So this past Thursday evening I had the opportunity to meet Laurie Halse Anderson at the King's English Bookstore in Salt Lake City. It was so much fun! It's a really tiny bookstore in a residential area (which was a little hard to find), and the store had just enough people to be cozy enough; I was surprised to see that not that many people were there. I guess I can't blame anyone for not following author's book tours like I do.
So I was in line, anxiously waiting to get my books signed (I bought Wintergirls while I was there, and I brought Speak from home) when finally, it was my turn. She signed my books, and I told her how I saw that on her book tour dates she went to San Francisco the Sunday previous, and I started cursing myself that I didn't live at home, when I saw that she was coming to Salt Lake, and I jumped for joy. I told her that I drove up from Provo to see her, and she got so excited and grateful that I came. I couldn't believe how genuine and honest she was! (Not like I think authors are selfish and are lying to me when they say they're glad I came to see them, but she was truly sincere).
The girl before me had asked Anderson what her tattoo stood for (it's a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of the word "Hwaet" which is the first word from the first line of Beowulf). She told them this explanation, and that when it was spoken by the storyteller, it was a calling to others to listen- she said it was really painful to put it on so that way she won't forget it and will continue telling stories. After hearing her tattoo story I told her that I am currently in a Medieval lit. class and so recognized the meaning of her tattoo prior to her explaining it (because I'm just that big of a nerd).
We took a picture together, and then I went on my merry way (after telling her that her books are totally amazing!). I hung around the bookstore for a while more because I heard that she would be speaking a little bit later, and as I was waiting I started chatting with Sara Zarr (author of Sweethearts- which I've read- and Story of a Girl) and James Dashner (author of The 13th Reality series as well as the Jimmy Fincher series). It was a lot of fun, and the info that I gleaned from our conversations are thus:
- Sara Zarr really likes Friday Night Lights
- She's super excited when fans recognize her and start telling her how wonderful and amazing she (and her books) is (are)
- James Dashner always meets his deadlines, and wouldn't dream of missing them
- He tries to write 1500 words a day
- He doesn't edit his writing as he goes along
- As of Thursday night at the book signing, he had never read any of Anderson's books, though he planned on starting with Twisted and then planned on moving to Speak