Some people say ‘Don’t meet your idols’, and I feel so sad for those who meet individuals that they look up to and are let down. Thankfully, I have yet to have this experience and recently I was able to meet one of my favourite authors for the 2nd time and - let me say - it is always a pleasure to meet Kelley Armstrong.
If you aren’t familiar with her work, I highly recommend checking out her backlisted novels but I have been enthralled with her Rockton series since the first one was released.
Let me back up a bit first though.
When I was in high-school, she had written a young adult series called Darkest Powers and I was admittedly obsessed. Something about having a teenage girl who starts to see ghosts and lands herself in a group home for troubled teens but then decides to cope with it in her own way leading to a crazy adventure was enthralling. Since then, I kept an eye on her career and her latest books which I am slowly working my way through. I started her Otherworld series and Cainsville series which are also extremely interesting but I would say my two favourites of hers are the Age of Legends and Rockton novels. Age of Legends is a fascinating young adult Asian inspired fantasy trilogy that covers twin sisters who are born into roles that put them near royalty in terms of status as it is up to them to help spirits pass from one world to the next until the dead start walking among them and creatures from children’s nightmares start to become all too real.
Now this brings me to the event. On February 11th, Alone in the Wild (the 5th book in her Rockton series) came out and she came to a city near me for the release. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries simply due to the fact that I’m rarely surprised at the endings. I love the idea of this genre however I find it very hard to find one that is executed well but Kelley Armstrong puts so much thought into the backgrounds of all of her characters that I just can’t seem to get enough of them!
Immediately upon entering the Indigo that was hosting the event, chairs were full and there were already people queuing up with a chance to have a good view of the stage (and I arrived half an hour early!). The team at this location are always so well prepared as well and had the line-up taped off and were going to each person ensuring they had a copy of the book (or any of her other books) and placed post-its on the title page with the name of the person that each were to be personalized to. The whole event was flawless and appeared to go off without a hitch!
Once Kelley Armstrong was announced and came on stage, she began giving an update of where she was at with current and future projects. The two announcements that I wanted to take note of were that her middle-grade book A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying was named one of the top 10 Best Middle Grade Books of 2019 by the School Library Journal and the Ontario Library Association! Also, she has been working on a new novel coming out in Fall 2020 called A Stitch In Time and I am SO excited for it. I can’t even remember all of the details but I know I need to get it as soon as it releases.
After her updates, she graciously answered a bunch of audience questions which further established in my mind that fact that this woman works non-stop! Between writing and editing and just getting back from holiday in Australia, she ALSO teaches at the University of Toronto. I don’t know how she does it but I applaud her and can only wish to be half as successful.
To end off the event, Kelley Armstrong took the time with each person to talk to them one-on-one, answer their questions and sign whatever books they brought. The time in line felt a bit long but everyone was in good spirits because we all knew how considerate she was being to each person. When it came to my turn, I did not take full advantage of my time. To be honest, I hardly remember what I said! I know I asked how her day was but I am such a socially awkward person that I am certain my smile was more of a grimace because I was so nervous and shaky haha. I hope she wasn’t too put off. I also really hope that I remembered to thank her, come to think of it.
All in all, I had a great time at this event and being able to hear her speak and talk about all of her projects. I have also been able to add two more signed copies of her books to my collection. I cannot wait to delve into Alone in the Wild on my next day off and see what is in store for Casey and Dalton this time around!