Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Flailing Returns: Meeting Maggie Stiefvater

Ok, so on July 10, Maggie Stiefvater was in Iowa City.

And since Maggie Stiefvater is my favorite author and not many authors come within two hours of me, this means that I was also in Iowa City on July 10.

It was my first non-ALA signing since Gordon Korman when I was about ten years old.

If you don’t care about anything but the actual act of seeing a Stiefvater, please scroll to the first picture.

Me and my sister made a day of it, me journeying to her apartment about twelve hours in advance, after which I napped, ate lunch and watched more of Breaking Bad, and played with the overgrown kitten she is taking care of for the summer.

Then we trekked to Iowa City and went shopping for some beauteous clothing and ate ice cream and strolled past a fountain I could not run through with the little urchins of Iowa City because I was holding like four books at the time.

Then there was the bookstore (Prairie Lights).

And there was my sister trying to keep me from audibly squealing in public, and me trying to get my sister to stop browsing and follow me upstairs to the location of the sighing because I was antsy and wanted a good seat.

We wound up in the second side row, which provided the perfect angle to crane my neck and see one of the bookseller’s counters behind the other section of seats. Which means—that after a good amount of fangirling about Maggie Stiefvater to my sister and listening to other people fangirl about Maggie Stiefvater and talk about her blog, her Camaro, her goats—I was probably one of the first to see her arrive and talk to the bookseller.

 Maggie Stiefvater was everything I had hoped, hilarious and well-spoken and really engaging to listen to. Of all my favorite authors, I’d felt like she would be among the more entertaining to meet in real life—and I guess I will not know if that is accurate until I meet the others. O v O
She talked about the process of writing Sinner, she answered questions about writing (I referenced one of her answers in last week’s post), and was—in general—amazing. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.

Afterward, as per her Shy Introvert’s Guide to Stiefvater Signings, I decided to hang around at the back of the line with my seven books (I know I said four earlier, but I accumulated three more after entering the store). I chatted with the person in front of me and stared creepily across the room as Maggie Stiefvater signed for others.

I may have eavesdropped a bit.

And then it was my turn.

And when she saw my first name scrawled on a post-it on the cover of one of the books, she was immediately like,


I have never been so happy about someone ALMOST getting my name right.

She recognized me from Twitter! Possibly just because of the sheer quantity of tweets I tagged her in beforehand/in general! I had hoped but had not wanted to assume but she had recognized my name without prompting!


Because I was at the back of the line, there was no pressure, so we miiiight have chatted for a longer duration than some of the others? At least that’s what it felt like. Maybe time slowed down a little bit. It was awesome, and felt like a way more natural conversation than some of my awkward interactions at ALA.

She signed my seven books. I mentioned that Dad wanted me to take a picture of Loki, the famous Camaro, and she grimaced apologetically and said it was in a parking garage on street names that now escape me.

Sis and I walked away, me still giddy, and we glanced at a parking garage we passed but did not see it anywhere. Resigned to that being the [not very] low point of the trip, we returned to the parking garage where we’d left our own vehicle.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if she parked right next to us?” Sis asked.

And then we both caught a flash of blue and we stopped dead.

Because Loki was parked literally 15 feet away from us.

We immediately took THIS picture (note the awed joy on my face):

And this one (note me pointing to the red car in the background, which is ours):

Basically, it was the perfect way to end the day.

So please, please, please, if you know of any signings in Iowa, let me know. Especially if they involve a Stiefvater.

(oh and buy Sinner etc. wooooooo)

Favorite book signing experience? Who do you want to see in person?

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