Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The time I bought more autographed books.

One day I had to stay late at work.  With my phone about to die and no charger with me, I convinced my boss to let me leave for a few minutes to run across the street to buy a book to read.  Matched by Ally Condie was on my Wish List and the first book I saw, so I grabbed it.  And I devoured it in two days.  Quickly did a search for Ally online to see what her book tour was looking like for the second book, Crossed

Turns out she was doing a signing in Northern California that same night.  I called the B&N and was able to ordered a signed copy.  I also devoured Crossed and I can't wait for the third book to come out. Too bad it's released next year.

I learned about Divergent from the Swoontini site. One of the girls [I think it was Christina] was talking about how swoony Four was.  Their swoony recommendations are why my Amazon bill is so high. Although, they did introduce me to √Čtienne St. Clair and Adam Kent, so all is forgiven.

So, of course I had to buy it. And when I did, I had to hunt down an autographed copy.  I haven't read it yet, but I'm getting close to it.  And I'll be ready to meet Veronica Roth when the next book in the series comes out.

I feel like such a d-bag when I find out authors live in San Diego and I am just catching on to it.  Kiersten White is one of those such authors.  Paranormalcy has been in my "to read" stack for a while.  The second book in the series, Supernaturally came out this year.  Have I mentioned that I'm really behind on these things?

I ordered a signed copy of Supernaturally from Mysterious Galaxy from a signing Kiersten did back in July.  July.  Where have I been? *facepalm*

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The time Kurt Loder bowed down to me

Kurt Loder represents pretty much the entire span of my teenage years.  Growing up, Mtv was always on [you know, back when they actually showed videos], so Kurt was my source for any sort of news, music related or otherwise.  I mean, he's the one who told me that Kurt Cobain was dead, so in my opinion, he's golden.  You can imagine my reaction when I saw that he was doing a signing...

We got up to Book Soup and purchased the book.

We were there a bit early because I drove.  I have a tendency to speed a little.  Okay, a lot.  Needless to say, we had some free time before it started.  I chose to spend that time talking [or freaking out] to the woman who worked there about how I just ran a red light,  the camera went off and I just knew it was going to be expensive.  Turns out, LA dismantled all of the red light cameras in September.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed for that to be true because it's a $486 fine. O_o

For this signing, they had chairs set up.  As mentioned before in another post, Book Soup is tiny.  There were about 10 chairs set up in rows of 2.  We took the second row of seats.

Kurt showed up on time.  He turned bright red when he walked to the podium after his introduction.

He briefly spoke about his background and then started talking about movie reviews.  After talking for a few minutes, he asked if anyone had questions.  When no one said anything, he looked to the Book Soup people and asked if the signing was going to start now.  The woman started laughing and shaking her head and then asked the first question.

From there, he really got started.

People asked him about bad movies he keeps watching [9th Gate], movies that he thought were unintentionally funny [someone in the crowd said Twilight, he said he wasn't the target audience for that movie, but "God bless the audience that is"], what his favorite movies are [LOTR, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind] and great, but underrated movies [In Bruges].  He is a huge horror movie fan and doesn't think remakes are necessary. 

When the Q&A was done, he went to the back of the store to start the signing.  I ended up at the front of the line. 

We walked up and he immediately thanked us for buying the book and coming to the event.  After I thanked him for having the event, he asked us if we were from LA [he lives in NY].  I told him we were from San Diego and he said, "You didn't drive all the way up here from San Diego just for this, did you?".  When I said we did, he was briefly stunned into silence before he said, "I bow down to you" and then placed his head on the counter.

My husband and Kurt talked a bit about In Bruges, as it's one of my husband's favorite movies.  He then started to sign the book and stated that his handwriting has gotten worse.

