Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Meeting Authors - Marissa Meyer
One of the biggest benefits of working at a bookstore is the fact that authors visit to do signings every so often! So far, through events at the store, I've been fortunate enough to meet Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, Kelley Armstrong, Nicholas Sparks, and most recently, Marissa Meyer of the Lunar Chronicles!
Usually, when events like these go down, it's a chaotic day to be in the store and even crazier to work that day. There is often very little communication about what an author is going to do in terms of how much talking they'll do, how many books they'll be signing, if there's going to be a Q&A, and if they're going to be a decent human being (Ahem.. one of them wasn't). But I love these days because of the opportunities I have to potentially meet people from the publishing industry.
Cinder has been on my TBR list for ever, seriously, since it came out. When I heard Ms. Meyer was going to be visiting, it was all the motivation I needed. I read Cinder and Scarlet before the event last week and was surprised with how much I enjoyed the spin-off of the classic fairy tales in a science fiction world.
Ms. Meyer herself was lovely, quirky, and just nerdy enough that I wanted to be her. She spent over a half hour giving the crowd a rundown of series' plot, talking about some characters, and telling a story about being both a Trekkie and a fan of Sailor Moon (an inspiration for the series). At the end of her talk, she gave the audience the option of hearing one of two fairy tales: Cinderella or Rapunzel. The crowd picked Rapunzel and so she gave her fans an amazing retelling of the original story, gore included. She was enigmatic and funny and entertaining, and she gave her die-hard fans an awesome experience that was worth the 6+ hours of waiting in line.
I find that after meeting movie or music celebrities, I am usually disappointed. When you meet those kinds of celebrities, you expect them to act similarly to how you see them in their films or interviews, and when they don't hold up to that expectation, it's such a let down (Shia LaBeouf). With authors, it's always a strange experience for me. It's hard to connect the person with the characters that you've grown attached to, and it's hard to realize that the author actually created the story you've been lost in for the past week.
I don't know about you guys, but I always feel slightly protective and territorial when I find a book or author I love. On one hand, I want to gush and buy copies for everyone I know, but on the other hand, I feel so strange knowing that someone else is just as absorbed in a story as I was. It's weird to think of someone else reading the lines of the characters who feel like my friends and knowing they probably feel attached to them too. This situation is extreme in terms of Harry Potter. I can't even go there =P
So at a book signing, there's 150-300 people standing around you, asking questions about the storyline and the characters and the subplots that you read, and it always hits me that everyone experienced the same story in similar ways as I did and we all know these characters as well as the next person. We probably all laughed at the same sentences and cringed when the same things went wrong.
Reading, for me, has always been a solitary event. I've never been in a book club and I've never had friends who read the same things as me. So when I go to these author signings and I'm forced to acknowledge that every other person in the room understands my feelings about Cinder and Thorne, I love and hate it, and I remember why I want to work in this industry. Books bring people together, and amazing authors like Marissa Meyer keep my faith that the book industry isn't going anywhere for a long time.