Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of AWESOME!
Yesterday, I attended the DC stop on the "Spring Into the Future Tour" with Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Anna Carey. This leg was held at Hooray For Books in Alexandria, VA, a super cute book store in the heart of old town Alexandria that has that great "book smell" that hits you as soon as you walk through the door. :) (You don't get that "book smell" at the mass book stores - they all smell like coffee.)
I'm a planner so I had everything laid out in my head of how I thought it was going to go. I've said a bazillion times that the way I show my appreciation for someone is to bake them cupcakes so that's what I did. I made each author a box of turtle cupcakes and I found out (c/o of the twitter) that Tahereh is a fan of Skittles so I went to my local warehouse club and got the BIGGEST bag I could find.
The twitter can be a great resource for information and I found out that fellow tweep, Sara McClung was going to be at the signing as well and I was looking forward to meeting her and her group of writer friends she dubbed, the DC Mafia. (more on them in a min...)
I was all set yesterday morning with my directions, my cupcake swag and my super cool YABC T that M.G. Buehrlen sent me to I could totally represent (WORD!) and off I went.
Here's the thing, I grew up not too far outside of DC and I've been through there countless times but I'm not usually the one driving which is key. I'm also not good with directions. and I HATE any and all GPS systems. Anyway, I ended up stuck in the heart of DC traffic yesterday for an hour. Me + city + driving + traffic = I GOT YOUR CRAZY RIGHT HERE!
You do see the strangest things in the heart of major cities, like an entire parade of empty floats rolling slowly past. (Creepy much?) I also got screamed at by a dude who was crossing the street as I waited to turn right at a red light. (Maybe he would've preferred it if I'd ignored the "No turn on red" sign at that exact moment?) Of course, when you're a book nerd and a twitter addict, everything becomes about a recent read and how it relates to real life...
(I should've asked him for a ride to the book signing.)
Sitting on DC traffic but I'm pretty sure Peter just flew past me on his motorcycle. #FalseMemory— Jen Fisher (@cupcakegirly) April 14, 2012
When I FINALLY made it with a few minutes to spare, I dashed inside, found a place to stand and tried to catch my breath. I briefly met Sara and I got the chance to meet Andye, Amy, Abigaile and Austin from Reading Teen (they were the hosts so be sure to check out their blog for pics, videos and interviews with the authors.)
A few minutes later, the women of the hour arrived and my "fan girl" switch was flipped to "ON". If you'd asked me what my name was, I probably wouldn't been able to tell you. They took their seats and began taking questions from the audience which seemed to consist of a lot of writers. I was actually expecting to see a lot of teens but nope.
They were so gracious, funny and offered tons of great advice! At one point, I did wonder if I was the only one there that was purely a fan and resisted the urge to scream, "I LOVE YOU TAHEREH, ANNA & VERONICA!" (I figured that might creep them out just a 'lil bit.)
The woman next to me was wearing a TEAM ADAM shirt and when Tahereh was discussing the complexities of Warner, she mumbled something under her breath about not liking his character and I said, "I kinda love Warner - somebody has too"...and then I wondered if I was gonna make it home alive. ;) (BTW, I love Adam too, but I have a soft spot in my heart for underdogs, bad boys, etc.)
Anna shared how she used to think that books just magically "appeared" on shelves and how she imagined authors sitting down to write books, beginning to end and it being a fairly simple process. I used to think the SAME THING but have learned SO MUCH in the past few months. I have a new respect for those *sparkly* books that I like to go visit & sometimes pet at the store.
Veronica discussed the challenges of writing while raising a family and making the time to fit everything in. She's even under deadline NOW as she tours.
When it came time to get the books signed and pictures taken, my nerves kicked into HIGH gear! I introduced myself, gave them the boxes of cupcakes and was promptly greeted with hugs by all three! Tahereh jumped up and said, "I totally thought you were joking about the cupcakes!" To which I replied, "I don't joke about cupcakes." ;D They signed the books I was picking up for YABC, signed extra posters too and gave me ANOTHER hug! MADE.MY.DAY!
It wasn't until I got home late last night that I looked inside the ARC of ONCE that I'm keeping, that I noticed what Anna wrote...
I met up with Sara after the signing and she invited me to grab a bite to eat with the rest of her writer friends, Cambria, Rick, Jessica, Sash, Sarah and Cristin (my food twin last night), all of whom are a complete bunch of AWESOME!! I mean, really, here is this total stranger (me) who they let hang with them while they talked all kinds of writerly things, and all I could think of was, I'm sitting at the cool kids table and HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! :D *wonders what rabbit hole I fell down*
They were dropping names of people left and right, people they KNOW, people whose books I've read... 0_0... people who I can only hope to *fan girl* over one day! WHAT?! (THIS is better than the Oscars!)
As I looked around the table and listened to the chatter about ARC's, revising, agents, book deals, movie rights, and Josh Hutcherson (you had to be there) I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and totally out of my element but in a good way. It dawns on me that maybe this stuff they're talking about is really *SEEKRITS?! At first, I'm like, HOW COOL IS THIS?! Then, I'm like, wait... what if it IS seekrits... do they remember I'm still here? ... and they call themselves the "DC Mafia"... yeah, this isn't gonna end well for me tonight. (I'm an excellent seekrit keeper though.)
As if the night couldn't get ANY better, Veronica, Anna and Tahereh, showed up and hung out for a little bit. Anna sat at our table RIGHT.NEXT.TO.ME. I was almost finished eating but as soon as she sat down, I turned to Sara and said, "Here I go again with the fan girling." She laughed and said, "Don't, she's just a person." I know this but it was still so cool!
As I drove home, I received wonderful tweets from both Veronica and Anna, thanking me for their cupcakes and then a slew of HILARIOUS tweets from Tahereh! (I was trying not to run off the road while laughing!)
@cupcakegirly i am legit dying of the miraculousness of these cupcakes.— Tahereh Mafi (@TaherehMafi) April 15, 2012
My heart was so full by the time I got home last night! I felt blessed to have had the chance to meet these amazing, creative people, all of them. :)
Truly, one of the BEST DAYS EVER!