Last night, I went to see The Hunger Games, NYT bestselling author, Suzanne Collins, on her Mockingjay book tour. I swung by the Borders bookstore earlier in the day to pick up a wrist band, and I was informed that she’d not be doing a reading, a formal Q&A, or signing books, but rather simply stamping them, with a limit of one book per person.
At first, I was skeptical. I mean, I’ve met plenty of authors before. Even Neil Gaiman had pre-signed books (for sale) at his events, featuring an artful Sandman book-plate with his actual signature. I was thinking to myself, “If I’m ever so lucky as to one day be a NYT bestselling author, I will at least sign my own books!” (Please feel free to throw this blog post in my face when the time comes.) Yes, I’ve done book signings before at my local Borders and Barnes and Nobles, but I was thrilled when 40 or 50 people showed up. (The manager at Barnes & Noble said it was the best turn out they’d ever had for a local author.)
Okay, admittedly, Suzanne Collins is in a whole different league, and I began to understand why she might claim a wrist injury when I actually arrived that evening. It was like being at a rock concert. People without wrist bands weren’t being admitted upstairs. Those of us with wrist bands had to spend an hour waiting in line downstairs before finally shuffling to the second floor, where we waited in line for another hour. One bookstore employee mentioned that they gave out 600 wrist bands. I’m pretty sure that I saw people out front trying to scalp them.
The most entertaining part of the evening came when my section of the line shuffled past my Glee book on the shelf. I pulled it out and told the dozen or so teenagers in line around me that I wrote the book. Next thing I know, I’m signing autographs…. at a Suzanne Collins book signing. (And I used a real pen.)
When I finally did get my two seconds with Suzanne, she was quiet but gracious. Her smile was genuine, which is saying something considering she must have been exhausted by then. Certainly, long nights on a book tour for a rock star of an author must get a little tiring. She allowed me to take a picture with her though, which more than made up for the stamp. (It was a nice stamp though, with the Mockingjay logo and her signature.) In the end, I was glad I spent the time waiting in line and left with an extra little bounce in my step for having met one of my favorite authors.