July 14, 2010

Cupcakes Across America (or how I met Jennifer Weiner)


As some of you know, I am in Philadelphia while my husband is here on business. At first, I was upset because I wanted to attend Jennifer Weiner's book signing in DC, and it fell the same week we had to be in Philadelphia. Then I realized – hello! – Jennifer Weiner is from Philadelphia. I checked her tour dates, and yep, she was having a signing here in Philly for her Cupcakes Across America Tour (tongue-in-cheek, yes, but there really were cupcakes) in support of her newest release, FLY AWAY HOME.

That's right folks, today I met Jennifer Weiner.

Granted, it was a brief (2 minutes... maybe) conversation, but I got to meet one of my favorite authors, so even being in the same room with her was an experience to remember.

I got a book signed for my personal collection, and a book signed for my eventual 100 Followers Contest (tell your friends, I have great things planned!). And then I got back to the hotel, went to write this blog, and realized my memory card does not fit in my laptop without the adapter.

Which is back home.

6 hours away.

So no pictures for now. Disappointing, to say the least.

But I got to hear Jennifer – who is funny, engaging, authentic, and gave insightful advice about everything from juggling home life and a career to utilizing social media – speak, met a fellow blogger in the book signing line, talked to Jen (however briefly) about YA, and gave her my business card, which I was worried was a little forward of me, but she said she'd check out my blog!

(If you're reading this, hi, Jennifer!)

When I get home (or find a computer with a Memory Stick Pro Duo card reader – anyone?), I will post the pics!

For those interested in way too much detail, see below. If not, just know that Jennifer Weiner is amazing, and if you have not read her work (snarky! funny! poignant!), please consider picking one of her books up.

Bear and I arrived at the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:05. I had never been to a book signing before, so I was unsure how crazy it would be and was worried we were late. There was a cheese and wine reception going on in a different room, so the auditorium where Jennifer would be speaking at 7:30 was mostly empty. The room ended up packed, so I was glad we got there when we did.

Jennifer was introduced right at 7:30. She spoke for about 20 minutes, about everything from her mother meeting Rosie O'Donnell at a taping of the Rachael Ray Show, to freaking out bestselling author Jeffrey Eugenides, to live-Tweeting The Bachelorette. She kept the audience laughing the whole time.

As writers, we talk a lot about "voice," and I was pleasantly surprised to find the way Jennifer spoke closely resembled the voice in her books. To hear a writer's voice I know so well in my own head outloud was very cool.

Jennifer read a few pages of FLY AWAY HOME and took questions. I was impressed how graciously and thoroughly she answered, considering she was probably hearing 90% of them for the hundredth time. It was fun to see her interact with the audience, and hear her speak to and be spoken to like a regular person. Though she obviously is a regular person (as opposed to... a FemBot?), we sometimes lump famous people together as different or charmed, rather than recognize them as people with feelings and vulnerabilities. Just a nice reminder to myself that published authors aren't robots or magicians, but regular, hardworking people just like you and me.

The Q&A session ended around 8:30, and the audience filed out of the auditorium, picked up a few remaining cupcakes (mini cupcakes topped with, I believe, cream cheese icing), and formed a line in the lobby. The line moved quickly, and though I was near the end of it, I had my book signed by 9:20. To speed up the process, a woman went down the line and wrote how each person wanted their book signed on a Post-It and stuck it on the title page of each book.

When it was my turn, I approached Jennfier, handed her my books, and said "Hi!" She complimented me on my "I cannot live without books" t-shirt, and asked me who the second book was for. I explained I had a YA writing blog and was going to give it away as a prize in my 100 Followers contest and gave her my business card. She asked if I was a writer and I told her I was, and she said she would check out my blog! Made my day! We talked about THE HUNGER GAMES, and then I thanked her profusely, and walked away without asking for a picture together! Luckily, I remembered after taking about 3 steps and ran back, saying, "Jennifer, I forgot! Can we take a picture for my blog?" My husband snapped the picture, I thanked her again, apologizing profusely, and practically skipped out of the library, trying to recall everything she'd said to me to Bear!

Awesome shirt, no? It was a Christmas gift from my parents!

It was an amazing evening, and listening to Jennifer speak, talking to her, and seeing that she is kind and grateful to her fans, made me respect her even more. I know I've said it before, but if you haven't read Jennifer Weiner yet, do it!


The Blue Lipstick Samurai said...

She sounds AWESOME. I'm glad you had a bangin' time! :D Don't worry, the business cards were purty.

And yes. That shirt is awesome. Awesome and true.

Sarah said...

She certainly read it, because she just tweeted a link to it. :)

Melanie said...

Yep, I followed a link from her Facebook page.

behind the fourth door said...

Love the write up! It really was a fabulous evening. Found you via Jennifer's link on FB :) I was the girl with the blue shoes in front of you in line.

kimberly dyan said...

Jennifer posted a link to your blog on facebook this morning! I'm going to see her next week in Dallas and I can't wait! Good luck on your writing. I'm a writer too!

JRiser said...

I am so jealous that you met her! I think she is amazing! I have only started reading "Fly Away Home" but I am already hooked, just like the others. I have just joined your blog and look forward to reading it as well as your manuscript!

Redheaded Stepchild said...

I found your blog from a link on Jennifer's FB page - you are a rockstar! I also attended one of her speaking engagements/book signings for her last book - I LOVE HER! Ever since I read "Good in Bed" I have bought every one of her books! I didn't get a photo, darn! I did blog about me getting her book, too! Yay Jennifer!

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