Exclusive Interview with Atli Orvarsson, Composer of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones!

I am VERY excited to share today’s interview with you. My good friend, nurse Pamela, side effects over at The Mortal Minute, conducted an interview with Atli Orvarsson, who you may know as the composer for the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie. Unfortunately, her website is going through some changes, and revisions right now, and so she has been unable to share the interview with all of us TMI fans.

Fortunately, Pamela came to me, and asked me to share it with all of you, which I was MORE than happy to do!

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Atli Orvarrson has composed for many familiar titles like Hansel and Gretel, Law and Order, The Fourth Kind, and has contributed to scores for movies like the recent Superman movie, Man of Steel. His most recent work has been with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and A Single Shot. Enjoy this interview between him and Pamela:

Pamela: What’s the trick? How does one go from Iceland to a Hollywood blockbuster film composer? 

Atli: Probably determination and stubbornness! Obviously a good education, great mentors and a bit of luck helps too…

Pamela: How did Mr. Harald Zwart first approach you with the “Mortal Instruments” project? 

Atli: I’ve known Harald for some time but then I ran into him at the premiere for another film I wrote the music for, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and he asked if I’d want to work with him on City of Bones

Pamela: Did you find it easier to work with Harald Zwart? 

Atli: Harald and I got along great and I think the collaboration was very enjoyable for us both.

Pamela: What drew you to this project? 

Atli: I love the fantasy genre and really wanted to work with Harald so it worked out perfectly!

Pamela: What was the first thing that crossed your mind when Harald Zwart approached you with the title ‘The  Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’?  

Atli: Well, I didn’t really know what to expect so I went on the internet and did some reserach. So by the time I saw the film, I was quite educated on what it was about.

Pamela: Are you familiar with Cassandra Clare’s first book, “City of Bones”; Have you read it? 

Atli: I am now! But I’ll be honest, I haven’t read the whole thing. I came on to the project so late that I didn’t really have time for anything else but writing music!

Pamela: You’ve worked on great movies like ‘Season of the Witch’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’. Did your previous works prepare you for this score in any way? 

Atli: Well, they’re all in the fantasy realm and they all have witches! Beyond that, they all present their unique challenges and requirements.

Pamela: What was your inspiration for this score? Was there a particular scene or character that gave you the inspiration? 

Atli: I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen the film but there’s an expected character in the film that provided me with a great deal of inspiration! Then, of course, there are the characters, the plot and the general tone of the film that provide the greatest inspiration.

Pamela: How long did it take you to compose the complete score? 

Atli: I basically had about 8 weeks to write and record the whole score which ended up being about two hours of music.

Pamela: Would you describe the process of writing a song? 

Atli: I didn’t write any of the songs in the movie but the way I go about writing music for the scenes is that I first start by writing themes for various characters and then you start applying them to the film.

Pamela: How much ‘darkness’ did you want your score to convey, knowing that The Mortal Instruments is not just a teenage tale? 

Atli: I wanted it to be quite dark, maybe even darker than some of the producers wanted it to be. Its a bit of a fine line to find the right tone as it covers so many aspects of life, not just the dark side.

Pamela: Could you tell us about the score elements? 

Atli: I used a large symphony orchestra, a choir and all kinds of weird solo instruments like bass duduk and viol, in addition to a lot of electronic elements.

Pamela: How did you want your score to help the audience take the film seriously, as more than “another sparkly vampire movie”? 

Atli: One of the first things I mentioned to Harald when we started working on the film was that I felt that the music had to have “weight and importance” to underscore the importance of the events in Clary’s life that the film conveys. I also think its important when you’re scoring fantasy movies to have that serious important feel to help the audience suspend belief and become immersed in the film.

Pamela: Without giving away too much, do you have a favorite song in your score, and why? 

Atli: I have a few favorites; Clary’s Theme, The New Rune, and the “snow scene” to name some.

Pamela: Who have been your favorite composers in the fantasy-horror genre? And did they inspire you for this score? 

Atli: I have learned a lot from the likes of Bernard Herrmann, Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer to name a few and I’m sure their influences are in there somewhere.

Pamela: To be honest, The Mortal Instruments fandom is really strong and supportive. What have your experiences with the fandom been like so far? 

Atli: Having been to the premiere in Hollywood, its clear that these stories have a very dedicated and fervent fan base, which is great. I love the enthusiasm and I think all of us who worked on the film feel a great deal of responsibility not to let the fans down!

