Sunday, October 11, 2009

Contest Winner, and Author Events Galore!

First Thing: The winner of the Denver goodies giveaway is: thetruebookaddict

(Email me at readbree at gmail dot com with your mailing address, and I'll send you your prizes)

Now on with the post:

I love autumn. September rainstorms. The smell of fallen leaves. Anticipating Halloween. Cool jacket weather air that gives me the perfect excuse to buy more jackets . . . And the beginning of a whole new season of book releases. And one of the highlights of this autumn has been getting to go to my local Indie bookstore, The King's English, for the launch parties and signings for a few of my favorite authors. In fact, I have been to TKE for an author event 4 times in the last 4 weeks. I'm sure the ladies of TKE would get totally sick of seeing my face--except that I spend a small fortune every time I walk through their doors. (After all, I MUST pick up autographed books for my blog readers, right? At least that's what I tell hubby . . .)

In September, I went to Shannon Hale's launch party for FOREST BORN with Brodi Ashton and Hubby. Shannon did a great presentation. She's one entertaining lady. And because she is such a rock star, we had to take a number in order to get our books signed. My number was so far down the list that hubby and I went out and ran errands, then went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (Mazza--yum!) and then went back to TKE and still had to wait 20 minutes in line before we got our books signed. Wow, now that means you've definitely made it as an author. Congrats, Shannon!

Also in September, I was invited to a signing for Debutante author Michelle Zink (PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS) by another Deb, Sydney Salter. Michelle did an amazing book talk and I wished I'd had a a notebook handy so I could have written down some pointers on how to be an engaging speaker. I absolutely loved how she handled to Q&A portion of her talk. For every question someone asked her, she then asked the audience a question (after answering the question addressed to her, of course). Apparently, she asked the same book-related questions to each of her audiences during her tour, and then compiled the answers on her blog here. I thought this was a great way to engage her readers, and I think she ended up with some interesting feedback.

After the signing, I got to go out to dessert with Michelle, Sydney, James Dashner, and SpeedReader (one of the cutest bloggers on the planet--from My Favorite Author), along with a few of Michelle's family members who live in Utah. (Did you know that Michelle is originally from Utah? Dude, Utah really does rock when it comes to the YA scene.) It was so fun to get to know Michelle, and she even gave me a few pointers about what to expect at my first bookseller dinner.

October started off in a great way with a launch party for Sara Zarr's ONCE WAS LOST on the very first day of the month. It was a great event. I absolutely love listening to Sara speak, and Emily Wing Smith made some awesome cookies in honor of Sara's book cover. (At least I can say that they looked awesome since I couldn't actually eat any of them.)

Sara told us about how her book was inspired by the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, and by her own struggles with faith--which only made me want to read the book more.

After the event, we went over to The Dodo restaurant for dessert (again, I had a fruit plate). The group included Sara Zarr, her hubby, Matt Kirby, Emily Wing Smith, Dan Smith (Em's hubby), Sarah Dufford Williams, a very nice writer named Melinda (sorry can't remember her last name), Valynne Maetani Nagamatsu, Sara Bolton, Brodi Ashton, and James Dashner. Wow, that was a big group! I'd recount our wacky antics and conversations, but Brodi has (of course) already done a hilarious recap here--so you should go check that out.

Only five days later, I found myself back at TKE for the launch party for James Dashner's THE MAZE RUNNER. The evening started off a little harried when a semi rolled over on the the freeway, making Hubby and I almost a half hour late with all the traffic delays. Luckily, they started the event late so I didn't miss any of James's book talk. It was so fun to sit in the audience and listen to some of his die hard 13TH REALITY fans ask him questions. They are a dedicated group! One 10 year old boy almost acted as if James's decision to write THE MAZE RUNNER was an act of treason.

