Yesterday (Thursday) I went to my first official book signing! Well, I've already spoiled it for you in the title of the post but I'll say it again. I got to see Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth! Together! This was a really fun event that made me nervous and excited all at the same time as all things new tend to do. But I just had to go and I'm so grateful to everybody in my life that made that possible. My husband had to leave work early to get me there (I don't drive), which also effected two of his coworkers because of the car pool, and I had to ask my mother to babysit my little girl since it was going to be a late night.
|Photo taken from thesavvyreader.ca|
The Dystopian Tour was put on by Chapters Green Room which is the division of Chapters Indigo that plans events like these and there were three signings in Ontario this week (the last in their tour stops). One in Toronto, one in Barrie, and one in Brampton. I was able to go to the one in Brampton which is about an hour long drive from my home.
Here are some highlights:
On the way there since I had my camera with me and it was nice and sunny and beautiful outside (must have been a fluke lull in terrible nonstop rainstormy weather we've been having this week), I decided to take a few photos around Halton Hills. There's this one section of highway with a gorgeous view of the escarpment there. I missed the good part, but you can see a few photos of what's around there here.
We arrived at the Chapters in Brampton about half an hour early. Here's a picture of THE Chapters in Brampton!
So I bought my copy of Divergent and then waited around for a while. The staff were really friendly and helpful with talking to every individual person with a copy of either Lauren's or Veronica's books and making sure they knew they had to pay for their books before they could get them signed (which made me wonder if it was really a big problem with people getting them signed to them and then leaving them in the store unpaid for after or excitedly dashing out the door and forgetting that copy isn't theirs yet?). While seated, one of the lovely staff members went around asking to see everyone's books and getting them prepped for the signing. Basically, she wrote out our names on a sticky note and put them on the pages that were to be signed and made sure the book jacket flaps were covering the other first few pages so the authors could get to the signing page easily.
Then about 5 minutes before it started, the Indigo Green Room rep had us all lift up our books and she took this awesome photo for Twitter:
|Photo taken from @indigogreenroom...original is here|
Which means that I can show you exactly where I sat. Here I am. My husband is there too. His face got covered by Divergent.
Then finally Lauren and Veronica came on stage. Yay! Here's a few photos of them when they first got on stage and while they were answering questions.
The lady on the left hand side was a rep from Kobo and she did a Q&A with them. There were lots of interesting questions.
Here are some things that they talked about:
Lauren told a funny story about seeing her published book for the first time. She said when she got it she was so shocked that she actually ended it throwing it across the floor and it landed in a corner where it sat for two months. Then the first time she walked into a bookstore after it was published she saw a girl with it in her hands evaluating whether she should read it or not. Lauren then walked over to this girl and ambushed her and said "You should buy that, I wrote it, it's good!". She said that she has officially banned herself from bookstores so she doesn't accost any more young innocent girls (unless she's doing her own book signing of course).
Lauren Oliver had written several books before Before I Fall. She had actually sent three books out to publisher's before Before I Fall and all three were rejected. She credits part of the books acceptance to the fact that she met a young book agent (she had actually known him from college years ago). Both of them were young and depending on each other so each of them were really pushing for success and to finally 'make it.'
Veronica Roth had written one book before Divergent which was also rejected. Both of the authors said they were glad that none of those books made it out into the published world because looking back they really were not very good.
It takes Lauren Oliver about 9 months to write a draft and 3 months to do her revisions. Did you know that when writing Before I Fall, Lauren was going to school full time with a job? She wrote the book on her phone and emailed it to herself! She said that she has to write every day or else she would end up not writing at all.
It takes Veronica Roth about 2 months to write up a short draft. Did you know that the original draft was only 40, 000 words long? To give you an idea of how much she revised this, the book in it's finished form is 90, 000 words long.
They both touched on the idea of the writers motto "Write what you know". Lauren stated that it's not so much to write what you know (as in write what you have experienced), but to "write what you know to be true". She stated two examples saying that she would terribly butcher a story about a lonely housewife because she really doesn't understand what that experience is like at all but for her upcoming fantasy novel Lisel and Po which has all sorts of crazy things in it like talking mice and magical kingdoms, etc. she is able to write about those things because she understands the characters in them (even though the experience of that fantasy world is not something that she has litterally experienced).
One of the last questions asked by the moderator was what their hidden talents are. Lauren said that hers was singing Little Mermaid Songs and then sang one for us! She actually sounded really good too! I was impressed. Then Veronica said that hers was making paper hats. Which she then had to prove to us. Someone ran off and found a giant piece of paper for her.
Here's her putting it together.
Then we all got in line to have our books signed. They were so nice. The lady before me brought each of them gift bags and they got up and gave her a hug. I thought that was really sweet. When I got up there after and told them I couldn't possibly top that, Lauren told me something like "we love you just the way you are"...awww...it made me feel so much better.
Here are my signed books.
BTW, Bex (you know who you are!). Your R.A.K. is still greatly appreciated. Who'd know that I'd end up going to see her and get the copy that you sent me signed! All the staff there were so excited when they saw my copy because it's apparently not out in paperback yet.
I also asked them if they'd sign these blank book labels for you guys. Yay! Something for you :D So I have this planned out like this: one each for Super-Secret Giveaways, one for a random giveaway with one of the blog hops, and one for either New Years or blogoversery (they'll be making three appearances on the blog...yay!).
Lauren really loved the design on them. She even said she wanted them for her own books! ...I think I'm going to be the crazy stalker now and send her the link to where I bought them.
Then we all got a "swag bag" from HarperCollins. After the signing I went with my husband to the Starbucks and had fun looking through it. Here's a sneek peek:
After my awesome ice tea lemonade and giant cookie I walked around the store again. And officially I am jealous of Brampton because their Chapters has it's own Bargain section just for teen books. I ended up buying An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (only $5.99 in hardcover!) and The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (not on sale) plus a pretty bookmark I couldn't resist. My husband also got a cookbook (he hearts cookbooks...even though I do 99.99% of the cooking...just saying)
And Tada! Done! Overall this was an amazing experience and as you can see a pretty overwhelming night with so much information and so many things that happened. I know I forgot a lot but I also remembered a lot more than I thought I would. Having Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth together was a great move by whoever set that up. They really feed well off each other with the Q&A and complimented each other in terms of personality. Great dynamics! So will I be going to more book signing when I get the chance? Do you even have to ask?!? Of course I am. And I really think that if you haven't been to one yet that you need to go too ;)
A BIG GIANT THANK YOU TO LAUREN OLIVER, VERONICA ROTH, INDIGO GREEN ROOM, THE CHAPTERS STAFF AT BRAMPTON, AND HARPERCOLLINS FOR MAKING MY NIGHT AWESOME!