Pamela: The movie is aimed at a young adult audience. Do you think the music you composed drew more attention to the movie? 

Atli: I hope so.

Pamela: Do you think fans will be happy with the score? 

Atli: Same answer, I really hope so! The feedback I have gotten so far is very encouraging!

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I hope you all enjoyed this interview and I hope that you guys loved the score of the movie just like I did! I hope that Atli will be returning to score City of Ashes, once it makes it back into production.

Thank you Pamela for doing this interview, and letting me be a part of it, and letting me share it with my followers!

A Message to the Critics and the Haters

I’ve been stewing all day. I’ve been on the brink of exasperation and annoyance and yeah, rx a little bit of anger. And it took this little picture here to make me happier.

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But still. I’m frustrated. City of Bones hit theaters yesterday, officially, in most countries. Thousands and thousands of TMI fans have flocked to the theaters, and I know several fans who have seen it more than once, some three times already! I am so proud of this fandom, and I am so proud of Harald Zwart and his team, and our beloved actors for making a great movie.

Now, I didn’t expect that the critics would absolutely adore this movie. I didn’t think that people were going to be shouting “Oscars!” at the top of their lungs or handing out A+ ratings for it. I didn’t think people were going to be talking about what a masterpiece it was. I honestly didn’t. But myself, and so many of the fans I’ve talked to (and I’ve talked to quite a bit of you) absolutely loved it, and we are going to be the harshest critics. We are the ones who read the books and fell in love with the characters and hold them so dear to our heart. We are the ones going in with preconceived ideas of what this world and characters and story is about. We should be the ones that should be the hardest to please.

And yet this is not how it happened. I saw a picture on my friend Perla’s Facebook page today, and it really accurately displays what I think what down in the world of critics today.

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And its really what happened. Look, I like Twilight well enough. I recognize that its a terribly written book series and that the movies were made pretty terribly too. I recognize that completely. But its a guilty pleasure for me. But one thing I can say is…its given the whole young adult literature group a bad name. Honestly, I spend so much of my time, both on this computer with my blog and Tumblr and Facebook and such and in real life defending young adult literature and its movies and I am SO tired of it. I am so ridiculously tired of it.

Now this picture says “every male critic”. I happen to think its just every male (I do recognize there are exceptions). The male population tends to have a very negative view of young adult literature, and I think that’s partly due to Twilight. I think Twilight turned off a lot of people because of how badly it does as a book and a movie, critic wise, and it causes a blanket assumption on the rest of young adult lit books. Which is absolutely and completely ridiculous.

I love young adult literature and I’m 25 years old. I’ve met people from all different ages who adore young adult literature, including people into their sixties and seventies. Young adult literatures reaches people because it is a time in your life that you will NEVER forget, because you never feel as strongly and as powerful and invincible as you do when you are a teenager. Who wouldn’t want to experience those feelings again, and in such wonderful worlds like The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments, and Divergent and such.

But these preconceived notions that people have about young adult books and their movie adaptations, and it effects the way they go into the movie. I read a lot of these reviews of the City of Bones, because I just had to, and what I noticed was…majority of these reviews? They weren’t even based on actual review and critique. These reviewers, these so-called critics already had an idea of what this movie was going to be before they even sat down in their seats and they judged it before they could even get past the previews. They already had it in their mind that it was “just another Twilight” and that sort of attitude is so heavy in the reviews, that is blatantly obvious that so many of these critics didn’t even try to give the movie a chance.

And its so hard to take these critics seriously either! So many claim to be legit critics, “top” critics, so knowledgable about movies and so-called experts in the realms of movies, but you have no idea how many reviews I read that couldn’t even get their facts straight! They had movie plot points wrong, they spelled Cassie’s name wrong, they compared it to books, TV shows and movies that literally made no sense and they completely messed up actors’ names! How am I supposed to take your review of this movie seriously when you can’t even do the work to review it properly?

Even worse, its not just these critics that are like this. Its friends, its family, its people I know, who are judging this movie so harshly already. I want to scream, you’ve never read the book, you’ve never seen the movie, and you know how important this is to me, and yet…yet, you’re sitting here, high and mighty, judging something before you can even give it a chance. And I’m afraid that these attitudes, combined with the negative connotation given to young adult books and the overflow of negative reviews is causing people to avoid going to the movies to see it.

