Sunday, January 29, 2012

The time we saw people from tv

I'm always hesitant about going to a signing at Book Soup. The first time we went, it was a complete clusterfuck, but the second time was really good. I guess you just don't know wtf is going to happen when it comes to organization and that's what really bugs me.

When I first saw the announcement for Shorty Rossi, I could have sworn the start time was 2pm. When we got to the bookstore, turns out it started at 4. We bought the book and headed out to kill some time by buying lunch.

We ended up eating at Coney Dogs about a block away. Amazing food. And it had the added bonus of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd showing up. My husband asked if I wanted a picture [I totally did], but when Kristen came out of the bathroom facing the very small handful of people eating, she gave the stink eye. On my way to the bathroom, I passed Dax. He was nice, smiling and saying hello. Needless to say, we didn't get pictures. My husband spent the rest of the afternoon saying, "XOXO, she's a bitch".  I couldn't stop giggling. 

When we got back to the bookstore, it was just after 3 and there was a small group of people outside. We asked the employees if that was the line. We were told that we could hang out inside since there was no "official" line. And then in true Book Soup fuckery, they came back to everyone after 20 minutes and said they decided that it WAS the line and we needed to go outside.

After about 30 minutes of standing outside, they let us in just after 4pm. We were able to sneak around the entire bookstore and get front row seats on the side of the podium.  Shorty came out with his assistant/friend/driver Steven and his service dog, Hercules.

Shorty immediately went into talking.  We got a condensed version of his entire life, from where his was born, to his teenage years, to his jail time served, to his start in the entertainment industry and the start of his show "Pit Boss".  Of course, he spoke about the rescue work that he's done with pit bulls and the advocacy of the breed.  After seeing a reality show, it's hard to know what is scripted and what is real.  However, Shorty is an excellent storyteller and extremely well spoken.

After speaking for about 30 minutes, Shorty started a Q&A session.  I asked if he ended up adopting Athena, one of the puppies that he rescued on a recent episode of the show.  His answer was to keep watching the show, that he's constantly getting asked for spoilers and he refuses to give them.  Later, someone asked another question regarding his dogs and he almost slipped with how many he had.  He started laughing and looked at me, pointed and said that I almost got my answer.

After taking questions for another 30 minutes, the signing started.  Since we were on the side of the podium, we were some of the first in line.  Shorty was sitting at a table in one of the alcoves in the store.  He even had someone there who was willing to take pictures for you.  My husband and I got a picture with him, then he shook our hands and thanked us for coming. 

After the hearing all about the endless work he does with various rescues, I contacted one to see about setting up some volunteering.  As for Shorty, what you see on tv is definitely what you get.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The time I succumbed to peer pressure.

When John Green's The Fault in Our Stars came out, it was everywhere.  I got an email from Barnes and Noble apologizing to me for sending it out early [when I didn't even pre-order it].  I had called a bookstore about a different signing and ended up talking to the employee about how amazing it was.  Swoontini reviewed and highly recommended it.  There were two women at the Megan Miranda signing who were going on and on and on about it. 

I had absolutely no intention of reading it.  No matter how phenomenal the writing was, no matter how swoony the boy was, the subject matter was not anything I was interested in.  The day after it came out, I went to Barnes and Noble to pick something else up and told myself if there was a signed copy on the shelf, I would buy it.  There wasn't. 

And yet, eventually I broke down and bought a copy.  Stupid Mysterious Galaxy and their stupid email telling me they had stupid signed copies. 

Cinder was on my radar right away.  Unfortunately, Marissa Meyer didn't get anywhere near me, but I was able to order the book without incident.  Hopefully, when the next book in the series comes out, she'll get closer to me.

Kings English also had a copy of Matched by Ally Condie.  This one took me some time to hunt down and I didn't want to wait until she toured for book 3.  Now I don't have to. 

Books of Wonder always has a good selection of signed back stock. When Julie Cross told me that she wasn't getting to the west coast to tour for Tempest, I ordered a copy during the huge-five-authors-in-one-night-extravaganza. 

Since I didn't want to send that lone book across the country by itself, I ordered Wither by Lauren DeStefano and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson to keep it company. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The time I went by myself

I have no witty story about how I got my hands on my copy of Fracture. After seeing that Megan Miranda was going to be doing a signing at a Barnes and Noble in Huntington Beach, I ordered the book online and waited for the event date to come around.

