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24 September 2013

Elizabeth Wein at Once Upon a Time Recap

Elizabeth Wein

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a signing by Elizabeth Wein for her new book Rose Under Fire. The signing was at Once Upon a Time in Montrose, CA which is a great little store. I met up early with @frootjoos, @thewindypages and @alybee930 to dinner beforehand and then settled into our front row seats.

Elizabeth came out in a rockin' vintage style polka dot dress with great red shoes. I didn't get a shot of the shoes but Aly did and you can see them in her recap.

Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth started off the talk by telling us a little bit about the inspiration behind Code Name Verity and later Rose Under Fire. When she first met her husband, he was learning to fly and a lot of their courtship took place in the air. They actually had their first date on a plane but they had to turn right around due to bad weather. Later on, he urged her to get her pilot's license as well, which she eventually did. She then started writing short stories that involved pilots. With each new story, the main character evolved from being a passenger to eventually being the pilot.

Around that time Elizabeth went to a Women at War exhibit and there was a little section about the resistance and ATA pilots during WWII. That part of the exhibit really captured Elizabeth's imagination and thus the seed for Code Name Verity was born.

Then Elizabeth pulled out a gas protection bag.

Elizabeth Wein

There were several things inside the bag including a replica of the ATA pilot handbook that contained a one page info sheet on every kind of plane that a pilot might come across so that they would be prepared to handle anything. The print was tiny on these sheets and it was kind of scary to think that that was all you had to rely on.

Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth also had an awesome map of enemy territory that was printed on silk and doubled as a scarf. Pilots carried this in case they found themselves behind enemy lines and needed to find their way back. See the bottom part with all the lines? That's France and its neighboring territories and the top part is England. Elizabeth said that you could hide the map in a pinch by wearing it as a scarf. In fact, she has done this on several occasions at book events and no one has ever commented on it.

Elizabeth said that Code Name Verity became a story about friendship and that she drew from her personal relationships when writing it. She showed us some awesome jewelry that her friend had given her and also about some Code Name Verity dolls that her friend Amanda made her, complete with historically accurate clothing that she made herself.

On to the signing!

Elizabeth Wein

And because Elizabeth had some rocking nails going on, we could get a close up of her hands with the book.

Elizabeth Wein

Pretty! I had a great time meeting Elizabeth. She is so funny and smart and I am excited to read both of these books. I think Elizabeth may still be on tour right now. If you have a chance to see her, definitely go. If you'd like to see a few more photos, you can check out the Flickr set here. Also, hi to Maggie from Young Adult Anonymous who was also there and is always fun to hang out with.

As always, thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a good weekend!

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