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.