Friday, February 28, 2014

Authors Are My Rockstars Part 3: National Book Festival

In case you missed my first or second recap.

September 21st 2013

The 2013 National Book Festival hosted by The Library of Congress  had many fabulous authors. The one I was most excited for was none other than Veronica Roth, author of Divergent. 

But, first, let me tell you about my day. 

It's a Saturday. I get up at around 8:30 -- that's early for me on a weekend. I eat breakfast, grab my already packed stuff (always double check you have your books with you), and head down to the bus. The DC metro is horrible on weekends because it's when they do track work so if your train isn't delayed for 30-40 minutes or longer, you are lucky. Anyway, I go and wait for the bus and I am waiting and waiting. Finally after 30 minutes, I see it but it's stopped at a corner. And in front of it is a car. A man gets out of the car and is looking at his fender. The bus I'm waiting for just hit a freakin' car!!!

I watch as all the buses' occupants start running out, making a bee line for another bus that goes a different route but still into DC. I run after them like a stalker. 

And I get to the National Mall in tact though later than I wanted to be. I walk around a little, find the tent where Patrick Ness is speaking, and stay to listen a bit. 

Then I text someone from my book club and ask if they are there. She says she's already waiting in line for V Roth. What?!? It's still about 3-4 hours before the signing even starts.

I make my way to the line starting point and there is already a good 30-40 people. I, being the pessimistic and anxious person that I am, decide to just get in line now, even if it means missing Patrick Ness' signing. 

The line after about an hour or two:

Hundreds of people showed up. Luckily I was in one of the first rows of people.

 So I take my seat under the trees. There is a mother and daughter in front of me and a lone woman behind. Mind you, I, too, came alone to this. I do that for most bookish things since all the people I know who like YA who live near me are only from my book club and who did not want to wait in line for 3 hours to get ONE book signed. In summation: they aren't as crazy as I am.

It was completely worth it for me.

Anyway, the three ladies and I began to talk and pretty much socialized through the entire wait, talking about books and authors we met. The lone woman behind me was obsessed with getting books signed and had hundreds of them signed. She said her bed room is FULL to the max of them, most she has never even read. Her best story was waiting 12 hours for a Harry Potter book on opening day.

The mom and daughter came on a bus from somewhere upstate with their group just for a Festival.

I recommend, if you go to these things alone, talking to the people around you. I think book lovers are some of the friendliest people because they just have this enthusiasm for a subject and luckily it's one you both share! Although I classify myself as almost a complete introvert, I am always surprised about the amount of people I meet and talk to at these types of things. And if you really knew me, you would be very surprised how social I can be.

Anyway, the ladies held my spot for me while I went to get an outrageously priced hotdog at a seedy truck close by. I was walking past the lines and saw that Patrick Ness' line was almost over and super short! I raced back to grab A Monster Calls, the only book I've read by him and one I randomly bought at a used book store.

I got in line and two minutes later I got to meet him. I exchanged my camera with a girl behind me who was also going solo (another trick: make friends in line for photos). I told him how much the book effected me because I had lost someone. It was so cute to see him a little lost for words at my personal confession. It was nice to not be the only awkward person in the conversation. 

Anyway, here is Patrick and I:

Back to Veronica. After waiting for several hours, finally it is 2:00 pm and the line begins to move! It only took half an hour from that point on.

I was so nervous going up to meet her. I followed her blog when I was right out of college and obsessed over it a little. I'm not sure what it was about her story that I connected to and admired so much (other than the mega success). She is my number one author I follow because I like her personally, the second is Tahereh Mafi. 
This photo is largely butt. Sorry girl.

Anyway, I gave my camera to my line friend because there was no time for posed pictures since the line was so long. This is normal with big name authors.  Also, as with most big name authors, Veronica only had time to sign one book. Surprisingly, she also personalized it. Usually they don't do that if they only have time for one. 

Here's the pic of me gushing and telling Veronica awkward things! At least she looks like she's enjoying what I'm saying.

After the signing, which a lot of people at the end of the line didn't get to do (hey, you snooze you lose), we went over to the pavilion where Veronica was going to give her talk! Our one book line friend got separated from us and we didn't see her again. So weird spending hours with someone then POOF they are gone without even a goodbye. 

Anyway, we got lucky for seating because once we entered the tent, three people left their seats in the front. Perfect! 

The talk was great and I was maybe 20 feet from the stage.

