We’ve talked about our weekend in Nashville but we haven’t had a chance to delve into why we came: seeing Susan Dennard speak and participate in a signing.
We arrived to Parnassus early since we weren’t sure of how large the crowd might be and we still needed to pick up our orders for Windwitch. Jenn had previously been to Parnassus on her road trip (check out her post here) but it was Caitlynn and I’s first time. We wanted to ensure that we had time to look around and truly enjoy this great local bookstore that Jenn has raved about.
About 30 minutes before the event started Dennard came out and spoke with the people that were attending the event. It was really awesome to interact with her and it was so nice to see her care so much about all of her Witchlanders.
We spoke to her a bit about how far we’d traveled for the event and my birthday. We took a picture with her, but it was her mom that took the picture and it was on her phone, so we actually didn’t see it until the morning after the event on Dennard’s Instagram.
The best part was that while Dennard mingled with her fans, we hung out with her dad who just so happens to be from the same area our hometown is. He was really interested in how Dennard’s books are received for middle schoolers as well as just our lives in Ocala and Gainesville.
Once the event started Dennard talked about both Truthwitch and Windwitch just giving us a quick recap. She also teased Bloodwitch which she said she is about halfway through and the writing process this time around hasn’t been nearly as much of a struggle as it was with Windwitch.
From there she did an open Q&A and just let the conversation flow naturally. It was so different as it was nice to see her so candid (not that she isn’t ever candid, but events tend to make authors seem much more introspective). The best part about her speaking was that anytime she was asked to suggest a book it was typically a female author (there is one exception with Sabriel). She answered questions like, “How many books would likely be in the Witchland series?” and “What video games have inspired you?”
According to Dennard, we will likely get five books in the Witchlands and Dragon Age and just about any RPG are sources of inspiration.
She spoke about her love of reading and writing fanfiction.
Then Eden made Dennard cry when she asked her if she expected Truthwitch to receive the reception it did.
In truth, she didn’t expect the reception that she’s received. This is partly because Dennard was orphaned as her first series came out and it left The Misfit series to sell poorly simply because it didn’t get the attention from the publishing company that it needed.
We need to note here that Dennard is ok that this happened. By ok, I mean, she understands. Many authors find themselves orphaned often and she actually believes that it was best for her as she has become a stronger writer since then.
Once the Q&A was complete the signing started so I got to gush to Dennard about how much I love Something Strange and Deadly (you can see my review on it here) and the new covers coming out this summer for the series. We also talked about how bad she is at novella writing (her words, not ours) and the audiobook for the Witchland series, which if you haven’t heard it you need to get on that really soon because it’s impressive.
So, I want to note that Dennard and her family are incredible. She was so gracious and sweet, but even more her mother and father were wonderful. Specifically her father which, strangely enough, we walked away from with some serious inside jokes.
All in all this event was awesome. Parnassus did so well hosting it and Dennard’s first day on tour without Alexandra Bracken seemed to go really well even though she said she wasn’t very comfortable being on stage alone.
Have you read Windwitch yet? What are your thoughts? Have you read Something Strange and Deadly?