Event Recap: Leigh Bardugo ‘Warbringer’ Release Party at The Grove!

Let it be known, I’m not a massive DC fan. I’ve always been pretty heavily Marvel, though a love of Christian Bale and the amazing storytelling of Wonder Woman have made me a fan of both Batman and Wonder Woman. That being said, when I heard that were going to be YA versions of Batman, Wonder Woman and Catwoman by Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas, I was immediately sold.

I haven’t done a ton of book events lately, though I’m definitely hoping to change that with the return and revamp of this blog. But there’s definitely no way that I ever, ever miss an event with Leigh Bardugo. I adore everything she writes and I LOVED the Wonder Woman movie so much so I was super looking forward to getting my hands on this book and chatting it up with some of my faves.

I knew I’d have to get my butt down there early for a wristband and after some reluctance to get out of my comfy bed, the boyfriend and I headed down and got our wristbands. It was SUCH  a hot day and we didn’t want to spend all day at the Grove (because parking is ridiculous there) so we decided to spend some time around LA, killing some time.

We ended up at Universal Studios for a bit, but we didn’t stay there long (did I mention how freakin hot it was?). We ended back at the Grove to wait for the signing, which worked out pretty awesomely because I ran into my dear friend, Stacee, who runs Adventures of a Book Junkie, even longer than I’ve had this blog and we’ve been blog buddies for some time. Catching up with her was awesome and honestly had a lot to do with me bringing this blog back.

Eventually we were seated and they brought out Leigh and Marie Lu, who has a new novel, Warcross, coming out in just a couple days and is also early promoting her Batman novel, which hits shelves in January. Christine from BookTube was moderating the event.

Both authors spoke a lot about how they felt getting the news that they were going to write these novels and how they both had a lot of creative control, with enough guidance to keep them going. Leigh said that she was a little worried when the movie came out and her storyline didn’t quite match up but the publishers didn’t want her to change that. They also talked about how their original characters would interact with Diana and Bruce, saying that Kaz (from Leigh’s Six of Crows) and Diana would definitely not get along but Day (from Marie’s Legend trilogy) would be fascinated by her.

The panel itself was not bad, both Marie and Leigh are such fun and whip smart ladies and I am inspired by them often. They always manage to keep me 100% captivated by what they have to say. The panel itself felt very two-dimensional and I didn’t feel like I was getting much insight on the books or the authors. I really felt like the discussion got more meaty and interesting once the questions were opened up to the audience.

I always love when Leigh and Marie get asked questions about writing because I feel like, even though I’ve seen them a million times, they both have such great insight on writing. Leigh gave me great advice four years ago, to just stop letting the story sit in my head, and write, and finish. That’s a big part in why and how I finished The Awakened. I loved when she talked about world building and how writers tend to be broken up into either Tolkiens (who built his world extensively before writing a word of his novels) or Martins (who wrote The Song of Ice and Fire and built the world as he wrote).

The signing went quick and easily, which is always amazing. I was with my boyfriend, Daniel, my sister, Jessica and my dad, all of us fans of Leigh. I recently got into an “argument” with Daniel about how he didn’t read any female authors and that needed to change and he listened to the audiobooks of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. I was excited for him to get a chance to meet her, after enjoying her stories.

Seeing Leigh was great, as usual. She gave me a huge hug and asked how my writing was going. I told her that I’m working on a new contemporary novel AND that I just announced that I would be self publishing my new adult romance, Benched, in the spring. She asked if it was sexy and I laughed and said “of course!”Daniel had his turn with Leigh and he said he wasn’t quite sure what to say but that’s okay because he’s knew to the “meeting people thing” and he’ll get better at it haha. He’s been reading Warbringer since the event and is enjoying it!

I went and said hi to Marie, and let her know I was super excited for both Warcross (almost there!) and her Batman novel. I introduced her to my dad and she said all these awesome things about me and it made me feel really good. It was another little thing that pushed me back to blogging again.

All in all, it was a great day and a great event. I felt like the fans were the ones that kept the discussion going the most and its always a good time to say hi to Leigh and Marie, who have been some of my friends for quite some time! I also grabbed some Sprinkles cupcakes before I left which is always a perfect way to end the day!

I’m about 100 pages into Warbringer and am hosting my first book club at my new house at the beginning of October, so I’m excited to share my insights and others’ insights later on. Keep in eye out for that!

Bonus: Look at this super amazing Kaz cosplay! I was in awe!

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