Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pitch Dark Dark Days - Harvard Coop Event

See that little weirdly shaped state in the North East? Yes, I was there for this event of Tour Leg 1 for the Pitch Dark Dark Days tour at the Harvard Coop bookstore on February 7th with:
Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky, Roar and Liv (e-novella), and Through the Ever Night
Tahereh Mafi, author of Shatter Me, Destroy Me (e-novella), and Unravel Me
Brodi Ashton, author of Everneath, Neverfall (e-novella), and Everbound
Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly, Radiant (e-novella), Hallowed, and Boundless

Very long post with lots of photos...enter at your own risk!

Before the authors arrived, a lady from Harper Collins was walking around taking photos of the audience and of course, being the weirdo/loud person I am, shouted out, "Take a picture of me!" I'm still searching for a website where all these photos were put... but I also made my friend Bekah take a similar photo with me holding some of the books. Most of the girls in the audience were talking about the books and I also found myself standing up and saying, "No Spoilers, ladies!" I am a nerd and I am proud of it! (That's Erin Bowman to my left!! Continue reading to hear about that as well. :)
All of these ladies were incredibly sweet, funny, and entertaining. Their sunny personalities and smiling faces helped the audience feel welcome even when they had been in 4 different states in the past 4 days - it took them by surprise when they arrived and walked towards the front of the audience and I anxiously shouted out, "POSE!" and it took them a few moments to realize I was pointing a camera phone at them. Not my proudest moment, and I'm pretty sure I turned bright red when my friend who attended with me thought I had shouted, "HOES!". It took me about 20 minutes to look anyone in the eye after realizing "pose" could totally sound like "hoes" and I would NEVER YELL THAT at authors. My friends and family? Yes. Authors I adore and admire more than oxygen and water? NO. 

After Kim, the Harvard Coop event manager announced the ladies, they all introduced themselves and it was equal parts hilarious and equal parts adorable. Brodi Ashton is hilarious. She had the dirtiest responses to innocent questions and didn't realize it until after she said it and repeatedly covered her mouth with her hands and laughed. Veronica Rossi and Tahereh Mafi looked like they walked straight out of a fashion magazine and I felt so underdressed in jeans and a cardigan. Cynthia Hand wore this ADORABLE black beret and I wanted to talk to her in a French accent because I was too nervous to talk in my normal voice (very glad I DID NOT do that!) Veronica and Brodi wore the same black boots from Target and they were SHOCKED we could tell them apart. Brodi continually asked us not to quote her on twitter when she said anything about not liking writing or reading. Tahereh explained that writing a love interest in your book that has a similar tattoo as your brother makes for awkward family dinners. Cynthia explained how sometimes you have to go to law school and write long literary fiction for years without success to realize you want to give it all up and start over in YA fiction (which we are very thankful for!)

After about 45 minutes of questions from Alison (fashionable Harper Collins Publicist that was the sweetest person  ever), they started signing books. Since I was one of the girls (yes, there were about 50-70 girls and 2 or 3 guys...boyfriends) who had more than a few books to get signed, I waited for a while and got in line towards the end so I could essentially have more time to chat with the authors. 

While I was waiting, I saw a woman walk by and because I'm confrontational and over anxious about all things, I pointed at her and said, "You're an author!". I couldn't for the life of me remember her name, but I'm so good with faces and I KNEW she was an author I followed on a blog/facebook and after she said, "Yes," I said, "I know who you are but can't for the life of me think of your name!". Turns out she was the amazing and super awesome Erin Bowman, author of the upcoming Taken, coming out in April 2013 from Harper Teen. I was like, WHOA, an additional author I adore at an author event full of authors I adore?! BONUS. And she KNEW WHO I WAS. When I told her my first name, she looked at me quizzically, and said, "Mazzur?" (she pronounced it differently, but I was still in shock). Gob Face Me: "OMG, you know who I am! OMG, that's awesome!". Awesome Erin Bowman: "I thought it was you, but I didn't want to mispronounce your name! How are you? Isn't this exciting?". Me: In my head, I am flipping out and shrieking, but outwardly, I went for calm and collected. I don't think I accomplished this too well, but she was super nice and funny and we chatted for the rest of the event while we waited for the line to shorten and talked about the upcoming storm and she gave my friend and I a bunch of signed bookmarks and I also had her sign one of the Harvard Coop bookmarks because I'm sentimental and will hold onto these things forEVER. 

