Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday afternoon my mother and I headed down to Grand Rapids, MI to attend the signing Barnes and Noble was hosting for Julia Hoban, author of Willow! First off, my mom and I met Julia at Olive Garden for an early dinner, where Julia came with one of the coolest handbags ever (she designs her own bags, clothes, gloves, AND parasols, so she is always quite stylish!) and we talked about many books and authors (Charles Dickens, Bleak House, The Woman in White, The Importance of Being Earnest, and other assorted works by Oscar Wilde to be exact) before heading over to the Barnes and Noble.
This Barnes and Noble was brand new, and it honestly one of the largest bookstores I have ever been in. It was open and gorgeous and crowded with books, but sadly the staff was a little disorganized and we were unsure of where to go at first. We finally found our way up to the very large teen section where they had Julia set up and met up with Sara of The Hiding Spot. Unfortunately, she was the only other person who showed up at six! It was a little disappointing, but the weather was really nasty out, so that was most likely a reason.
We did hang around for a little while and Julia sold books to customers who were walking in and out of the store (she's a good saleswoman!) before she invited Sara, my mom and I back to her hotel room where she fed us a ridiculous (and wonderful!) amount of chocolate and we talked about Willow. She gave us a version of her speech and talked about the relationships in Willow, her reason for writing a story about healing, not about cutting, and talked about her writing process. She had me enthralled--I know for a fact that I learned more from her in those two hours about writing than I have in my entire Creative Writing class this whole semester. She really is an excellent and thoughtful speaker!
Overall, it was such an enjoyable night despite the fact that the event wasn't very well attended. However, if you live near Grand Rapids, if you head over to the BN in Woodland Mall, there are a bunch of signed copies of Willow for sale! And if you ever get the chance to hear Julia speak in the future, take advantage of it!
P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures....my camera died on me, and I was frankly too busy talking to take pictures!