I couldn't be happier with it. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The time I got all swoony over Butch with a book

Butch Walker has been one of my favorite musicians for years.  I found him on a website [Metal Sludge] that my husband read all the time.  He had done an interview and I liked the answers enough to click on the link for his own website.  One listen to the song "My Way" from his new-at-the-time cd Left of Self Centered and I was hooked. 

Flash forward 9 years and I get an email update that says Butch has written a book and will be doing a few appearances to promote it.  I started watching the Book Soup website to make sure it wasn't going to turn into a ticketed event....

On the day of the signing, we got up to Hollywood with plenty of time to spare.  And when that happens, only one thing can come of it: pizza.  Completely off topic, there is a little hole in the wall pizza place on Sunset that makes some of the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life.  If you ever have the time, make sure you go eat at Frankie & Johnnie's.

Stuffed with pizza and Coke, we made our way over to Book Soup.  I was thrilled to see their marque.

We had bought our books and checked to see if there was a line [there wasn't] before we went to pizza.  By the time we got back, there was about 10 people standing outside of the store.  We got in line and proceeded to wait.  After about 45 minutes, we were told that the signing time was going to be pushed back.  We ended up waiting almost another 45 minutes.

We were eventually led into the store.  There were a good amount of people there and Book Soup is tiny.  It's awesome, but tiny.  The guy who was leading us in told the people who were in the back that they could walk around one section of books to get to the other side of the podium area.  I was fairly irritated because the people who had literally just gotten to the store now had front row access to Butch.

One lady who was standing behind us asked the guy why they were the people who were being moved over there when we were all in line for 90 minutes.  The guy didn't seem to understand why she was complaining.  That, in itself, was very upsetting.  It's understandable that they were trying to accommodate everyone, but it seems like there should have been a more effective way.

Butch finally came out and instead of talking about the book, turns out he had his acoustic guitar and decided to do a little show for us.

He took song requests and played the upbeat ones that were happy to sing along to.  After playing about 5 songs, the Q&A session started.

There were a lot of good questions, but only one really stood out in my mind...

Someone commented on Butch writing a theme song for Coke.  He confirmed that it did, in fact, happen.  He was approached to write a song and accepted the job.  Titled "Open Happiness", Butch was able to get Cee-Lo Green, Brendon Urie [from Panic! At the Disco], Travie McCoy [Gym Class Heroes] and Patrick Stump [Fall Out Boy] to sing it.

When the Q&A was signaled to start, again the end of the line people had the advantage, as they were nearest to the section of the store where Butch would be sitting.  But, I'm not bitter or anything...

Now, we've seen Butch perform countless times.  I've seen him in Hollywood, San Diego and [in one spur of the moment day trip just for him] Vegas.  He's signed several things and we've gotten loads of pictures with him.  I even have a tattoo of something from one of his album covers.  However, nothing seemed to be as exciting to me as seeing him do a book signing. 

[I adore that he plays the guitar right handed, but writes left handed]

Maybe it's just me.... [That's clever because it's one of Butch's song titles], but he seemed a bit nervous.  Like he wasn't sure if the idea of interacting one on one across a desk was a good one. 

When we got up to him, I handed him my book, with it already faced to the title page.  He started to move the jacket flap to go to the very front of the book.  I asked if he could sign the title page.  He started to write on the page opposite of the title page.  I caught him quickly and gestured to the title page, asking if he would sign there.

He admitted that he had no idea what he was doing and signed the page I indicated, after turning his mark on the other page into a heart. He then wondered if he was upsetting people by signing wherever he wanted in the book, but claimed he needed to be able to spread out.  We all sort of giggled over it.

Now, go Google the shit out of Butch Walker and buy everything he's ever recorded. 

You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The time Duff McKagan liked my name

So, while I was dealing with Mr. Cranky Pants at Warwick's, my husband noticed that they had a flyer up promoting the book tour stop with Duff McKagan.  Of course we bought books for the signing and with that, got group B tickets. We were told that there wasn't going to be any sort of Q&A, it was going to be a signing and nothing else.