Even though, as a gigantic fan (check the fearless rune tattoo), I thought it was brilliantly made.

So today, I’m angry. I’m angry and upset and frustrated and tired. I’m tired of defending this group of books again and again and again. If you don’t want to believe it, fine. These beautiful books that are capable of transporting you into wonderful worlds, creating best friends and loves, changing your lives and teaching you so much can stay with those who appreciate them. You can stick to your capital L “Literature” all you want.

So I’m asking my followers, my fellow TMI fans, to go out there and watch this movie. Watch it again and again and again. Buy up the merchandise and tell Harald and Cassie and Jessica and Martin and Lily and Jamie and Kevin and all of them how great it is. Buy the books and support it all. Show them that we are not sitting down. Tell them they can throw their F. Scott Fitzgerald and their James Joyce and their capital L Literature our way but we are NOT standing down. Young adult literature is here to stay! And we will keep loving it and keep showing that it is NOT all Twilight and it is worth giving the chance. We’ll show all those snobs out there that they can stick their nose up at our books and our movies as much as they want. We are a force to be reckoned with and we have shown that!

I have this message to all the critics, and to all the haters:

Not all movies are meant to be Oscar winners. Not all movies go out there with the purpose of telling a super dramatic story or changing the entire world. Sometimes they are simply meant to entertain. Sometimes it may not make sense to you, but the movie does change people, but a select group of people. Sometimes you need to watch a movie and not constantly compare it to others simply because they are of the same AGE GROUP BOOKS (not genre because young adult literature is made of a TON of genres) and to give things a chance.

Not all books are Twilight. Not all books are the same. We have been writing about demons and vampires and werewolves and teenagers and love and coming-of-age and self-identity and sickness and all sorts of things FOR CENTURIES. Stop assuming that all young adult books just copy others. Pick one up for once, and give it a shot, and maybe you’ll find yourself surprised, and pleasantly so.

I’ve been angry today, but I love this movie. I think the City of Bones movie is brilliant. And if you critics don’t want to be on that same page with me, well, I guess that’s your choice now, isn’t it?

But I’m a Shadowhunter. And I’m a Shadowhunter for life. 

 

Update!

I’m starting a hashtag #TMIFansLoveTMIMovie to show the world that we don’t care what the critics say. We LOVE this movie and this fandom, and we are a force to be reckoned with :) Shadowhunters for life!

I made a hashtag on Twitter: #TMIFansLoveTMIMovie! Hashtag all weekend to show your support, tag your pictures on instagram and Twitter and Facebook and show your TMI Love!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Giveaway!

So, prostate most of you know that last week, I spent quite a bit of time in Los Angeles (which I always make seem like its far away, but its not at all), for the official world premiere of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and the TMI Mall Tour stop.

You can read all about those here:

TMI Premiere Recap
TMI Mall Tour Recap
Spoiler Free City of Bones Movie Review

Or you can check out the pictures on the WhatANerdGirlSays Facebook page here.

Here are a couple for your viewing pleasure!

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While I was there, I managed to get my hands on some Mortal Instruments swag, and in celebration of the release of the movie, I’ve decided to have a Mortal Instruments giveaway.

Here are the prizes!

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-Gray Mortal Instruments: City of Bones t-shirt, with glow-in-the-dark Angelic Rune

-Angelic Rune necklace

-a copy of City of Bones, the movie tie-in edition. Please note: yours will NOT be signed. I haven’t bought the new copy for this giveaway yet and so I took a picture of mine, but this signed one is MINE.

-a few SURPRISES!

Here are a few rules and such:

The contest will run from August 19th until August 30th

The winner will be contacted within 12 hours of contest end, and if the winner does NOT respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

The contest IS International :)

Make sure to come back every day to tweet about the giveaway and earn extra entries!

Share with your friends!

This contest is in no way endorsed by Cassandra Clare, Simon and Schuster, Sony Pictures, Screen Gems, Hot Topic, Constantin Films, etc. WhatANerdGirlSays is not responsible for any lost or damaged prizes.

Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck everyone! I hope everyone enjoys the movie! Make sure to tell me how much you love it, and tweet/instagram your pictures!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Los Angeles Premiere!

I am exhausted, view sunburnt, and still covered in sharpie runes all over my arms. But it was worth it more than you know.

Sunday afternoon, Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels and I drove to the Arclight in Hollywood, off of Sunset Blvd, to get in line for the Los Angeles premiere of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We went in search of tear down posters first, and spotted them pretty quickly.

