In which I get to see Laurie Halse Anderson at Children’s Book World

I’ve gone to some pretty great events in the past month or so! I’ve hung out with awesome bloggers, heard some great authors speak AND meet my favorite author in the whole wide world (Jonathan Safran Foer). With all of that, I have to say that the experience meeting Laurie Halse Anderson on part of her Forge tour ranks up there as one of the best.

I drove an hour to Children’s Book World  because I was hellbent on meeting an author whom I so admire and whose books I devour and have become favorites (namely Speak). After circling the block a zillion times and telling my GPS off for not clearly pointing out where this building was, I finally made it into the bookstore with a few minutes to spare. Boy, was it packed in there! Children were running amok and I almost ran out the door but decided to press onward. I had to remind myself that I was the one who was out of place here. Ooh and I got mistaken for a teacher at one point! Normally I’m getting shooed into line as if I’m a student.

Anyways, the event started out a little rocky. Quick rant. I planned on buying two books there and brought two of my own to get signed. I looked on their site to see if they had a policy regarding this and didn’t see it. I even tried to contact them and never heard back. Anyways, I get there and buy my books and then ask about my own copies, and I’m told them I’m not allowed to get them signed. Anything I want signed, I had to buy. So, that rustled my little feathers a little bit so I was kind of in a pouty mood…until two things happened: Laurie started speaking and Steph Su arrived! I was so looking forward to this reunion. I met Steph in August at PAYA and I’ve been so stoked to hang out with her again! She’s just really awesome and you should be friends with her.


Forge (Seeds of America)Anyways, back to Laurie. What a phenomenal speaker! She is incredibly engaging, quite humorous and very much down to earth. There were a lot kids there from a local school and I was really impressed with her ability to make it interesting for both the children and the adults in the audience. The ease in which she spoke to the kids and interacted with them was quite impressive and I loved the interactions between her and the children. I must say, these kids asked some great (and hilarious!) questions.She talked a little bit about her research for Chains and Forge and I’m floored at her level of dedication. You would not find me outside in the snow with no shoes on to see what the soldiers did. No need for such torture when I can just imagine what they went through. I also found it quite interesting that she mentioned that she is a terrible speller and hated reading and writing in school. That piqued the interest of many little boys in the crowd!

The best part was meeting Laurie and getting her to sign my books. She has been my favorite author to meet thus far. Yes, she even beat out Jonathan Safran Foer and Rob Sheffield. How is this possible? Laurie is the type of person you meet and you feel like you have been good friends for ages. Very personable! She genuinely wants to talk to you and doesn’t rush through the line. We had such a good discussion about banning books, where my love for the Revolutionary time period comes from and much more! She is just truly one of the kindest and most awesome people I’ve ever met and is just so much fun! If you have enjoyed her books and have not gotten to meet her–I’d suggest you put that on your bucket list.

After she was done signing my books, I went and chatted with Steph and met Frankie and Sara of First Novels Club. So much fun talking to these girls and I definitely plan on meeting up with them again sometime soon! We ended up being the last people in the store and we got to chat with Laurie some more which was awesome! Excessive laughter was involved. 

And then this..

I’m going to tell you to go to Jen’s blog  after you leave here to have a further explanation of this but it all started when Jen told me about her dream that she went to a LHA signing and she was a robot! I tweeted this to Laurie and begged her to be real. She tweeted us back and said she’d have to hide her android parts. What a goof! 🙂 So, when I saw her, I said…”You are real!!” and we laughed and joked about it. Once we were the last people in the store, I decided it might be ok to ask her to send a message to Jen telling her that she was indeed real. That’s all I said..and that hilarious video is what she came up with! Sheer brilliance! We were all dying in the background. After that, Steph and I went to IHop and had some AWESOME food (um, I’m looking at you, Nutella Crepes with bananas and strawberries) and conversation. I absolutely adore her to pieces.

And I have to say, all joking aside, Laurie..you really ARE real. I’ve been lucky to meet some well known authors, like yourself,  but I felt like I was just one in a million and they couldn’t bother to even make some sort of connection with me. You could have been friendly and methodical in getting people through the lines but instead you treated me like a friend rather than a fan of your work. The conversation and the joking was genuine and I appreciated that so much. You care about your fans and you make real connections with them. It made my heart happy to see you with one of your readers that you’ve known since she was in second grade. You’ve made real and lasting impacts on people of all ages through your books and you aren’t afraid to place those elephants in the room–and I love that–because sometimes they need to be there! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. So, thank you Laurie, for being real when others are afraid to be!