We got to the bookstore and there were a lot of people there.  Apparently, Warwick's procedure during a signing is to close up completely at their normal time of 6pm and then reopen after rearranging the store.  About 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, one of the employees came out started talking.  I couldn't hear exactly what she was saying, but caught something about someone briefly talking before the signing started.  I figured there would be some instruction on how the signing would proceed.

I was wrong.

Out walked Duff...

He had decided to come out and talk even though it wasn't scheduled. He took all sorts of questions.  Everything from the current status of his bands Loaded and Velvet Revolver, to Guns N Roses getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The entire rockstar cliche does not apply to Duff McKagan.  He is extraordinarily well spoken.  My husband tells me that he has a degree in Finance, but I'm not sure if that's true.  [I haven't read the book yet and I couldn't find a reputable source to confirm].  I do know that he writes several columns for several magazines, including ESPN, Playboy and the Seattle Weekly.   He even started his own money management company to help other musicians with their finances.

He talked for about 20 minutes.  Joked with a guy holding a video camera and how he needed to be careful with his answers because it was all going to end up on the internet somewhere.

For the signing, there were groups in A, B, C, etc.  Each group had about 25 people in them and I did see at least one person with a D ticket.  They sort of forced everyone outside, unless you were in the group that was up.  After showing your ticket to an employee, they herded us to stand in between some velvet ropes.  Another employee came by to write names on post-it notes for personalization.

They had Duff standing by himself in the middle of the store.  There was another employee [who was trying to take "rockstar" photos for the company website but managed to make it look like she was giving a very painful thumbs-up] standing just in front of him.  She faced the book and then handed it to him for signing.  Each person went up one at at time to get the book signed and then get a picture and chat for a minute or so. 

When it was my turn, he looked at my post-it note and said "I've never seen your name spelled like that and I've seen a lot of fucking names".  I laughed because not only is it one of the best reactions I've had to my uniquely spelled name, but it's also nearly the exact same thing he told me at NAMM a few years prior.  I told him that and it was his turn to laugh.

I got my book back and took a picture with him [he just grabs on and pulls you to his side].  He then shook my hand and thanked me for buying the book and spending my time at the event.

I waited for my husband to get his book signed and a picture and then we headed out of Duff's little velvet rope corral. 

As we left, he loudly exclaimed, "Bye, Staceeeeeeeeeeeeeee".

Monday, November 14, 2011

The time I won a rubber bracelet.

I had Beautiful Chaos on pre-order as soon as I got the alert in my email.  Knowing there was going to be a book tour for it, I started watching the events page on Kami and Margaret's website.  The Santa Monica date was posted immediately, but I was sort of holding out for an appearance at Mysterious Galaxy.  Nothing against B&N, of course, I just didn't particularly want to drive back up to LA after being there 2 days prior. 

However, nothing was ever announced at MG, so back up to the Santa Monica Barnes and Noble we went. It worked out for the best because on this fateful trip, I met LeAnna when I stopped at MGRB to pick up my signed copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And we already know how that went.

We rushed up to Santa Monica and were the first ones there. 

There was a good sized group of people who showed up.  Kami and Margie arrived and after Kami made the comment about her being sick [and apparently always getting sick when they did a book tour], the discussion began.  They asked if everyone had read the first two books and when almost everyone said yes, they explained that it made it easier to not have to explain the back story.

Margie read the Before and part of Chapter 1...

while Kami watched.

A Q&A session started after the reading.  Everyone who asked a question got a bracelet.  I asked who their favorite character was to write, besides Ethan and Lena.  Kami answered Amma and my girl, Ridley.  Margie answered Ethan.  Even though I said excluding Ethan.  :D

For my question, a bracelet was thrown at me.  [They quickly had someone start handing them out instead!]