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Keep an eye out for a giveaway soon :) You could win one of these!

Now, of course, when we got there, there was NOTHING there. We got there about one in the afternoon and we had no idea if there was a place to go, or a line, or anything so we just kind of hung out in front of the theater for a bit. We tweeted at Cassie to let her know we were there, and she retweeted us :) That started it all!

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Eric Paquette, who is the senior VP of Sony, and is married to Jessica Postigo, who wrote the script, came by to make sure that me and Sylvia, and three others, Cher, Karen and Ally (who had joined us in line and became our new friends) were okay, and that the theater was going to let us camp.

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He made sure they had a space for us, that they wouldn’t kick us out, and that we were taken care of. He called the Los Angeles Police Dept. and made sure they would patrol often in order to keep us all safe, and him and Jessica brought us pizza and cookies for being the first people in line! How sweet is that? They were SO awesome!

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So there we were, me, Sylvia and Magnus as the VERY first people, waiting in line for the premiere. Both Sylvia and I were lucky enough to win tickets for the actual movie part, now we were just camping out to try and get into the fan section of the red (er, black) carpet.

That night, at about midnight, we had a special guest! Harald Zwart, the director of City of Bones, came by the camp to bring everyone waiting out in the cold night soup! He personally unloaded soup from his car, and started passing it out! It was delicious, and SUPER awesome of him :)

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We also were finally able to meet our friends from twitter, from Colombia and Venezuela. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was to meet them. Shout out to Lilo and Ale! You ladies are beautiful and wonderful!

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Now, I don’t know if you’ve camped out for premieres yet, but its uncomfortable haha. I slept a little bit in my car and a little bit in my chair on the sidewalk. NOT comfortable. However, it was totally worth it. A lot of the people who had shown up the night before had left after they got tickets so there were only about 20 of us who stayed to camp. And we got a surprise visit in the morning by Kevin Zegers, who came by to bring the campers his favorite cookies.

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It was HILARIOUS, because we saw on twitter that he was heading over in five minutes, and we went into recon mode, trying to get our hair and stuff into place, since we had JUST woken up, and it wasn’t even 7 am yet. My friend, Jane, passed around some mouthwash, and we all had our mouths full of it when he walked up, SUPER awkward status. As soon as his back was turned, we all spat it out in the bushes. It was so funny!

We waited all day long for the red carpet, patiently, and were so excited when it was time. From what I kept hearing, there wasn’t originally supposed to be a fan section, but they made one, and I thank Sony BIG TIME for that, especially since me, Sylvia and Jane were first in line, we got to be right at the barricade :)

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The premiere was absolutely amazing. I enjoyed it so MUCH. I was able to meet EVERYONE and take pictures with EVERYONE. Check it out below!

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Its hard to tell, but this is Harald Zwart‘s wife, Veslemoy, who also was a co-executive producer, giving me a HUGE hug. She was super sweet at the LA Times Festival of Books, and I was able to chat with her the night before as well. I felt SO lucky to get a hug from her :)

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This is me with Harry Van Gorkum, who played Alaric, the werewolf second in command to Luke, in the movie :)

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myself with Nathan Sykes from The Wanted. I know, so random, but they are SOOO catchy!

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me and Jared Harris, who plays Hodge Starkweather in the movie.

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It is a seriously blurry picture but its one of my absolute favorites. Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Jace Wayland (my number one fictional crush!) has the BEST face in this picture and I look so incredibly happy, because I most definitely was!

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This photo credit goes to the official Mortal Instruments Facebook page. I am pretty much freaking out while Jamie is signing our books. He just was the sweetest, and that accent would make anyone fall in love haha. He was the perfect Jace.

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This was a serious fangirl moment for me. Not only does the absolutely gorgeous Aidan Turner play Luke Garroway in the City of Bones movie, he also plays Mitchell on the UK’s Being Human and Kili in The Hobbit. I DIED.

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Cassie and I for the millionth time. She remembered me, which pretty much made my whole life. I love this lady, and I adore her books. I also got to meet her husband that night as well, who was SO cute.

