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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour Edmonton Recap


Last Thursday was the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour stop in Edmonton, at Chapters Westside. It was also my first ever author signing. And - if I may take a moment to boast - it was AWESOME. There were seven authors there: Smart Chicks Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Ally Condie, Beth Revis, Veronica Roth, and Margaret Stohl, and Smart Chuck Charles de Lint. And they were welcomed by 750 people! Wow. I had no idea it was going to be as busy as it was and I'm glad I got there as early as I did because only the first 100 people got seats. Hopefully now that publishers and authors know that they can get a big crowd in Edmonton, this will be just the first author event here of many to come!


The event started off with a 30 minute Q&A session followed by the signing. Audience members asked the usual "What was your inspiration?" and "What is your writing process?" type questions and then there was a fun lightning round of questions in which much hilarity ensued.


As a naturally and innately shy person, I was pretty nervous about meeting these people I worship. My game plan was thus: Plan out ahead of time something to say to each author. Rehearse multiple times. Smile. Don't make a fool of myself.

The reality: I was a shaking, stuttering mess! When it was my turn to meet each author, I found that I was pretty much incapable of saying anything, never mind the things I had planned!

Me looking awkward with Ally Condie
Me looking awkward with Margaret Stohl
Kelley Armstrong and me
Luckily, all the authors were super nice and seemed at ease around a nervous, flustered girl like myself. They made the meeting as smooth as possible with their friendliness. Margaret Stohl, especially, was incredibly personable and hilarious.


Prior to the event, I ran into Veronica Roth in the bathroom and I went into an immediate deer-in-headlights mode and just stood there, awkwardly frozen to the spot in shock, mouth agape. Ugh, so much for not making a fool of myself! I should've known right then that I was going to have trouble saying anything to these people!


Fun fact: My real name is Eilidh. It's the traditional Scottish Gaelic spelling. When it came to creating my blog though, I decided to spell my name out phonetically - Aylee - so that people wouldn't think my name was pronounced "eyelid" or something. Almost all the authors made a point to compliment my name, which was nice. Beth Revis was almost even able to pronounce it correctly!


I also had the pleasure of meeting some Edmonton Book Bloggers! I met Kristilyn of Reading in Winter, Jenni of Alluring Reads, Rola of XO Reads, and Brie of Eat Books. I had had no idea there were so many book bloggers in my area, so I was quite shocked to learn that there is an Edmonton Book Blogger Directory. It's so cool to know that there are all these like-minded people in my area!

Huge thanks goes out to Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, and Indigo Green Room who helped organize the Smart Chicks Edmonton Event! Also thank you to the bf/book-carrier/ photographer/moral-supporter for being super helpful! I had such a great time and it was an experience I hope to repeat someday (hopefully with less flustered nervousness)!

37 comments :

  1. Haha, I was so nervous too! I kept on thinking of what to say, but when I started talking, I think I was sort of murmuring. ):

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    1. Oh yes, I was definitely mumbling, as well!

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  2. I'm so glad we ran into you too! It's exciting that there is so many of us!

    Your name *is* beautiful! Margaret's autograph to you is awesome! When I went to the Christopher Moore signing several months ago, he signed my book to "Le Fromage" :D

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    1. It was so neat finding out how many of you there were! And thank you!! Christopher Moore is a funny guy!

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  3. ahahah that's funny! the authors gave you cool comments. I'm glad we found you there too! always fun getting together with other awesome people that enjoy the same things as you do. even the manager of chapters thought our club was cool ;)
    Looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting! :)

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    1. Yeah, it's exciting to know people in real life who have the same interests as you. That's pretty cool that you guys got the attention of the Chapters Manager. I look forward to see you again, too!

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  4. You look so shy and nervous.
    But you look marvelous!
    I heart your glasses.
    You lucky duck!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm pretty sure I was EVEN MORE shy and nervous than I appear in these pictures! I could barely function. Thanks, Juju :)

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  5. I love your name! I promise to say it properly when we finally do meet :) I didn't have time to plan out what I wanted to say though hahaha You did get interesting comments from the authors :) Veronica Roth only wrote Be Brave in my Divergent....

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    1. Thank you! :) Well, apparently my comment from Veronica was the test run for that comment! Margaret Stohl took a picture of it with her iPhone and everything!

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  6. Great recap, Aylee! :) And what a gorgeous name!

    This was such a fun event! I'm so happy the authors came here to Edmonton -- I hope more do in the future!

    I actually spent most of my teen years and early twenties fascinated by music, so I spent all my shyness on meeting musicians. One of my favourite times was seeing a favourite musician of mine promote her new album at Chapters in WEM and catching her curled up in a chair reading a book before the performance. So, for authors, I'm more excited than nervous -- THOUGH, I'm sure it would be so cool to run into Veronica in the bathroom!

    I love all your author comments! Especially the Veronica Roth one. :)

    I hope you can come to one of our meetups!

