Armchair BEA Day 2 - Author Interaction & More Than Just Words

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:00 AM
Design by Amber of Shelf Notes
It's Day #2 for Armchair BEA, and I did not participate nearly as much as I wanted to on Day #1. Memorial Day weekend was very busy, and I didn't have much time for blogging. But hopefully, the rest of the week will be better. If you missed my first post for Armchair BEA and are unfamiliar with the event, here's some more info.

Today's topics are Author Interaction and More Than Just Words. I have to say I haven't interacted with many authors and I don't read many graphic novels, so these topics were a little tough for me. But I managed.

Author Interaction
Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger.

To be honest, I rarely interact with authors, IRL or online. I need to be more on the lookout for author readings, especially since I live close to Philly. And when it comes to contacting authors, I am a coward. I'm terrified they will reject me or I'll just come off seeming desperate and/or stalkerish. I'd probably just embarrass myself by screaming, "I love your books and we should be best friends forever and ever because your mind is an amazing THING!"

So as you can tell, I've had very little experience with author interaction. The one time that really sticks out in my memory is when I met Catherynne M. Valente at my local bookstore when she had a reading. She signed my copies of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, and I still have yet to read them. But I definitely intend to! And from now on, I'm going to make an effort to look for author readings in my area.

More Than Just Words
There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?

Usually, I stick to reading a traditional book with just words. Sometimes, there will be illustrations or photos in books I pick up, like in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, just to name a few. As you can tell, I really go for creepy, haunting images and illustrations. I do love when a story is told through both words and images, as the illustrations can add so much more detail. I just never seem to pick up graphic novels or comics that often even though I've enjoyed the few that I have read. Here are a couple of my recommendations and others I have yet to read but really want to.

Graphic Novels I'd Recommend

The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman

Regardless of cultures or historical eras, all dreamers visit Morpheus' realm - be they gods, demons, muses, mythical creatures, or simply humans who teach Morpheus some surprising lessons. Upon his escape from an embarrassing captivity at the hands of a mere mortal, Morpheus finds himself at a crossroads, forced to deal with the enormous changes within both himself and his realm. His journey to find his place in a world that's drastically changed takes him through mythical worlds to retrieve his ancient heirlooms, the back roads of America for a twisted reunion, and even Hell itself, to receive the dubious honor of picking the next Devil. But, he'll learn his greatest lessons at the hands of his own family, the Endless, who - like him - are walking embodiments of the most influential aspects of existence. (Book Depository)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer series by Georges Jeanty (Scriptwriter), Joss Whedon, Andy Owens (Artist), Jo Chen(Artist)

Since the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers - newly legion - have gotten organized and are kicking some serious undead butt. But not everything's fun and firearms, as an old enemy reappears and Dawn experiences some serious growing pains. Meanwhile, one of the "Buffy" decoy slayers is going through major pain of her own. Buffy creator Joss Whedon brings Buffy back to Dark Horse in this direct follow-up to season seven of the smash-hit TV series. (Amazon)

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, “The God of Cake,” “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, “Adventures in Depression,” and “Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.

Brosh’s debut marks the launch of a major new American humorist who will surely make even the biggest scrooge or snob laugh. We dare you not to. (Amazon)

Graphic Novels I Want to Read

Maus by Art Spiegelman

The complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance. (Goodreads)

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up. (Goodreads)

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part.

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol. (Goodreads)

So have you guys read any of these? Do you have any recommendations? Or author interaction tips? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I really need to read The Sandman series. I haven't heard of some of the others but will have to check them out

  2. Maus and Perseplois seem to be the go to books for introducing people to graphic novels. They are both great. I tend to go in for memoirs when it comes to graphic stuff. I wonder why?

  3. I'm about halfway through the Sandmans, I keep meaning to finish them in one fell swoop but I don't think my brain could take that.
    You most definitely need to read Maus and Persepolis, both so good!

  4. MAUS! We had to read that when I working on my MFA in Creative Writing at Full Sail. You can't go wrong with that graphic novel.

  5. My More Than Words were audiobook recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Memorial Day was super busy! I didn't get my post up until late! I hope to interact a little more this week! I hope you have a great experience with ABEA this year and find time to interact with a few more authors!

  7. There have been several authors where I have felt I want to tell them how much I love their book(s) and that I want to be their best friend. I haven't, but I do know that feeling. I feel like I am almost just as shy and awkward online as I am in person.
    I have some Buffy comics, I really need to get around to reading them!

  8. This is the second blog that I have seen recommend Maus. I think I may need to add it to my to read list. Nice recs!

  9. LOVE your selections. I'm a huge Buffy fan and was seriously left wanting when the series ended.

    I was turned on to the Hyperbole and a Half blog by a friend of mine and have been following it for quite a while. So happy it was compiled into a graphic novel.

  10. Ooo, I really want to read Anya's Ghost! I love Hyperbole and a Half--I laughed so much while reading it.

  11. I love Sandman and Anya's Ghost! I just wrote a post on my Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels/Manga series if you want some recommendations.

    I feel really nervous when I go to a book signing without having read the books, like the author will call me out on it! I'm not sure where this anxiety come from because I'm pretty sure the authors just love that you have their book in hand, read or not.

  12. My husband has been trying to get me into Graphic Novels for a while now. I finally feel like I'm up to dipping my toe into the Graphic Novel genre pool! Thanks for the recommendations.

    Tamara (Shelf Addiction)

  13. One of these days, I would love to participate in Armchair BEA. I've loved reading everyone's posts so far! That's so cool that you met Catherynne M. Valente!! I haven't read her books yet either, but I've heard nothing but good things about her writing and I would have jumped at the chance to meet her. You should definitely try to make it out to more book events if you can! Ever since I moved to Toronto, I've been taking advantage of that as much as I can and attending as many signings as I can. Sure, I'm always awkward and rambling in front of these authors that I admire, but it's always an amazing, memorable time!


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