Check out Frankie’s recap of the event

About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Aww, what a great event! I love when authors you hope are awesome end up being even better than you'd imagined. I've only read one of Anderson's books, but I'm absolutely planning to read more.

    That video is awesome!

  2. Yay! That video is the best ever.

  3. TNBBC Super Mod says:

    Love the video. Look at you taking the author signings by storm! You are inspiring me to get off my duff and get going to some more!

  4. Super jealous! I love Laurie Halse Anderson!

  5. I am so glad you had such a great experience. What a great sport Laurie was too…that vid is HILARITY! <3

  6. What an awesome experience! I just recently found her books & have really enjoyed them. It's good to hear about authors who are down to earth & "real" hehe. I wish more book bloggers lived near me! I would LOVE to meet up with them for events like this.

  7. Frankie Diane Mallis says:

    Awesome recap and LOVE Laurie! You're so right, you meet her and its like you've known her for ages and she is REAL!

    Also, go glad I got to meet you!

  8. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) says:

    You are awesomely hilarious. I'm glad you guys had such an amazing time! I wish I could've joined you, but this video made me feel like I was there anyway 🙂 I guess I should have more ridiculous dreams!!

  9. I laughed sympathetically when you said that sometimes you get shooed into line as if you're a student. Those kind of things happen to me all the time! 🙁 I'm 22, 5'2", and less than 100 lbs. so I'm always getting mistaken for a kid! *big pout*

  10. Christina/Book Addict says:

    Great post, Jamie. It looks like you guys had a great time. I wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing the awesome photos and videos too. I am so jealous! We should plan something soon!

  11. How great that such an excellent writer is also an excellent person. Thank you for posting this!

    And grr about having to buy the books for the signing. Makes sense, but put up a sign or notice somewhere!

  12. Ummm, I'm like insanely jealous of you right now. I can't tell you how much I would LOVE to meet LHA. She's amazing! I'm so happy you got to meet her!

  13. Hafsah @ IceyBooks says:

    I live way over here (in Arlington, TX), I wish there were more book bloggers and author events closer to me!
    I came across your blog from Makeshift Jen's (totally-cool) blog, and I'm now a follower (please follow back)!!
    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

  14. What an amazing experience! I'm so glad you were able to meet her and how funny that she did that video – amazing 🙂

  15. This is so cool! My favorite author I've ever met is Chuck Klosterman. He's actually pretty personable and I was caught a little off guard because I thought he might be an asshole. So jealous of your experience.

  16. So jealous! She was at the Texas Book Festival a few weeks ago and I really wanted to see her since I just finished listening to Wintergirls. Unfortunately she was early in the morning and we were still driving from Dallas.

    I'm glad you had such a great experience!

  17. Peppermint Ph.D. says:

    I've heard so many great things about this author just in the last few days…I thought my oldest daughter had Speak on her shelf but we looked last night and it was not there. I've already ordered another copy this morning. 🙂 Thanks for this great post!!

  18. <333

  19. Rasco from RIF says:

    Reading Is Fundamental hosted Laurie yesterday and accompanied her to two schools to speak with junior high students. My, oh my…it was the best RIF day I have ever experienced! I have followed Laurie on twitter and her blog for quite some time and have read most of her books; as would be expected, when we met in person the first time yesterday morning, I felt she was already a longstanding friend. "Real" is indeed the word for her and for her work. We captured a great deal of video and did an interview with her that the RIF staff will be refining and posting in the next month or so. Thank you again for your great posting!

  20. I'm so jealous!

  21. What a genuine person Laurie is!
    Loved the video *cracks up all over again*!
    You are so lucky to have met her!

In which I get to see Laurie Halse Anderson at Children’s Book World

I’ve gone to some pretty great events in the past month or so! I’ve hung out with awesome bloggers, heard some great authors speak AND meet my favorite author in the whole wide world (Jonathan Safran Foer). With all of that, I have to say that the experience meeting Laurie Halse Anderson on part of her Forge tour ranks up there as one of the best.