There were a lot of good questions.  I can't remember them all.  Or any others, for that matter.  I guess I need to either start recording the talking portion or maybe write it down.  I don't know.... So, we'll just pretend that I had the only question and then we went straight to signing books. *facepalm*

While in line, Kami was telling some very adorable kids [I'm guessing they were hers] that they needed to move out of the pictures because she didn't want them to end up on the internet. 

I handed her my book and she asked me why I looked so familiar. 

I told her that we had met at their other signing at MG and she remembered me [squee!!].  That led us to a brief conversation about MG in general and how I was hoping they were going to sign there again.  Kami said they had just been asked to do something at the RB location, and thanked me for driving up to LA for them.

Margie started asking about the store and somehow I started talking about the different signings we had been going to that week.

As always, both women were friendly and fun.  They are doing a signing at the MGRB and I'm trying to convince my husband that I need to go to that too. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The time an old man tried to beat me to the assigned seating

Finding out that Kathy Reichs was doing a book tour was really exciting.  I had just finished reading all of her Temperance Brennan books, save for the newest one, Flash and Bones.  I am also a huge Bones fan and was stupid thrilled that she was going to be in La Jolla for a night, promoting the second book in her YA Virals series. 

I won't bother going into details about the hideous employee at Warwick's that I had to deal with.  I won't mention the snide remarks he constantly made under his breath [which weren't that quiet] or the constant hateful glares he made to my chest tattoo [which I can't really blame him for staring at, it is amazing].  I will mention that it was such a horrible experience and he was such a detestable man that I actually started an account at Yelp to comment on it. 

I also looked at Kathy's tour schedule to see if we could go somewhere else to see her.  I never wanted to set foot in that bookstore again.

No such luck.  Anyhoo...

The night of the signing, we got down to the bookstore about 45 minutes before it was scheduled to begin.  There was a sign outside of the locked bookstore doors.

We were early enough to find parking right in front of the store, and just decided to wait in the car to watch everyone queue up.  At the time we bought the books needed for the signing, we got tickets  numbered 2 and 3 for the event and were told that it was for the "preferred" seating.

One of the best things I think I've ever witnessed was watching an older couple stand almost on top of the door before they opened.  She eventually walked down to get coffee or something and left him standing there with his cane.  Every time someone would walk up to the glass doors to look inside the store, he would cough and move to stand in front of them. He even gave people dirty looks if they wanted to take pictures of the sign.

About 10 minutes before the event was about to start, they let us inside[of course the older couple were first through the doors].  I was extremely trepidatious.  As much as I wanted to see/meet/talk to Kathy Reichs I did not want to deal with Mr. Cranky Pants.  Thankfully, he was no where in sight.  We picked up our books, confirmed our tickets and were led to our seats, numbered 2 and 3.

Which were right in front of the podium.  Most importantly, right in front of the old man. Of course, I know that I shouldn't have been so gleeful about that, but I really was.

Kathy and her son, Brenden, came out.  Kathy took the podium while Brenden [who co-wrote the series with her] stood off to the side. 

She gave her background, briefly talked about her involvement with Bones and then gave the synopsis to the first book in the YA series, Virals.  She also touched on the plot of the new book, Seizure, but didn't go into details as to not ruin it for the readers. 

There was a short Q&A session, mostly focused on how Kathy and Brenden write together, and an endearing story about a puppy with Parvo [of which we never actually learned the outcome].  I found their relationship of mom/son to be completely on display.  While he definitely respects her [and it shows], he loves to pick on her.  Her humor and wit is very dry.  I saw a lot of Temperance Brennen in Kathy.

When the signing started, we were asked to fold our chairs and move them to start the line.  I finally looked behind me to see that there was a decent sized crowd. Probably about 25 or so people sitting down and another 20 or so standing.  Everyone was very polite and got into line while Kathy and Brenden got situated.

As a side note, I had asked Mr. Cranky Pants if Kathy would be willing to sign a Temperance Brennan book even though she was promoting the other series.  He didn't give a very nice answer [surprise, surprise], so I took matters into my own hands.  I contacted Kathy on Twitter to ask.  She answered "of course". 

