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Monday, November 9, 2015

Meet & Greet with Author Liz Kessler (Event Recap) @HBGCanada @lizkesslerbooks


  A few weeks back I got an email from the wonderful Kaitlin at HBG Canada, inviting me to a meet and greet with author Liz Kessler to celebrate her newest book Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls.  Now almost instantly the name sounded familiar, but I had to think on it for a minute.  Then everything clicked.  This is the series that my daughter fell in love with a couple years back.  So, being a good mom I wrote back and asked if I could bring my wonderful daughter, and thankfully was met with great enthusiasm.  

  Being a blogger and one that hasn't read the books yet (shame on me I know), I got Em to prep some questions.  I mean this was huge for her.  This is not the first author she has met, but it was the first author that she has read and loved.  She devoured Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls, and without any prompting proceeded to write out a page of questions.  As a mom and a blogger I was super proud.  My daughter was doing what so many people want to do; getting to ask and chat with an author that she admires.

  Now Em can be a little shy, but once she got going...  Well it was amusing to say the least.  She had some serious questions that ended up with some negotiations.  You know because asking an author to pick their favourite character, is like asking a book nerd to pick their favourite book.  Em and Liz seemed to have a lot of fun with the interview, and there was a lot of laughs from start to finish.

Author Interview

Em:  Who is your favourite character?
Liz:   Just one?
Em:  Yes.  Just one.
*let the negotiations begin
Liz:  How about three?
Em:  *look that only 12yr old can give* Fine two. *smile and laugh*
Liz:   Emily for the fun and games, as well as for the adventures.  She actually chose me.  Then Mystic Millie because she's slightly bonkers, and based on her Mum (*Note: Liz right after that "but I didn't say that.  Hi Mum. Love you")
Liz:  Who's your favourite to read about?
Em:  Um...  I actually like Shona.
Liz:   Oh, do you.  Why?  She's like the traditional mermaid.  Do you like that? 
Em:  Cause I like how she sticks by Emily.
Liz:   Aww, that's nice.  See that's what I was saying, no matter what I write it's always basically the same thing.  Which is things like love, friendship, loyalty and things like standing up for your friends.
Em:  What was your favourite book to write?

*Because this kid means business and we are interviewing here...
*We then go completely off topic.  We discuss where the speaker is in my phone, trying to ensure that this is actually recording.  My judgement about switching to an S5 from an iPhone is then discussed (still regret it).  Kaitlin then brings up the poutine that has made it to the table, letting Liz know that she must try it...  Talk about lunch and eating follow.

Liz:   How many am I allowed? *laughs*
Em:  *Kid face*
Liz:   Okay can I have three?  I really only want two but I'm going on the last negotiation.  
Em:  Fine...
Liz:   I'll pick book one, because I didn't have a contact.  So, there was no expectation, there was no publishing deal.  I was just writing, adventuring.  Book two because I got to travel to Bermuda to research it.  Book three because of the castles (*Note: sound was odd here and I feel I missed something, but needed for the point).  Book four because of the .... (wish I brought something to write with).  Book five because I went to the Arctic on a boat.  Book six because of Atlantis, and it was a bit spooky and a bit deeper.
Em: *smiling... but has a look  
Liz:   Do you know what if I had to pick just one I'm going to pick the last one.  Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls, because it gets a little bit deeper, a little bit darker and it was a little bit more emotional.  
  She's hard (talking about Em).
Me:  Ya, she serious about this *laughing.
Em:  *Back to business*  Why did you decide to put little pictures at the beginning of each chapter?  
Liz:   This has been a feature with the whole series.  That was my publisher, they chose to do this.  Because it's in an age group where you don't get full on pictures in the books, but it's nice to still get some pictures.  It's a little visual representation of something that is coming that chapter.  A little teaser, and I love those little drawings.
  This is tough.
Me:  Do you feel the pressure?  She has been preparing a week for this.
Em:   What was the hardest part about writing the series?
Liz:   Um...  Okay, I'm going to tell you honestly.  The hardest part was book three.  Because I wrote an entire book and then I shared it with a friend of mine, and we both agreed that apart from the title, the rest of it was absolute rubbish.  I had to go back and start it again.  Um, it was hard work and that was the closest I have come to thinking that I couldn't do it.  A genuine answer.  No negotiation.
*Laughs all around
Em:  Even though I may partially know this answer, why does Mr. Beeson never let Emily and her mum into the light house?
Liz:   Well, because he has this whole secret life that they didn't know about.  It was kind of his secret life, and he could never really let them into his world, because...
Em:   I was kind of thinking the same thing maybe.  That there was something in the Light house that he had to watch.
Liz:   Ya.  He had all the old files and stuff.   He was a spy basically.  So, they couldn't go in there because they would see everything.
 She's good.

*Intermission for food and drink.  Everyone chatting happily.

Em:  Oh, I just thought of something else.
Liz:  *smiles.  Hold on my interviewer needs me.
Em:   In the first book why did they need to live on a boat?  Not just close to water.
Liz:   Well, because it was the boat that they lived on.  Mary Penelope always had a sense that the boat was important, and that she knew that there was some sort of connection with something living on this boat.  It was her husband, Emily's dad.  She didn't have that bit of memory, so she didn't know why it was important but was a connection to her love.
  Your job as interviewer is now to get Kelly hooked on the idea of this series.  You did ask me some really good questions.

*End of interview

  Honestly, I had so much fun at this meet and greet.  However, when it really came down to it the night was about Em.  Well, I mean it was all of the wonderful bloggers and Liz and everyone, but for me it was my daughter getting her start in the blogging world.  Even if it isn't she got to meet someone that she admires.  Honestly, this meeting was so fun and Liz is an amazing author, that both my daughter and I couldn't have been more excited to meet.  A HUGE thank you to Kaitlin and HBG Canada for arranging this and having both Em and I.

  What did you think of the interview?  Have you read anything by the amazingly nice Liz Kessler?  Would you have asked anything else?  

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