Starstruck: On the Kristin Cashore Signing

Friends, there are some authors who you leave work early to go see. Some authors where you volunteer to take every crappy task at work just so you earn karma enough to take off before 5 p.m. For me, that author is Kristin Cashore. Wednesday afternoon I took a half day at work in order to drive downstate with co-blogger Allison to Oblong Books & Music to go see one of my favorite authors EVER, and you guys, it was worth every minute, it was worth leaving early, it was AMAZING.

Kristin Cashore Reading

Reading Aloud From Bitterblue

First, I want to talk a little bit about Oblong Books. The location I went to was in Rhinebeck, NY. I always find myself driving 2.5 hours just to go to their YA events, because I  know it will be worth it. Oblong Books is the kind of store where as an adult you can wander the YA section and not ever feel shamed by the employees for reading books intended for teens and kids. Plus, the owner is a passionate reader and YA fan and it is absolutely reflected every time I go there. It’s an independent store that I wish was geographically closer to me, but one where I am GLAD to pay full price for books because I know that increases the likelihood of more great YA events.

So, big huge thank you to Oblong Books for hosting such an awesome event.

I am betting you want to know what I learned about Kristin Cashore while at the event, yes? BOOM I GOT BULLET POINTS!

  • She writes her books by hand and transcribes them into word using voice recognition software. She then edits the print outs.
  • Kristin brought her notebook that contained the end of Fire and the beginning of Bitterblue. There was A LOT crossed out.
  • The first draft of Bitterblue took 7 notebooks. It is 770 pages long and took her 3 years to write.
  • She re-wrote Bitterblue on the print out — she crossed out every line and wrote in the space between the lines.
  • Bitterblue went through 5 drafts.
  • Kristin Cashore’s advice to writers: “Just keep writing.” She really emphasized failure and how you keep going.
  • Her characters are the ones who drive the story. She told the audience about having to reign in Po. He would start talking and going on tangents and Kristin would often think ‘just shut up!’
  • Kristin Cashore also has wicked good taste in authors. She was influenced by Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley.
  • What’s next for Kristin Cashore?: A contemporary realistic book written in first person that is a very different voice from the Seven Kingdoms books, and also very short. It’s only 250 pages. Also? Another fantasy, set in the same realm but that may expand the map again.
  • More advice from Kristin: ‘Never surrender — don’t give up.’ You learn to write by actually doing writing, not research.

Here I am with Kristin Cashore! YAYYY!

I have to say that I was so incredibly starstruck by Kristin Cashore because her trilogy is one of my favorite series EVER, but she is legitimately nice and kind and intelligent and fascinating. I remember walking out of the signing with co-blogger Allison and remarking to Allison about how impressed I was by Cashore’s personality.

Graceling Trilogy Books

Three Times The Awesome

So friends, my starstruckedness IS ALSO YOUR GAIN TOO! That’s right. I picked up a second signed set of the trilogy to giveaway to YOU. This contest is international and ends 5/17/12. Obvi, it’s a Rafflecopter contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are three good reasons why you should enter:

Disclosure: All prizes/signed books were purchased. SUPPORT INDIE BOOK STORES, HOLLA!

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.


  1. I do love the Iron Fey series. :)

  2. I went to a signing with Kristin Cashore this week as well and also took off early from work just so I could attend. I’m not entering the giveaway… I just wanted to gush about the event and how awesome Kristin is!

    I was planning on buying only Bitterblue because I already owned Graceling and Fire in paperback, which I brought along, but then when I was at the signing I decided I wanted to have an all hardcover set for my shelf so I bought them as a treat for myself (and justified it by saying that I was supporting my indie bookstore that hosted the event even more! Yay!). The spines are so gorgeous lined up on my shelf in a row!

    I really liked finding out why Bitterblue took so long to get published (an entire re-write… yikes!) because it is a book I have been eagerly waiting for FOREVER and I didn’t understand why the release date kept getting pushed back. Despite my impatience, I think it was cool that her publisher allowed her the time she needed to write the best possible story she could. I have a feeling that the long wait will be worth it!

  3. The Iron King and the rest of the series. <3

  4. Jennifer Vu says:

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone- my favorite!

  5. Nayana Catoia says:

    The Mortal Instruments Series *-*

  6. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

    thank you for the giveaway :)

  7. Umm, I think if fantasy is involved that would be the Seven Kingdoms (yep!), Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. :)

    Thank you for the fabulous giveaway! I love Kristin Cashore! 😀

  8. Finniking of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta!

  9. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima and Lumatere series by Melina Marchetta.

