Saturday afternoon, I prepped the GPS, picked up my friend and set out to a part of NY that I rarely frequent. Our journey there was safe, and quick for the most part. UNTIL we arrived in Rhinebeck. Upon getting there we saw a long line of cars and backed up traffic. It turns out that traffic was backed up for hours for a freakin’ SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL, which apparently is kind of a big deal. Sidebar: who goes to a sheep and wool festival? I mean come on, there are better things to festival for. After an hour of going three inches per minute we finally made it into town and found a place to park. We then wandered around Rhinebeck awkwardly looking for Oblong Books, which is set slightly off the main drag, but not all that hard to find.
Once in Oblong Books, which is fantastically stocked with great YA books, and has an awesome reviewer program (I was browsing their reviewer ARCs, several of which are on my wishlist) we browsed the sections and wound up buying multiple copies of each of Jennifer Donnelly’s books. The manager started putting out chairs so we grabbed our seats in the front row and began reading our copies of Revolution. After a few rousing chapters, Jennifer Donnelly arrived and then there was poppin’ champagne AND cookies. However, as my stomach was empty, I did not have very much champagne (it’s terrible form to be wasted at someone else’s launch party, I guess). After some talking and mingling, we took our seats.
Jennifer Donnelly then took the stage, much clapping was had, because she is made of awesome. You know how sometimes when authors speak it’s boring (well, in my imagination), well it was totally NOT boring when Jennifer Donnelly talked. She told us about her inspiration for Revolution, which was an article about how in France they found a tiny heart believed to be the dauphin’s and were doing genetic testing on it. However, she had to put the idea in her idea folder, as there was another book she was due to write. Then after talking about her inspiration, she read two chapters from Revolution. She’s got a great reading voice, and I think would be a good fit for doing an audio of her book, which is pretty rare for some authors I think. It definitely made me want to drop everything and delve into Revolution. Afterward, the floor was opened for questions. I only remember my question (arrogant lady that I am), which was ‘Andi is quite a departure from Mattie Gokey, who did you like writing better?’ Her answer, and this is definitely paraphrased: ‘Characters are like paper babies, and like children, you can’t choose a favorite.’
Finally, at the end, there was the line up for signing. I wound up getting at the end, because I had so many books to get signed and I definitely did not want to be rude and have all these people wait for me to get everything signed when they only had one book. I mean, I hate that guy at the grocery store who takes friggen forever with his 500 items, and makes you wait even though you only have one item and a credit card. So, I was not going to be that guy at a book signing. The cool part is that while I was waiting, Em and Nora of Love YA Lit came up and started talking to me. FYI meeting book bloggers is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. Even more awesome is that one of them is going to grad school for the program I want at the school I am looking at. When it was my turn, we chatted a bit about books, our TBR piles, and The Hunger Games trilogy. It was very awesome, and so totally worth my time.
Rock on Oblong Books for hosting such a fabulous launch party.