Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stephanie Perkins Signing!

I went to Stephanie Perkins second official book signing yesterday in Salisbury, NC.

It was amazing for both Stephanie and I, it’s her first book, yah-yah, whatever (kidding- it’s a huge deal!) but this was my first event for The Mod Podge Bookshelf and for Messenger Photography. The blogger part went swimmingly, I asked questions and my fabulous memory programmed in Stephanie (and her husbands!) answers, all the better for a mock interview, but the photography angle I am really disappointed in.

To help you understand why, we need to start at the beginning of my journey to Salisbury.

*picture is the Messenger Photography ego-trip of the day, I am really proud of that one, and only that one I should add as a disclaimer*

I woke up with a sore throat (stupid early, I might add), but my friend Miranda had sent her book to me to get signed...overnight...from Texas (my former state of residence, I know how far that poor book travelled) and I really couldn’t blow this off. *sigh* Plus, I mean, it’s Anna, you know? And you have to see Steph’s blue hair in person to appreciate it, and the event was only an hour away and... it’s Anna! *sprung (sprung? Really?) out of bed after my pep-talk*

I dressed super hot-business girly, complete with slate, rose embroidered cowgirl books and my Elle blazer. Yeah, I felt better. My hair even half-behaved. Stephanie later commented on my outfit, saying she loved it... I was feeling pretty good.

I got in the car (my mum came with, she’s an author, and I’m writing, so we both felt attendance was mandatory) and we drove off into the sunrise.

I got Starbucks next. There was this new guy instead of my usual guy, who is my version of Taylor the Latte Boy, and I felt like I was drinking cough syrup instead of a GrandeWhiteChocolateRaspberryMochaLite. (I order fast, like the New Yorkers, further proof I should move to NYC) I didn’t complain because, hello, I just got a job and I would hate for someone to get all up in my business my first week just because I brought them the wrong size. You know? Karma people, I believe in karma. I also gave everyone a big tip- it’s Christmas and Christmas Karma counts double-twice.

We arrive- my mother is mistaken for Stephanie, because apparently her red hair looks blue. (I stare at this guy for an awkward second, he still seems convinced.)

*picture is the sign outside the bookstore*

Then my camera lens... oh, my camera lens. Kefira, AKA Kiki is the name of my camera. Kefira means Lion, which is very appropriate, usually Kiki jumps right on the perfect frame and ATTACKS! But not today, no, of course, today that tiny little “issue” I have been having with her nose (what I call my short-distance camera lens) became a full blown “PROBLEM!” Yep, it merited shouty capitals.

So I’m freaking out, because yes, I brought my long-distance camera lens, but no, the lighting really isn’t cutting it (They had us in a basement area) and all my pictures are coming out blurry. Stephanie got lost on her way (while listening to an audio book, it happens to the best of us) so I had time to play around. Didn’t help matters much. (I also pimped some of my favorite books while waiting, you can see The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson behind Steph's head on one of the below pictures)

So then Steph arrives with Jerrod, her hubby, and a bag full of bookmarks (like Santa!) and started talking about Anna. That was great. Then she read her first chapter. That was even better. And she took questions, mostly from me and my mother. We are over-eager Author-lovers and proud.

I took pictures during all this, mostly to the chagrin of those around me, and they all came out blurry because Steph moves around when she talks and between the funky lighting, and my lens focus issues (I have deduced that the inset part of the nose which adjusts the focus is too wobbly to sit tight in the distance part of the lens) I couldn’t capture her in motion, which is really unusual, and OF COURSE had to happen today of all days. Why not when I wanted pictures of, say, flowers? Or socks. Socks are cool.

Then we got to the signing and Oh. My. Gosh. Guess who was in front of me? I don’t know his name, but I recognized his face as a blogger in the YA blog’o’sphere. I didn’t realize it until too late, he didn’t turn and look at me until he asked me to take his picture with Steph and by then it was my turn, I mean what was I suppose to say? "Stephanie, I'm really happy for Anna, but nameless dude has one of the best blogs on the blog'o'sphere!" I feel bad I don’t know his name. My greatest hope is that right now he is writing his post saying, “There was this girl, and I don’t know her name. She’s a YA blogger, a Newbie, and looks different from her photo, probably because she just had jaw surgery.” Yeah, no, not gonna happen. I do seriously want to know who that was, and if I am crazy. Stephanie's face says I'm crazy.

