Thursday, September 23, 2010

Suzanne Collins signing

Yesterday I went to one of Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay tour stops, at Children's Book World in Haverford. I kind of had to go because, uh, at the midnight release party they threw last month, I nonchalantly threw my name into the raffle they were having, first prize being first place in line to meet Suzanne Collins at her signing. The next day at lunch, I get a phone call along the lines of this:

CBW: Hi, is this Stephanie?
Me: Yes, speaking.
CBW: Hi, this is Children's Book World in Haverford, calling to say... you won the raffle!
Me: Wahhh?!? Ohhh whoaaaa!
CBW: You get to be first in line to meet Suzanne Collins on September 22!
Me: Bluhbluhbluh how cool! Oh man, oh goodness, oh whoa!!!

So yesterday, I and my friend whom I had gotten hooked on the trilogy a week before Mockingjay's release date and who came with me to the midnight release party got into my car and drove the half hour or so to Children's Book World. We turned onto the street where the store was located, only to see a sleek black car parked in front, and a familiar wavy blond head getting out of the car and into the store. Suzanne Collins has arrived!

We got there half an hour early, and there was already a dozen or so people in line. So I felt kind of bad mentioning to the store worker that I was the one who won the raffle, and them exclaiming and telling me to stand in front of two middle school boys who looked a little like they had camped out there for days. (Well, okay, not days. Just maybe hours on a hot, humid afternoon.) My friend promptly sat down to do work--such is the life of a Swattie--and I chatted a bit with a grandmother who had been passing by. She was intrigued by the crowd, and after my exuberant praises of the book, called up her granddaughter to see if she had heard of the series and if she'd be interested in getting a signed copy. Turns out that her granddaughter not only read the books already, but she had actually met Suzanne Collins earlier on her tour! I kind of wanted to speak to this 13-year-old girl and be like, YES! YOU ROCK!

A little before 6, they announced that Suzanne Collins was going to read for us! This was unplanned and so I was super excited. We gathered round the little stage inside the store, which was backed by shelves and shelves of Mockingjay:

Suzanne then appeared and read from two places: the part in Catching Fire where Katniss talks to Caesar Flickerman in Cinna's dress, and the first chapter of Mockingjay. She read in the voice she hears Katniss speaking to her in, which she describes as a kind of futuristic Appalachian accent. She is a marvelous reader, and I felt almost hypnotized into Katniss' world, and when she spoke in President Snow's words (think high and deceptively soft, like Voldemort) goosebumps burst out all over my arms, it was that eerie.

She's super photogenic because she is the embodiment of kindness.

Afterwards we all went back outside the store again and lined up in order. The signing/stamping part went pretty fast, since, well, my friend and I were first. I found I had nothing to say, of course *moron*, but just watched her as she carefully stamped my book and then told the photographer that she'd be able to pose for pictures. So I got pictures!

Isn't she wonderful? Sighhhhhh. In the end, I was really happy I went. It was totally worth it to listen to her read.


  1. Wow! What an amazing experience that must have been! She's very talented, I adore her series :)

  2. I am super jealous right now! She's an amazing author, and you're super lucky! :D

  3. How very cool! I desperately wanted to go since it was at Haverford, but I am fighting off this stupid sinus infection. Thanks for sharing the pics with us and congrats on winning the raffle. I'm glad you had a great time! I would have loved to hear her read!

  4. Holy freaking awesomeness! Lucky duck!!Congrats!

  5. I wish I would have knew about this!! I don't live far from there! rawr! lol

  6. Eeek!!! Holy goodness, that is so fantastic!! Yes, I too, become a blubbering and stumbling fool when speaking to those authors that I really admire -- I'm much better and more articulate behind the computer!!

    Great pictures!!

  7. Oh this is awesome! You know, I am always jealous of the book events you go to because I know they would be totally plausible for me. My dad only lives 30 minutes from Swarthmore and even though I only see him about once a month, I could do a much better job coordinating visiting him with major book events ;)

    Suzanne Collins sounds amazing! Just as amazing as I thought she would be!

  8. I wanted to go so bad but I had to read Mockingjay before yesterday and I didn't want to buy two copies (I'm a starving college student). I'm glad you had a great time, though!

  9. That is so cool, you are so lucky to be the first in line =)

    Thanks for sharing the experience with us. I really wish she would come to GA. But reading this blog made me happy too.

  10. That is so cool that you got to meet her (even if I haven't read the series yet).

    And I never know what to say at a signing either, I always feel so stupid for not thinking of something brilliant to say..

  11. I was the same way when I met her at the signing here. (I blogged it, too). When it was my turn, I just silently handed her the book to stamp. I couldn't say a thing. Total fangirl moment! :)

  12. Aww, I used to work at Children's Book World. Nice to see it's still going strong! And lucky you!

  13. I'm so glad I didn't know about this beforehand, or I might have begged to ship all my books out to you. :) But congratulations for winning! But after all that - you're beautiful! Look at you!

  14. This is the most awesome thing ever! I'm glad you had a great time and enjoyed meeting Ms. Collins


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