Tuesday, May 19, 2015
That Time I Met Sarah Dessen...
About a week and a half ago, I had the extreme pleasure of going to an event at Half Price Books where I was able to meet Sarah Dessen and have her sign some of my books. This was actually my first official book/author event, and I was so nervously excited the whole week leading up to the event. Sarah Dessen has been one of my favorite authors for a very long time, and I could not believe that I was actually going to get to speak to her. This was something on my bucket list, people! I was so nervous I was going to say something dumb and make a fool of myself, but luckily that did not happen!
The whole event went incredibly smoothly, especially since I was not sure what to expect. They had most of Sarah's books for sale so that you could buy any that you wanted to have signed while she was there. I already had my preordered copy of Saint Anything, but I went ahead and picked up the recently released paperback version of The Moon and More; I have recently decided to re-buy all of her books in the newer paperback copies, and this made for the first one. When you bought your books, you were given a pass that had your number on it which let you know about where you would be in line when the signing began. We got there fairly early, but I was still number 106. My friend, Brenda, agreed to go with me so I wouldn't have to go alone, and it was so great having her there with me! (It gave me someone to fangirl/freak out to without seeming like a complete weirdo!).
When Sarah first arrived, she moved to the front of the room and had a seat on the table at the front so it would not seem as awkward with her sitting in the chair (I sit on the tables/desks all the time when I teach, so it was pretty funny). She shared some fun information about herself, and talked through the process of Saint Anything - the struggles and successes that came along with writing it. Then she read a little bit of the book, which was really amazing. There is something incredible about hearing an author read their own book aloud...or maybe that's just me! Then she took some questions, and answered everyone with such genuine, thought-out responses. You could tell that she really liked talking to her fans and appreciated all of the support. She had great advice for other aspiring writers, and helped me finally get into gear and begin writing myself.
I was incredibly nervous about how it was going to go when it was my turn to have my books signed. I watched several other people go through ahead of me to get an idea of how things were going, but I was so nervous and was super afraid that I was not going to be able to speak when it was my turn! Sarah completely broke the ice by complimenting my outfit and saying she saw me sitting up front earlier. It was nice that she had noticed me when I wasn't even expecting her to! That started a great conversation (though short, of course, she was very busy!), which led to the hug in the picture above. She had a lot of appreciation for the fact that I teach middle school, and that's always a nice thing to hear, especially since it happened to be Teacher Appreciation Week! Overall, it was a completely amazing experience, and Sarah was just as wonderful as I had expected!