Yesterday I got to meet one of my idols—fantasy author Tamora Pierce. She was appearing on a panel at the wonderful store Books of Wonder along with six other talented authors (including Rae Carson whose The Girl of Fire and Thorns is excellent and perfect for Tamora fans). I cannot begin to explain how honored I was to finally meet Tamora. I might have gotten a bit fangirl on her—but I’ve been waiting since I was ten to meet her! Alanna: The First Adventure introduced me to fantasy when it was part of the sixth grade curriculum. When my peers read the first for weeks in class I rushed to the library and read the entire series at home. I was hooked. And ever since then my writing has been informed by Tamora’s works. Her novels are still the closest comparative titles to my work in progress. So, to say the least, she—and her books—are pretty important to me. Meeting her in person did not disappoint, either, as is so often the case when you meet an idol. She spoke so wisely on the genre and on writing. And despite the fact that the line to get books signed by her was ridiculously long and meant she had to stay long past when the event was due to end, she kindly signed each and every book fans brought and had a brief conversation. It was wonderful. And the way she signed my copy of Mastiff, her latest book? “Be legendary.” I’m working on it, Tamora, I’m working on it!