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I was finally able to meet the gorgeous and talented, Robbie Sheehan, who plays Simon Lewis in the movie, but also plays Nathan Young in Misfits! I know he’s a huge flirt, but I couldn’t help but sigh a little when he said “Of course, love” and had his arm around me. My goal was to meet him, and I did :)

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There is SO much win about this photo. I kept yelling at Godfrey Gao, who plays Magnus Bane, to come over because I had the doll and his publicist noticed, and guided him straight to me. He signed the doll, saying that it was SO cool, and the grabbed my cell phone and took this picture. It was SUCH a happy moment for me. Later, I noticed Jane had photobombed in the best way possible!

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After the movie, Sylvia and I ran into Leigh Bardugo, Ransom Riggs, Tahereh Mafi and Margaret Stohl, which was SO cool. You all know how I am about my authors!

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My movie tie-in edition that I took to the red carpet. On the front, its signed by Aidan Turner. The first page (on top) is signed by Jamie Campbell Bower, Jessica Postigo, Kevin Zegers, Harald Zwart, and Jared Harris. The second page (on bottom) is signed by Cassandra Clare, Harry Van Gorkum, Lily Collins and Robbie Sheehan.

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Then, of course, I was able to go inside and watch the WORLD PREMIERE of the movie. I have to do a HUGE shoutout and thanks to Natalie at TMI Examiner for hooking me up with these tickets :) You rock so much. I will be doing an actual movie review of this VERY soon, but I can tell you that this movie was truly truly amazing! Of course there were changes, but they were done very well and I was highly impressed with this movie. I ran up to Harald after the movie (I may have scared him a bit…) and was like, “Harald, you rocked it! This movie was beautiful!”

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So I know that I’ve written a ton and posted a ton of pictures, and there are even more pictures on my facebook page, at this link here.

I had such an amazing time, and will post a movie review of the movie (spoiler free, of course) soon, as well as a post all about the TMI mall tour stop that was the next day too, so look for those! Love you all!

Shout outs to:

Natalie at TMI Examiner for getting me the tickets!

Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels for being my fangirl bestie. She is such a HUGE reason this was so awesome. This was my first real premiere and she was my premiere tour guide. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you there! Love you!

Every single person that I met! I wish I could name you all  but that would take too long and you know who you are! You are my TMI Family, and we get together and bond over a love of this fandom, and I can’t wait to see you all next time, at the City of Ashes premiere!

Thanks to Harald Zwart for being SO amazing to the fans, and bringing us soup! That was so wonderful and such a thoughtful thing to do!

Thanks to Kevin Zegers who stopped by in the early morning for the few of us who were tough and camped all night and brought us his favorite cookies. Again, what a wonderful, thoughtful thing to do.

Lastly, to Eric Paquette and Jessica Postigo Paquette. You two are AMAZING! Without you, we couldn’t have camped out. You found us a spot to camp, you made the police kept us safe, brought us food and even came by in the morning to check up on us. You two are such angels, and the fact that you kept coming by us, over and over, through the premiere and mall tour stop, was wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Tuesday Top Ten-Best of 2013…So Far

Well, cialis 40mg guys, medical its July 2nd. This year is half over, and I can’t believe there’s still six months of awesome left.

The way I see it…2013 has been MY year so far. I’ve had a great year and I’ve had the chance to do a TON of things, I’ve had the chance to meet SO many people and I’m feeling so good this year. I feel like I’m finally on the right track. And not just in WhatANerdGirlSays world either.

My boyfriend just graduated university and I finally got into university, which means I’m on the downhill slope of my degree. Its just been SO great and I’m so happy.

So this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little different, and some of you may be a little disappointed, but I just kind of wanted to recap the awesome that has happened to me this year.

SO here it is: Sara’s Tuesday Top Ten of Best Things About 2013…So Far

10. Published A Little Less than Famous

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I’m dying to publish my own novel. I’m dying to be a published author like all the ones that I get SO excited to meet. And I was able to finish and self-publish my novel, A Little Less than Famous. And its not perfect. It could use a lot of editing work on it but I am so insanely proud of it. I’m proud of myself for finishing it. I’m proud of myself for writing it. I’m proud of myself every time someone reads it and likes it. I am so proud of it being part of my writing journey. I hope I can find some time to sit down and really edit it (or pay someone to edit it) and share it in all its perfection. For now, it is what it is and I am still so VERY proud of it. Almost every author that I’ve ever talked to has told me to keep writing, and to just finish something and I was able to accomplish that and I am proud of myself for that. On a side note, the book is ON SALE for only 99 cents until July 5th so click here to check it out!

