Friday, October 4, 2013

Heroes, Villains, and Brandon Sanderson--More on Tonight's Event.

It's been quite a week. Earlier this week we had a Boswell bag miscommunication and we realized that the bags we ordered seven weeks ago had not arrived. I was so proud of myself of getting the order in early, but in the end, we wound up heading to Associated Bag by the airport and picking up a carton of plain blue die cut, strong enough for books. I felt like a hero, as we were only out of bags for a few hours.
Thursday night started the Heartland Fall Forum, which goes through Sunday. It's a two year experiment, a joint conference of folks in MIBA (Midwest Independent Booksellers Association) and GLIBA (Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association), this year at a hotel by O'Hare. There are a slew of authors attending, as well as workshops, rep presentations, and roundtables, and it made sense for us to send folks. The only problem was the store was left working on a skeleton crew. On Saturday, I am going to head over to the show to have dinner with authors and publishers and booksellers, following our event with Susan Falkman, author of Body Memories, at 2 pm. Jason thinks I can make it in 72 minutes, though I am allotting two hours. My super speed is on the fritz. It's probably a longstanding kryptonite issue.

Interestingly enough, we did notpick up adult authors for events at this show, but we did get quite a few kids' authors, including David Shannon next Tuesday, October 8, who'll be at the Greenfield Public Library next Tuesday for his new book, Bugs in My Hair!. Tonight is one of our coups--the first Milwaukee-area appearance of Brandon Sanderson, one of our buyer Jason's favorite authors. I should note that it may not be his first time ever (we'll find out tonight) but just since Jason has been living here and paying attention. He's coming for his new book Steelheart, an epic struggle set in Newcago.

Sanderson is well known for finishing the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series, but he's written numerous books and series, both for kids and adults. We were shouting out the Mistborn Trilogy a lot, though Jason noted that the new series, the Stormlight Archive, is also quite impressive. The first book in that series, The Way of Kings, came out in 2010.

Being that both Jason and Mel are new fans of Steelheart, the new novel for both adults and kids that Sanderson is on tour for, we had a lot of fun putting together ideas to help promote the book. Mel created a super hero display, being that not only were we hosting Sanderson tonight, but Tea Krulos, for his launch of Heroes in the Night on Friday, October 11, 7 pm, which reports on the real-life superhero movement.

And then Stacie got the idea to put together a super-villain display, mostly because we are hosting Scott Seegert and John Martin next Monday, October 7, 6:30 pm, for Vordak the Incomprehensible, at the Franklin Public Library. The Vordak books (the newest is Time Travel Trouble) in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid format .Coincidentally, I just finished the fourth NERDS book, the Villain Virus, where a nanobyte virus went haywire, turning thousands of everyday folk into supervillains. Problematic, no?

One of the things I learned about Sanderson's book is that it's named after the villain, which is sort of a rare thing in superhero culture. I've also learned that Sanderson's fans are both legion and powerful, and that we should have a pretty fun time tonight. The only signing restrictions we have is that we may limit personalizations to three books per person.

For the event tonight, we'll be giving out line letters, starting at 5 pm. Instead of our generic line letters, we've created a custom line letter that also doubles as a bookmark, letting folks know how the event will proceed and letting folks know about the restrictions, few that they may be.

I should leave you with some recs, right? Here's Jason Kennedy on Steelheart:
"Brandon Sanderson has created another amazing and brilliant universe, where everything has been rocked to its very core and humanity is struggling to just survive. In David's world, a calamity occurs which transforms normal people into Epics, who have varying levels of super powers. We would all like to think that most people with super powers would do good by humanity, but these Epics kill at a whim and destroy the normal working order of the world. Steelheart murders David's father, and for the next ten years he attempts to learn as much about the Steelheart and the other Epics as he can so he can avenge his fathers and countless others deaths. It is a dangerous proposition, however. If he can convince others to help him, then they might have a slim chance at best. That's all they need."

And here's his take on The Rithmatist, which came out earlier this year:
"Brandon Sanderson does an amazing job of creating vividly defined worlds of magic and characters. In this world, which is similar to ours, yet has some distinct differences (there is no U.S. as the continent in this world is more of a lot of islands as water has seeped throughout the continent), Joel goes to a school that trains Rithmatists to defend the realm in Nebrask. Unfortunately for him, he was not chosen to be one of them, despite being more knowledgeable than the other students. When somebody starts kidnapping fellow students from Armedius Academy, Joel teams together with some fellow students to find the culprit. A brilliant start to a new series for Sanderson!"

That makes three series he's started with second volumes yet to be published. That's a tall order, but nothing a hero from Nebrask can't handle, heading to Mill Walk* on his way to Newcago.

*Do you know which famous author coined this for alterna-Milwaukee?

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