After resuming my breathing and my pulse regulated, I was able to get in line and chat with a fellow blogger about all things YA and blogging. The line went pretty quickly towards the end and as I got closer to the author tables, I couldn't hold back my cheesy smile any more. 

Brodi Ashton and Cynthia Hand were first, and as they signed my books, I talked about how Jack (Everneath series) was not my fav, but I'm waiting for him to redeem himself, and how Cynthia uses different colored sharpies to sign each book (purple for Unearthly, blue for Hallowed, and pink for Boundless) and they both had signed bookmarks and Brodi had some guitar picks and I was pretty much just stuttering and staring at them. I had resigned myself to be that girl at the book event who took a photo with everyone there by themselves, with me, and as a group. I was just so star struck and meeting Erin Bowman earlier didn't help my situation, everywhere I looked, I saw authors I adore and it was kind of an emotional overload. (I can get very emotional sometimes and while I didn't cry, I MIGHT have when I went to sleep that night because I was so darn happy I was able to meet them and enjoy such an excellent event with one of my best friends from college, Bekah). 
As Veronica and Tahereh had more people waiting for them, I located a Snarkles clone (he's kind of a Harper Collins YA mascot) and got a photo with him as well. During the Q&A, Brodi kept saying she was never introduced to Snarkles and felt left out of the King Snarkles phenomena and of course, all the other ladies refused to believe her excuses. I wouldn't doubt it if Snarkles has a camera implanted in his nose or one of his eyes, he must see a lot of backstage goings on! 

DRUM ROLLLLLLLL. Veronica and Tahereh. Their online personalities make them out to be super witty and hilarious and quick on the up take (is that a phrase?). But when I met them, I was flabbergasted at how sweet and personable they were. They were all smiles and signed all my books and I had them sign some more of the Harvard Coop bookmarks (one of each book, I made sure they knew what I wanted because I'm a nerd and wanted as much stuff they could sign as they would let me). I was telling Tahereh how much I adore her and Ransom Rigg's spoiler videos and how I am a huge fan of his now because of their friendship to which she gushed and said he'll be so excited to hear about me gushing about him. Have I said how fashionable these ladies are? Tahereh was wearing this black leather dress and shiny black leggings and 6 inches of bracelets (as you can see!), and she's so tiny! And it's funny because from past photos of Veronica, I had believed she was short. Maybe it was the boots she was wearing, but she was only about an inch shorter than me, so that was a surprise!

As I was walking around the table for the photos, Veronica grabbed my arm (why does that sound aggressive? She was gentle, I promise!) and said, "I just realized that you're Sallie". (I call myself her biggest fan, as I am just behind the line between super fan and haven't crossed over to stalker fan yet...haha). She kept apologizing for not recognizing me and I kept assuring her that they've been busy and it's okay and that I'm just happy to be there, meeting them. I took photos with Veronica and Tahereh, then photos with all 3 of us, then photos of all 4 authors and Alison (publicist). I feel like of guilty for taking up so much time taking all the photos (even though it probably only took about 7 minutes total), I'm also glad I waited until the end of the line because at that time there were only a few other people there, mainly bloggers who had a zillion books as well and totally understood why I wanted to take a BAJILLION photos to record this event. 