  10. Awesome! I wish she was going to be somewhere near me. I KNEW she must have liked McKinley and Pierce. In my review, I said that she was like their literary lovechild. :)

    Favorite YA fantasy: Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. Along with The Blue Sword and Hero’s Crown. It’s easy to see why I love Cashore.

  11. I loveloveloved The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson! I’ve been meaning to read more high fantasy and I’m going to continue with Melina Marchetta’s books and possibly Game of Thrones. Awesome contest!

  12. Great recap…and I love the first bullet point. I write most things by hand before typing them out…most people think I’m weird because of it 😉

  13. Just ONE fantasy book? Well, my all-time favorite is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis, of course. :)

  14. My favorite fantasy series is Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles! Ugh, so good. I read Graceling and that was so good, too. I’m starting to really get into fantasy books.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. My favorite fantasy series is Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles! Ugh, so good. I read Graceling and that was so good, too. I’m starting to really get into fantasy books.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Genevieve says:

    Other than this series, I really love Tamora Pierce’s books! I’ve been meaning to get Mastiff! : )

  17. Meghan says:

    Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles are my favorite as well. They are so amazing.
    Thanks for the contest!

  18. Favorite fantasy book, mmm let’s see I’ll go with The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

  19. I can’t even handle how jealous I am right now. YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!

  20. Kristi says:

    The Seven Kingdoms!!!!

  21. Cris Evert says:

    Favorite fantasy books? Hmm. Trickster’s Queen and Trickster’s Choice, Fire, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter series, Blue Sword, Crown Duel

  22. Dovile says:

    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay and A Song For Arbonne by the same author, also Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars series.

  23. I am SO jealous you got to meet Kristin Cashore! So amazing! Thanks so much for the giveaway, too!

    I read it when it came out last year, but haven’t seen anyone mention CHIME by Franny Billingsley yet. Incredible.

    Thanks again, April!

  24. I just started graceling this morning. I’d love to win this series! :)

  25. My favourite fantasy is Harry Potter!

  26. The last book I gave a five-star rating, even if my review isn’t up yet, is Graceling. I absolutely love it! I’m also very much into The Bartimaeus Trilogy… Fantasy all the way! Neil Gaiman’s works are amazing, though. And Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. And, though not on the same level as the others, Clockwork Prince. Lovelovelove!

  27. Christine says:

    Never read any fantasy book, but I’m excited for these series :)

  28. Most of what I read is fantasy. Some of my favorites have been Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, Hounded by Kevin Hearne, and Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep.

  29. Noely Jeleen says:

    I love The Mortal Instruments and Harry Potter. :)

    Anyway, I’m really hoping on getting to read a Kristin Cashore book.

    Thanks for the very generous giveaway! :)

  30. Rebecca says:

    Haven’t read many fantasy books but this sereis looks FAB! Thanks for the generous and amazing giveaway!

  31. Kristin says:

    Minus the ending of it all The Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini was a highly enjoyable series.

  32. Bárbara says:

    I recently read Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken and I loved!

  33. I recently read Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken and I loved!

  34. Lexie@BookBug says:

    I LOVE the Lord of the Rings trilogy! My all time favorite!

  35. Catherine S. says:

    I really really LOVE Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor! Simply my all time favorite fantasy read! 😀 Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. This whole series with my whole heart. Also, The Girl of Fire and Thorns and anything Tamora Pierce puts out into the world.

  37. This is an absolutely wonderful post! I LOVE Kristin Cashore and I am just currently finishing off Bitterblue :) – I just finished Fire recently and it is definitely a favourite of mine! Thank you for hosting a great giveaway!

  38. The Iron Fey series. <3

  39. I am most in love with Harry Potter

  40. Ugh, just one fantasy book? Can it be fantasy/horror? I make an effort to reread The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancy – it continues to scare the pants off me and it’s amazingly well-written. And the audiobooks rock!

  41. Crown and Court duet by Sherwood Smith. LOVED it. ^^

  42. I think The Hobbit was my favorite.

  43. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo :)

  44. Harry Potter + A Song of Ice and Fire come to mind but the first fantasy book I’ve really liked is Geraldine Harris’ Prince of the Godborn. Thanks for the giveaway! 😉

  45. Stephanie27 says:

    I really enjoyed Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. Thanks for the giveaway!

  46. Kristen Cashore is amazing!!!! The Seven Kingdoms books are some of the best YA I’ve read in recent years (and there’s been a lot of great YA out there recently). Fire is still the only 10/10 review I’ve ever given on my blog. I’m so, so, so jealous that you met her. Rock on.


  1. […] I’m already hoping and waiting for another book by Kristin Cashore set in the Seven Kingdoms. April at Good Books and Good Wine recently went to an author signing, in which she learned that next up from Cashore is a novella […]

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