Thursday, May 31, 2012

The time it was all New Yorkers

Joe Pantoliano was my favorite part of The Sopranos. I only started watching when they introduced Ralphie as a character. So, of course it was inevitable that we were going to attend his signing.

We got up to BN Santa Monica around 6pm. The events manager, Shane, saw us there and we started talking about upcoming events. Shane has always been awesome, but he's sort of offered me some help for future signings so now he's super extra awesome.

The crowd for Joe started to arrive early. And overall, they were a bit odd. Everyone seemed to know Joe and they were all from NY. That is not what made them odd. We ended up with a mouth breather woman behind us who was ridiculously loud and a woman to the left of me who was making a list of some sort while staring. Staring at me, staring at my purse, staring at everything. It was a bit creepy.

Joe got to the bookstore just after 7pm. He was caught in traffic and then had a bit of a problem with parking. He jumped into an introduction about the book and how he struggled with depression before he even knew it was depression.

Joe talked about how after he got involved with the 12 step program, he found that he really liked the structure. Eventually he started becoming a part of all of it: alcoholics, overeaters, betting, shoppers anonymous. One of the best things he said was "Fuck it, let's not be anonymous, call it Association of Alcoholics so we can keep the cards".

He then started to do a reading. He read part of the introduction, reading from his iPad so he could enlarge the words. After that, he also read part of chapter two. The best part is that the book is written as if he were talking.

He said that he wrote the entire book on his iPhone. He was thrilled to see that technology had finally evolved to something that could help with his ADHD and dyslexia. He was so animated while reading that Shane had to adjust the PA system three different times.

There wasn't really time to do a Q&A session because Joe had talked for so long. When we got up to him, I asked him to sign my Nook, he asked if I liked it. I said I loved my iPad more. As he handed me the Nook back, he started laughing because he noticed that he wrote "20012" for the year.

Hubs had the book to be signed. Joe was teasing us about being married, said we looked like we were related. O_o We both got pictures with him before thanking him.

Joe broke out of the Hollywood stereotype and announced his mental illness. And he does it in typical Joe fashion: loudly and in a humorous manner. I haven't read the book yet, but I can't wait.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The time we drew Tarot cards

Jennifer Bosworth is a lot of fun on Twitter. Just before her book, Struck, was released, she had posted that the Barnes and Noble in Mira Mesa had put it on the shelves early. I told her that specific store was only 10 minutes from me and I would go see if I could get my hands on a copy.

When I got to the bookstore, I found the stack of Struck on the trolley to be put out. There wasn't anyone around, so I struggled to get a copy out, almost falling over in the process. I did get caught by the B&N employee, but she didn't care.

As soon as I saw that Jennifer was going to be at Mysterious Galaxy before the Fierce Reads tour started, I was pretty sure I was going to attend. And as soon as Jennifer and I came up with a secret handshake that was based on Ten by Gretchen McNeil [because we're both awesome and have already read it], it was a sure thing.

On the day of the signing, we got up there around 11:30, with the event starting at 12. I met up with LeAnna and we cemented plans for the YA book club that I'm going to be hosting there [squee!!].

And then... She took me to the secret room of books and pointed to a bookshelf FILLED with ARCs. She said that now that I "worked" there, I was allowed to take anything on the shelves. *swoon* We also talked about volunteering for future events.

And yet, I digress... Back to the signing.

I had been able to "convince" Ava that she needed to come to MGRB to see Jennifer. So of course there were many hugs, but our flailing has gotten a lot better.

Jennifer came to the podium and the first thing she asked us to do was to draw a Tarot card from the deck she had. After everyone had a card, she asked if anyone knew why we were doing it. I offered the idea that she wanted to see if anyone would pick the Tower card. [For anyone who hasn't read Struck yet, Tarot cards play a part in the story].

Turns out, it's believed that the cards absorb energy from anyone who touches them. And she wanted to leave the deck for the bookstore. [I later suggested to the really nice guy in the Doctor Who shirt that works at MGRB, who's name I don't know that they should get Jennifer to sign the Tower card].

Jennifer then talked about the book overall. She stated that writing it was the right story at the right time in her life. She read the prologue and then showed a very awesome featurette that had the making of the book trailer as well as additional insight.

After the featurette, Jennifer took questions. I asked my standard question [after getting SERIOUS side eye from Ava]: Besides Mia, who was her favorite character to write. Jennifer said that she loves villains, so she really enjoyed writing Rance. She thinks there's always a reason why villains are the way they are and she likes exploring that. Jennifer even wrote a small piece of Rance's childhood [which was an excellent insight into the ever so creepy Rance].