Here is the video of her talk: 

It began pouring pouring pouring rain just as Veronica arrived. The tent was so full but it was raining so hard that it made everyone squeeze in even tighter. I saw Veronica's husband (see how crazy I am I knew what he looked like) waiting behind the stage. When her talk was over, I said goodbye to my new friends and tried to see where she was going, but by then it was just a sea of umbrellas. 

I walked around a bit more, got completely soaked through, then went to the metro and went home.

 with a very soggy ending. 

Up next!

Holly Black and James Dashner at the Bethesda Library
Ransom Riggs at Barnes and Noble

And more!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Authors Are My Rockstars: Author Events 2013 Part 2

Without further ado, I will continue on with recapping all the wonderful authors I've met in the last year. If you missed it, here's Part One with Stephanie Meyer, Kami Garcia and Lauren Oliver.

May 18th 2013

Oh the Gaithersburg Book Festival! Why oh why did you have to be on the same day as my boyfriend's graduation?? And worse yet, why did you have to tantalize me with a signing by Maggie Stiefvater. You know how weak I am when it comes to the Raven Boys!

So I know what you're thinking. No way did she leave her boyfriend and his family to drive half an hour away to get some freakin' books signed on his graduation day. Well, honey, then you just don't know me.
I had had had to get these books signed. OMG so worth it even after 5 fights with my boyfriend that went like this:

Me: You wouldn't be mad if I went would you? It would only be for an hour or two.
Him: No, I don't care if you just leave me with my parents who drove 6 hours to see us.

Me: I'll be back! I'll just miss lunch and catch up with you later. Anyway, It will be nice for you guys to spend time alone.

Him: I said I wasn't mad that you are just going to leave us, on my graduation day, to go get a book signed.

And you can see how this would continue on and on. Can you say guilt trip? I definitely deserved it though.

On to the signing!

I have no idea what Maggie and I talked about. Probably my regular spiel with authors since I never have anything original to say. Usually that I love their book. I write too. I talk about how I #fail at it. They comfort me and give advice. I find it works for me. 

Anyway, Maggie is known to make little doodles in her books. The one below is for the Scorpio Races. It's so adorable! The Raven Boys signature was not nearly as exciting. 

September 18th 2013

Rainbow Rowell had to be the funniest authors I've ever seen. She was like a comedian, interacting with the audience and making fun of them. If you don't like her books (or do), still go see her if you have a chance.

This was at Politics and Prose in DC. The room was pretty packed. I didn't realize she was so popular. Anyway, she was promoting Fangirl which I wasn't so sure I wanted. I read Eleanor and Park for my book club and liked it a lot but was never all that much into fanfiction (except with I had an obsession with Inuyasha and HP Ginny/ Malfoy fic) so I wasn't sure how much I would like Fangirl.
I'm still kicking myself for not buying it there and getting it signed!

Rainbow talked a lot about her social anxiety which I really related to since I also experience it a lot. She talked about how she was very shy one-on-one but could really turn it on for a crowd. And boy did she ever!

I told Rainbow about the conversation I had with other bookclubers on what a child named Rainbow would be like and said she's exactly what a child named Rainbow would be like to me. 

This scenario happens often to me where I walk away from authors and feel like I said something stupid. 1. Because that didn't sound like much of a compliment and 2. Because "Rainbow" might be a pen name. Oh well. Not the first or last dumb thing I've said.  

Here's a video from the talk. No idea why I taped it sideways. 

September 19 2013

The next night Politics and Prose had Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity, promoting Rose Under Fire. She turned out to be one of the most research oriented authors in terms of what she had to do for her books. She explained she tried to get as many details about things as she could and that she tried to remain as historically accurate as she could.

I'd read Code Name Verity, again for my book club, and really liked it even though I'm not into historical fiction. I ended up buying a copy to get signed at the event. 

Next Time:

I thought I would get to National Book Festival but realized it wouldn't be possible unless this post would be super long!

Stay tuned for National Book Festival with Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth!!

After that:
Holly Black and James Dashner at the Bethesda Library
Ransom Rigga at Barnes and Noble
and so much more!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Authors Are My Rockstars: Author Events 2013 Part 1

Oh man, it's been a long time since I wrote one of these posts. March 10, 2013 as a matter of fact now that I look. Why can't I be better! 

So I'm going to separate my author encounters into a few posts! Ha ha let's see if I come through with that... Last time I blast myself for being a bad blogger, promise. 

