Posted by Jessi (Geo) on September 6, 2023 | 0 Comments

I’ve met quite a few authors since I started attending events back in 2013, but Pierce Brown has been the one author that eluded me. He was the only one of my faves (still alive, anyway) that I hadn’t met!

Funny story: When I first read Red Rising and became obsessed with the series, I discovered that Pierce had been to my fave bookstore ONE. MONTH. before I’d read it. I was sooo salty! I missed him by that much. And it took seven years for him to finally come close enough for me to attend!

The event was hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville IL and they ended up moving the event to Wentz Concert Hall because there were almost 500 people in attendance! It was about 5 hours away from me, but thankfully I found out soon enough to move my dogs around so I could take that day and half of the next day off and just stay in a hotel.

I was running pretty late leaving and was in a bit of a panic over it, until I realized that I was crossing a time zone from EST to CST, which gave me an extra hour. I’m lucky apparently, haha. When I got there it was a bit of a nightmare to park – it took me forever, but I still managed to go in with plenty of time to spare.

Pierce Brown

The panel was awesome! It was surreal to finally see Pierce in the flesh. And he is hilarious! Instead of giving the usual spiel about himself and the book, he immediately opened the floor for questions. Here are some things I learned in the panel:

  • Victra secretly plays karachi
  • In the beginning Pierce lurked on Reddit, which made him realize that people actually liked the series
  • He pulls names out of a ‘kill hat’ to keep it random and fair when he’s killing off his characters. View Spoiler » was a hat pull
  • His biggest character kill regret was View Spoiler ». He felt bad and wanted to explore the character more, which is why View Spoiler »
  • He draws inspiration from history rather than modern politics. Someone asked if his politics were a parallel to modern day politics and he said no, they are no reflection of what’s happening in the world today.
  • Sevro probably likes Taylor Swift, but he’s more of an Enya guy
  • He prefers to use the terms ‘but’ and ‘therefore’ in his writing instead of ‘and’ to drive plot (i.e. ‘but this happened’ instead of ‘and this happened’)
  • The first scene in Light Bringer when Cassius meets Eaglet 1 and they stare at each other Pierce thought “omg they would love each other” (he was trying to avoid spoiling Eaglet 1’s name but ended up spoiling it by accident anyway, lmao)
  • He’s more of a 2nd and 3rd draft writer and claims his first drafts are crap (doubt it!) and he also said he wrote a big chunk of Light Bringer that he didn’t like and ended up scrapping the whole thing and starting over. (I would DIE to get my hands on the deleted material!)
  • He doesn’t plan to revisit the world after Red God unless he’s not repeating anything, because he doesn’t want it long in the tooth. (I’m super grateful for this, because a lot of authors keep going and going when a series should be over and I end up hating it). He also wants to explore outside of the RR world.
  • He loved maps as a kid, especially Lord of the Rings
  • While he didn’t choose Tim Gerard Reynolds as a narrator, he said he got super lucky because Tim actually loves the books
  • Victra and Aja were originally men. He chooses genders based on what feels right for the character (several ladies in the audience complimented him on his portrayal of female characters)
  • His fave line is “don’t fear for me, pity them” (Victra)
  • …as well as “worthy” (IYKYK)
  • Light Bringer was the hardest book he’s written because it was a culmination – it didn’t go as politically deep as Iron Gold or as balls to the wall as Dark Age
  • The quote “we are the light” is what he wants the main takeaway to be from Light Bringer
  • View Spoiler » was another kill hat victim. He named his kill hat Deus ex Machina, and he lost it, but he said he just got another one (I’M SCARED)
  • I took poor notes on this one, but he said “it’s impossible not to say Darrow because he’s such a drama queen” and I’m pretty sure the question was ‘who is your favorite character?’
  • …but he said he has more in common with Lyria

I wanted to ask him to demonstrate the crux for us, but I chickened out XD

After the panel he went out to the lobby to sign. They called 50 people at a time and my number was 138, so I sat and waited. I ended up making friends with the super cool dude sitting next to me – Brian (if you ever read this it was great to meet you, Brian!) – and we chatted while we waited. Coincidentally enough, he was just a couple numbers away from mine so we were in the same group! We talked about books we enjoyed and recommendations as well as books we didn’t like. It made the wait go much faster and soon we were called into line!

Guys, I was SO NERVOUS. I’m a freakin’ veteran at book events and I rarely get nervous anymore. I don’t think I’ve been so nervous since I met Jay Kristoff (my fave ever)! Pierce is also super intimidating because he’s charismatic and funny (and obviously very handsome). I pretty much turned into a ridiculous and embarrassing fangirl when it was my turn lol!

Unfortunately they weren’t allowing posed photos because there were so many people in attendance, and the book limit was 2. Originally I was going to stay until the end and see if he could sign a couple more books (sometimes authors will do this if you’re last in line, all you can do is ask!), but by the time I got through it was about 9:30 and there were still 300 people to go. I was already tired and didn’t feel up to staying – also, the books I have that aren’t signed do have bookplates, so I wasn’t too worried about it. Most of my Pierce Brown books had already been signed when I bought them. I walked for a bit with Brian and chatted some more until I got to my car and headed back to the hotel.

Ultimately, I am SO glad I was able to go because I had an amazing time! It was awesome to be able to meet Pierce and cross him off of my ‘to meet’ wishlist. The drive home was a nightmare (I swear, Indiana drivers are TERRIBLE, the only state worse to drive in that I’ve been to was New Jersey) but it was totally worth it! I hope he’ll tour again for Red God!

Jessi (Geo)

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