I drove an hour to Children’s Book World  because I was hellbent on meeting an author whom I so admire and whose books I devour and have become favorites (namely Speak). After circling the block a zillion times and telling my GPS off for not clearly pointing out where this building was, I finally made it into the bookstore with a few minutes to spare. Boy, was it packed in there! Children were running amok and I almost ran out the door but decided to press onward. I had to remind myself that I was the one who was out of place here. Ooh and I got mistaken for a teacher at one point! Normally I’m getting shooed into line as if I’m a student.

Anyways, the event started out a little rocky. Quick rant. I planned on buying two books there and brought two of my own to get signed. I looked on their site to see if they had a policy regarding this and didn’t see it. I even tried to contact them and never heard back. Anyways, I get there and buy my books and then ask about my own copies, and I’m told them I’m not allowed to get them signed. Anything I want signed, I had to buy. So, that rustled my little feathers a little bit so I was kind of in a pouty mood…until two things happened: Laurie started speaking and Steph Su arrived! I was so looking forward to this reunion. I met Steph in August at PAYA and I’ve been so stoked to hang out with her again! She’s just really awesome and you should be friends with her.


Forge (Seeds of America)Anyways, back to Laurie. What a phenomenal speaker! She is incredibly engaging, quite humorous and very much down to earth. There were a lot kids there from a local school and I was really impressed with her ability to make it interesting for both the children and the adults in the audience. The ease in which she spoke to the kids and interacted with them was quite impressive and I loved the interactions between her and the children. I must say, these kids asked some great (and hilarious!) questions.She talked a little bit about her research for Chains and Forge and I’m floored at her level of dedication. You would not find me outside in the snow with no shoes on to see what the soldiers did. No need for such torture when I can just imagine what they went through. I also found it quite interesting that she mentioned that she is a terrible speller and hated reading and writing in school. That piqued the interest of many little boys in the crowd!

The best part was meeting Laurie and getting her to sign my books. She has been my favorite author to meet thus far. Yes, she even beat out Jonathan Safran Foer and Rob Sheffield. How is this possible? Laurie is the type of person you meet and you feel like you have been good friends for ages. Very personable! She genuinely wants to talk to you and doesn’t rush through the line. We had such a good discussion about banning books, where my love for the Revolutionary time period comes from and much more! She is just truly one of the kindest and most awesome people I’ve ever met and is just so much fun! If you have enjoyed her books and have not gotten to meet her–I’d suggest you put that on your bucket list.

After she was done signing my books, I went and chatted with Steph and met Frankie and Sara of First Novels Club. So much fun talking to these girls and I definitely plan on meeting up with them again sometime soon! We ended up being the last people in the store and we got to chat with Laurie some more which was awesome! Excessive laughter was involved. 

And then this..

I’m going to tell you to go to Jen’s blog  after you leave here to have a further explanation of this but it all started when Jen told me about her dream that she went to a LHA signing and she was a robot! I tweeted this to Laurie and begged her to be real. She tweeted us back and said she’d have to hide her android parts. What a goof! 🙂 So, when I saw her, I said…”You are real!!” and we laughed and joked about it. Once we were the last people in the store, I decided it might be ok to ask her to send a message to Jen telling her that she was indeed real. That’s all I said..and that hilarious video is what she came up with! Sheer brilliance! We were all dying in the background. After that, Steph and I went to IHop and had some AWESOME food (um, I’m looking at you, Nutella Crepes with bananas and strawberries) and conversation. I absolutely adore her to pieces.

And I have to say, all joking aside, Laurie..you really ARE real. I’ve been lucky to meet some well known authors, like yourself,  but I felt like I was just one in a million and they couldn’t bother to even make some sort of connection with me. You could have been friendly and methodical in getting people through the lines but instead you treated me like a friend rather than a fan of your work. The conversation and the joking was genuine and I appreciated that so much. You care about your fans and you make real connections with them. It made my heart happy to see you with one of your readers that you’ve known since she was in second grade. You’ve made real and lasting impacts on people of all ages through your books and you aren’t afraid to place those elephants in the room–and I love that–because sometimes they need to be there! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. So, thank you Laurie, for being real when others are afraid to be!

Check out Frankie’s recap of the event

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.