INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair! – Saturday & Sunday!


And now, part two of my INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair adventure. You’ll be getting both Saturday and Sunday in this post because I feel super chatty and don’t feel like doing another post afterwards. Anywho, Kiki and I got up stupid early and went back down to the convention for Day Two. When we arrived, we hung out a bit in the Penguin-Random House booth, wherein we (and by which I mean me) tackled Vikki VanSickle. Kiki went off to watch Debbie Macomber’s talk on the Main Stage and I… coloured colouring pages with Vikki. We coloured purple dinosaurs, pink dragons with spots, and we had an adorable eighteen month baby hang out with us. She kept hanging me markers. For some reason. She was SO CUTE!

After that, I ran over to the Main Stage and found Kiki. After Debbie Macomber’s talk, she went to get her books signed while I wandered about. I bought my husband the newest William Gibson book, which I will share a story for that later. We wanted around, found an amazing booth for a Caribbean book store called A Different Booklist. The ladies working in that booth were insanely passionate about the books they were selling, and I ended up buying The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson from them! Then Kiki went off to line up for Astronaut (or rather Awesomenaut) Chris Hadfield.

I ended finding Entangled Publishing, in my alone time, who were basically GIVING AWAY their books, and the lady running that booth was a complete doll. She gave me a pile of books! And then one of their authors was signing and she gave me a signed book (I ended up with two, one for Molly, which Brutus may have… ate the side of, I am sorry he autographed it). It was fun to just chat with them about romance novels, though I admit, it’s not a genre I generally enjoy. But, I decided I am totally going to give all the books I got a chance.

Then I was wandering around and I saw Dav Pilikey, author of the “Captain Underpants” books on the TD Kids Stage and let’s just say, he both a fabulous reader and public speaker. he drew artsy fartsy for all the kids in the crowd and tested their “Captain Underpants” knowledge, and man those kids were insanely smart. Also, I want his new book that’s coming out, “Dog Man” because it’s The Dark Knight Rises… only it stars a dog. Can we say win? I also met someone I went to high school with and we ended up hanging out quite a bit at the event, which was insanely nice, though I may had been a creeper about it at first (what can I say? I can be socially awkward).

And then it was time to meet William Gibson. The conversation I had with William Gibson was as follows (well the paraphrased version in which Sam comes across super duper awkwardly).


I met William Gibson. He was lovely.

Me: HI! Nice to meet you! My name is Sam!

William Gibson: Hello, Sam.

Me: My husband and I love your books and we bonded over them, though truthfully, I think the only reason my husband married me is because I have a first edition of “Neuromancer.”

William Gibson: I’m pretty sure that makes you a keeper.


William Gibson: *goes back to being awesome*

Me: *texts picture to husband* “William Gibson called me a keeper.”

Husband: *texts back* “Yes you are.”

Lets just say, it was a treasured encounter. Turns out, however, Kiki had a treasured encounter as well, because Chris Hadfield hugged her. Life was perfect in that moment. After that, we went to Harlequin to see Amanda Sun and she is still the cutest ever. I also ended up with a signed copy of “Rain” thanks to Kiki. Then we said goodbye to Amanda, and headed home due to being tired and pooped.

THEN SUNDAY HAPPENED. Kiki picked me up in the morning and her mom joined us! We ended up wandering the event and ended up back at Entangled and they gave us smutty books this time. We ended up with signed copies of “Into the Fire” by Amanda Usen and its sequel. Then we proceeded to take pictures of each other reading the darn thing. Holy steaminess, Batman. Let’s just say, I can’t decide if I will be reading it or not, but I may have giggled through the first few pages because Kiki dramatically read them. We also met Eric Kim, who is a fantastic author and artist and he signed copies of “The Complete Plays of William Shakespeare adapted by Eric Kim” which was HILARIOUS. My favourite in the book? His version of “Titus Andronicus” (which is my favourite Shakespeare play. Yes, I’m a horrible person.) If you can find the book and you love Shakespeare, READ IT.

Then lunch and more wandering around happened. Somehow I ended up losing Kiki and her mom and ended up at Erin Bow’s reading, and she was reading from “Sorrow’s Knot” and let’s just say I was tearing up because damn that book hurt. Here’s our review! I also ended up meeting her and she signed my copy of Sorrow’s Knot, though we admittedly talked about about how she makes people cry in her books (“Plain Kate,” anyone?). She apparently enjoys feeding on people’s tears, but she is an amazing lady and she HUGGED ME.


Erin Bow: Amazing lady or crusher of souls? The answer: both!

And then finally it was time for Maggie Stiefvater. She was on the Main Stage and she is wonderfully crazy. She talked about the Gentleman’s Club convention that was happening next door, how The Raven Boys came to be, why she is a spooky person, and she even answered fans questions. I actually asked a question too, probably the most important question of them all.

Me: Hi Maggie! I have a question for you: why IS Gansey’s face so fancy?

Maggie: …. I was not prepared for that question. *turns to Chandra, the host* YOU DID NOT PREPARE ME FOR THESE QUESTIONS!

Maggie explained the tiny spoiler behind Gansey fancy face, but it made Kiki and I happy. We immediately texted Molly, and here was that conversation:


Molly is favourite. Best co-blogger ever. Kiki also told her how we were “looking out for her best interests.” Needless to say, Kiki’s mom looked like she wanted to read Maggie’s books after that presentation. Then we went to the “official signing” which I got my copy of “Sinner” signed.


Candid with Maggie! She asked if I liked to cry, but I’m pretty sure she feeds on tears.

After that, Kiki and I wandered over to Beguling to see if Ryan North was signing, which HE WAS. Years ago, at an Anime North long, long ago, he found out my name was Samantha and I was carrying a T-Rex toy. He asked me for my picture because T-Rex in Dinsoaur Comics has an imaginary girlfriend name “Samantha.” Well, I showed him the comic, told the story and let’s just say he reminded me that my name was STILL PRETTY, as according to T-Rex:



And then I went over to Scholastic for the super awesome more personal Maggie Steifvater signing. I was able to get many Christmas gifts signed, discuss “The Raven Boys” with a lot more detail (she wanted to know who was the “Raven Boys” drug dealer and who was each of my friend’s fave Raven Boy) and she’s a lovely, lovey person. WE ALSO HUGGED! But I met the real Gansey Fancy Face in person. LOOK HOW CUTE WE ARE!


The real Gansey Fancy Face. Huge love to Jessica for taking the picture.

And after that, the book fair was pretty much over. Will I go again next year? Absolutely. I really had a great time and it was just such a blast to meet a lot of the authors, make new friends and just be in a place that made me super happy the whole time. Seriously, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. Plus, I got to meet so many of my favourite authors in one spot, and really? How cool is that. I’m sad the book fair is over, but I am looking so forward to see who is going to participate next year.

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