Now, whenever I go to a book signing, I drag my husband with me. I also make him drive. This time, he was in Valencia for work and I had to decide if I was going to brave the 405 on my own. Obviously, I did.

I left San Diego at 4. The event started at 7 and I wasn't sure how bad traffic was going to be. It was full speed [and that means not going 90+ mph *cough*] until the 73 dumped out onto the stupid 405. And then it looked like this...

Turns out there was a Honda CRV that had broken down in the middle of the freeway. The driver was bawling. Of course, after passing the car, traffic only broke up for 10 seconds. Thankfully, I only had to go 1 more mile.

I got to the store and was caught taking a picture of the sign they had posted. An employee told me I could have it after the evening was over. I was tempted, thinking it would be cool thing to have signed.

After perusing the store and buying a few books [have I mentioned I shouldn't be allowed in a bookstore unsupervised?], I found the event area and plopped myself down in a chair with an hour to kill. The woman who caught me taking the picture is the same person who set up the seating. She kept giving me the side eye. It was fairly amusing.

After about 30 minutes, people started showing up. I grabbed a chair in the second row and listened to people discuss where they drove from, whether or not they had read Fracture, what book signings they were going to next and of course The Fault in Our Stars. [I just can't seem to get away from that book].

Megan was prompt.  She was there and started talking at exactly 7pm by my clock.  [This is amazing to me because it is the very first time it's ever happened].  She started out by giving a brief synopsis of the book and then read a little bit. She also gave a bit of her background. Then the Q&A started.

What I was most intrigued with is the fact that she rewrote the story 3 times.  The first rewrite she was told there wasn't a plot. She got rid of everything but 2 chapters [I could be making this up.  I know she got rid of almost the entire book, but I didn't make a note of the exact amount.  Surprise, surprise]. After submitting the rewrite, she was told the new copy didn't have any heart.  She again deleted everything, except the first 4 sentences.  Those are the only words that remain from the original manuscript.

I asked who her favorite character was to write, excluding Delaney [apparently, this has become MY question to ask].  Her answer was Decker because he's easy to write and Janna because she's someone Megan wants to hang out with. 

When the signing started, we lined up and they handed out the obligatory post-its.  I got up to Megan and blurted out how charming she is [it's true, she totally is].  It was fun to see an author have fun talking about their entire process, making jokes about her undressed children and smart husband, all the while giggling.  Literally giggling.  Even her giggle is charming.

She signed my book, I thanked her again and stole a bookmark. 

And then proceeded to drive back to San Diego without killing anyone on the 405.  I'd say that was a success.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The time Barnes and Noble told me no

I've been a fan of Tami Hoag since the late 90s.  The first book of hers I read was A Thin Dark Line and she had me hooked before I was even halfway through.  I've been reading her books ever since.  After getting on this kick of book signings, I went to the websites of most of my favorite authors to see if they were doing any events. 

Tami had a new book coming out and an book tour.  The closest she was coming to me was AZ and since it was in the middle of the week, there was no way I was getting out there.  I called the bookstore and ordered a copy of the book. 

Flash forward a few weeks... Tami gets sick and cancels a portion of her book tour, the AZ date included.  I'm thinking that it's not so bad, since I wasn't planning on going.  I would just call one of the other tour date locations listed.  One of the events was being held at a Barnes and Noble in Florida.  Having gone to several events at B&N and being a member, I thought this would be the easiest solution.

Boy, was I wrong.

When I called to place my order, I told the girl who answered that I wanted to place an order for the new book to be signed [with personalization if possible] at Tami's event that was coming up. I told her that I lived in CA and explained how half of the tour had been canceled. The employee on the phone stated that B&N doesn't:

1) Take phone orders for signing events
2) Take phone orders in general
3) Ship books out of state

She went on to tell me that if I lived in Florida, but was visiting California, she would be able to take an order to have the book signed, but I would have needed to pick up the book in store after the event took place.  I asked if that was a policy specific to their store and she said no, it applied to all B&N locations.  When I told her that I've called several other B&N's in different states to have books signed and shipped, she told me that wasn't possible.

Those were her actual words. 

Not wanting to carry on the conversation any further, I told her I would order the book elsewhere and hung up.

I ended up calling a bookstore called Murder on the Beach.  The woman who answered the phone was friendly and helpful.  Most importantly, she didn't tell me no.

I got my book in the mail yesterday.  It was all wrapped in bubble wrap and snug in a box.  It's nearly perfect.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The time I didn't identify myself.

As soon as I read Shatter Me, I knew I wanted to meet Tahereh Mafi.  Maybe even before that.  There was a lot of talk on the internet from the people who had ARC's [Swoontini ladies, I'm looking right at you] and I was already sold on the synopsis of the book.  On Twitter, Tahereh is super fun.  She's always posting pictures or being a tease when talking about book 2 or 3...  I sort of started stalking her and she never complained. Or maybe she did, she just never complained to me.  :D

When I saw that she was going to be on the Dark Days tour, I was thrilled.  Even more that she was coming to San Diego instead of LA. 

Enter Veronica Rossi.  Another author who was going to be touring with Tahereh.  I found her book Under the Never Sky and was immediately intrigued.  On the day that her book was released, I had to hunt it down.  It took me 5 bookstores before I actually did get my grubby little hands on it.  I read it that night, in one sitting.  And after I was finished, I was thrilled she was going to be there.

Ellen Schreiber was someone who I had heard of and I had her book, Vampire Kisses in my TBR stack, but it had been there for a while.  I don't seem to read to many books that are in my TBR stack, I think there's over 100 books piled up.

On the night of the event, we got there early.  I wasn't sure how many people were going to show up and I wanted to make sure that we got seats.  They had the bookstore all decorated.

And the podium/table thingy had all sorts of decorations...

Once the 3 ladies got to the bookstore, they did a short interview for a blog and then we all just sort of hung out until 7pm came around.

Each author did a short introduction and talk about their book before the Q&A started.  I was the first person to ask something... My question was for each of the authors and I asked of their own characters, who is their favorite to write.

Ellen said that her favorites to write was Raven because she doesn't care what people think.  Celeste is fun because she is a popular and it allows Ellen to explore something that she didn't experience in her own high school experience.

Veronica said that my question was similar to asking her which of her kids was the favorite.  However, she did answer that Roar was fun because he's a fun character.  Her other favorite is Marron.

Tahereh said that her favorites to write are Warren and Kenji.  [How is it that the one author I was dying to meet is the one whose complete answer I can't remember?] I really need to take notes or something....

Anyhoo, the after the Q&A [which lasted for almost an hour], books were to be signed.  There didn't seem to be any serious order. One girl walked right up to Ellen and another walked to Tahereh instead of one total line.  So, I walked up to Veronica and started talking to her. 

I told her that I loved the book and my little story about how I had to hunt down Under the Never Sky on the day that it came out.  She thanked me a bunch of times, I also thanked her for taking the time to come out.

Next was Ellen.  I gave her my book and also thanked her for taking the time. 

While I was in line for Tahereh, I spotted Kiersten White.  I knew that she was going to be there and I spent the evening looking around for her.  I had brought my copies of Paranormalcy and Dear Bully to have signed.

I got up to Tahereh and spelled out my name...

And immediately was launched into a conversation about my chest tattoo.  Which we have established is amazing.  All three ladies commented on it and I was compelled to show off my shoulders.  [I'm so modest].  One of the ladies [I think it was Veronica, but I'm not sure] asked if I had a lot of tattoos, I said yes and continued to list of where they were at.

Did I mention the fuckawesome bookmarks? Oh. Earlier in the week, Tahereh was a dirty tease, posting pictures of the rad swag she had.  And as much as I loved the magnets, I LOVED the bookmark.

Before I walked away from Tahereh, I mentioned how much I loved her Kate Spade purse.  I have 4 Kate Spade purses and I'm always on the look out for another one.  I just might see that one in my future...

Sidenote: As I'm typing this up, Tahereh sent me this on Twitter:

*giggles* This could be my favorite tweet ever.  EVER.

Back to Kiersten.  She was standing in a circle of women and I didn't want to interrupt.  My husband kept telling me to go up there and he was giving me all sorts of "interesting" things to say to break into the group.  I gave myself 5 mintues, if there wasn't an opening, we would have left. 

