Saturday, August 2, 2008

Meeting our favorite author!

(Again, this is a back post... so it's dated correctly, but I'm actually writing it in October!)

One of the reasons Mary and I read Breaking Dawn so fast is because we knew that ten days after the release, there would be a book signing and concert with the author. Stephenie Meyer only had four book signings for the book release... Chicago, L.A., New York... and drumroll... SEATTLE! We were lucky enough to secure tickets. All four concerts sold out the day the tickets went on sale. Stephenie paired up with a musician by the name of Justin Furstenfeld for this event. Stephenie did some Q&A on stage and Justin, along with his acoustic guitar, played songs that inspired her while she was writing the books. It was WONDERFUL!!

But let me back up.... Mary and I had been planning to make t-shirts for this event. We spent a lot of time designing a shirt that we would want to wear. We finally got the design finalized the MORNING of the event. (Talk about cutting it close.) We left early and headed to the mall to the t-shirt place where they took our design and put it on a really cool baseball style shirt. We were SO proud of how they turned out and we got a lot of compliments on them!! We came back to my house and started getting ready. We dolled up our hair. Mary is the hair queen. I can't do squat with my hair... but she is my Alice (it's a book reference!) and does a fabulous job! She curled our hair and put it up. Then we put red ribbons in our curls. The red ribbon is another book reference. We also put glitter all over our skin (yet another book reference) and just had fun. We painted each other's toenails too!!

Linda came over to sit with my boys in the interim until Mike could get home from work. Mary and I took off on our long anticipated adventure!!! As we took off for Seattle, we truly felt like teenagers with a sense of freedom neither of us had felt in a long time. We went early and found GREAT parking. The event was held at Benaroya Hall, downtown. Then we walked over to Pike Place Market and cruised around for awhile. We had enjoyed dinner at the Pike Pub. Mary had a great BBQ sandwich and I had a Reuben... probably the best Reuben I've ever had (and I've had quite a few!)

When we were done eating, we walked over to Benaroya and got in line. We noticed many others had on cool t-shirts too and we got lots of compliments on ours!! We had GREAT seats! The concert and Q&A was awesome! When that was done, we stood in line no less than an hour and a half to get our books signed. But it was fun. The atmosphere was festive and everyone was excited to meet Stephenie Meyer! Well, the moment of truth finally arrived. We handed our books over to her publicist, who opened them to the correct page for signing and slid them over to Stephenie for signing. When it was our turn, Stephenie looked up and said, "I LOVE your shirts!" SQUUUEEEEEEE!!!! We were so excited. Mary said, "Do you want to see the back?" and she said, "Yes!" So Mary modeled the back for her. We were so honored that she took the time to look at them. She stopped signing to do it. Most people got herded right through. I also dropped off a letter for her. We walked out of there on cloud 9!!!

When we got down to the parking garage, we paused for a moment to look at our books and gush over the autographs in them. That's when my heart sank. When I handed my book over for signing, I realized that whoever took it, broke the binding on it. I was so sad... my heart just hurt. I had waited all this time and finally got to meet the author and get the book signed, only to have it ruined. It was tempting to feel sorry for myself, but we had had a PERFECT day and so I made a decision to just be happy that I'd gotten to meet her and go to the concert. We left in high spirits. (By the way, I could not go back and try to get it corrected... security was VERY tight and there as NO way of getting back into the venue. Seattle police were at all the doors and she had several body guards, not to mention at least another thousand people still in line to get their books signed.)
When we left, we wound up going to The Cheesecake Factory at Southcenter. We sat there, enjoying appetizers and cheesecake and just chatting and reminiscing about our night. So WONDERFUL! Then we went home and crashed out. Mary left the next day.