The signing started and I was the second one in line. I wasn't planning on telling Jennifer who I was, but Ava went ahead and blabbed, running up and telling Jennifer my Twitter name and then running away. O_o

I told her that I'd be at the Fierce Reads tour in San Diego and she asked if I was covering it for my blog. I explained that I didn't review books for my blog, but the signings I went to.

She thanked me for coming AND I DON'T THINK I THANKED HER!! *facepalm*

After she signed my books, I started to wander around the store. We were just getting ready to leave when LeAnna asked if I wanted to help get the stock signed. She explained what they wanted and while we waited for Jennifer to finish with the people who were attending the event, we started talking about a specific Chuck Wendig inscription he wrote in one of his books.

That led me to leave the book stock job to Hubs and go in search of every copy of Blackbirds that MG had [Challenge Accepted!!] looking for said inappropriate inscription. Alas, I did not find it. Someone else had the pleasure of buying the book, perhaps unwillingly.

When everything was done, we started to say goodbye. Jennifer thanked us again for coming and somehow her Struck necklaces came up. Jennifer asked if we wanted one and she ever so nicely gave Ava, LeAnna and me a necklace.

Today was a lot of fun. MGRB is one of my favorite bookstores and the events are always an experience. And Jennifer, if you're reading this, thank you for taking the time to be at the bookstore with us. I'm super sorry I didn't actually say it to you. Please don't kick me out of the super secret Ten club we have.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The time we got a pregame

I saw John Sandford on the event schedule for Vroman's one day while I was there for another event. I've been reading his books for years, I've read all of the Prey novels, so I knew that I'd be attending somehow.

We got there way too early [surprise, surprise]. I was only the second person there, so I settled into "my bench" and started to wait.

As usual, the crazy people found me right away. There was a woman who sat behind me who was laughing nonstop. She didn't have a book, she wasn't on a phone or any electronic device. For 10-15 minutes, she didn't stop giggling. Once the giggling stopped, she started walking around the area, randomly sitting in every seat. She would sit down for a minute, look around and then pick another seat. Only to go back to where she started at.  O_o

Around 6pm, some guy came up to the event area and started fixing up the cart of paperbacks. Turns out the guy is John's son, Roswell. He runs John's website and tends to show up early to "give a pregame". He answers all of the fun questions, or as he puts it "the questions you're afraid to ask the author yourself".

Roswell told us that John had called, confirmed that he had landed at LAX and that Stolen Prey was going to debut at #1 on the NY Times bestsellers list.

Roswell kept us entertained while we waited. He knows nearly everything about the Prey series. I mean, everything. John uses Roswell as a database for the books and calls him when needing a reference from a past novel. He's quite hilarious and he loves my Doctor Who phone case ["Nice TARDIS"], so he gets extra points for that.

John got to the bookstore early. He came up to the signing area for a brief moment before going back downstairs. He did announce to the crowd that we shouldn't believe anything that Roswell said about him.

After an introduction, John started telling us about his horrible month of deadlines and house selling. The best part of the recap was John saying that he got a cut one night while packing. Not thinking anything about it, he put a band aid on it, checked into a hotel and went to bed. The next day, John woke up, found out that the cut had opened in the night and he had bled all over the sheets, coverlet and walls, making it look like someone had been stabbed 50 times. He did what anyone else would do "cover it up the best way possible and slink out of town".

When the Q&A started, I asked the question "When the first Lucas book was written, was it planned to have a reoccurring character?".

John said no, that he always saw the first book as a stand alone. And then he had the economics of publishing explained to him... He was told that a reoccurring character or series of any kind always sells better as the reader gets to know the characters and get invested. Even with that, John only figured there would be 5-6 books tops.

Stolen Prey is the 22nd Lucas Davenport book.

After about an hour had passed, John decided it was time to start signing. I had two books to get signed for myself, plus one for a family member. We asked for a crazy inscription in the family member's book and John had no problem with it!

When it was was my turn, I thanked John for his time and then asked for a picture. I figured he would just lean over the table, but he stood up, sat on the edge of the table and held his book upside down while grinning.

Going to a signing for an "adult" author is usually a lot different than a YA author. This one was full of laughs and silly stories and just as fun and enjoyable.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The time all of the books had pretty covers

So obviously, a book cover is important when marketing a book. I don't remember there being such a big deal about cover pictures being released until I started reading YA books.  But, those marketing people are doing something right, because I've bought several books just from the cover alone...

