I went to my first author event last night. I figured since I might be doing some of these - sooner rather than later - I better see what they're all about. The reading/signing was billed as "YA Superstars" with Libba Bray, David Levithan, and Natalie Standiford at a terrific bookstore called The Voracious Reader. The three of them were very entertaining (I can only hope to be this funny if David Levithan agrees to come along to all my events). Here's some of what I noticed:
- -About 40 people came, 85% of them 10-14 year old girls.
- -The authors mingled with the crowd before the event - though few people spoke to them.
- -David & Libba wore jeans, Natalie wore a skirt and sweater.
- -The authors varied how they did their readings: David read a chapter from the middle of Love is the Higher Law. Natalie read the first chapter of How to Say Goodbye in Robot, then read a Christmas scene where she read the main character's parts and David and Libba read the Dad's and Mom's. Finally, Libba read random pages from Going Bovine, called out by audience members. The variety helped the hour of reading stay fresh.
- -They were funny. Mostly because they are naturally, but none of them read overly somber scenes. David's was the most serious, but his read had all the right inflections and had the audience laughing at all the right places.
- -They did a Q&A after. David had a copy of The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide that he threatened to read from if no one asked questions. We only had to listen to a sentence or two.
- -The audience questions were eveything from what the authors thought of Twilight and Harry Potter to interpretations of their books.
- -At the signing, Libba used stamps - a cow for Going Bovine and an old-fashioned "Beauty" one for the Gemma Doyle books. The authors always asked who to sign it to and the correct spelling.
- -David is both an editor and author. He edited Natalie's book and is doing Libba's next one about teen beauty queens whose airplane crashes, stranding them on a deserted island. Lord of the Flies meets Glee meets something else that I forget.
I've never read any of their books, so bought one of each. I did not get Going Bovine, but after the audience interpretation question, I think I'm going to have to. It sounds really interesting.
Here's a blurry pic of the authors, doing their thing: