Either way, it goes without saying that as soon as I saw that Stephenie Meyer was going to be signing at The Grove, I was going to get up there. Honestly, I did go back and forth with it because I
The alarm went off at 4:15. I woke up to a text from Michelle saying that she wouldn't be able to go, since Ollie wasn't feeling good. We gassed up the Honda and set off.
We got to The Grove just before 7am. And of course there was already a line in front of the store. There were two lines, actually. Apparently, some people lined up at midnight and security told them to line up around the corner. Hubs ended up seeing Lita out front and she said the major line up WAS the line up.
Around 7:45, Lita came by and merged the two lines. She also said that all of the people in line would be in the preferred group and get a special The Host t-shirt. We also got a list of guidelines.
We got into the store around 9:30 and we played another round of "hurry up and wait".
But then we got up to the counter and bought our books. Our wristbands were still in group A and the t-shirts were still available.
We got out of the store just before 10am and went on a hunt for some food. On the way to the car [to grab my Twilight books], we decided to head into B&N to see if they had the event section set up. Hubs stopped a woman who had just gotten out of line at the register and asked what letter she was. Her answer? J
We got up to the events area and they had the corral up and tape on the floor indicating where the lines would start.
There was a girl who was already laying down to the left of the start of the line. She said that she had been there for over 90 minutes and no one had said anything to her about it. She ended up having priority wristbands and said I could have her spot.
So I waited in line without being in line.
Around 12:00, a girl from the studio said that she was going to clear the events area out to set up the lines. Meanwhile, security and booksellers from the main cashier section were telling people they were allowed to line up on the taped letters. I quickly became the head of the official unofficial line.
And then we were told that group A was actually going to be lining up on the letter C and everyone merged over to that aisle.
They pushed us back a few times while they were setting up the barriers. After about 35 minutes, we were happily lined up in the official line as the first group of the A's. [We met Allison and Morgan in line and they hung out with us as it was their first book signing]
Stephenie and the cast showed up right after 2pm. They posed for paparazzi pictures and then moved to their separate areas. Stephenie was at the main table alone and Max Irons, Jake Abel and Diane Kruger were at a side table signing posters. Saoirse Ronan was supposed to also be there, but she missed her plane and they expected her later.
Once we got up to the holding section, we were told that all cameras had to be down. You handed your books to a handler, who handed them to Stephenie.
Once I got up to her, we both said hi and then I thanked her for coming. I had the UK version of Twilight as my extra copy and she commented on how she loved the UK versions, that they were so special. She then said that she was waiting for her white copies for her personal collection, that she still didn't have any.
Hubs and I weren't allowed to walk up together, so I only slightly overheard Stephenie comment on what a great helper he was.
We then walked over to the cast table. Diane was first, she signed my book and then asked if we still wanted posters. We said yes, so she signed and starting passing it down.
Max and Jake had tweeted earlier about throwing ping ping balls at Stephenie. As we were in line, someone was passing them out. Someone threw one at Jake and I laughed saying that I forgot all about the ball. He asked if I still had it and if so, we were going throw them at Stephenie at the same time. When I said no, because I didn't want to get thrown out, he laughed again and said he would "huck them both" himself.
Security sort of got mad that we were still there, so they ushered us away. On the way out, they cut off the wristbands am told us if Saoirse showed up, we could use the wristband to get back in line for her.
It was just before 3pm when we headed up to Thousand Oaks for the second signing.
We got up to that B&N around 4:30. And right when you opened the door, they had a table display and sign promoting the event.
I had to get a couple of books and was rung up by THE NICEST employee I've ever met. Ever. Anywhere. From there, we scoped out the event area and asked when it would be set up. Grabbed some dinner, then went back to the store to wait and steal electricity.
Chairs were set up just before 6pm and I quickly grabbed front row.
The authors got there at 7pm, but the events person said they don't normally start on time, to give people extra time to get there. Once the event started, each of the ladies did a brief introduction to their books and then opened it up to questions.
For each person who asked a question, they were given a prize. Jodi gave knitted flowers, Cynthia gave out patches and Brodi had gum.
Where do you get your ideas?
C: likes Kiersten White's answer of getting them from a back alley on the streets of LA. Actually, they come from a lot of random places.
J: Time traveled to year one in Japan and fought a ninja, broke into a sealed vault, stole a magic dagger, time traveled to year one million, found a unicorn and some of the dust that may or may not have come from the unicorn horn got into her brain.
B: Got the idea from girl from school, in pottery class [C: "no good comes from pottery class"] coming back after a long absence, looking completely different. There were a lot of rumors and it prompted the idea of telling the story of where she went while gone.
What's the hardest part of being a writer?
B: Writing. She thinks it'll get easier but it doesn't, has come to the conclusion she can't write.
J: Waiting. For responses. For phone calls from the editor. For edits being returned. For everything. Publishing moves so slow. Incarnate sold in 2010, released 2012.
C: The 48 hours right after she gets her first revision letter from the editor are the hardest. Spends that time feeling bad and thinking she's a bad writer. Time management is hard, making time for the important things.
Best advice for someone wanting to be in the exact genre? Maybe the hardest lesson they learned.
B: Read a lot and finish your book. Don't chase trends.
C: Takes about 17 months before its on the shelf after selling it, so something that is a trend now won't be when it's released. Write the story you want, that's in your heart. Prove to yourself that you can finish.
J: Start with a change. Kill everyone if you want. In fiction.
How many manuscripts?
B: One. Got an agent with it and the second was published.
J: 16 full books, most about 100k words.
C: Unearthly was the first book she finished. Wrote short stories, got rejections there. Had an agent already through a short story in a literary journal. Didn't try to publish until she was pretty practiced as an author.
Should you wait and polish your craft until trying to publish?
Novels are a marathon, short stories are a sprint. Why she loved being on tour, everyone had different experience. Short stories worked for her specifically.
What made you pick this genre?
C: It picked me. Didn't know Unearthly was YA. Wrote fanfiction in high school and literary fiction in college. Read 70 YA novels in one year and fell in love with it.
J: Same. Tried writing seriously and her friends were telling her it was YA. Her response was, "No. I'm an adult. I'm 23." Years later, she loved the YA covers and wanted to read those. She just had a man on the airplane tell her she should write about Argentina. He said, "Come to Argentina you can stay in my apartment". She said no and put on her headphones.
There were a couple other questions, but I didn't pay attention. Then before the signing started, Jodi had a giveaway for some mitts she made. The question was the full name for Sam's pony. I knew the short name and another girl said if I said the short name, she's remember the full name. She gave the full name and won the mitts, I said I should get one for the assist and Jodi gave me a knitted rose.
The signing started and I walked right up to Jodi, since I had already seen Cynthia and Brodi. Cynthia said hi and that it was nice to see me again. She asked where we lived and I ended up telling her about SM and being up since 4am.
Since Michelle couldn't go, I ended up getting books for her and Caitlin. Jodi asked if I was Caitlin's emissary. I laughed and said yes. And then when she saw Michelle's book, I explained how she couldn't make it since the baby was sick.
After all of the books were signed, I thanked them for coming, hugged the wife and started the long drive home to get some sleep.
Even though it was an insanely crazy day, it was all worth it.