Oh my Gods, guys! So I just got back about an hour ago from Sarah J. Maas’ book signing here in Borders, The Curve, Malaysia, and I am still reeling from the entire thing!! I can’t guarantee how coherent this post will be, but really, can you blame me?
I left home around 4 p.m. and reached Borders around 4.40 p.m. where I met up with Carmen, a fellow book blogger and friend I had previously only conversed with online. That in itself was great because we were supposed to meet up last year at a book sale but it didn’t work out. We were both filled with nervous/excited energy, so we went for a walk around the mall. The whole time talking about books, catching up and fangirling (really loudly, too) without any particular destination in mind. When we were done with that we made our way back to Borders and ran into another book blogger friend, Jasmine, whom I had only recently got acquainted with on Twitter.
The three of us set up camp outside the event area at 5.10 p.m.. Not long after, Jean, walked up and asked to sit with us. Of course we said yes, and not long after, we were like friends who had known each other for years instead of minutes. Crazy fangirling ensued, to which passersby looked at us like we were indeed crazy. That was when I realized that my introvert self is actually not so shy when around book lovers. With more than an hour to kill, we went on and on about books, often squealing and making other incoherent noises.
Then, we were each handed a small piece of paper to write our names on. Which we put on the page we wanted Sarah to sign. By then, there were already groups of people camping out alongside us. Sometime before 7 p.m. we were told to register at the registration table, which due to strategic planning we were sitting right next to, before we were ushered into the signing area. My friends and I were the first four to register so we got front row seats (our very own bench!). The staff were busy arranging the seating and which row would go out first for the signing, while we eagerly anticipated Sarah’s arrival. At first we were told that we could only get her to sign 2 books per person and I was like, “noooo, I brought six of them.” But then, to our pleasant surprise, they informed us that we could now each get 3 books signed. Eureka!
Not long after that, Sarah was spotted, and even if you didn’t see her, the screams from fans were enough to “hint” at it. She walked from the back to the front and stood towards the left, still not in the event space but pretty damn close. I took a video of her entrance, but since WordPress won’t let me upload videos, I’ve captured a few frameshots.
She was fully visible at first, but then she was mostly hidden behind the bookcase. The fourth photo above is actually her peeking out from the bookshelf. Not long after, she walked into the area, and I, along with every other fan present with a healthy pair of lungs, screamed (you know those screams of excitement).
Soon after taking a seat, her husband, Josh walked in and on the way to his seat he gave Sarah a couple of pats on the shoulder. Which got a huge response from the crowd.
Sarah was just like “#papamaas”. She talked about how Josh sat behind her at the event in Manila and, “the Philippines, they really liked the look of him. His signing line was as long as mine. They wanted him to sign their books. So he’s available tonight.” From what I know of the pair of them, they are #GOALS.
It started off with a Q&A session. The MC asked a question (for the life of me I can’t remember what it was) and after that the fans took the reins. I can’t recall exactly what questions were asked but I do remember most of the answers.
- Some of Sarah’s favorite TV shows are The 100, Teen Wolf, Black Sails and The Great British Bake-Off.
- Josh is a master baker.
- If Sarah were stranded on an island and had to pick one of her male characters to save her, she would pick Rhysand. Because he has wings and could fly her away from there. Secondly, if she had to die on an island, doing so with an attractive guy would be the way to go. Also, this is a spoiler for A Court of Mist and Fury, highlight to read : Rhysand can teleport.
- If Celaena were to be in a reality show, it would The Real Desperate Housewives. Because there’s politics and the whole frenemies thing which Celaena would love.
- She faced many struggles as an aspiring author, internally, and externally from friends, family, teachers. They said nobody reads fantasy and to write something different. Even as a published author she faces these struggles and there are times when she doubts herself. But she always lives by, “it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up.” She told us to follow our dreams and not to limit ourselves. It was all very inspirational and I found myself tearing up at some parts. Trust me, if you were there to experience it, what with the atmosphere and all, you would too.
- Someone made a request for her to promise not to kill Rhysand (I think) and while she couldn’t make it, she did promise not to kill Fleetfoot. Saying that she wouldn’t put us through the emotional trauma of losing a pet, like in Harry Potter and all. So, we can rest assured Fleetfoot is safe from the hands of death. I repeat, FLEETFOOT IS SAFE.
- In order for her to write about a character, they have to have a name first. It helps her get into their psyche and story.
- Sarah does not come up with her character names by smashing her keyboard (reference to a Tumblr post). She does however look up baby names online and joked that she searched for “sexy Irish warrior” names.
- There may or may not be a character with the name Bellarke in Empire of Storms or ACoMaF (sorry, I’m not forgot which!), named after her favorite ship from the TV show, The 100.
- Sarah can’t get enough of Bellamy from The 100!
- She loves binge watching TV shows, as you know, “research”.
- In terms of the ToG TV show news, she does not have any actors in mind to play the characters. Appearance matters the least to her, what’s important is that the actors are able to convey the characters’ emotions on screen. The only thing important about appearance to her is that people of color in the books remain people of color on screen. She is not a fan of Holloywood’s white washing.
- In terms of ACoTaR film news, she would like for there to be more females on board the project.
- The maps in the ACoTaR books will change according to Feyre’s knowledge of the world.
- She does not agree that book to movie adaptations have to always be terrible. Sometimes, an adaptation is ruined due to it sticking to close to the book and not exploring and becoming its own.
