Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be writing about a super fun event that I attended yesterday at the Barnes and Noble, The Grove location.
A few weeks ago, I was at the Josephine Angelini event, talking with the event coordinator, Lita. Lita is SUCH a rock star, I always enjoy all the events I attend of hers and she was talking about the events that were coming up at the store. She asked me if I knew who Misha Collins was, and if I would attend an event with him.
Of course I know Misha! I immediately got the barest of details about the event, told my friend Alena that she just had to get the day off, and immediately started making plans.
Now as more details about the event came out, it turned out that the event would be centered around debut author, Matthew Thomas, whose freshman novel, We Are Not Ourselves, is making some serious waves all over the country and parts of the world as well. As I learned last night, its been translated into 14 languages and counting.
Well, Misha got his hands on an advanced copy, from Matthew, whom he went to college with. He picked it up and absolutely loved it, and is now doing everything he can, taking time out of his own busy schedule, to spread the world about this book.
And I thought…okay, that’s seriously badass. And while I do definitely want to meet Misha, I think that if he loves this author and this book so much, I should be there. And I decided to go.
My friend Alena and I headed down the Grove a few hours before the event. I had friends that had been in line since midnight, but luckily, I already had my wristband situation figured out. We picked up our wristbands, bought our books and grabbed some iced teas from Starbucks. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the farmer’s market (where my friend had never been, so it was totally fun to watch her eyes get all wide), and then we headed back to the store.
We managed to score two front row seats (a nerd girl never reveals her secrets), and got ready for the event to start. The excitement was palpable and I was really nervous that people were so excited about Misha that they wouldn’t give the proper attention to the actual author.
But more on that later.
One of the security guys, George, decided to read us part of Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean, by Jane Lynch, to keep us entertained while we were waiting for the start of the event.
Then one of the booksellers got up and read to us from the book “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. See, the crayons are threatening to quit. They’re feeling overworked or not worked at all! Barnes and Nobles, The Grove is hosting the author on Tuesday and you were able to write a letter to the crayons, asking them not to quit (more on that later). We find out tomorrow if they quit! Its actually a totally adorable children’s book and I bought myself a copy because it was SO cute!
And yes, that’s me holding the book!
They brought Matthew and Misha and for some reason, they brought out the Cat in the Hat. I like this picture because they both look so awkward haha. Like, why am I posing with a person in a cat suit…BUT Misha did get a bit excited about seeing it and called someone up and they brought his son, West, up to meet him and I captured a pretty adorable moment.
Seriously. How freakin cute is this? Literally this is right in front of my face. I actually had to lean back a bit to get the picture.
Then began the book discussion. Misha talked about how he knew Matthew, how he came to the book and how he honestly fell in love with it so much that he wants as many people to read it as possible. Matthew thanked Misha for being there, and for bringing all the people (there were a TON of people there), and all that. Matthew’s book is about an Irish-Catholic family, focused on the main character of Eileen, and her relationship with her father, who eventually goes through Alzheimer’s, and her relationship with the world in general. It sounds absolutely fantastic, and two different readings were done from the book, and I honestly can’t wait to dive into this book, even as a mostly YA book reader.
Matthew read a part in the novel that was a letter from Ed, the father, and it took a lot of effort not to cry. It was touching, and it was telling to the fact that their relationship was a huge central point of the novel. Misha also talked about some of his favorite parts, getting choked up himself. Seeing people get emotional or passionate about a particular book always gives me the desire to read it even more. Seeing people get worked up about books is exactly the way I feel sometimes and I pay attention to that.
But what really impressed me about all of this was…I was massively worried about the audience. I would say 99.9% of the audience was there because of Misha, myself included. I would not even had heard of this signing if it had not been for Misha’s name on it. That being said, I was there not only to meet Misha, but to celebrate an author, as a fellow hopefully soon to be published one day author. I was worried that the other fans would ignore the author in favor for Misha and I was so pleasantly surprised when they asked questions, deep, specific, thought provoking questions, about the novel. I truly enjoyed that. I know that majority of the attendees were there for Misha BUT a ton of books were sold and I hope a good percentage of those sold books will be read as well.
The signing started, and unfortunately, I was unable to get a picture with Matthew :( Oh well. But I did have a moment to talk to him and I asked him what his advice is for those getting a bunch of “no”s in response to query letters, and he told me “Just keep going, don’t give up.” I love hearing that.
Now, while Misha wasn’t signing (which I think is a GOOD idea), but he was willing to take pictures with us. Because I’m such a nifty selfie taker, I managed to get two pretty cute selfies with Misha, which I’m massively happy about it.
I also made sure to get my hands on a letter to write to the crayons, asking them not to quit! I can’t wait to find out tomorrow what happens next ;)
All in all, I had a wonderful time, picked up two new books, had fun hanging out with a friend, and met two incredible men, and just went home happy and satisfied. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again and again and again but I always love going to events at this location. Its not close to me, and I usually have to leave really early in order to avoid the traffic that ensues around Los Angeles, and the actual Grove can be chaotic and parking can get expensive but its always, always, always worth it. I always have an amazing time and that’s due to Lita and her amazing team.
Besides, I’ll be back there tomorrow for The Day the Crayons Quit and Kami Garcia’s second novel! And we’ll have much more fun again :)