The women broke up and I snuck up to Kiersten and asked if she would sign for me.  I had a Sharpee in my hand, but [and this could be my favorite part] she carries markers in her purse because she likes to color coordinate.  When I told her that I didn't want to interrupt, she assured me that I should have. 

All in all, Dark Days was phenominal.  Ellen, Veronica and Tahereh are all super charming.  And Kiersten is as sweet as they come. 

I can't wait to meet stalk them all again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The time I wanted to send flowers.

As I've gotten ridiculously obsessed with autographed books, whenever I am going to finally order/buy a book that has been on my TBR list, I always try to hunt down an autographed copy.  Since I'm going to try to find the author and get things signed eventually, it's easier and cheaper to just start with a signed copy, thus eradicating the purchasing of multiple copies.  [Oh yes, it's happened.  Many times].


The Forest of Hands and Teeth series has been on my wish list for a while.  As in, before I started getting books signed. When I saw that Carrie Ryan was going to be at the huge five-authors-in-one-night extravaganza at Books of Wonder in NYC, I made a mental note.  And I stalked their website like a champ, waiting for information. 

I ended up sending an email to the store, asking about purchasing Carrie's previous books, not just the one she was there to promote.  The girl who answered me said that yes, I would be able to order all three of Carrie's books to be signed; however, there would not be any personalization.  Apparently, Books of Wonder has their back stock signed when an author comes in for an event. They will only be able to fill the online orders if there are additional books left after the event.  She told me if I wanted it personalized, I needed to show up.

Before ordering the books from the five-authors-in-one-night extravaganza event, I decided to look around online a bit.  From Carrie's website, she listed that she paired up with her local bookstore Park Road Books to provide signed and personalized books.  I immediately emailed them to ask if it was still something that they did.

Sherri emailed me back and said that it would be no problem.  We discussed specifics [hard cover vs. paperback] and she said she would email me when she had information.  I received an email from her rather quickly saying she had the books and just needed a credit card and address. 

I called the store.....

And talked to damn near the sweetest person ever. As in ever.

I was on the phone with Sherri for about 20 minutes. This might not be ground breaking news for anyone, but it is for me. I don't talk on the phone. I prefer to do everything by text and email, so to be on the phone for 5 minutes, let alone 20 really says something about the other person on the line.

We chatted about the weather in Charlotte vs San Diego, the experiences I've had with ordering from other bookstores, as well as the other authors at the five-authors-in-one-night extravaganza event.  Sherri told me all nonchalant like that she called Carrie and just asked her to come to the bookstore and sign the books for me. 

And she did.

In talking about the five-authors-in-one-night extravaganza, Sherri informed me that Beth Revis also lived in the area and if I was planning on ordering my copies of Across the Universe and A Million Suns, she could instead just call Beth up and see about getting some books signed.  [This was the initial plan, but Beth has since posted tour dates and she'll be in LA next month].

Anyhoo, I got my books today. Each one wrapped all lovingly as to not get damaged.  I wish I would have taken a picture of that.

I think Sherri might be magic. I sorta want to send her flowers.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The time Mysterious Galaxy had a sale

At some point in the last couple of weeks, I went into Mysterious Galaxy and got an invitation to the big New Years Day sale... I stopped myself from buying anything until after we went to the sale.  Armed with a list, I was at the Starbucks next door at 9:15 am.  By 10, there was a bit of a crowd. 

The details of the sale was 1-2 books, 20% off.  3-4 books, 25% off.  5 or more, 30% off.  They also had all sorts of "picture books" on sale, but I wasn't concerned with those.  Straight to YA I went.

I had my phone in hand, checking their online inventory while scouring the shelves. Unfortunately, they didn't have a lot of the things I wanted. I had my heart set on getting all sorts of signed things, but I'm starting to realize that I need to be more proactive with paying attention to new books and when they come out.

Needless to say, I didn't walk out empty handed.  I did get White Cat by Holly Black, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake in addition to two autographed books.

I read the Wake series by Lisa McMann in 3 consecutive nights.  I'd always known she wrote this book, but for some reason, I never got around to buying it.  Now I have a signed copy.

I was interested in Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst just from the cover.  It's been on my TBR list for a while. 

Now I'm off to make a list of books released in 2012.

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