- Sarah has watched the latest Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, four times now.
The Q&A session was not only such fun, but also serious at times. Perfectly balanced. Once it ended, we proceeded to the book signing part of the event and just like in Manila, Josh signed our books too. Since it started from the left to the right, as opposed to us sitting from the right to the left, I was the third to get to Sarah, with Carmen going first, Jean, second and Jasmine, fourth.
While Jean got her books signed, Sarah talked about how when she was on the way from Sunway Pyramid (she had a signing there) she saw the sky and hoped it wouldn’t rain.
Before I knew it it was my turn. I handed her my books (ToG, The Assassin’s Blade & ACoTaR) across the table and she opened it saw my name and asked, “Hi, Tasha. How are you?” I was like, “great!” Yes, it even sounded like it had a exclamation mark. I wasn’t nervous per se, but clearly I was something. I told her how she is the first author I have ever met in person and how I “don’t even know what to say.” She was so gracious about it and said something along the lines of, “you saw how weird I was out there. It’s okay, you’re not the only one.” To which I answered with a chuckle, “I’m weirder.” She just laughed. Sarah, the amazing person that she is, talked to me and believe it or not I was completely at ease. All I can say about that is Sarah has a talent of putting people at ease and making them feel comfortable around her. While she signed the rest of my books, I asked her about her thoughts on Malaysia and she told me that she had only been here for about 24 hours but she already loves it. I was so comfortable that I started talking about food and how she should try the local food here. When I asked whether she would visit Malaysia again, she said “yeah!” I thanked her profusely for writing her phenomenal books and for coming to Malaysia. She replied with a, “no, thank you for coming out tonight!”
I got Josh to sign my “Meet-the-Author” pass and Throne of Glass. I was so grateful for that and went all “Oh my Gods. Thank you so much!” Then, in what seemed like an all too short encounter, my turn was over. (In between all of that conversation was some gushing, which Sarah handled really well.)
On the way out I was given a swag pack of 6 Throne of Glass badges. Carmen was right there waiting for me and there was a lot of “Oh my Gods!!” and “that just happened!!!” going around. We were both just hopping around, squealing and living in the moment.
The following passages are written one week after the ones above, because I was away and there was no WiFi.
Okay, so, me being me, I went back for seconds. The first time around I was the third in line; this time I was the second last. What all does being second last entail? One hour of waiting in line. I wasn’t complaining then and I’m not complaining now, because let’s be real, I would have queued half a day to meet them again.
Somehow, I ended up chatting with the girl behind me and her little brother. She hadn’t read any of Sarah’s books, so she was really nervous about meeting her. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. Nervous, I mean. So I talked to her about how sweet and totally unintimidating Sarah is. Then we talked about our favorite books, and even though we were stuck in the same spot for a good 20 minutes, time just flew by. In a very exaggerated blink of an eye, it was my turn again and guess what? Sarah recognized me! She was like “Hi!”, then she got a good look at my face and went, “hey, you again!” YES ME AGAIN BECAUSE I CANNOT GET ENOUGH AND I AM DESPERATE. Of course, I didn’t say that, instead I said, “hi! Yeah, this is the last time, I promise.”
I passed her my books and then we got talking. Mostly general stuff, until…
Me: I LOVE your hair. It’s just GOALS.
Sarah: Thank you! I love your hair. The curls are so beautiful. Are they natural?
Me: Aww thank you. Yep, all natural.
Sarah: There, I have to spend hours rolling mine to get it looking like this and yours is just… some hand movements
Me: But yours is still so pretty and like, always perfect.
So there we were just smiling at each other and chatting about hair. God only knows how I didn’t completely lose my cool right there and then. Praise the lord, I was able to function like a normal person and have an actual conversation.
After a bit more talking while she signed my books, we wished each other goodnight and there was a lot of thank yous and I hope you come again. With a “Have fun in Malaysia!”, it was over.
My mom and I stayed till the very end, because we still had to wait for my aunt to pick us up and what better place to wait than there? Sarah and Josh took photos with the staff and organizers before leaving and as much as I wanted to ask to take one with them, I didn’t, because they were rushing to get to KLCC and I was already more than happy with what I had gotten. So, they left with an entourage and I left with a smile on my face, 6 signed books and an unforgettable experience.
It was only then that I lost all sense of the word “chill” and started freaking out. Like, major fangirling. I MET SARAH J. MAAS. SARAH LOVES MY HAIR. BRB, FANGIRLING. I kept going on and on about how amazing and inspiring it all was. Since that wasn’t my mom’s first day being my mother or her first time seeing me fangirl, she took it all in stride.
Meeting Sarah J. Maas was a surreal experience that I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life. Not only was it completely unbelievable, it was also incredibly inspiring. She will make you want to go home and get back to your writing projects that you had cast aside. She will make you believe again. Like she told us,
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is how many times you get back up.
I achieved at least 5 of my goals that day. I mean, I met one of my favorite authors! I also got to meet tons of bookworms offline, as opposed to connecting on social media. AND I MET SARAH J. MAAS! In this week, I have looked at the photos taken at least once a day and it never gets old.
Here’s hoping we get another visit from the lovely, Sarah J. Maas soon. ❤
P.S. I know this was a really long post, but I wanted to include every little detail of that fantastic day.
P.P.S. Special thanks to Sarah J. Maas and Josh for coming to Malaysia; Borders for holding the event and my mom for being our photographer.