**I'm not crazy! It was James from Book Chic who was in front of me and I searched tirelessly for his blog until I found it mere moments ago. Everyone go check him out. He says he half-recognized me, so basically Santa heard me, go Santa!**

My turn with the crazy-cool author! I didn’t get starstruck this time, thank God. When I met one of my favourite authors, Eric Ludy, I shook his hand and the utter brilliance that came out of my mouth was, “You’re Eric Ludy.” Smooth, oh, so smooth, Gabrielle. This time things went better, Steph knew who I was and asked if the “Girl from Twitter is here?” Yeah, I’m so here.

So we talked and she signed my book and Miranda’s book, and an ARC that belongs to M’s friend Tricia. Whew. Then she signed other things for all of you... but I won’t tell you what, or how many ‘whats’ until a certain contest comes around hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

I got a picture with Stephanie, my first picture since the surgery, and I realized I need to learn how to smile. I have spent the past sixteen years avoiding the smile, now I must join the society of smilers, or else look like I’m auditioning for America’s Next Oddest Model, every time I stare down a camera. Then Steph asked for a picture with me and I shrugged it off, “Oh, yeah, hey, that’d be cool by me, you know, whatever.” When inside I was thinking “Hot dog!” No, not the kind you eat, the kind you use as an exclamation.

And then I left and an hour later began coughing up phlegm. To Stephanie: If you are reading this sick in bed, I am atrociously sorry, I won't come to a Lola event with a sore throat, or a whacked out lens. And my mother is not trying to steal your identity. I swear.

Now onto the part you skimmed all of the above to get to: my sly mock-interview.

Things you might want to know...

Why Stephanie named her heroine’s Anna, Lola and Isla... “Because I think they’re pretty...”

Lola was actually Stephanie’s first book, but she completed Anna first...

The cover of Lola and the Boy Next Door is currently in the works and will be released very soon, keep a watch out...

The release date of Lola and the Boy Next door just got moved up by the publisher...

The paperback cover of Anna and the French Kiss is set for the early fall of 2011, and Lola is due around then (but you didn’t hear it from me)...

Stephanie on the characters of Lola and Isla... “You’ll see the characters you want from Anna [in Lola]...and everyone is back for Isla.”

Stephanie began Anna as a NaNoWriMo book and would write through the night on a pot of coffee and a couple hours sleep!

Stephanie got her dream agent for her books!

Stephanie’s greatest worry for her cover was that it would be hot pink, the Eiffel Tower would be all swirly, with a lipstick kiss... “This is not a hot pink, lipstick kiss book!”

When asked if she had found a happy medium between the years she spent on Lola and the months she worked on Anna, Stephanie said, “I’m working on it.”

When I asked Jerrod (Stephanie’s very supportive, super sweet husband) if he considered himself the inspiration for Etienne St. Clair he laughed and said, “No! She told me she had a dream and was in love with a beautiful boy; I said, that’s defiantly not me!” I laughed and assured Jerrod that St. Clair’s personality and Stephanie’s love for him must have been an inspiration, “Well, that I’ll take.” His glasses are awesome and I told him that geek was chic. It is so true. At this point I stopped talking because I was worried Stephanie would think I was flirting with her husband instead of interviewing him. Self-deprecating guys are so sweet, you can’t help but laugh at everything they say!

So that is all that happened, I must say I am super happy to have gone, even if I infected the author, and that Stephanie signed all of our books differently, which means a bunch to me. I haven’t read this book yet, but as I told Steph, I haven’t read a bad review so far, “Oh, they’re out there,” she assured me, “I’ve read them!” I can’t wait to plunge in after finishing this post, and the book I am currently reading for that Valentine’s Event I told you all about!

Other events I am planning to attend this coming year (thus far):

A signing with Beth Revis in Raleigh, NC for Across The Universe

A signing with Gwendolyn Heasley in Charlotte, NC for Where I Belong

And I will be going to a Sarah Dessen signing for What Happened to Goodbye, and toting all but my Lock and Key copy (which is already signed) of her books with me!

