Friday, March 27, 2009

A Blunder at a Book Signing

Thursday night I was lucky enough to attend the Lisa McMann and Cassandra Clare book signing at Mysterious Galaxy, an indie book store in the San Diego area. I was excited for several reasons. First off, I had yet to visit Mysterious Galaxy in the 4 years I've lived in San Diego, but always wanted to. The obvious reason, meeting two great YA authors. Before the signing, I knew about Cassandra's books, but hadn't read them. It was a perfect excuse to purchase the whole series! I read Wake awhile ago and LOVED it. I ordered Fade online and hadn't read it, but it was at the top of my TBR pile. The last reason, I love generally going to author events and sitting in the audience thinking, "Could I do this if my books ever get published?" (Let me tell you, the last signing I was at before Thursday night was Stephenie Meyer and the moment I walked into the screaming room of 400 people, I knew there was no way in hell I wanted to be in Stephenie's shoes.)

Anyway, back to Thursday night. I was able to persuade my husband to come with me to the signing. My only fear was of him having a melt down due to hundreds of screaming teen girls (which I'm happy to say didn't happen). We left work early (yes, we work together) to make sure we arrived on time, found the store and a place to park. In the end, we were there about 45 minutes early. It worked out great. We had time to buy the books and even run out to the car to get my previously purchased copy of Fade. I didn't bring it in at first, not knowing the situation in the store. I didn't want them to think I was trying to steal it. So, after getting permission to get a previously purchased copy signed, I was set. We still had a few minutes and the crowd wasn't huge, so I suggested a coffee. Starbucks was right next door and what a way to make an already amazing evening even better! Just add a little Chai Latte with Soy to your life.

Now, at this point, you're probably wondering why I'm giving you a play by play of my evening before the signing. Trust me, the Chai Latte is important to the story.

I enjoyed my Chai Latte as I sat and listened to Cassandra Clare and Lisa McMann read from their books (Cassandra read from unpublished work in a new series, Lisa read from Wake). Then they took questions and answers. It was perfect. There was great questions asked (and some funny ones, like if Cassandra really knew Holly Black). I happily finished my latte, taking the hot sleeve thing off and sticking it into my now empty cup. After the Q&A, the employees of the store informed us that if we were sitting in seats up front, the chairs needed to be moved in order to start the signing portion of the evening. I had to get up and move the folding chair to the right or left. How hard is that, right? I had all the books in a bag (the bag was too small for that many books and a bit awkward), my purse, my "empty" coffee cup and now the metal folding chair.

Now, this is where it goes ALL wrong. Instead of getting my husband's attention to help with everything I was holding, I tried to move my chair with my hands full. There was hustle and bustle and what did I do? Tilted my "empty" coffee cup a little bit to fold and lift the chair as I held the bag of books...proceeding to dump what I thought was an empty cup onto the books. CHAI WITH SOY EVERYWHERE ON THE BOOKS!!!!!!! The new books I bought 30 minutes before. Can you freaking believe it?

Not the best pic, but you get the idea

So my husband was in front of me and he was like "OH NO" when he saw the damage, and then proceeded to give me the look. The look that tells me he can't believe I actually did what I just did. The look that tells me he's wondering how I managed to accomplish my level of stupidity. After he's done with the head shake and the look, he asked if I was going to buy other copies to replace the ones I had just ruined. Well, you see, I spent almost $50 on the books and so I was just going to have them sign the ruined copies. Two of the books, (of course one of them was a paperback and not the hardback) just had one small drip on it. No biggie. The others had huge light brown spots, on the top or bottom of the binding and pages. Here are a few pics of the ruined books.

Because I have the most amazing husband in the world, he went and replaced the copies of Cassandra's books (it was City of Ashes and City of Glass that were ruined), spending another $30.

So, after a total of $75 spent, I have a signed copy of Fade and all three signed of Cassandra's books...and two damaged brand new copies of book 2 and 3 of the Mortal Instruments series that are now my "reading" copies. Lovely, huh? Anyway, overall I had a fabulous time, and the crowd was great (just the perfect size). Both authors were extremely nice, funny and were really down to earth. Just what I like to see.

A few of the signed books.

I can't wait to read Fade and the Mortal Instruments series! Thanks Lisa and Cassandra for a great night!

What did I learn out of my stupid blunder? Always make sure to drink every last drop of your Soy Chai Latte before turning it upside down with books in your hands. LOL.


Tiffany Schmidt said...

I did the same thing today! I grabbed a pile of books from my classroom library to bring home for the weekend – including a student’s copy of Hiaasen’s SCAT that she’d gotten for her birthday and begged me to read.

I threw these in my bag along with my sealed thermos. The same thermos I’ve used for years. It has never leaked before – and by 3:30 there shouldn’t have been a single drop left in it to leak –but when I pulled my bag out of the backseat, it and the books inside were all covered in coffee!

Apparently it's the day of magically refilling coffee cups.

Looks like I’ll be buying a new copy of SCAT this weekend to replace the one that was ruined by the freak-coffee-storm that occurred in my backseat.

Anonymous said...

LOL. That is so totally something I would do!!! I was at the Oceanside signing and also thought it was a great event. Both Cassandra and Lisa are so nice. I hope to be as gracious should be books get published and I get the chance to do a book tour!!!

Tracy Belsher said...

Lol! Oh, Tami - you're too cute. I love this post because I can totally relate. ;) I usually manage to spill half a bag of popcorn - somehow - every time we go to a movie....and my husband gives me the same look.

Sounds like the signing was a blast though. Glad you got your autographs.

elisa nader said...

Ah - oh no! But you know what? Makes a cute story. :)

Fade, I thought, was even better than Wake (if that is possible) AND Mortal Instruments is so wonderful. Strong characters, emotional love stories and funny! You'll enjoy it. I'm reading City of Glass s-l-o-w-l-y, a paragraph at a time, because I don't want it to end!

Tami Klockau said...

Oh man, Tiffany! When we were driving home, I mentioned to my husband that at least it was on MY books (well, and a copy of Wake that I was going to give to Tracy, yet wasn't able to replace) and not other's. Can you imagine? YIKES! I'm also grateful it was BEFORE they signed, and not after. LOL

Christine, I hear the Oceanside one was insane! Over 200!? The one the next night was much more low key, which was good because I'm sure my husband's head would have exploded otherwise.

Tracy, so YOU'RE the popcorn bandit. LOL Don't you hate "the look"? I think every husband has it! LOL I think I see it at least once a day. I'm either spilling, dropping something or hurting myself by accident. LOL

Elisa, great to know that you loved Fade and the Mortal Instruments series! I'm reading Undone by Brooke Taylor right now, but I'm probably going to read Fade next. At least it only has a DROP of Chai on it. Maybe they'll smell good? LOL. I'm sure I'll be wanting chai the whole time I read the Mortals Instruments series. LOL