The upside to living in SoCal is that LA is really close and a lot of authors come through LA eventually. However, the idea of "eventually" is one that I'm not too familiar with, I really don't like to wait.  Such is the case for all of the books to follow. :D

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti sucked me in right away. The dress, the shadow of the wings, and the model are all gorgeous. I especially love the script of the title.  I was able to get my hands on an ARC and read it in one night.  After reading it, I contacted Aimee and we started talking about tour dates.  She's always been so so so sweet about my incessant nagging.  Once I saw that she posted her first date at Fountain Bookstore, I wanted to support her, so I ordered the book. If/when I get to meet her, I'll ask her to sign my ARC.

I had seen the cover for The Selection and was absolutely hooked.  I love the colors and the dress and the everything... I had asked Kiera if she was going to be touring when the book was released and because she was pregnant at the time, she didn't think there would be too many events.  I was also able to get my hands on an ARC [thanks, Kassiah], so when I saw Kiera's events start to post, I just picked a date and ordered away...

I read The Sky is Everywhere after a swoony book reccommendation that Lo from Swoontini made about it.  These ladies have never let me down before, so I was all over that book ASAP.  As always, they didn't disappoint, it was amazing...


Since I was a bit late to the party on this story, it was already in paperback by the time I read it, so Jandy wasn't doing any sort of touring for it.  And then, one day when I was stalking Jay Asher's website, I noticed that he was going to be at an event that Jandy Nelson was going to be at.  The problem is that it was going to be nearly impossible to get to Palo Alto on a Friday...

I don't even know where I heard about Amy Plum's books.  All I do know is that the cover for Die For Me is amazing, I read that book in one sitting and immediately went on a search for her tour dates.  After seeing that none of her dates were remotely near me [sobsobsob], I picked Parnassus Books to buy from.  I ordered Amy's books and Jandy's book on the same day and then tweeted about needing a private plate or helicopter so I could get around to all of the events. 

And Amy's response was epic:

I really hope I get to meet her one day.  And both covers are just so gorgeous. I'm so in love with Paris that it's a little scary.

If only book covers would get ugly.  I bet it would save me some money.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The time we drove to Arizona

Hubs is a big fan of Dee Snider. I'll admit, I did love his reality show Growing Up Twisted. The family dynamic is something I wasn't expecting and it was hilarious.

When I saw that Dee had written a book and was touring, I checked to see if he was coming to LA. I figured Book Soup was sure thing. However, Arizona was the closest he was scheduled get to us. I called Changing Hands bookstore and ordered books, putting us in the "A" group.

The day of the signing we left around 10am. Our plans were always to drive back home after the signing [something that sounds a lot better when planning a trip than actually doing it]. I tweeted that we were leaving and then tweeted to Lisa McMann to tell her that I was bringing all of her books with me, just in case she was a huge Twisted Sister fan and decided to show up at Changing Hands. She answered me by saying I had a 50/50 chance, that she did have to pick up some books.

We got to Arizona without any serious mishaps. Other than the temperature increasing with every mile, it was a horribly boring drive.

Lucy said it was 101 when got into Tempe.

We got to the bookstore around 4 and went in to pick up our books. There was a local radio station set up in the parking lot, across from the front doors and people were already congregating.

After grabbing some food, we headed back to the bookstore. Lisa had tweeted me and said that she wouldn't be able to make it, that life was just too crazy due to her son graduating from high school next week. She was more than willing to sign the books if I left them at Changing Hands as she was going to be at the store for an event on 5/25.

Enter Brandi.

Brandi went above and beyond in helping me. There were forms to fill out, shipping to pay for and I needed to buy an additional book, but it was all worth it. Brandi even said that she had my books on her desk and she would give them to Lisa herself at the event. [Cue internal fangirling and squeeing].

For Dee, we were told that the line would start at 6. Hubs and I just happened to be at the back of the store when they started lining people up. Since we were in the A group, one of the guys said that I could just sit down and be the front of the line.

After a few minutes, people started filing in. There were radio contest winners who got in line in front of us. We were told that Dee would sign memorabilia with a book purchase. Hubs was excited about that because we brought the lobby card for Dee's movie Strangeland just in case.

Dee got there just after 7pm.  The huge line moved super fast.  They had someone to take photos for you [and she was awesome, she didn't just take one, there were multiple pictures]. 

When I got up to Dee, he commented on my tattoo, saying that he really liked it and it's "wicked colors".  When I thanked him for going on tour, he thanked me in return for coming out.  I then mentioned that we drove from San Diego to see him and said he really appreciated it. 

