Friday, June 22, 2012

Nerd Event with Shelley Bunnell

Nerd Event with Bella Bunnell
Salem, Oregon

Hi all! I'm Bella, aka Shelley! I'm a Pacific Northwest girl, born and bred. I love the outdoors, music, art, cats (especially my guy, Ransom), am an avid reader and admittedly, a fairly shameless author stalker. So I'm excited Jean asked me to be part of this feature and thrilled she chose me to go first. Needless to say, not being a writer or blogger, I'm a bit nervous. So please be gracious and forgive my errors.

Like most readers I love to get lost in a good book. I get emotionally attached to the characters, eagerly await each new adventure and swoon over the hot boys and the covers. I LOVE cover art. Ok, I'm obsessed with cover art. But...I've only been a hardcore reader, as my friends call me, for about 4 years. I behaved like a hermit. I read alone. I didn't discuss my reading and new finds with anyone. Most of my friends didn't really read.Then, about a year and a half ago, I discovered Goodreads. What a world that opened me up listings, reviews, blogs and fan pages with more reviews, contests and fan art, interviews and TOUR SCHEDULES?! Wow! And I had no idea anyone actually did signings. And so, my stalking began...

I've only been to three signings and one festival. All in 2011. I missed a few events early in the year, which I blame on bad drivers and crooked car dealers.

My first event was with Cinda Williams Chima for the release of The Gray Wolf Throne. The 3rd book in her Seven Realms series. She was simply amazing. She's tiny, a quick wit, quite intelligent, generous and kind. She read an excerpt from the chapter of the book I was actually reading, which was great. And she signed all 6 of my books with a personal message and a huge smile. The picture of the two of us is her photo and is posted on her website. Pretty cool, huh?

The next event was the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour. In attendance; my all time favorite Melissa Marr, another favorite, Margaret Stohl, Kelley Armstrong, Ally Condie, Beth Revis, Sara Zarr and Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This was a high energy event. These girls know how to have fun. They did several giveaways and answered questions rapid fire style. I'd only read Melissa and Margaret and two of the authors weren't in their featured anthology, Enthralled, by they signed swag and answered questions from each of us that didn't have their books just the same.

Next, was Wordstock 2011. A fantastic annual event hosted entirely by volunteers. So much fun. I had one mission the first day, to meet Vania Stoyanova, of VLC Productions. Yep, the one that creates the great photos and book trailers. She was fun. Took a picture of me, as her first stalker, but I didn't get one of the two of us. I know! I know!

The next day, I volunteered for a few hours selling souvenirs and memberships. Afterwards, I met so many authors, but my main target was Maggie Stiefvater. HUGE FAN! I was lucky enough to attend two panels she sat on and went through both of her lines. Double dose of Maggie! I hadn't read any of the other authors books, but I became a quick fan of each of them after attending their panels and meeting them individually. Those I don't have pictures of; Scott Westerfeld, Ellen Hopkins and debut authors, Isaac Marion and Jen Violi. There were many others I wasn't able to meet including; Kimberly Derting, Lauren Oliver and Lisa Schroeder.

I can't wait until next year. If you've never attended a festival before, do yourself a favor and find one near you. You'll meet so many amazing people, not just authors, and learn so much.

My last event was for Colleen Houck, of Tiger's Curse fame. She appeared before us in a beautiful Indian inspired dress, made by her mom. She was surrounded by a display (most of which was handmade by, you got it, her also very talented mom), of her Tiger saga characters and creatures. Her husband was also on hand taking photos and helping out and greeting fans. What a beautiful, sweet family.

Colleen commanded a great crowd of young fans that went wild when she read from Tiger's Destiny. Can't wait for that one!

This was probably my last event of the year. Unless someone makes a surprise visit, *hint hint Julie and Cassie*, but I'm already looking forward to all that 2012 has to offer. So many amazing new books and authors to celebrate.

Hope you enjoyed my little tour. Get our there and meet some of your faves. You'll never forget the experience.

Thank you for having me, Jean! I had a blast reminiscing.
Happy reading and happy holidays, everyone! ~Bella

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