That one time I met Leigh Bardugo

As you all know if you follow me on Twitter, I have developed a major Six of Crows situation. It’s one of my favorite new releases of 2016, and the fact that I have other people to share it with now has only increased my excitement tenfold. So I was really excited to learn that Leigh Bardugo would be stopping in San Francisco on her Six of Crows tour.

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those black pages YES

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this is actually from ALA because I forgot to take a picture at the actual event

For the record, this was my first time buying a book when I already have the ARC. I don’t normally do that, especially when I know I have 200 other books that I’ll want to buy soon, but the hardcover was just too aesthetically pleasing for me to resist, and now I have one copy in SF and one in Berkeley, which suits me just fine.

Anyway, Leigh Bardugo was honestly a superstar, and I knew I was going to love her from the moment the bookstore employee introduced her and she said “I’m John Green”.  One of the first things she did was read from a hilarious story she wrote when she was twelve, featuring a teenage assassin named Blood, her brother Jared, and a talking woodchuck named Lorenzo who wanted to have adventures instead of being a lawyer. That book sounds like a gift to humanity and I’m sad that I’ll never get to read the rest of it. That last sentence was completely unironic.

She talked about her writing process a lot, and her career path from a copywriter to a makeup artist to where she is now. She told us how important it was for her to learn to accept failure, which really resonated with me, since I have a tendency to give up on things if I’m not good at them right away. (I’m working on it, though!)

There was, of course, a Q and A. Some of my favorite moments from that Q and A include:

  • Someone asked which YA character Leigh would set up on a date with Nikolai Lantsov. She pointed out that Nikolai would not take kindly to being set up on a blind date, but then said she would choose Kami Glass from the Lynburn Legacy. As you can imagine, this made me happy, because I’m always happy to hear Kami mentioned, and because Kami and Nikolai together would absolutely take over the world with their sass. (On another note, can you imagine Zoya and Angela in the same room? I’m getting a little nervous just thinking about it.)
  • The conversation turned to translations somehow, and Leigh joked that she was surprised when she found out there would be a Swedish translation because she wasn’t exactly nice to them in her fictional depiction of their country. She added that she was going to be in Sweden soon, and she was scared of what they would do to her.
  • She threw up a little while writing Kaz’s backstory. (If you’ve read Kaz’s backstory, this will probably not surprise you at all.)

And then the signing! I got my Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows books signed. Leigh asked me who my favorite Grisha character was and I said Nikolai, so she wrote a Nikolai quote in my Siege and Storm book. (Looking back on it, I actually wish I’d said Genya or Zoya or Alina because Nikolai was getting so much love from everyone in the signing line, and the ladies need love too.) When she heard my name, she told me she was pretty sure she’d used it in one of her books or short stories at one point. I would definitely have noticed if it had been in the books, so I guess I’ll be reading the short stories sometime soon! (Side note: if you see the name “Polina” in anything you read please let me know, especially if it’s spelled this way. I’ve never seen my name in a book ever and I would really like to.)

I also overheard her tell someone that Wylan would be getting a POV in book 2, which makes me really happy because more Wylan is always a good thing. I hope he’ll be okay. I hope they’ll all be okay. Who am I kidding, of course they won’t be.

Anyway, the book signing was great and Six of Crows is worth owning two copies of and Leigh Bardugo is a delight and a gift.


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