When Hubs got up to Dee, Dee thanked him for traveling to come to the event.  And when Hubs asked if Dee would use my silver sharpee on the lobby card, Dee told Hubs that I was a keeper.  :D

A proven point that the rock star attitude is all for show, Dee Snider is a gentleman.  He is polite, super friendly and absolutely grateful for every fan that he has. And that shows in the way he acts.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The time it was at a senior center

I've been wanting to meet Jay Asher since I read The Future of Us. I missed the signing the-bookstore-which-shall-not-be-named had with both authors and I refused to buy the signed copy from them, even if it appears that Carolyn Mackler doesn't tour that often. Anyhoo. As soon as I saw Jay's appearance at the Teen Book Fest, I knew I was going.

I had planned to meet Alexandra Monir at the Santa Monica B&N, but Hubs was out of town and asked me not to go because he didn't really want me driving up there alone. As soon as Alexandra confirmed that she would also be at the TBF, I decided to wait. Even if I missed out on hearing "exclusive" content from her next book.

Josie Angelini was at FOB, looking adorable in yellow pants [which she really pulled off well]. She was on the same panel as Kendare Blake and Robin LaFevers, but I didn't have any books for her to sign. I consider her my added bonus for being at TBF.

Anna Carey is another author who is scheduled to be at TBF. I haven't had a chance to check out her books and I sort of feel like a d-bag that this was going to be the second event that I'm sort of ignoring her at. Thankfully, they were selling her books and I was able to get a copy of Eve.

There was rumor that Tahereh was going to also be in attendance, but she let us know that she had been double booked and would be in Seattle.

We got up to the senior center just after 12, with the event starting at 1. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the building is really nice. The room was set up with loads of chairs, there was a separate room selling the books. We quickly found out that that the authors were going to be talking from 1-3 with the signing starting at 3.

I saw a flash of Ava's curls entering the book selling room and ran after her. Keeping with my promise to sit in the front row with her if she read Shatter Me, we grabbed seats [after buying books] and were able to talk for a few minutes.

The authors got there right at 1. There was a brief introduction by the moderator before each of the authors did a reading from their books. The moderator also had a short list of questions before it was opened up to the audience.

After all of the questions had been asked, lines were formed in front of each author. Of course, we were told that we couldn't stampede.  :(

Alexandra was first. We sort of both thanked each other for being there before she signed my book. As she was signing, I was pushing Ava in front of me and moved to the side, so there wasn't much actual talking... O_o

Jay was next, but his line was the longest, so I left Hubs to wait there and I went to Anna. She asked if I was from the area, I said no, San Diego. We talked about the traffic and how long it took to drive. Anna also thanked me for coming and said she hopes I enjoy the book.

Back to where Hubs was, I don't think he had even moved. I got up to Jay after a few minutes. Of course there's always a bit of a back story...

The day before the signing, Jay tweeted about the event and asked if anyone was going to be there. I answered, saying both Ava and I would be there and we'd probably want pictures. This was his answer:

So, when I got up to Jay, I told him I was the one who asked for pictures and that I wanted to know if he did bring the baby or wedding pictures. He laughed, saying that he had baby pictures on his phone, but no wedding pictures because camera phones weren't invented then.

As he was signing my books, he said, "How old are you?" I answered, "Too old to be here!" I guess Jay had heard Anna asking people how old they were, so Jay asked Anna how old she was and I thought the question was directed to me. That was a bit awkwardly awesome before I thanked him for being there.

Ava and I walked up to Josie at the same time. I told her that I loved how fangirly she was with her answers. She said that she's read her entire life and if she loves a book, she'll become obsessed with it and read it a million times. I'm not sure I could love this girl more.

Josie also had bookmarks and Starcrossed chapstick. She asked if I wanted something special written in the book and I said she could write whatever she liked. Then, being mega fangirly people that we are, Ava announced that we'd be at Josie's event for the second book at The Grove in June.

After having all of the books signed, Ava and I chatted with Nicole [who joined us mid-discussion and sat with us] for a bit, talking about what upcoming signings everyone was going to. And then we were on our way.

There are good things and bad things about panel-like events. I love watching the interaction between the authors and these 4 together were hilarious. I think there's also a different set of answers you might get in a group setting as each author can build off each others ideas...

The downside is that with that many authors, I always feel rushed. Not that if I had questions, I couldn't ask. I'm just painfully aware of the crowd in that sort of setting.

Either way, this particular group of authors was a lot of fun. They had great stories and interesting answers to the questions asked. I look forward to seeing them all again. And the Teen Book Fest is definitely worth the drive up, the building is gorgeous, the staff are friendly and they have awesome signs like this. 

*whispers* I'm still not sure why this makes me laugh so much, but it does.

©2011-2014 All Rights Reserved | Website Designed by Website Design Credit

Powered by Blogger