Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore Event With Renee Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir and Renee Ahdieh at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego

Mysterious Galaxy is an independent bookstore in San Diego that specializes in carrying fantasy, science fiction, young adult, horror, and mystery novels. Tucked away in a shopping center, this bookstore is a small, but mighty bastion in the San Diego book scene.

Though I’ve lived in San Diego for almost eleven years, I only recently visited Mysterious Galaxy. Of course once I walked through the door I immediately thought, What have I been doing with my life?! It’s such a cute store and though the space is small, they have TONS of books, including copies that are signed by the authors.

After my first visit, I also signed up for Mysterious Galaxy’s email list which was how I saw that Renee Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir were going to be in San Diego in October to celebrate the release of Ahdieh’s new book, The Beautiful.

Though I haven’t read either author’s books yet, both An Ember in the Ashes and The Wrath and the Dawn have been on my TBR list FOREVER. And I enjoy following them both on Instagram so their visit seemed like a great excuse to go spend an evening doing bookish stuff with my friend and fellow writer, Kristin Luna.

With Kristin Luna

Renee and Sabaa are friends in real life so it was like sitting down to coffee with your best friends. Both are very sweet, funny, and clearly love what they do. And these two ladies packed the house for their event! It was standing-room only during the discussion portion. I felt like Renee gave us quite a bit of extra insight into the characters and the world of The Beautiful so now I’m even more excited to tear into this new story of romance, New Orleans, and vampires! She also brilliantly navigated touchy subjects like domestic abuse, women’s rights, and immigration without allowing the conversation to spiral into a political discourse.

Even though this night was mostly about Renee’s new book, Sabaa also got to talk a bit about her books, characters, and experiences as an author. I think they did a good job of balancing the promotion of The Beautiful and allowing both ladies to talk since there were fans of both in the crowd.

Sabaa Tahir Signing Books at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore

After the discussion we lined up to do the book signing and even though the signing took awhile because many people had multiple books that needed to be signed, Renee and Sabaa were just as sweet and patient in person. The four of us mostly ended up talking about makeup (Renee and Sabaa are the real pros here) and Kristin asked them for advice about the querying process since we are both querying agents now. They were so kind, encouraging, and supportive.

Renee Ahdieh Signing Books at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore

Overall it was a great night and the staff of Mysterious Galaxy and the publicist for the two ladies did an excellent job keeping things running smoothly while letting the fans have their moments!

 

Epic Reads Event at Barnes and Noble Mira Mesa September 2019

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!

Sara Raasch

Kendare Blake

Rena Barron

Shelby Mahurin

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!