Book Events

Book Event: Books by the Banks Book Festival

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Here it is! The moment you have all be waiting for!  Well maybe not, but this is definitely a post that I have been looking forward to writing & posting 🙂

Below I talk about meeting authors like Maggie Stiefvater, Jenny Lawson, Tiffany McDaniel, Mindy McGinnins, and many more…

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 The Books by the Banks book festival was held on October 15th in Cincinnati, Ohio.  It was my first experience at a book festival, and I must say, I’m hooked!  This was a FREE event that was completely open to the public.


Maggie Stiefvater

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I was so excited to meet Maggie Stiefvater and get my copy of The Raven Boys signed.  Maggie was telling my friend and I about her most epic book signing fail.  Apparently once at a book signing, a woman stepped up to get her book signed and told Maggie her name was “Ingrid.”  Maggie started personalizing Ingrid’s book, but to her horror she wrote “Diane” instead of Ingrid…. She was dumbfounded as to why she would have done this.  Embarrassed, Maggie bought the book and kept it. Years went by until one day her husband had a co-worker over for dinner and when he introduced his wife as Diane… Maggie had waited years for that moment and pushed the book upon her.

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You can read my reviews of The Raven Cycle here:

Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Since Maggie was a featured author at the BBTB book festival, she had her own author spotlight at the event.  Maggie is pure entertainment.  When she first came in, she asked the event volunteers to help her push the tables back on the stage so she would have room to pace.  As you can tell from my pictures, Maggie likes to move around a lot when she speaks.  Instead of talking about her writing process, Maggie basically filled an entire hour of hilarious life stories.  I would share a few with you all, BUT I don’t want to spoil any of her ridiculous stories in case any of you will be seeing her in the future.  She did briefly touch on her writing to mention that she cannot write a book until she figures out why she is writing the book.  She also had a good piece of advice for aspiring writers, Maggie says the publishing industry is full of rejection, but not to take it as “no,” but to instead take it as a “not yet.”

Random Maggie Facts:

» She used to be a portrait painter

» She used to paint knock offs of famous paintings… but with cat heads

» She has 9 goats

» Her sunglasses are a big part of her identity

» Her degree is in 14th century Scottish & Welsh History

» She is NOT a hugger

» She accidently posted her boobs on Twitter

» She kicked John Green’s ass in a drag race… after his car caught on fire


Jenny Lawson

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I was FIRST in line to meet Jenny Lawson at 10am when they festival opened.  She even took the time to chat with me for a few minutes before my friend rudely informed me that I was “hogging Jenny Lawson.”

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You can read my review of Furiously Happy here → Book Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Jenny took a slightly different approach to her author spotlight, but no surprise there.  I knew public speaking is a huge cause for anxiety for her, so I was not surprised that Jenny had a moderator join her for her talk.  The moderator was Adam Baker, who works at the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library and who is very involved with the planning and marketing of the BBTB book festival.  After a brief introduction, Jenny read 2 chapters from her book, Furiously Happy.  After the crowd died down from all the laughter, Jenny proceeded to answer questions from the audience.  Here are some things I took away from it…

» She is very careful what she says yes to in regards to events.  When she does do events, she sets boundaries to avoid issues with anxiety.  Basically, when she does an event, she does not leave the hotel room aside from the actual event.

» Her next book is going to be about how hard it is to say no

» NY is a scary place.  People don’t laugh.  It’s just weird.

» She was terrified to raise a daughter because she didn’t want her daughter to end up “broken” like her.  Thankfully, her daughter is more like her sister.  Ironically enough, her sister’s daughter is just like Jenny.  They collaborate frequently.

» Some of the best stuff she wants to write about she actually can’t write about as they are her daughter’s stories.  She is going to let her decide if she wants to tell them.

» She didn’t have any friends in real life when she was young.  Books were her friends.  She carried a “friend” with her everywhere she went.

» Always keep the writing that you think is bad, that way you can look back and see how much you’ve progressed.

» Victor is hilarious in person, but it doesn’t always translate well to paper.

» Victor doesn’t read her blog, but all his coworkers do.


Tiffany McDaniel

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 I was so excited to meet Tiffany McDaniel, author of The Summer That Melted Everything.  If you have been following my blog for a while, you may know that this book has been one of my favorite reads of 2016You can read my review here → Book Review: The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel.  I also had the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany, which you can read here → Author Interview: Tiffany McDaniel, Author of The Summer That Melted Everything.  I wasn’t going to mention to her who I was or that I had reviewed and interviewed her, as I know many bloggers have reviewed her book and interviewed her.  I definitely wasn’t expecting her to recognize me and tell her table mate, Stephanie Knipper author of The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin. that I had written such a wonderful review of her book.  It was a pretty awesome moment to be recognized by one of my new favorite authors.  I was also struck with how tiny she is in real life!  I felt like Goliath next to her.  You can’t really tell in the picture, but I am hunched over lol

*I would like to add that I am not freakishly tall, I am just short of 5’8″

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YA Panel: Mindy McGinnis, Meg Leder, Melissa Landers, & Adi Alsaid

 This was my first ever author panel and I must say, it was fascinating.  Mindy McGinnis, Meg Leder, Melissa Landers, and Adi Alsaid were all very entertaining.   I am going to share some things I took away from these authors…

*Unfortunately I didn’t catch a whole lot of what Meg Leder was saying as I was focused on the other three authors.   I did find her interesting and very well spoken.  I also had no idea that she is an executive editor at Penguin Books… Now I am kicking myself for not paying closer attention to her.

