I’ve really been making an effort to go to more writing and book related events in the San Diego area. So I was stoked when Kristin Luna, my friend, neighbor, and fellow writer, sent me the details about an Epic Reads event happening at the Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa. It sounded fun, was close by, and I saw Shelby Mahurin was going to be there (author of Serpent and Dove).
We’ve never been to an Epic Reads event so at first were a little confused how it worked, but the staff at Barnes & Noble Mira Mesa were really helpful and did a good job promoting the event. We stopped by the store early to buy our books (you needed to purchase a copy of one of the author’s books to get a wristband for the event) and were really impressed with all the in-store signage. One staff member (who may have been the manager) even came over to us as we were looking at the new release books to talk to us about the event and make sure we knew if we bought a book, we could get a wristband for the event. Same with the staff members at the register – everybody knew exactly what to do to promote this!
The night of the event I was surprised by how many people actually showed up. Because they set the event up in the center of the store where they sell the Nook readers, it was pretty cool because people who were just in the store shopping or hanging out at the Starbucks Cafe were able to see what was going on and learn about the cool event the bookstore put on. Starbucks even had a special drink menu to go along with each of the books (I did not try any sadly, but it was cool to see nonetheless).
The event itself was super fun. They divided everyone who attended into four groups and had the authors rotate in between. We got about fifteen to twenty minutes to ask questions of each author and all of them were so lovely and funny. We met Shelby Mahurin, author of Serpent and Dove, Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls, Sara Raasch, author of the These Rebel Waves series, and Kendare Blake, author of the Three Dark Crowns series. Special shoutout to Sara for answering my question on Instagram about a book she mentioned during the event!
Kristin and I asked a lot of writing/publishing related questions, but there was a good mix in the group between people who love, love, love to read and those who love to read and also want to be published authors. Our particular group was all women (I think), though there were some men there, too. Even though this event featured all authors writing in the Young Adult genre, there was a range of ages represented, including many teens which was fun to see.
After the author meet and greet, we had a chance to get our books signed by the authors and take pictures! I got my copy of Serphent and Dove signed by Shelby Mahurin and got a picture with her too!