The first achievement of the day was that my friend Erin and I DID NOT GET LOST. Huzzah! This is an achievement for me because, although I live a mere hour's bus ride away from the city, I've never been there without someone who knows it far, far better than I do to lead me around. But with my slowly cementing knowledge of NYC and Erin's actually functioning sense of direction, we got on the subway and made our way down to SoHo and the Scholastic Store!
Let me just say, the Scholastic Store is a very, very dangerous place to be. SO MANY BOOKS. SO MANY SHINY HARDCOVERS WANTING ME TO TAKE THEM HOME. I bought the books that I wanted (a copy of Libba Bray's new book BEAUTY QUEENS, a copy of Meg Cabot's ABANDON, and, later, a paperback of Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER for my sister) and then BACKED AWAY from the bookshelves.
And then! And then!
Apologies for the blurry photo. My camera is often uncooperative. But look! Awesome authors! Being awesome! And answering questions for us!
The Scholastic guy (whose name I have forgotten, sadly) asked each author a few questions (I think my favorite was when Maggie Stiefvater talked about werewolves stereotypically wearing a lot of leather and rivets and otherwise smelling like wet dog, and when Libba Bray named the microphone Fred) and then asked some questions from the crowd. He only took three - and I was one of them! Huzzah!
I asked how they go about doing the research for their books. It was a question I mostly wanted to ask Libba, because I love her GEMMA DOYLE books so so so much, but they all had great answers. Libba uses what she called the "six degrees to Kevin Bacon" approach - one thing leads to another which leads to another and so on. Meg Cabot said that, although she knows she's not supposed to, she uses Wikipedia, and also bloggers who are obsessed about the things she's writing about (Maggie and Libba then teased her a good deal about letting the internet do her work for her). And Maggie says that she uses a combination of those two approaches, and also likes hands-on research. She needed to research cliffs, so she went to a whole bunch of cliffs all over the place - and broke her tailbone on a cliff in the UK. Ouch! The lengths we go to, you know? ;)
And then there was the signing part! Of course, Erin and I ran to get on Libba Bray's line (and by the time we got off it there wasn't much of a line left anywhere else, hooray!). And we took pictures!
Since Libba Bray has been one of my very favorite authors for a long time now... that was brilliant. And she had buttons! I now have a purple button on my backpack that says "sparkle pony" on it. I haven't read BEAUTY QUEENS yet so I'm not entirely sure what that means, but... c'mon, sparkle pony just sounds hilarious and awesome!
Naturally, Meg Cabot had a very sparkly shirt on. :)
This one came with the question Erin and I ALWAYS get: "are you guys sisters?" Nope! Not related in any way whatsoever. She just lives down the street.
They also had giant cardboard standups of each author's book cover, with a hole cut out so you could stick your head in. Most of mine came out terrible, but I do like this one:
So, that was my adventure to This is Teen. My advice for author signings - come with questions prepared! They appreciate it greatly!
Have a good long weekend, all!