Aside from watching a dear friend finally launch his much anticipated book, the best part of the night was getting to see the bloggers from The Inking Cap who I'd met at the Writing for Charity event back August. I'd given them each a bottle of THE DARK DIVINE nail polish--which they were all wearing on their toes at James's party! They even took a picture of one of them attempting to kick James in the head with her painted toes--which I would show you now, but nobody has sent to me a copy of it yet. (Hint. HINT.)
Update: Hinting worked! Here's the pic of Debbie from The Inking Cap kicking James with her Dark Divine toes. Though for some reason the polish shows up pink in photos rather than purple. Oh, and I guess she's kicking him in the shoulder and not the head, but still, it's pretty cool.

After this event, we went to The Dodo again, but this time we got dinner. The group was me, Hubby, Sara Bolton, Valynne, Brodi, Emily Wing Smith, and another friend of mine named Emily Allen (who was an old college friend of James's, and she informed us that back in the day, James used to go by the name Jamie. So be sure to call him that the next time you see him. He'll just LOVE it.) James (ehem, Jamie) even graced us with his presence for a few minutes before he left to go pack for his whirl-wind national book tour. See you in a month, James!
Me, looking slightly demented, and kind of gargantuan compared to James (center--duh, I guess) and Brodi.

Emily Wing Smith, Valynne Maetani Nagamatsu, and Sara Bolton
Valynne, Emily, Brodi, and Me (looking almost as demented, but less gargantuan)

Besides the semi truck rollover, the $25 parking ticket I got at TKE, the driving debacle that got us home at 10:15 pm despite the fact that we left the restaurant at 8:30 pm (don't ask), it was a great night. And once again, for a much funnier take on the evening, visit Brodi's recap of the night here. (Thanks for always posting the funny stuff before I get to it, Bro. You are a better blogger than I.)

So that's my month of author events so far. Did I mention I'm going to The King's English again this Wednesday to hear Sherman Alexie speak about his new book WAR DANCES? Now if only I were cool enough to get him to go share a fruit plate with me at The Dodo afterward. Hmmm, perhaps that should be my new mission in life. Operation: Get Sherman To Have Dessert With Me. I'll report next week on how it goes.


Sara said...

I too love autumn... and am addicted to jackets. Which probably explains my love of the season.

Dani. said...

Dear Bree,
I'm sorry for entering closed contest that you announced winner for in this post.
I read that there was a winner, scrolled down saw contest, was like, oh cool contest, and commented.
I'm too tired to process anything right now.
So sorry again.

Off to get my zzzzz's,

P.S.- I enjoyed this post though. it was fun to read even in my current mental status of delusionally tired! So thanks for that! :)

D said...

Wow! What a whirlwind of events! So awesome.

Unknown said...

Hi Bree :)
Thank you for sharing today.
I loved reading about the great book signings & author friends. Thank you for the pictures too. You continue to inspire me.
Love & Best Wishes,

Unknown said...

Loved hearing about your author events. You met some amazing authors. I met my first group of authors over the weekend-- including Sara Zarr who was amazing.

Deb said...

Bree...I finally sent you the picture :) Now if you'd like to post someone kicking James Dashner with your nail polish on, you may do so.

As a side note, I am getting excited for your book release. If I'm getting excited, I can only imagine how you must feel! Only two months to go...

Angela said...

TKE has sure been busy! Which is great, but makes me sad because I was only able to attend 1 event out of the group! Luckily I am getting my copy of THE MAZE RUNNER signed at a later event James is doing in the area. Utah seriously ROCKS when it comes to amazing, hilarious, and friendly YA authors! Thanks for letting a former-blogger-turned-possible-writer chat with y'all!


Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Dani- Good point. I should update that earlier post so it says the contest is closed.

Deb- THANK YOU for the picture!

Angela- It was so fun to get to talk to you. Good luck with the writing!

Rob- Thanks for saying that I inspire you. That was very sweet. :)

Everyone else, thank for commenting. It really has been a busy month.

Realtor in Toronto said...

Hi, thanks for inspiration. I just started to think what presents should I buy for Christmas this year and I realized that it's quite long time ago that someone from our family got a book as a present. Some of the books you have mentioned seems all right. Yes, and autumn is a great period of year.

Good luck,