If there is one thing I love more than actually reading a good book, it is meeting the person who wrote that good book that I am reading.
This is more difficult than you would imagine, especially when you are living in Salt Lake, the city of one indie bookshop that even makes an effort to organize author visits1. But even then, their authors are primarily limited to local adult authors – YA always gets the short end of the stick. So in the end, then YA signings you can go to in Salt Lake are usually limited Shannon Hale, the guy who writes Fablehaven, and then occasionally Ally Condi wanders through.
So imagine my joy upon moving to Boston and discovering that every awesome YA author ever puts Boston on their tour. Lots of them even live in Boston, meaning they randomly show up at other people’s book events. It’s like an awesome two for one.
In the four short weeks since I arrived here, I have already attended a slew of book events. They have ranged in level of excellence, but I have generally enjoyed them all. Now when I go to book events, especially poorly attended for book events for debut authors, I like to buy their book and have them sign it. This is in the hope that someday, when I am a debut author with a poorly-attended book event of my own, someone will do the same for me. However, this means I end up buying a lot of books. The other people in my MFA program have already told me I am a signed book hoarder.
But there is something about an inscription, about seeing handwriting on the title page and knowing that is the same handwriting that pieced together the words of this story, that makes books a whole new level of awesome for me. Some people, like my father, hate tearing down the curtain between author and reader. I say, “Tear it! Tear it all down!” I like to look in an author’s eyes and tell them thank you for bringing this story into the world, and congratulations for getting it this far. Because writing a book is hard, and getting published is harder.
Plus, it’s really awesome when Libba Bray can’t spell “accommodate,” so she ends up leaving a great big sharpie cross-out inside your book.
Looking ahead, the book events only get more awesome. Coming up this month, I am planning on meeting Terry Pratchett2, Michael Chabon, Avi3, Richard Peck, Lemony Snicket, and Lois Lowry. Which should be all kinds of awesome. Stay tuned – perhaps we shall make the book signings section of this blog a reoccurring one.
Also, if I ever become a published author – will you all come to my book events4?
- Thank you, King’s English, you are a gift from God.
- Really. REALLY!
- The Madonna of children’s lit.
- Points to anyone who correctly identifies the reference in the title. Though if you know anything about me, it really shouldn’t be that hard to guess.