Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hollywood, Universal Studios, and two dinosaurs (Part 1)

Hey everyone!

Remember a month or two back when I talked about going to Hollywood to meet with some people about the Sekrit Series, the series that must not be named, possibly becoming a movie?  Don't remember that?  Well, a month or two back I was scheduled to fly out to Hollywood to talk to Universal Studios about my books, the movie option, and other exciting things.  Unfortunately, we had to postpone the Universal meeting for a later date.  Turns out some guy named Brad Pitt needed that meeting slot, so what can ya do?  ;) 

Happily, we did reschedule, and last Thursday I hopped on a plane to Los Angeles, CA, finally on my way to Hollywood.  :D

Early Thursday morning, a car arrived at my house to pick me up, and took me to the airport to catch my flight to L.A.  Thus beginning the first of many surprises.  When I checked in at the airport, I looked down at my ticket and was shocked to discover I'd be flying First Class to California.

I have never flown First Class before.  It was awesome.  They even served us breakfast.  I was the last seat in First Class, watching everyone in front of me being served food, and I was starving and a little sad that I must've missed the opportunity to place an order, but then they gave me a tray, too.

A very blurry image of my food when I was in First Class. Taken quickly because I was trying to be discreet of the fact that I was taking a picture of my food.
Several long hours later, I finally arrived in Los Angeles, and a car took me to my hotel.  Outside my hotel was the Hollywood sign.

I'm serious.  It was the Hollywood sign.

In miniature.

The Universal Sheraton Hollywood sign.

Me and Awkward author Marni Bates, whom I met the next day, below the hotel Hollywood sign. (More on that adventure later.)
So that first day I met with my literary agent, Laurie McLean, and we headed out to meet Brandy Rivers, my Hollywood agent, for dinner.

We might've gotten a bit lost on the way to her office.  But I did get some interesting shots.

That's where I want to be!
The first dinosaur.
Beware of falling McDonald signs.


We finally got to Brandy's office, and then we all went to dinner at Sugarfish, a fabulous sushi restaurant, and I stuffed myself with raw fish and was in heaven.

Sadly, I did not take any pictures of my dinner, but here is a picture of a fish to make up for it.

Then I went back to my hotel room to prepare for the meeting with Universal Studios the next day.

The next morning I woke up a bit nervous.  It still felt very surreal: I was in Hollywood, and that afternoon, I was going to meet the head of Universal Pictures, plus a bunch of other very important people who talked to celebrities and movie stars on a regular basis.  These people probably had drinks with Steven Spielberg and Johnny Depp.  And here I was, a tiny little author from La Grange, KY.  I kept waiting for the moment I'd wake up.

Despite my nervousness, it was a gorgeous day outside, and the view from my hotel room was spectacular.


Los Angeles in the morning, from the 18th floor of the Universal Sheraton.

Since my meeting wasn't until 3pm, I met Laurie again, and we decided to walk around Universal Studios Citywalk, the stretch of stores, eateries, and dance clubs you had to pass before you got to Universal Studios itself. 

The Gate to the legends.

Sadly, there was no time to go to the park, but Citywalk was fun.  For photos, especially.  

Giant guitar at the entrance.
Giant ape further down.
It's so fluffy!!!

And now, my favorite part of the walk.  Guarding the entrance of the Infusion Lounge and looming over all us puny humans, was this guy.

I must've taken a dozen pictures of him, from every angle.  He's just soooo cool. I love my dragons.



And, at last, we came to the gates of Universal Studios, where we had to stop.  And, as this post is getting rather long, I will stop here, as well. But tomorrow I will post about my meeting with the head of Universal Studios, as well as a couple other adventures that would happen before and after.  So check back tomorrow and I'll see you then.  :)



  1. Hi there. You may have already talked about it somewhere else but I would just like to say that I desperately hope you won't let anyone turn the Iron Fey series into movies/ Tv show. If you absolutely can't resist the offer or you dream of it being a movie, at least direct it yourself or preside over the making of it. If someone turned such a great book series into crappy movies, I just might go insane. And if they got a hair color or any other characteristic (of an actor or anything else) wrong, my friends will have to listen to rants about it on multiple occasions.

  2. Can't wait to read about the rest of your adventures! And maybe you'll make a mini version of that awesome dragon?

  3. Oh awesome!! Sounds like you had an incredible time! And that was just leading up to the meeting!! The dragon is just too cool! There aren't even words really!

  4. Yay, Yay, Yay!!! Soooo much congratsssssss! You won't be waking up, cuz you're already awake, gurl. But I'm happy to pinch you anytime you need. :D

  5. Awesome! I have lived in California all my life and I still haven't visited half the places you've been. Must have been fun! ^^ That dragon is so cool!

  6. OMG it looks like you had fun!!!

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story...

    Congratulations on all the success!

    Lisa :)

  7. wow it's all so awesome *.* haha and the Brad Pitt thing plus bewaring of falling McDonalds sign made me laugh so much

  8. OMG this was such a fun post! For a person who has never been to US, this was just great! I loved seeing your pics. The McDonald's sign was really funny. And the dragon was really cool too!

    Looking forward to more news about the Sekrit Series, although I have heard some news so here's hoping!!

    Keep those Universal Studios Adventures coming! And you are NOT a little author, you're a GREAT author!!

    Always a fan!

  9. That's soooo exciting. I WOULD BE FREAKING.

  10. I would love to come there one day. I was like O_O the whole time I was reading the post. I would totally faint from all the excitement!
    Thanks for sharing and making us jealous, lol.
    Is it just me or is the Sekrit project still a secret to everyone else? :)

    - Diana Grace

  11. hello! I am writing to you with a small question. When will you book, The Iron Queen "in the Polish edition?
    greetings from Polish :) MaƂgorata Szymala

  12. Can you please tell me is there going to be a book 3 in the dystopian saga?

  13. Cant wait to hear the "hollywood" news!