Meeting Sarah J Maas at Waterstone’s Piccadilly

Some author events are a let-down – I will never forget one particular evening when I barely understood the questions asked to the author and understood his answers even less – but thankfully both the author events I went to this week were brilliant. I will be talking about Hot Feminism with Polly Vernon tomorrow but today it’s all about SJ Maas, a YA author my sister loves. Even though I haven’t read any of Sarah’s books, I went to the event to keep my sister company. And it was all kinds of fun.

Sarah was here promoting her newest book A Court of Thornes and Roses and as she spoke about her life, her writing schedule (punishing), her inspiration behind this book and her Throne of Glass series (a lot of it was about hot dudes who undress slowly), I fell in love with her.

She spoke wittily and very truthfully about her life and books. It was wonderful to hear and I can’t wait to read this book and her backlist. She talked about her love for romance novels (that genre of book always seen as stupid because it is something women like and women are stupid), her love of giving her female protagonists enough character and determination to make them three-dimensional, and enough sexy time to make her want to tell her dad and grandmother not to read A Court of Thornes and Roses (they have both read it though she will be banning them from reading the sequel).

What I loved to hear was how important it was for her to give her characters a sexual identity. From what I heard and what Sister has told me, in Sarah’s books the female characters aren’t enablers of sex, they are initiators. This in YA books (and adult books) is so important and maybe I have been so unlucky recently but it has been a long time since I have read a YA book with this.

What was very cool was that after she signed our book we were asked to sign her book – I have never had an author do this but all should shouldn’t they? What a brilliant idea.

I can’t wait to read her books!

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