Friday, July 2, 2010

Looking for John Green: A tale of woe, near misses and the ALA convention.

Last week we talked a bit about being bookfans. Some of us are fans of characters (Harry Potter), some of us are fans of the relationships our characters have (Bella + Edward, Katniss and Gale) and some of us are fans of authors. This week, I have to confess my weekend of bookfan Ridiculousness (capital R).

I (as well as quite a few of you) am a fan of John Green. I was introduced to him via his amazingly funny story in the Christmas collection, "Let it Snow" (see my book talk here) And after that I developed a love for his books and a totally crippling case of author awe that I didn't know I had until this weekend.

Yep, John Green was in D.C. this weekend. Have any of you met your favorite author before? I have met authors before and always end up saying things like "I love your book so much that I carry it around in my bag in case of nuclear apocalypse"..... you know us librarians--- we're passionate, but man are we nerdy...
John Green and our TAB teens in 2008

So, I was determined to meet John Green. I had to because our TAB teens had recorded a hello to him. Many of them had already met him two years ago when he visited Arlington library and talked about An Abundance of Katherines (Are you in high school? Have you read this book? What are you waiting for?).

Anyway, if you watch the video above, you will see John Green talking about the future of publishing at a long table with David Levithan. There I was, two tables away... this was my first shot to talk to him. And I ....
didn't do it. I almost did, but ... what can I say, I'm a chicken... there is no photographic evidence of this chickening out, so I will move on.

Anyway, this was not my only incident of immense chicken-ness. At the booth for Penguin Young Readers Group, John Green and David Levithan were signing their fantastic new book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Here is me, chickening out...again.
Not brave enough to turn around.
Also David Levithan and I totally called each other to discuss outfits, clearly.

Looking petrified... nope, still not getting in that line.
On Sunday, we had two fantastic teens come with us to talk about what they thought of the current nominations for YALSA (the young adult part of the American Library Associaton)'s picks for the Best Fiction For Young Adults (you can see the list here, have any strong feelings about the books?). APL's representatives Alison and CJ were amazing and told the panel (and a room full of people) just what they thought of all the books and we were very proud of them and this is a story for another time. What's important here is that ONCE AGAIN I didn't meet John Green.

This Pizza is delicious, but it did not contain
anything that made me more courageous.
He, David Levithan and Andrea Cremer (who's debut book, Nightshade, looks awesome and I can't wait to get a hold of it) did a Q and A with the teens and even joined in together on a nice rendition of "You've lost that loving feeling." They also ate pizza with the teens and though CJ and Alison were very persuasive, I resisted and ate my carbs without bothering any YA superstars.

This could almost have been how this story ended, a cautionary tale of almost, but not quite meeting my favorite author.

Thank goodness there was one more day of the conference.

There I was, minding my own business, when I happened to walk by that very same Penguin Young Readers Group booth. It was very empty, but I noticed two very nice librarians that I knew from grad school were in the booth. As I got a little closer, I realized they were talking to someone.... It was John Green! Before I could turn around and run (which would have made this blog post officially depressing), they spotted me and called me over. With the author looking at me, I had no choice. I went over.... and said hello...
He was really nice and did not seem totally weirded out by my (many) almost meetings of him. TAB teens, that was totally for you. Bookfans of the world, I hope you have learned something from this quest. Something about the total awesomeness of authors! Something about he greatness of meeting your idols!
Something besides the fact that your librarian is a total wuss...


Mairead B said...

I went to the event in DC and got two of my books signed. It was awesome. I totally know what you mean about walking by though. Its awkward. I think I'm definitely going to try to go to ALA next time it in DC.

Anonymous said...

There's a great video interview with John Green on!

nico said...

It's pretty awesome and you can get an exhibits hall pass for free!

Glad you got to get to the signing. Were you in the video?

Mairead B said...

No, I was cut off in the front right... actually, I was in the first row because they had to move the event and I had just arrived.