I continued to talk to Veronica about how awesome her outfit was and she kept explaining to my friend Bekah how much she loves seeing my comments on her blog/facebook, as I'm standing there trying not to completely faint because she was gushing over me and I was like, who's visiting who here?! I then explained how obsessed I was with her cat, Ivan, and at his name, she whipped out her iPhone and showed me a photo of him sleeping on her bed, and how she and her husband walked by him for hours and didn't notice he was there because he blended into their comforter. I am a huge Ivan Rossi fan. :)

After I said my final goodbyes, I ended the night with a subway ride and a fun night watching episodes of Bekah's TIVO'd shows and began my trek back to RI the next morning. To save ya'll from the long story, I made it back to Southern RI, but I was stuck with my grandparents for the weekend where we lost power and heat for 2.5 days until I was able to make it home on Sunday morning. But I wouldn't have changed a thing. Even though I was huddling by the stove burners for heat for 2 and a half days in multiple layers of clothing, the memories I have of the Dark Days event more than made up for it! A photo of my grandparents neighborhood on Sunday, still in disarray from the storm... incase anyone wanted to see what we're dealing with up here in New England! 

Lauren over at The Book Slayer does an amazing job of summing up her experience at the same event in Cambridge, MA. Check it out here on her blog!

Author Erin Bowman also wrote about her experience at the Cambridge, MA tour stop. Check it out here on her blog! 

If you haven't read any of these ladies novels, do yourself a favor and check them out ASAP! 
Happy Reading!!


  1. That sounds too amazing, Sallie! Seriously, all those authors sound like class acts. I'm so glad that you got to experience it. I'm also glad Becca and I didn't go to infect everyone with sickness...lol! I also love that you mentioned the Random Riggs vids with Mafi. I LOVED her infomercial video! It was hilarious.

    I also have to admit. I didn't know about Snarkles until this post...but now I'm happy to be informed about his cute little presence!

    And WOW! ERIN BOWMAN! I can't believe she was there too! I'm too excited for Taken. That must haven been such a great surprise.

    You got so many fantastic pictures! And I love that you said "POSE" I'm sure it didn't sound like "HOES" but that makes for one great story!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Sallie!

    1. Honestly Krista, I totally would have gone even if I had a leg or arm amputated. I had been planning this trip for 3 months.

      I was so scared to watch Mafi's spoiler videos, but they ended up being hilarious and quite enjoyable and Tahereh was surprised and shy when I brought them up. I was like, I can't believe I'm meeting you having seen you in a bunch of awesome fun videos - like a celebrity!

      ERIN BOWMAN is so cool. I almost fainted when she knew who I was. I shouldn't be too shocked, I've commented on like, all of her blog posts for the past year! haha

      Thanks for stopping by, Krista!

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recap. I seriously feel like I was there. That's SO COOL that the author of Taken knew who you were -- as well as Veronica Rossi!!! It sounds like an amazing experience, and I've gotta say, that bookstore is HUGE. The one in Decatur is a quarter of that -- kinda cramped for book tours.

    I love all your photos as well and hearing the tidbits about Brodi Ashton (she sounds awesome) and the ladies' style. I'm glad you're safely back home :) And I just have to say, you would be, by far, the most fun person to go to BEA with, brazen and all :) You'd probably come out with a thousand picture and a ba-jillion books and some kickass stories.

    1. Becca, I get so carried away when I write about stuff. I feel like no one is going to want to read it all. But then I reread it to check for mistakes and I find myself smiling and giggling as I reread it. I amuse myself! I'm just glad I'm not the only one ;).

      Harvard Coop has 4 floors. There was a mix up with the books I put on hold and they had me going from the bottom floor to the 3rd floor to the first floor to the bottom floor to the 1st floor. And of course, having to go up to the 3rd floor, you have to walk through the whole 2nd floor to get to the staircase on the other side. The Coop is the type of bookstore we don't really have in Rhode Island, but that's good because I would NEVER LEAVE. There's so many little nooks and corners you can hide in and just be one with the books. Siigghh.

      Have you or Krista ever gone to BEA? I seriously want to try to go this year. It's in September or October, right? Maybe you, Krista, and I can arrange to meet up and go together! I don't mind going to events alone, but it's New York City, and I don't like being alone there... haha. Think about it!! :)

      Thanks for checking out my recap, Becca! :)


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