It’s always fun to attend author events and I was so excited to see both Maggie Stiefvater and Gayle Foreman were coming to my neck of the woods. I listened to If I Stay last year and it blew me away with how amazing it was. It was the perfect mix of magic realism and contemporary YA that is my genre kryptonite.
This event was downtown and since I don’t drive to work I hoofed it to the library and arrived fairly early. I’ll admit that a specific branch of the library isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but I plucked Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood off the shelf and read a bit while I waited. About 40 minutes before the event was supposed to begin I heard girls asking about where the event was held, figuring it was going to be crowded I headed to the main stage area.
The big auditorium-style room was already partially full and the line for buying books was pretty long. Even though I didn’t have much to spend on books I wanted to support my indie bookstore, Fountain Bookstore, so I got two paperbacks Just One Night by Gayle Foreman and Lament by Maggie Stiefvater. I didn’t originally get I Was Here because I thought it was a companion to If I Stay (which I was doing on audio) but it turns out it’s a whole separate book so I ducked back in line to get it.
Maggie and Gayle started the night with a great back and forth, they have great chemistry I felt like I could listen to them for hours. I learned that Foreman was a journalist (I find that a lot of YA authors were, Clare, Rowling, Rowell,etc.) and I Was Here is based on one of the last stories she did about a girl who committed suicide and went to online groups to get assistance with doing so.
Maggie needed no entrance, she has so much energy and I think the crowd was mostly her fans and Tumblr followers. I felt kind of bad because during the Q&A literally all the questions were for Maggie. I find Maggie interesting because she is one of the few YA writers who can fill a room and move books without having a movie adaptation.
During the Q&A there was this woman in her later 40’s / early 50’s who told Maggie how she was drawn into YA by Lament and from that point started devouring every YA book she could. I admit I am starting to feel a little like “am I too old for this ?” and it’s awesome to see people who discover YA while older still love it.
Maggie’s line for the signing was crazy long and it was getting late so I skipped her. This was fine because d I went to a Maggie signing last year and the book I brought of hers was already signed.
Gayle’s line was short and she tried to talk to me, but I got so author-struck I’m not sure I said anything intelligible. I thanked Foreman for supporting We Need Diverse Books (She had the most tweeted tweet) then she asked me what I was reading and I blanked. I finally muttered something about Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorious I’d read because of the podcast Invisibilia and then she asked me to write down some podcasts on a bookmark, I think I wrote Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Overall I thought she was super kind and generous. I brought two books I already owned and she signed them and put a bookmark in all 5 books I had with me. There was someone in the audience with a tripod set up so I’m sure the signing will be on YouTube somewhere.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.