*I am not going to go into a full rant but I just wrote this entire post and it did not save. *sob* So please excuse me if this seems a bit brief. My original post was brilliant. :)*
Hi, everyone! It's been a while since our last book event, but Kimberly and I were lucky enough to be able to make it to the Suspicion launch party last night at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. We arrived about 20 minutes before the signing to purchase our books. Then we went upstairs to the event space and were greeted with this:
This was only part of the spread, too. There was a whole table filled with delicious finger sandwiches and treats and a bartender pouring sparking cider and other liquid refreshments. Monir told us later that her mom had planned the whole thing so yay mom! We've been to a lot of book signings and they don't usually have snacks. I really think we need to change this and make it a more regular occurrence. There was a large crowd of people at the events including friends, family and fans.
The signing started off with us listening to Monir's "Autumn Leaves," a song that she recorded for Suspicion. Monir has been a performer and recording artist for most of her life and has recorded a song for each of her books.
Monir says that her start in writing was a "happy accident." She had been pursuing a career in music when, one day, the idea for a time travel romance (what would later become Timeless) came to her. She didn't know what to do with the idea really but decided to start writing it to see where it went. It turned into a full length novel. Monir passed the novel on to her music agent who, in turn, gave it to an editor at Random House for comments. What resulted was a two book deal for Monir. Monir counts herself lucky though and says that her story is an unusual one.
Monir said that Suspicion was very much inspired by one of her favorite books, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Monir said that she originally wanted to re-imagine the story for a younger audience and in a more contemporary setting. She added her own twist though with elements of the supernatural and themes of childhood friendship. The setting for Suspicion was inspired by Downton Abbey. The class differences of that time really interested Monir and she says that she discovered that the peerage is still going strong in Britain. She says that the Brits treat the royals like celebrities similar to how reality and film stars are treated in the U.S.
When asked if she listened to music while writing, Monir said that she likes to listen to film scores of world music so that she doesn't get caught up in the lyrics. Two of her favorite composers are Alexandre Desplat and John Williams. When asked if she would ever stop writing YA, Monir said that she did not think that she would ever tire of writing YA. The intense feelings and the discovery of first experiences are themes that loves. She also says that YA readers are the best reader.
After a few more questions it was time to sign books. Monir was very sweet and gracious when we chatted with her and we discussed how awesome Rebecca is and her upcoming trip to France (jealous!).
We had a really great time and can't wait to read Suspicion. You can see all of our pics from the event in our Flickr album. Also, mini eclairs! Many thanks to B&N, Alexandra Monir, and her mom for bringing treats. :)