Today we spent part of the afternoon at Books of Wonder, a great independent children’s bookstore on 18th St. in Chelsea. We were there for a ‘Fantastic Fiction’ book event in order to meet one of Maya’s favorite authors, Gabrielle Zevin. Maya has read two of Ms. Zevin’s books – Elsewhere and All These Things I’ve Done – and we bought a third, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, yesterday on our evening book run.
Including Ms. Zevin there were seven authors on the panel, one of them being Scott Westerfeld, who has two very successful book series – the Uglies series and the Leviathan series (a few attendees this afternoon were in full Leviathan character dress – a sure sign of a devoted fan base).
In a nutshell it was fantastic. Each of the 7 authors took a few minutes to either read from their book or talk about it. They were all funny, self-deprecating and unique. So great to see these very different personalities together – all published authors. It made me realize that there is no one ‘type’ of person who writes, which I find more than encouraging. Gabrielle Zevin had a very dry sense of humor and seemed slightly uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience, but when we spoke to her as she signed Maya’s books she was warm and engaging.
Every part of our time there was fun. The owner of the bookstore came up and commented on the number of books Maya was holding (four), asked her how old she is and when she told him 11, he said, “Come back in 5 years and I’ll give you a job.” He then asked her who her favorite author is, and when she said Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) he said, “Oh I had lunch with Suzanne a couple of weeks ago. She’s a good friend.” Cool, cool, cool!! I want to have lunch with Suzanne Collins! He also told us she’s really pleased with how the film is going. Even more cool!! (Too many exclamation points, I know. And I probably should have said, ‘cooler’.)
Hanging out with people who write and/or people who love the people who write is truly one of the most satisfying, enjoyable experiences I can think of.