Well, the broken book was eating at me a bit. So I got on the computer and went searching... and searching... and searching... for Stephenie Meyer's publicist... and I found her! I emailed her my whole sob story, not really expecting to hear back. (Stephenie Meyer's fan base rivals that of Harry Potter... the fandom is HUGE and spans the globe!) To my shock and amazement, I heard back from her publicist, Elizabeth Eulberg, the next morning! Here is the response I got from her:
Hi Christina, I’m very sorry to hear what happened to your book during the autographing, especially since I am the one who takes the books and passes them to Stephenie. Breaking Dawn is a pretty big book so the binding is delicate as is, so I’m not surprised to hear there is an issue. If you give me your address, I will send you a replacement copy of Breaking Dawn that has a very cool signed bookplate in it from Stephenie. Best, Elizabeth
AMAZING! So I sent her my address along with my profuse thanks and this is what she said to me:
I’m so glad Christina – I have to spend my time telling people no all day, so it is always nice when I can make someone’s day! Best, Elizabeth
Not only did she remain true to her word, but shockingly, I received the book, from New York, the NEXT DAY! Yes... the next day!! She sent it via overnight mail. I am so lucky!!! So now I have two signed copies of the book, though one is broken. They sit on my bookshelf (er... I mean Twilight Shrine) and I don't even touch them! Okay... next stop... movie premiere... November 21!!! Mary and I are planning on going on opening night for that!!!

Breaking Dawn and Grandpa's Birthday!

(This is a back entry, so although it is dated correctly, I am speaking of it as though it were in the past... because as I write in October, it is!)

First go back and read my entry entitled Obsession for background on my absolute obsession with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

When I wrote that entry, there were three books in the series with a fourth due out August 2nd. I can't remember if I mentioned in that entry, but I got Mary to read the series and the two of us are, to put it mildly, "Total Twihards" now! Honestly, that book series brought Mary and I together in a way that nothing else had. We got really close because of it and for that I am so grateful!

Well, Mary and I had been anticipating the release of Breaking Dawn (the fourth and final book in the series) for a LONG time. We were counting down the days. I even went so far as to take the night off from work so that she and I could go to one of the many midnight release parties being held in honor of the book release. We're both in our mid thirties... and neither of us has ever done anything like this. We honestly felt like teenagers again (and is that a bad thing?)

When August 1st arrived, we were like giddy little kids on Christmas. Mary came over early. That evening, we got ourselves ready and even went and got cheap shirts to make (the third book came with iron-ons in them). The problem was that I couldn't find my iron! (Embarrassingly, that tells you how long it has been since I've actually USED an iron.) But Mary saved the day... she happened to have her flat iron with her (yes, a flat iron for HAIR!). It was a tricky venture, but she made it work and we finally had our "Team Edward" shirts! (Edward is one of the main characters of the story.) Off we went...

Mike was kind enough to oblige us by keeping the kids so that we could have an uninterrupted girls night out! (A much needed night, I might add!) We had dinner at Red Robin and then later we went to Borders in the mall here in Federal Way. I think we were the oldest people there... Hahahahaha. We did see a couple of people older than us, but not many. It's okay. We had fun. There were games and costume contests and trivia contests. We won a few little knick knacks. But overall, we just wanted our books, which were being released at midnight. When midnight finally arrived, we stood in a very long line but I think we still got out of the store by 12:30am. We ran out to the car, jumped in, and headed to Safeway for a few snacks. Then we drove out to Tukwila, where Mike had secured a hotel room for us for the night. (Yes, I married the greatest man on the planet!!!) It was a night of pure, uninterrupted, girlfriend BLISS!!!

We had a readathon until we couldn't read anymore. We drifted off at some crazy hour and then ran down, got breakfast and brought it back to our room and continued to read. (The final book is well over 700 pages!) Finally, we had to check out. After checking out, we drove out to Sumner and walked around at a summer festival they were having. Then we met up with the family back in Tukwila.

We all met at The Claim Jumper to celebrate grandpa's birthday! I wish I had taken pictures of the day, but I just didn't. Oh well. Mary and I said our goodbyes after dinner and I went home and had another personal readathon. Mike even slept in the kids' room so I could have our bedroom to myself in peace. I finally finished the book around noon the following day! It was a wonderful book and it was so nice to get lost in the series!!!

Mary and I can't wait for the movie release, which is happening November 21st! Next stop... a book signing by the author on August 12th!!