Sunday, November 22, 2015

Getting to know you

Part of the VAASL conference this year has been a celebration of Virginia authors. There was an authors reception on Thursday night where various local authors were spread around the exhibit hall, signing books and meeting fans. On Friday night, the annual banquet was held and Maggie Stiefvater, who lives in the Shenandoah Valley, spoke.

To date, I have only read one book by Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver, and I ultimately did not care much for it. I'm even more wary of paranormal teenage romance trilogies than I am about dystopian trilogies. I really liked her talk though, and I am willing to give another book or series by her another chance.

After the dinner, Maggie was going to sign books and there was line practically out the door for it. So, Margaret, my keynote speaking conference buddy who has read even less Maggie Stiefvater than I have, jumped in line with a book to have signed for a friend, and I went to the restroom. Margaret was pretty close to the front when I got back, so I went up to stand next to her and a few other librarian friends and said, "It's not cutting if I'm not having anything signed, right?"

Everyone agreed, but then the conference planner/new VAASL president handed me The Raven Boys, the first book in The Raven Cycle.

"Do you want me to have this signed for someone?"

"No, it's yours now. I ended up with an extra copy."

"Well, okay then! Thanks!"

And about a minute later, I was at the signing table, having Maggie sign a book I received just moments earlier and have never read.

"To Amanda." *flashes name badge for spelling* "So far I've only read Shiver, and I didn't care for it much."

"That's okay. I think my books have gotten better since then."

"That's cool. I just got this one and I've heard good things, so I'm looking forward to reading it."

It was a bit awkward. But what DO you say to an author whose only book you didn't really like and you were not planning on meeting until literally a minute earlier?

The Virginian author/illustrator at today's lunch, Henry Cole, was also interesting to listen to. I'll be honest though - I dozed off a little during his talk. I was getting the sleepies after lunch and I knew I had a 2.5 hour drive coming up after, so I rested my chin on my hand and closed my eyes for a few minutes to take the edge off. I don't think anyone noticed, thank goodness. I did wake up in time to watch him illustrate this super cute drawing to the music (and even rhythm) of a Peggy Lee song.


Giggles said...

I heard an author speak once and it totally turned me off to their books, which I'd previously enjoyed. They could write but the guy could not give a speech to save his life. I went to a speech by the writer of Piled Higher and Deeper and wasn't impressed either. Clearly not all forms of communication are the same because people don't have the same skill level for all of them. Makes me wonder what it would've been like to listen to the Book of Mormon writers since they say they were much better at speaking than writing and I think they did an amazing job at the writing thing.

AmandaStretch said...

That's a good point. Maybe they'll be our Celestial History teachers when the time comes!