Mindy McGinnins

» Mindy writes as she goes along, often feeling just as surprised as the reader, however she always has a clear sense of the ending before she starts writing.

» Regarding fantasy, world building is hardest part.  She likes to take things in our world and make them interesting.  For example, for an upcoming book she took ordinary trees and gave them razor sharp leaves.

» She prefers standalones because they sell better.

» She worries about organically producing diversity in literature as a straight white person, but she wants to do everything in her power to try.  The Female of the Species, was her first time including a gay character.  She said she feels it is important to write diverse characters as people, not as their race or sexuality, etc. etc.

» She feels it is important to NOT tone things down in YA books because things like rape, molestation, etc. are happening to teens.  She feels that teens are good at self monitoring, so they will decide for themselves if a book it too much for them to handle.

» Book recommendation: Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

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Melissa Landers

» She likes to draw inspiration from favorite movies, then give them a twist.  For example, Starflight was inspired by the 1987 movie Overboard.

» Likes to tell a story with multiple POVs because the story is richer with more perspectives.

» She puts a little bit of herself in all her female characters.  The main character in Starflight, Solara, is based loosely on her.  She never meet her biological father.

» She has a clear idea for her brand as an author.  She has a defined set of boundaries, so some topic matter she avoids because it is too dark for her brand.

» Really likes the snowflake method of writing.

» She was inspired to start writing by Stephanie Meyer.  She watched an interview where Stephanie mentioned that she had no formal training in writing, she just did it.  Melissa figured that if Stephanie could do it, she could do it too.

» Her 2018 release, The Half King, will be about a world where your birth order determines your fate.

Adi Alsaid

» Loves writing with multiple POVs.  Feels that single perspective writing limits what you can explore.  He loves multiple perspectives so much, he wants to one day write a book where every chapter is a new characters POV.

» Bases his characters off interesting people he has met in real life.

» He feels a book is finished when it is the best version of itself.

» Book recommendation: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton


My BBTB Book Haul

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» The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

» In the Context of Love by Linda Sienkiewicz

» Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

» Saving Phoebe Murrow by Herta Feely

» The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

» The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

» The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

» Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

» The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

*I meet all these authors & all books signed


Have you even attended a book festival?

If so, which authors did you meet?


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28 thoughts on “Book Event: Books by the Banks Book Festival”

  1. I loved this post Amanda, looks like you had a really good time at the festival! we don’t really have any book festivals that I know of here in NYC, just the big Book conventions. I would love to attend a festival one day, putting it on my Bookworm List 😉
    I’m waiting on Maggie to come to NY, I’ve heard from everyone that has attended one of her book panels that she is hilarious & just really cool. That’s awesome that Tiffany McDaniel recognized you for your review, it really was a great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Whaaaaaat?!!! My husband would love to meet R.L. Stine, he’s always been a big fan. Maggie is amazing, I’ll catch her the next time she’s on tour here. I’m so glad you had a great time 😊💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How excitiiiiiiiing 😀 I loved this post and all the pics! You look so happy ^^

    I’ve never been to a book festival, but I’m sure I’d love it. I loved the book signing story XD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw man, this sounded amazing. Stiefvater sounds hilarious!! Those pictures though XD I’m so jealous that you got to meet all these people – what a wonderful opportunity! I’m really crossing my fingers that there’ll be some great author event on and nearby me when I’m in the States, that’d be so cool to meet some amazing authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YES! This is the post I’ve been waiting for! Man– it looks like you were super busy during BBTB. You got a ton of autographs and really expanded your TBR pile. Have you read any of these before? Or any of the authors?
    I have only been to what we call “mini book festivals” in Madison. UW hosts a book festival, but it’s really inconvenient and mostly local authors. The mini book festivals are always local authors and they last about half a day. It’s a lot of fun, honestly. I look forward to heading to Chicago or someplace someday for a larger book festival. I’m glad this was a positive experience for you! Great photos.

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    1. I’d read about half of the books that I purchased. The other half were ones that I didn’t get a chance to get to but was interested in reading. The majority of the authors at the BBTB festival were local authors but they also pulled in some more well known ones. It was seriously so much fun! Do you live in Madison Indiana?! If so that is a small world because my husband’s family is from there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you were willing to go in not knowing everything. That gives me hope and happiness for my own future book festival attending. I get overwhelmed thinking of all the books to read.
        I live in Madison, Wisconsin- go Pack! So, not quite as small a world. But still small.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Can I just say how wonderful you look in all pictures, Amanda? *–* Also, this event sounds like a pure blast!! I have never attended a book convention of any sorts unfortunately, but I’m hoping to go to a big national one next year here in Brazil =) Fingers crossed, haha!

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