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    1. Thank you, Kristilyn! :) Right back at you! That's pretty neat. If there's any chance that I could use up my shyness, then I hope that happens! So that the bathroom incident wouldn't happen again and I would be all coolness and such. It could happen... Looking forward to getting involved with the group more in the future!

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  7. "Prior to the event, I ran into Veronica Roth in the bathroom and I went into an immediate deer-in-headlights mode and just stood there, awkwardly frozen to the spot in shock, mouth agape."

    HHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I love it Aylee! That's exactly what would have happened to me, only my mouth wouldn't have been agape, it would have been curled up in a probably creepy smile that just made me look constipated instead of happy and non-threatening:) And you don't look awkward in those pictures at all, you look adorable:)

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    1. Okay, still laughing... You're so funny, Jenny :) And thanks!

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  8. Cool! I new you lived in Canada but didn't realize you were in Edmonton. I've always wanted to go there - to the mall. Puts Mall of America to shame!

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    1. Heh, yup, pretty much all we're known for!

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  9. "The reality: I was a shaking, stuttering mess! When it was my turn to meet each author, I found that I was pretty much incapable of saying anything, never mind the things I had planned!"

    I do that at pretty much every single signing I attend. I always just smile awkwardly. If I do speak, I usually say something silly or clichéd. *sighs*

    Also, I love your real name - so unique and lovely.

    Thanks for sharing a recap of the event! :)

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    1. Yeah, I have a feeling I won't ever be able to relax in front of authors I admire. And thanks :)

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  10. WOW I'm so jealous you got to meet all these awesome authors !! I'd love to have my copy of Divergent signed my Veronica Roth !!
    Your name is so pretty, I'd lovr to have a Scottish name =)

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    1. Thanks, Elodie! It is one of my prized possessions now!

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  11. Aw! you look so cute! and you got some great pictures and autographs!
    That's awesome :D

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    1. Thanks, Alex! I had a very good time.

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  12. Not a bad first signing at all! I'm always a bit nervous at the ones I've been too, so no worries about not saying too much. I'm a very shy person.

    that is a very fun fact about your name. I like the actual spelling, but I would have butchered the way you pronounce it for SURE. lol

    -lauren

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    1. Yeah, they seemed understanding and nice about it anyways. And yup, thus the spelling of it phonetically!

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  13. I had no idea that your name wasn't spelled, Aylee! But you're right...I probably would've tried to pronounce your name as Eyelid, so at least now I know what it kind of sounds like since you said "Aylee" is the spelling phonetically. :)

    So, glad that we found out you were in Edmonton, too through the signing! :D You'll have to come to our meetups and such. :)

    I love your recap, and your personalizations are so neat! :D Margaret put something similar in my copy of BC, too, and it totally made me smile! :D

    Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to hopefully seeing you through our little Edmonton Book Bloggers Group! :D

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    1. Heh, I knew it would be a good idea to clarify that. Margaret made my night! I definitely look forward to participating in future EBB meet-ups and meeting you and everyone!

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  14. Ooo, I had no idea that your real name was Eilidh! Lol, if you hadn't spelled your name phonetically, I probably would have butchered your name and be calling you Eyelid in my head. Does this mean you have a Scottish background?

    I haven't been lucky enough to attend a Smart Chicks tour yet. They stopped in Brampton (a part of the GTA) when they did a Toronto signing but that's kind of a really long bus ride for me. I need to learn how to drive!

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    1. Yup! My parents wanted to preserve my Scottish heritage and they did so by giving me a name that people butcher all the time, haha. That's too bad that you weren't able to make it to the one in Brampton though I can understand that it would be a really long trip for you.

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  15. I'm glad you had such a good time at the signing. I'm sure I sounded really dumb when I met the authors. I'm pretty sad I arrived at 5:50 and had to spend the majority of my time stuck over by the greeting cards, which meant I didn't get to hear the interviews. :(

    But I love my signed books! I hope I get to meet you as part of the Edmonton Book Bloggers Group!

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    1. Aw, that totally sucks! I thought I was being overly cautious when I arrived so early, but I am so glad I did now! At least you got something out of it. I hope I get to meet you sometime, too!

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  16. Holy moly, over 700 people? This event sounds like such a blast and i would probably get all tongue-tied too. I'm glad you had so much fun though! Also, like everyone else, I had no idea your name was Eilidh! I love how Margaret Stohl signed. :D

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    1. Yeah, I had no idea we were going to be able to create a crowd that big in Edmonton. Margaret's was my favourite signature!

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  17. Wow, that sounds like an awesome event! I was a bit stunned to meet V-Roth a few months ago, so I can totally understand your awkwardness. :P I love your real name--how beautiful and unique!
    Thanks for the recap! :)
    - Lauren

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    1. Thanks, Lauren! Veronica was probably the person I was most excited to see.

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  18. Well, How-Dee-Do, Eilidh!

    I love the Smart Chicks Tour. I've only been to one, but it's the best tour I've ever attended. Love your 'awkward' pictures. :)

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    1. Missie! Thanks :) I had a blast; I hope they do it again sometime!

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