Amid all of the gigantic publisher booths at BookCon, there are some smaller publishers and authors doing their best to be noticed by con-goers. It’s a hard job, with Penguin Random House, Macmillan and HarperCollins all in the same room and constantly giving away free books.
So you might have been as surprised as I was to find Lauren Bird Horowitz (and company) happily sitting in their booth, down to their last five copies of book two (Renegade Red) of The Light Trilogy. It’s less surprising when you hear Horowitz talk to readers, though. Every time someone would glance over, she would jump seamlessly into ‘author mode.’
“Hello! Do you like YA fantasy?” She would ask, always excited. “This is The Light Trilogy, and I’m the author!”
Horowitz would go on to explain the plot of the book as if she had never explained it before — excited, voice inflections in all the right places, talking about characters and plot twists (“I can personally, as the author, guarantee you won’t see it coming!”).
Not surprisingly, many people got excited about The Light Trilogy. Four or five con-goers bought her books just during a 10-15 minute interview, and that was at the very end of the con, when less people were milling around.
In fact, Horowitz and her team got moved out of their original booth because they had too much traffic. “We actually started out at a different booth,” Horowitz explained. “But we were doing so well that the guy — the convention coordinator — said, ‘I’m going to move you front-and-center.'”
The shiny jewelry display, designed by Zoe Cope specifically for the book series, didn’t hurt. Cope creates each piece by hand, and she worked with Horowitz to create a jewelry line directly inspired by pieces described in The Light Trilogy. Cope is also Horowitz’s cover designer.
The first book of The Light Trilogy, called Shattered Blue, came out in 2015. Renegade Red was released in March of 2017, and is already in its second printing. There’s not currently a release date set for the third book, but it will be released in the next year or year and a half, Horowitz said.
Horowitz was nice enough to set aside a few minutes to chat with Fictionist, with a few pauses in between to talk to readers. Read on to see our short Q&A, and stay tuned for a full-length Q&A with Horowitz and Cope.
Were you here for BookExpo as well, or just BookCon?
We were here for both. I have to say, BookCon is more fun — there’s a much bigger YA and book blogging crowd, which is more up our alley for (The Light Trilogy). We sold out of the first book in one hour (Sunday morning) and sold out of all of the hardcovers (Saturday). We’re down to our last copies of the second book, so it’s been a lot of fun.
When did you decide to get into writing fiction?
I was working in screenwriting, and mostly in the YA space — I did a lot of stuff for The CW, which is a similar audience (to YA books) — but my heart has always felt like a poet, so what I wanted to do was write a novel about a girl who was a poet. That’s where the touchstone for Noa (The Light Trilogy’s main character) came out as. So, I decided I didn’t want to deal with the constraints of being a screenwriter. I wanted to be able to write as many words as I wanted, so that’s why I decided to do it as a novel series. And, luckily, because of my contacts in screenwriting, it was actually published through Warner Bros.
Have you done many signing events (other than BookCon)?
I do a lot of signing events on my book tours. We also go to schools a lot and talk to kids about becoming artists, which is fun. But this is my first convention of any kind. One of the coolest things that’s happened (at a signing) was that, in one of the school events we went to, we came back and all of the kids had read the first book. That was actually a middle school.
Do you have a convention pet-peeve?
Not yet, I mean, so far it’s been really fun. I’ve enjoyed it. We actually started out at a different booth, but we were doing so well that the guy — the convention coordinator — said, “I’m going to move you front-and-center.” So, he moved us here. It was pretty awesome. He was like, “Dude, you have so much traffic, bring it over here!”