Armed with my book in hand, I walked up to the table.  I thanked her for signing my book and told her that I appreciated her time.  She didn't really make small talk.  Maybe I was just a little star struck... I do have my Masters degree in forensic science and she is one of only 50 forensic anthropologists in the world. 

My husband got the copy of Seizure signed and what I found amusing is that while Kathy signs the title page, Brenden signed the "Thank you" page.  At the back of the book.  He said it was because it is the only place his name is printed. 

We left Warwick's slightly mollified.  The staff that was on hand for the evening with Kathy and Brenden were friendly and fabulous. 

I bought books for signing later in the week.

And I deleted my review at Yelp when I became a book club member

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The time I got all fangirly over Lauren Kate

 I found Lauren Kate's book Fallen on accident.  I was walking around Target, waiting for my husband to come back from Starbucks and passed the book section.  Always one to go look at books, I just started perusing the covers and stopped when I saw this...

I still think it's one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen.

I read the back and was vaguely interested.  They had 2 of the 3 books that had been released on the shelf, but the first book [and the only copy they had] was horribly ripped.  I only buy pristine, untouched books.  I am ridiculously anal about the handling of my books and I don't like to loan my books out because most people aren't crazy like I am.

I ended up ordering the three books online.  All 3 of them have gorgeous covers.  As does the newly unveiled 4th one.  But, I digress...

After reading all three in a few days, I went to hunt down Lauren Kate on the internet and see when the fourth [and final] book in the series was going to be released as well as see if she was signing.  Of course, she was finished with her book tour.

Except for one date.

Turns out Lauren had contributed to a fantastic compilation called Dear Bully.  70 authors tell their stories about bullying, either as the victim or the bully. 

There were five authors there: Nancy Holder, Amy Goldman Koss, Jessica Brody, Melodye Shore and Lauren Kate.  Each woman stood up and read their submission to the book and briefly talked about the background of the story, as well as how it shaped their future.  A more generalized Q&A session followed.  And after that, the signing started.

There was one girl who clearly knew her way around a signing.  She had each author's chapter marked with a post-it note that had her name [Nicole!] written on it. She also had a bag filled with Lauren Kate's books, blank post-it notes and Sharpees in various colors.  It was pretty impressive.  I now know what to bring to future signings.   :]

I quickly stepped up to Lauren and gave her Passion while I looked for her chapter in Dear Bully.  Before the event, I had contacted her to make sure she would sign her Fallen books even though the signing was for a different book.  Of course she said yes.

At the time, I had only brought Passion with me. However, as I looked around the room, I saw a pretty, untouched stack in the corner.  I quickly grabbed the other two books and got to the end of the line. 

As I was standing in line, I told the events guy for Barnes & Noble, Shane, that I was going to have the books signed and pay for them on the way out.  Shane said it wasn't a problem, as long as I paid for them.  I jokingly said that I wasn't going to pay for them, that I was going to have them signed and then run out the front door.  Lauren then said something along the lines of being able to say she had some bad ass fans if I did.

While signing Fallen,

Lauren commented on my chest tattoo:

and then she wrote the most magnificent inscription ever.  Ever.  EVER.

The fourth book isn't being released until June. I'll definitely be watching for any event Lauren Kate will be doing for it.  Meanwhile, I'll be busy packing my post-it notes and Sharpee markers in my bag of tricks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The time I had no clever story

I don't have any good stories for obtaining autographed copies of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

I sadly didn't get to meet either author, just ordered them from bookstores.

I couldn't get to San Francisco for Michelle Hodkin.

There was another signing I was attending during Laini Taylor at MG RB.

I will be paying attention *cough* stalking *cough* both authors for future books [Mara 2!!!] and tours.

