Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Picture Post- Lisa McMann Event in Pittsburgh, PA

So here is my recap of the Lisa McMann event I went to back in late April. I took two days off work and went up to Pittsburgh the day of the signing. The drive was fairly uneventful, though I did get a bit lost on my way to a McDonald's that I was going to stop at for lunch. Driving through West Virginia was fun too because the speed limit was 70 MPH, which all highways should be, I think. No, I'm not a speed demon. What makes you say that?

Anyway, I got up to Pittsburgh around 5pm and proceeded to slowly make my way into the city. Getting there around rush hour? Not the best idea. But I made it to my friend's place and we hung out there for a while. We left so he could drop me off in front of the library where the event was being held. But the library's front entrance was actually on the side of a block long building so I had to walk quite a bit to get to where I needed to be.

I had to use the bathroom before heading down, then went to where the sign said I should go for the event. Well, the sign was wrong, as a Spanish class or something seemed to be taking place there. I found the place where the event was being held (right next door to the Spanish class) and it turned out that Lisa was actually holding off on starting the event until I got there because she knew I was coming. That was so sweet of her; she said she had been constantly checking her twitter to see if I had gotten lost or something. However, I can't access Twitter from my phone so that does nothing, lol.

Lisa was introduced by the uber cool librarian hosting the event, and then she took the podium and talked about the weather, her books, and then she answered a couple FAQs that she gets at events. After all that, she answered some questions from the audience and also read excerpts from her two 2011 releases, Cryer's Cross and The Unwanteds.

Then they handed out free books! Usually only teens get the free books, but since there was so few people at the event and so many books, everyone got a copy of both Wake and Fade! I am keeping my copy of Fade as I'm in the acknowledgements, and Wake is going to Susan.

I started heading toward the end of the signing line but I was intercepted by a woman and her mom, and I ended up chatting with them for a while. I chatted mainly with Sarah, though her mom chimed in every so often. That was a lot of fun and we found that we had a common love for the book In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg. I loved talking books with them and they were both so funny.

After that, we got in line and I stayed behind until Lisa was completely done so that we had some time to chat. She hugged me several times, signed my books and we talked for several minutes. We had to leave through the back of the library because the actual library was closed, and I had to get back to the main street so I could meet my friend.

Lisa, the librarian (who was also her escort), and I all walked out and went to the librarian's car. Here is the conversation we had (probably paraphrased a bit as it's been over a month since the event):

Me: How do I get back to the main road?
Librarian: Just head down this way, then make a left and you'll be there.
Me (now, it's REALLY dark so I can't really see how far away I'd have to go; also, was just joking): Well, we'll see how that goes.
Librarian: I can move some stuff around in my car. You can go in the backseat.
Lisa: James, you should sit in my lap!
Librarian: That is illegal. I'm not letting that happen.
Me: No, don't worry about it. I'll be fine.
Lisa: James, just come along. If you don't and you get lost, we'll feel so bad that we didn't help you.
Me: OK fine.

Then the librarian is making room in her car and they start talking about the idea of getting food.

Librarian: Do you want to come along for food?
Me: No, that's fine.
Lisa: His friend is picking him up. We can't take him for food.
Librarian: Does your friend want to come too?
Me: No, he's making dinner for us, I think. We'll be good.

Then we get in the car.

Me: But you know, I'm actually not that hungry, even though I ate like 9 hours ago.
Lisa: Oh wow. Do you want a granola bar? I have a granola bar.
Me: No, I'm fine, but thanks. I've got snacks for the way home- a muffin and some fruit snacks. Plus, I'll stop for lunch along the way.
Lisa: Do you want airline peanuts?
Me (laughing): No.
Lisa: Well, I have to give you something. You came all this way. I'd feel bad if I didn't give you something.
Me (COMPLETELY JOKING): You could give me money.
Lisa (rummaging through her purse): I think I've got $5 in here!!
Me: Um, I didn't really mean it.
Lisa: Found it! Just take it. I'll feel better.
Me: OK, thanks!
Lisa: I bet no other author did THAT for you!
Me: Nope... although Diana Peterfreund did buy me lunch at McDonald's once.
Lisa: ... is that more than $5?
Me (laughing): I think it's about the same.
Lisa: OK. Just promise me- you need to blog about this!

And so here I am, blogging about it. I still have the $5 and I wish I could actually find our package of Double A batteries so I could get a picture of it, as it's still in the same condition she gave it to me in, which is crumpled up, lol.

So that was my Lisa McMann experience and it was an awesome one! If you want to read another (more informative) perspective on the event, here's Runa's blog post about it!


  1. HA HA HA!!!

    Awesome retelling. Very accurate. Love the conversation, ha! Every word is true.

  2. That is an awesome story! I cannot believe she gave you money. I love her books plus she sounds like she is great in person too! So funny...nice story James :)

  3. LOL!! That was awesome. Lisa sounds hilarious. Just went to a signing myself yesterday...funny the stories you come away with from those events.

    Question: If you stay behind to talk to authors at signings, are they usually obliging? Never tried it before but I totally would like to. I just don't want them being like, Umm, we already signed your books and now we're tired. Go away.

    Any advice for me, James? I'd really appreciate it!

  4. Oh my god! I LOVE your author signing stories. You have some kind of jinx on you I swear! I wonder if something will happen to me at the JG,DL signing if I have your book with me!!!

  5. Lisa- Thanks for being the first commenter!! :) Glad you enjoyed my retelling. I did my best with the conversation because I knew that would be a main point of the post. I've told several people that story because it's just so hilarious. YOU are hilarious- I had a fabulous time. Hopefully next time we meet, we'll have more time together!

    Meaghan- We should both pester Lisa constantly to come to the East Coast again and we can go to the event together. :)

    Kris- It really depends. Most of the time, I just chat with the author for a couple minutes while they sign my book and ask for a picture and that's it. With Lisa, we've been chatting since several months before Wake, her debut, came out, so I knew that we would want to chat for a while now that we were FINALLY meeting face-to-face. If I email with the author a lot and consider them friends, I'll stick around. I tend to do that at Maggie Stiefvater's signings and she's always very obliging to anyone who wants to talk with her.

    But with most of my signings, I just get my book signed and a pic taken and then go home, lol. If you read some of my non-Maggie book signing posts, you'll see how my signings usually go. They're all tagged under Book Signings, so they're easy to find.

    Hope that helps!!

    Alexa- I know! What causes all these things to happen?! And I guess we'll never know about JG/DL as I'll be seeing them at ALA. Keep me posted though on other signings and maybe we can work something out and test the theory, lol.