[Note: Part 2 is chronological within itself, but is not when compared to Part 3.]
Over the past few months I have mentioned here or there in comments that I would be going to my first author signing soon. Ellen Hopkins would be coming within three hours of me. On Saturday, January 16th, I went to meet her at the Young Adult Keller (YAK) Book Festival.
THE REALISTIC FICTION PANEL
A little late, we found the lecture hall where the Realistic Fiction session was being held and took our seats (after a slight scuffle over who was going to go in first). The five authors were sitting at a table in the front discussing swear words.
|From left to right: Charles Benoit, Beth Fehlbaum, Kelly Milner Halls, Ellen Hopkins, and Lori Aurelia Williams|
Mr. Benoit said that he did not use curse words in order to reach a wider audience (ie. Catholic schools). Someone, I believe Ms. Fehlbaum, spoke of a reviewer who counted the number of cuss words (77, including "crap") in her book. Ms. Hopkins expressed her opinion that swear words, especially the word "fuck," should be used only when needed, not to give a shock factor. She used an example from her novel Crank, where the main character says "Fuck you" to her mother. She remembered saying that to her own mom and how emotional it had been.
After the moderator (who sat next to Ms. Williams) asked a few more questions, the Q&A was opened to the audience. While I didn't have any questions myself, Jess did ("Do you think of your readers as you write?"). My mother was also very excited and interactive, asking not only questions on publishing (which I should have appreciated more) but for the authors of books that the panelists recommended. She even took notes.
THE BOOK SIGNING
|Lizzie, my sister, and myself waiting in line for Ellen Hopkins.|
But I waited. Through a curve.
When we got to the front of the line, my mom showed Ms. Hopkins the copy of Campaigner Challenges 2011 she has on her Kindle (hence the first signature). Ms. Hopkins then asked me what I write. I think I muttered something along the lines of "Um, uh, a lot of things?" Luckily, my mother stepped in to save me.
Was it worth it? The three hour drive, the argument with my mother (again, I should have been more appreciative, I blame morning brain), the almost-hour in line, the embarrassment of freezing when talking to one of my favorite authors? I think it was.
|Myself and Ellen Hopkins|
More On Ellen Hopkins:
Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, and Triangles. Her novels are praised by teens and adults alike and she has been called the "bestselling living poet in the country" by mediabistro.com. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada. Learn more about her and her books at ellenhopkins.com.