9. Star Trek Premiere-My First Ever!

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I had never been to a full movie premiere before! Last year, I went to the Grove with a few people from LADA and we saw an advanced screening of the Woman in Black and Daniel Radcliffe WAS a special guest and that was really super awesome but this right here was SUCH an amazing experience. I’m a fangirl, I’m a geek, and I seriously get so excited to see famous people. I can talk to them, no problem at all, but all that anxiousness and excitement is WAY too much to handle. But what a GREAT experience for me and the other girls of iFandoms Collide. We got free t-shirts, saw an advanced screening of the movie, and saw Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and SO MANY MORE cool people. And at the end of the night, we ended up on the channel 5 news. Which, let me tell you, probably had to do with the fact that we were flirting with the guy the whole time. But seriously, a COOL time, and now all I want to do is go to premieres all the time!

8. My First Ever Gallifrey One! 

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I am a new Doctor Who fan. I’ve only been watching for a little over a year now, probably right after they put up season 6 on Netflix. But as soon as I started watching it, I was hooked. This is my favorite TV show, period. And when I found out from a few friends of mine that there was an ENTIRE Doctor Who convention, I was like, “okay, I gotta be there.” Now, unfortunately this convention is a little pricey but its TOTALLY worth it and my super awesome friend, Ana, bought me my badge before they sold out and I paid her back. And I am SO grateful she did that because WHAT an experience. It is probably one of the BEST cons I have ever been. First off, its in a hotel, which means its limited to how many people can go, which is great, because you’re not crowded *too* much. Two, its SO intimate because its ALL Doctor Who. Doctor Who 24/7. Three, it was just a blast. Karaoke until 5 am, seeing all kinds of Doctor Who actors and actresses, buying WAY too much Doctor Who merch. It was amazing.

7. Clockwork Princess

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This is EASILY the best book that I’ve read so far this year. And there’s a ton of epic books coming soon and I still think this will remain the best book of the year. Easily. I waited for this book for so long and then it was supposed to come out in December of 2012 and they pushed it back to March 2013 and I was just dying for it. Then I was going to a Cassie Clare event three days after the release, where I would get my copy and I was like, no way. I can’t wait three days! So I ordered it on my Kindle, refreshed my Kindle allll night, and then at 10 pm (midnight for where it was being published), it downloaded to my Kindle and I stayed up ALL night reading, finishing it at about 3ish am. My eyes were all bloodshot and raw, and I was sobbing and it was just SO much to deal with and NO ONE had finished it, obviously, because I had stayed up all night on its release day, before the bookstores had even opened, to read it. Every single person I know who has read it, has talked about what it did to them, especially that epilogue. What a beautiful book.

6. Discovering New Books: Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Jessica Brody and more..

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Seriously, I discover new authors all the time, mostly because I read so super fast and I have to find new things to read. But this year…seems to be a bit more and I attribute that to the combined factors that I know have a GoodReads that I am VERY active on, I have this blog, and I go to all these events now. I am discovering authors left and right, and they’re all so amazing, and I can’t keep up with my “to-read” list anymore. Before, I was just rereading the same books over and over again (which is okay, of course) but everyone would be like “You’re reading Goblet of Fire again!” or “You’re reading City of Bones again?!” and I was like, well, sure, because I don’t know what else to read. But NOW that I’ve made so many friends, especially all of YOU guys, I’m discovering new authors and new books and I’m loving it.  I am so excited for all the books that are now coming out in the second half of this year because I discovered their prequels in this half of the year.

5. City of Bones Meet and Greet at WonderCon 

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I am SO spoiled when it comes to City of Bones, at least so far. I mean, I’ve been SUPER bummed at missing out on the City of Bones panel at San Diego Comic Con because my best friend is getting married that day. And I realized, yeah, I do want to be there. But I’ve met them all already, the ones that are going to be there, AND I still have the TMI premiere coming up next month. So I’m still so lucky. I was able to be one of the five people that got to go to the VIP signing for City of Bones. I was planning on getting to WonderCon super early that day to try and get my hands on a wristband for the signing but it turns out, I didn’t even need to. Cassie did a contest through her Twitter, and I was picked and I got to go to the VIP signing where I got a book and a HUGE poster signed by Cassie, Jamie, Lily and Kevin. Cassie remembered me from the week before (see later), I told Jamie I was cooler than him (one of my finer moments haha), I could barely utter a word to the beautiful Lily, and I told Kevin that he was awesome in Gossip Girl. What a fantastic amazing experience.