Anyway if I haven't said so before, I live near DC and am so so lucky because a TON --no a SHIT TON of authors roll in here all the time. I try to go to almost everything that I can. Here is a recap of the last year of book signing/ author meetups I've been to:

February 21st 2013

When The Host came out, Stephanie Meyer came to the very popular Politics and Prose in Washington DC. I live like maybe a 15-20 minute drive from there. However, it was on a Thursday afternoon and I work M-F 8-4. Coincidentally, I had already taken that day and the next off because I was undergoing surgery for my wisdom teeth. 

Let me tell you what a nut I am:

No joke, I asked not to be put under and only have the area numbed so I could be lucid enough to go to the signing. The whole surgery took about 40 minutes, I dropped my bf at home, dropped off my prescriptions and went down to DC to stand in line for an hour or two.

I still had the bandages in my mouth on line and had to spit them out before going in!

 I thought it was a good idea then and even now I'm glad I did it but I'm pretty sure it's what led to me having dry socket since I didn't rest and was very mobile for about 5 hours right after surgery. Believe me when I say you do not want dry socket! Worst pain of my life. But alas, I hardly remember what it actually felt like and the experience was totally worth it. 

Anyway, about the signing, it was interesting because, like most big authors, they didn't allow "posed" pictures. I made friends with people on line who took some for me which turned out alright. Stephanie would only personalize your copy of The Host and sign one other book. However, the line wasn't very long at all and the signing ended like an hour or two early. If you brought the other books in your car, you could get back online to get them signed again. I brought one extra and the girl in line with me only had one book so she got mine signed.

Telling Stephanie about my surgery. 

Stephanie was very nice and was blown away when I told her what I did that morning. She hid in the back room when the line dwindled so I felt like she could have given a bit more time to everyone but what do I know about how this stuff works...

The two main guys in the movie (Max Irons and Jake Abel) were there too. If you bought something from the bookstore, they gave you a poster to get signed.

There was so much time at the end that the actors began to take individual pictures with people. I was about to get a picture with them but then they cut that short to shuffle the actors to wherever they were going. 

Feeling dejected, I went through the back of the building and through the underground coffee shop. I never had gone to it and wanted to see what it was like.

I walk out into the parking lot and lo and behold, there the boys are next to their waiting SUV with girls asking them to take a picture. Like a HUGE geek, I asked if I could join in the picture with this group of strangers. They agreed, took the pic, pushed the boys back in SUV and the girl texted it to me. I have some big cajones sometimes. 

Stranger, Jake Abel, Stranger, Max Irons, Stranger, ME!
 The pain was totally worth it. 

In the line, I met Andye from Reading Teen who was there with her kids. I had never heard of the blog (because I am living out in space.) She was so nice and I've seen her at a lot of things since!

February 23rd 2013

To continue my story of insanity, two days later (through Andye) I heard Kami Garcia was coming to a Barnes and Noble in Bethesda, Maryland. Also about 20 minutes away.

Some bloggers friends I made at Meagan Spooner's book launch for Skylark, Jess and Kat of Books and Sensibility, met me there for the event. 

We got to pick out good seats since we were there at least an hour early. Honestly, I had never heard of Beautiful Creatures before the movie was announced but I hate to miss out on meeting an author. I bought the first two books to be signed but still haven't read them (bad Markella).

Kami did a talk and then a signing. She talked about how her and her writing partner just wrote it for fun and for their kids. She gave off a very New Yorker toughness that I didn't expect since the books are so southern. Don't ask me where she is actually from. 

Kami also signed the movie poster that Barnes and Noble was giving away. I usually like to remember the bookstore's policy on signings but can't seem to recall. I know I bought the second book there but I don't remember if I had to. I think I did... anyway. 

In the picture below you can see the progression of my face from normal after the surgery to a bloated mess. I was very subtle hiding it with the books. NOT.  

March 5th 2013

Next was Lauren Oliver. I can't say I remember all that much of what she talked about. 

Oh here's a video with a tidbit:

This was at the Bethesda library in Maryland that Politics and Prose frequently schedules authors to speak at. 

These were her book release shoes.


Next Time:

Maggie Stiefvater at the Gaithersburg Book Festival
Rainbow Rowell and Elizabeth Wein at Politics and Prose
Veronica Roth and Patrick Ness at The National Book Festival

..and that's just up til September 2013.