Sunday 29 January 2023

EVENT RECAP: An Evening with Leigh Bardugo

As a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo, I was able to meet her back in 2016 during her Worlds Collide tour with Rainbow Rowell, just after the release of Crooked Kingdom. Obviously, much has changed since then! With her first adult novel and a show adaptation for the Grishaverse, I was eager to see Leigh talk about all of the exciting things that have happened over the past few years. So when I found out she was coming to Liverpool on her tour for Hell Bent, I just had to go. 

I decided to wear the Shadow and Bone jacket I painted just before the release of the show last year! 

First of all, the location for the event was absolutely gorgeous. It’s commonly used as a wedding venue and there were fairy lights dotted around all over the place. On our way in, we got given our signed copies of Hell Bent that came with the ticket. We were allowed to bring one item to have personalised, which I loved because it gave people the choice as to what they wanted signed. 

The event itself started with Leigh speaking a little about Hell Bent and how it came to be, and the rest of the time was a Q&A so she could answer as many reader questions as possible, which I completely adored. It was a very relaxed and casual event, and though I wasn’t brave enough to ask a question, I enjoyed hearing everyone else speak! 

Leigh made it clear that no questions were off limits – it could be anything about any of her stories and projects. There were quite a few people who spoke about what Leigh’s books meant to them and I actually teared up a few times! 

One of the stand-out questions for me was when someone asked if she’d consider writing short-story updates for Six of Crows, to which she said no. She explained that she didn’t see that format working for the story and it would take a full sequel off the table if she ever did want to return to that world in the future. I couldn’t agree more! If we were ever going to get a continuation of SoC, I’d definitely want it to be a full-length novel. 

Taking questions about Ninth House, Leigh told us a bit about her experience in Yale and how that helped shape the story. She recalled how she got criticism when the book was first released due to its themes, but she stuck by why she included them and told them in the way that she did. 

Of course, there were questions about the Shadow and Bone TV show. Someone questioned whether the Crows would be getting their own story told, without the plot being weaved into S&B. Leigh couldn’t tell us anything other than to keep supporting the show as best we can. 

When it was time for the actual signing, I asked Leigh to sign my painted jacket, which she adored! She told me I was talented, and I nearly burst into tears right there, but I managed to hold it together. 

I’m SO happy to have my jacket signed! It was the first time I’d attempted denim painting on that scale, so it was quite the challenge and it paid off. 

It was such a wonderful event and I’m thrilled that I had the chance to go!

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