4. Author Breakfast at Ontario Teen Book Fest


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Okay, so the whole reason I went to this fest was to meet Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody (again) and Marie Lu. I left that fest feeling like a million dollars, and meeting a TON of new authors that I now love and adore because I’ve read all their books and they are SO amazing. It was a seriously cool experience to sit down with these authors, and interview them for our first ever vlog post and to just sit and talk writing with them. I am an aspiring writer and being around all those published authors was TOO much for me to handle. I had a blast all day. All the panels were super awesome, Leigh Bardugo made me crack and has now become one of my favorite authors. Meeting Morgan after all this time of worshipping her book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was an experience. But it was also great because the four of us from iFandoms Collide and my sister Jessica got to go to the author breakfast because we were bloggers and we really got an intimate time with all of the authors and that was just the best part. Especially since now, whenever we see any of these authors, they totally remember us. We made an impression!

3. Seeing the Arrested Development Banana Stand 

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Okay, some people may be like, seriously, Sara? A banana stand? But it really is one of the BEST things about this year and there’s a lot of reasons why. I mean, Arrested Development is a GREAT show so there’s that. Frozen bananas (FREE ones) are SO delicious. And it was something that I could do with my boyfriend. My boyfriend is so incredibly patient and good with me being a fangirl and going to all these events and freaking out over things that most people just don’t get. He’s SO good with me, I swear. There are NOT a lot of boys in this world that would be as awesome as he is with me. I’m an intense person. But he’s the big Arrested Development fan and he got me into it almost six years ago, before we were even dating and it was one of those things that we always did together, watch that show. We’ve done that several times since then, with TV shows, but that was the first one and so we have kind of a bond with that. And it was super fun, celebrating that it had come back for a long long awaited fourth season. And its fun to be able to extend my nerd fun with my boyfriend every once in awhile :)

2. iFandoms Collide

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Seriously, this would be number one if number one wasn’t so epicly epic. I am so grateful for meeting these four girls. I met Tatiana, Sylvia and Megan back in April, though we’ve known each other through Twitter for so much longer. We actually were all at WonderCon and didn’t even realize it. Megan was part of the normal autograph session for City of Bones but Sylvia and Tatiana were both at the VIP too, and we didn’t even realize it. Then, when the Festival of Books came around, we all realized that we lived within a few miles of each other, and decided to go together…and the rest, as they say, is history. The first day we ever spent together was April 20th, day one of the Festival of Books. That literally was ONLY two months ago. TWO months…and yet it feels like its been forever. We’ve bonded so fast, and we’ve created iFandoms Collide together and so many of the cool things that I’ve gotten to do this year is with them. So thanks Megan, Sylvia and Tatiana for coming into my life and making it fangirl awesome. I can’t wait to go on the road trip with you, stalk Robbie Sheehan, hit up the City of Bones, Catching Fire and Divergent premieres with you and just be friends forever :)

And Gabby and Paulina, I love you girls too! I wish I saw my other ifandoms girls just as much :D

1. Meeting and Interviewing Cassandra Clare

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I can’t believe this even happened. All these months later and I’m still like, I interviewed one of my absolute favorite authors. I got to INTERVIEW her. I got to sit across the table from her and interview her and she gave me a hug and she saw my tattoo and took pictures of it with her phone and gave me a cool epic Clockwork Princess poster that, like, no body else has and a Clockwork Princess pendant designed by Hebel and ohmygod. I couldn’t even handle it. I entered the contest, and just never thought about it until I got the email from Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo Library and just DIED. I was so excited, I started jumping up and down at school…and I’m in college, by the way. I was SO nervous to meet her and so nervous to interview but she was so cool, and she made me feel super relaxed and answered my questions and told funny stories and its an experience that I’ll NEVER ever forget, no way, as long as I live.

If you’re interested in watching the interview, here it is!

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I seriously have had SUCH a great year so far and I am so lucky in the things I’ve been able to do and all I can think of is…

If the first six months of 2013 were THIS cool, the last six months are going to be even MORE COOL!

I can’t wait, and I’ll be sharing it ALL with all of you awesome people.

Don’t forget to check out previous Tuesday Top Tens!

What has been the best part of 2013 for YOU? Is it a book or a movie? Did you get to meet someone cool or was it an accomplishment you reached? As always, share in the comments!