Let me know if you are able to make one of these, the info for where and when can be found and will be updated, if need be, on their websites (click the link) I would love to go out for coffee afterwards and browse a bookstore with you; that would be so fun!

In case you've been living under a large rock


One More Page said...

Great post! I have this on my wish list and want to read it even more now!

Barb said...

Thanks so much for the visit! I'm your newest follower. I loved reading this post! I am so jealous that you get to go to book signings! I live rurally and no one comes reasonably close to me :( I would love a copy of this book. It's on my wish list.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Ooh, how exciting!! I've heard awesome things about this book, i can't wait to read it!

BookChic said...

Actually, you know what's funny? Well, two things-

1) I think I heard the bookstore owner mistake your mother for Stephanie because I remember thinking like 10 minutes before Steph arrived that "Steph is here!" when in fact she was not.

2) I actually DID recognize you! Kind of. Like, I felt like I knew you from somewhere but I've never seen your blog before so maybe you've commented on mine a few times? But I'm very shy so I didn't want to go up and be like "Are you a blogger?" and then be shot down and have you staring daggers at me the rest of the signing, especially if I then asked you to take a picture of me and Steph, lol.

Anyway, we can spend more time together at Beth's signing cuz I'll be there, though not too much time because the next day I'm going up to DC to see Kathy Griffin so I can't be out too late as Raleigh is two hours-ish from me. I'll also be at Sarah's signing; Gwen's is too far for me.

Loved reading your recap and I'll link to it next week when I do mine. Thanks for commenting!!

Oh and PS Jerrod is very hot. I'd find it hard not to flirt with him, but then again, I'm just a homewrecker, lol.

PPS The picture taking didn't bother me at all (can't speak for others though, lol) because my friend Susan from Wastepaper Prose takes a ton of photos with a big camera like you at book signings, so I'm used to it.

Gabrielle Carolina said...

Haha, James, that is awesome, I am pleased to have been half-recognized.

I have a major ego and proudly insert my name into whatever internet conversation I am having. You've probably seen me strutting (metaphorically) around the blogosphere.

I will have to look into Sarah's (Bennett Wealer?) signing and will see you and Beth in Raleigh.

BookChic said...

I was talking about Sarah Dessen's eventual signing, lol.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I am SO JEALOUS! I read ANNA last week and it is absolutely one of my favorite books of 2010 and of all time :) I really hope I get to meet Stephanie one day

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

I want to read this book SO bad!! Sounds like you had an awesome time!

Gabrielle Carolina said...

James, oh no, the phlegm has made it's way to my brain and is eating my non-stupidity tissue.

Yes, of course Sarah Dessen, lol.

I thought of S.B.W because we have been talking opera over on FB; we are both singers, so she is at the forfront of my virus-riddled mind.

ifmary said...

Wwo you've met her you're lucky :D ! Great post ! She seems nice and she is pretty :).

MiaandSofia said...

Your so lucky! I loved Anna and the french kiss. Happy reading :)
Check out what's In My Mailbox

Mia @GrippedintoBooks

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I am SO jealous!

Heather @ Prue's Book Blog said...

love love love your blog, and this entry. i'm so behind, and need to get my butt out to the bookstore to pick it up. it seems you're pretty big on photography too! nice to meet another blogger who shares the same passion besides books :)

check out my blog if you'd like

happy reading!
-heather @ prue's book blog

Page (One Book At A Time) said...

I would love to meet Stephanie! I adore her hair but pretty sure people would look at me like I was crazy if I put a blue streak in my red hair!
Love your post!

Anonymous said...

I really wanna read anna and the french kiss!!

Now a Follower :)

Jess :)

Stephanie Perkins said...

Thank you for this AMAZING post. You have a beautiful smile!

Zoë said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, yours is absolutely lovely so I'm your newest follower. I decided to comment on this entry cause the story about finding the random YA blogger really made me smile/laugh, only in the age of the internet could something so weird happen!

Alexa said...

I came over from the nameless dudes blog. I love your recap, almost like being there, and your questions were fantastic.

Rachel said...

You may try Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa ( i know alot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious scratchy throat.