I had meant for years to make my way to Kepler’s and this was a perfect reason to finally go. It’s a lovely indie bookstore, like the indie bookstores I have loved all my life. The staff is supremely nice, knowledgeable and unsurprisingly, they throw a hell of a book event.
While Kepler’s was part of the reason I went to this event, the bigger reason was so I could finally meet author Martha Brockenbrough.
I’ve reviewed a couple of her books before on the blog, so if you’ve followed me for a long while (and if you have, you deserve a prize), then her name might seem a little familiar to you. Or, if you’re a grammar nerd, then you probably already know of her as the founder of National Grammar Day (which is this coming Monday, March 4th).
Martha was the first writer than I had read off and on for years that I interacted with on twitter, and later a bit by email. We had a near-miss opportunity to meet when my husband and I spent time in her hometown of Seattle in 2011, but we were not able to make it happen. (sad face)
Whenever I meet anyone that I look up to for the first time…I just never know what to say. More often than not, my opportunities to meet writers comes in the form of readings, book events or things like the ALA Midwinter meeting. It’s difficult to converse when you know a veritable crowd is standing right behind you waiting for their turn. It’s always awkward, and so even if I think of clever things to talk about…there’s no time for that.
Tonight was no different. I was nervous and awkward and almost jittery. My mind drew a blank after she said hi and gave me a hug (!!). I stumbled over something about how it was nice to finally meet her, she mentioned that the event at Kepler’s was number four for the day (I have no idea how the four of them do it…that’s a lot in one day), and before I knew it, it was time for the event to start.
The presentation that Martha, Sean Beaudoin, Cat Patrick, and Kevin Emerson gave was engaging and funny. They all read from their respective books (all of which sounded great), and played a couple of interactive games with the “audience”. My personal favorite was “90 second novel” – a game that involved asking the audience to call out random numbers. Then Martha, Sean, Cat and Kevin would have to read a single sentence from their books from that page number, and that would go on for 90 seconds. It was cool because it really did give a sense of what each of the books were like. They took a few questions, and did a book signing and pictures…standard end of the night stuff.
I did manage to say hi before I left, and we took a minute to try to talk, but again…there were plenty of other people milling around and waiting for their turn. She asked about my running, and my fangirl self was a little thrilled that she remembered that.
Overall it was a really fun night. I plan on following the “tour” to Hicklebee’s Books in Willow Glen since I managed to forget my book tonight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be less awkward.