Monday, September 15, 2014

Laini (freaking) Taylor!

The "pink haired genius"
aka Laini Taylor
So Remuera Library just casually got to host Laini (freaking) Taylor two weeks ago and what an amazing experience it was!

Laini is the author of the stunning Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and several stand alone works that are equally wonderful and unique. The daughter of smoke and bone trilogy if you haven’t read it (you totally should), follows Karou, a blue haired art student who also runs errands for a chimaera named Brimstone. While on the surface this may sound like another teen fantasy book, what helps Laini’s writing stand apart is the sheer beauty of it. You feel like you are drawn into a story that she is telling you personally and it is a secret only you two share. The plot itself is so much more than it first appears and she has drawn the most beautiful complex world from just the hint of an idea, that came to her one night about teeth and a girl with blue hair.

It’s not every day that we as librarians get to host an actual real live celebrity author in the library and it’s even more of a bonus when you’re a massive fan of the author. Harriet, Ruth and I who are the youth team at Remuera are all massive fans of her work. Hosting the event was a delight and after the pink haired genius arrived, I was literally just having what I termed “fangirl moments” all night. Being the MC for the event meant I got to tell her what a fan I was: it was such an amazing experience being in front of a crowd of similarly minded fans sharing such a special experience.

The difference in hosting events for authors that come such a long way as opposed to local ones is that the super fans come out. People came from all over Auckland and further afield! We had someone from the Herald, someone from the Eastern Bays Courier and enquiries from Whangarei and Hamilton City Libraries who were very jealous that we got given such an opportunity (THANKS Auckland Libraries). People came who had read and owned all of Laini’s books and the minute she entered the room it went absolutely silent. People were entranced by her and with her pink hair she was not hard to miss! Laini’s biggest thing was making sure that there was plenty of time for questions and there were all sorts of awesome questions which she really took her time in answering. From talking about the formation of the book to her time in college as an art student, including giving every parent there nightmares by telling young people NOT to have a back-up plan, she came across as candid, funny and just an all-round good person.

The Remuera team with Laini
Hearing Laini talk about her work, which is obviously her biggest passion, added another layer of awesome-sauce to my experience of her stories. There is something amazing when you hear an author talk about their work and it adds so much to your understanding of stories. I mean, to be inspired and caught up in the story and then hear Laini talk about it and further your understanding and experience of that tale is really quite magical.

Plus we also learned Universal are turning her books into a movie which now even has a script: I encourage you all to go out and beat the queues and discover this amazing author!

The whole event was such a delight, helped by our fangirl attitudes and really proves that Auckland Libraries is the best place to work with the best opportunities and once in a blue haired moon we get to host a real life celebrity! Thanks Auckland Libraries for the awesome time we had with Laini in Remuera #fangirltilltheend

- our thanks to Morgan from Remuera Library for this guest post!

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