Sarwat talked about a potential film deal. They had a great camaraderie and clearly enjoyed being on tour together. And there was much talk about James Franco, who was in town for his mother’s play.

Lots of questions, lots of photos, and a long signing line made for a very successful evening. And enough tote bags for all of them (competition is still open if you want one). Isn't that a great photo of the winners with their bags? And that's me on the left with my eyes closed! (And Heidi Kling, author of Sea, in photo above)

Oh, here's Rachel talking about her books:

and here's Sarwat talking about his books:

1 comment:

Michael Offutt said...

Thanks for the reviews...very informative stuff presented here. I can agree that anything below 60 degrees is arctic. I lament that I live in a part of the country that sufferes a long winter. If I should ever be able to procure the financial means to move to a land of eternal summer, I shall do so.