The time I almost drove to North Carolina

I admit to being way behind on the new releases in books.  I had no idea wtf Twilight was and only started reading it because I didn't have the next book in the Kathy Reichs series I was reading.  Yes, I had heard a lot about it, but my copy of Twilight just sat on my desk for a few weeks until that day...

Anyhoo, I had heard a lot about Anna and the French Kiss. A lot.  I was searching for it on the day it came out in paperback and read it in one night. Of course I fell in love with the ever-so-swoony √Čtienne St. Clair.  So, when Lola and the Boy Next Door was about to come out, I looked for any book tour dates that Stephanie Perkins was doing. 

At the time, she was only signing at Malaprop's bookstore. 

In North Carolina.

I sent off a text to my husband asking if we could go to a book signing over the weekend.  He asked where it was.  I answered "NC".  As in the abbreviation for North Carolina. 

Now, before I go any further, I feel it's important to mention that while driving across the country to go to a 1-2 hour event seems ridiculous to some, I can assure you that I have done things like this many, many, many times.  In my world, it didn't seem all that impractical.  Plus, the day she was signing was a Saturday.  That means, we had plenty of time to get there and back.

Imagine my surprise when my husband said that he had no problem going and that it wouldn't take very long for us to get there.  I think his answer was along the lines of "a few hours". 

Another side note: I'm horrible driver.  I speed.  And tailgate.  But, I knew that if driving to Denver took us about 15 hours, there was no way we were going to get to the other side of the country in a "few hours".  When I mentioned that to my husband, he asked where exactly the signing was.  This time I actually typed out "North Carolina". 

The entire conversation, he thought I was using "NC" to abbreviate Northern California. 

Needless to say, we didn't go.  I ordered signed copies of both Anna and Lola.

But, when Isla comes out.  I'm gonna get to Stephanie Perkins somehow.  Even if that means driving to North Carolina.

The time I finally met Heather Brewer

When the 2011 Comic-con list of appearances came out, we saw that Heather Brewer was doing a few and we made sure to rearrange everything to get to her.  Her first one at the Mysterious Galaxy booth was the plan, but we never made it.  We did make it to the appearance at the Penguin booth.

I think we got to the booth an hour or so before she was scheduled.  I remember the people running the booth asking if I knew what time she was appearing and the current time.  They told me to stand against the wall, across from the booth. 

We stood and waited.

And waited some more.

I noticed there were girls lining up in front of the booth, but the 2 of the 3 booth workers swore up and down they weren't there to see Heather.

So, we waited longer.

Finally, about 10 minutes before her appearance, the third person running the booth came over and told me that the girls in line were in line for Heather.

The girl who came to get me started passing out post-it notes with numbers on it to the first 10 people in line [I was 7].  With that number, we got to pick either a Vlad Tod shirt or beach towel.  We picked towels.

Heather showed up and our meeting was brief.  I was one of those fans who showed their Vlad tattoo while she was signing the ARC of First Kill which is book 1 of The Slayer Chronicles

I think I thanked her for signing the book, but I'm not entirely sure.  O_o  She is so sweet and honestly adoring of her fans. I would love to hear her talk on a panel and I know I'll be on the look out for her next year at CC.

Since meeting her in July, I became a Master Minion to help promote First Kill.  In one of her blog posts, Heather stated that the first 250 people who emailed a specific address would become a Master Minion and would received all sorts of things.  I read the blog post a day after she posted and thought for sure that it was too late; however, I tried anyways.  I immediately received a confirmation email back.

About 3 days later, I received a box full of swag:

[This is not my picture, I found it in a Google search.  It is the same things I received]

In it was a Vlad bag and shirt.  Along with fake tattoos and some promotional flyers for First Kill.  Every week, an email would be sent and there was a new "challenge" to perform to help promote the book and get word out about the release date.  After the book had been released, I received one more package and this was a complete surprise...

I was given a Vlad Tod journal complete with a thank you note from Penguin.


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