So on the 22nd of May, I got the opportunity to meet the amazing Mr Kristoff at his Lifel1k3 launch event in beautiful Brisbane, Queensland for a discussion about his latest novel (which is mindblowingly good btw! You can check out my thoughts here). To say I enjoyed myself while in his presence is an understatement.
Upon arriving at the Brisbane Square Library (quite early – I had a lengthy drive and didn’t want to miss it), I was greeted by a closed door to a conference room with the only indication of any event being a stand by the door and a few people milling around; if I hadn’t asked security at the front door, I would have had no idea there was an author about to be in residence. At around 5:50 (event started at 6), a staff member opened the proverbial Pearly Gates and suddenly out of nowhere came the hordes! While myself and my partner in crime managed to get seats in the centre aisle second row, others who thought they had gotten prime location at the front were swiftly moved further back due to reserved seating signs being ignored.
Ten minutes later, the crowd had gotten settled and suddenly a wild Dave Grohl appeared! Just kidding but seriously, the resemblance is uncanny. Towering over the seated bodies, Kristoff made what could
only be described as a rock star entrance – if people had have been standing, I think some swooning may have occurred. Accompanied by Jeann (aka happyindulgence) our MC for the night, we were off to a good start.
Following some fairly standard questions like ‘where do you get your ideas from’ and ‘how much time do you actually spend on social media?’, the discussion turned to his latest novel Lifel1k3, Kristoff’s first solo entry into the YA world. Informing the crowd that the post-apocalyptic masterpiece was started in 2010 and originally set in post-WWII Germany (he was really into steampunk for a while), the deluge of information was highly informative and in true Kristoff style, punctuated with various expletives. Also stories about AI’s gone bad and the Google Translate robots secret language… Then it was the audiences turn.
The Master of Death gladly fielded anything thrown his way with his signature style and effortless cool. Questions about how to start, how he got published and his daily routine were answered graciously while maintaining tight lips about his upcoming releases. When the mic came in my direction, I discovered he never did work out where the doors went and he writes his books in chronological order because ‘everybody loves writing the action scenes and the big events but no one wants to write the shit bits. You can tell from the text when it’s been done that way’. I still havent worked out which books he is referencing…
Everybody loves writing the action scenes and the big events but noone wants to write the shit bits. You can tell from the text when it’s been done that way.
Jay Kristoff, 2018
After the Q and A was a rather suspect game involving an annotated copy of Lifel1k3, patting yourself on the head, grabbing ahold of your backside or doing a sneaky combo. Once a winner was crowned, it was on to the signings!
Once everyone knew it was the end, the waiting began. I was quite surprised at how polite and well behaved everyone in line was – usually it’s a mad dash to the bookseller to needlessly purchase every single issue of every book you never had! Then you buy seconds! This time however, the awaiting fans pleasantly lined up and waited their turn. I had a lovely conversation with some girls in line who were coming up to the end of high school and had applied for creative writing courses (I await your call to be an alpha reader lovely ladies…)
Upon approaching the counter, there were freebies!!! (As everyone knows, I love 2 things in literary interactions – maps and freebies). Fangirlling a little over the thought of an amazingly colourful Lifelike themed bookmark, I then found out I could have all four. I died!
Once I got over my excitement, Kristoff was extremely pleasant and happily signed all the texts I had brought with me. My partner in crime also got her books signed (which she scammed out of me *eyeroll*), being told she had the most amazing post-it so far. She’s nine and was positively chuffed at the thought of getting recognition for her choices (thanks again Jay, she still hasn’t stopped talking about it).
Overall, the night was amazing, I met some new people and obtained a new appreciation for the various standard uses of the f word. It was well worth the almost six hour round trip.
Thankyou to Jay Kristoff, Jeann aka happyindulgence, Brisbane Libraries and Dymocks for putting on an amazing event. I had forgotten how much local libraries could do other than providing you with a free library card.
Lifel1k3 was released on May 1st 2018 in Australia and May 29th 2018 worldwide.