I went back to one of my favorite bookstores here in North Carolina the other day for a little book signing from the one and only Sarah Dessen. I have been a big fan of Sarah Dessen for a while and I finally got the chance to do so! I first got to meet Marie Lu at this very place and now I can add another author to the list. If you are ever around Quail Ridge Books, you should go an give them a stop because you will love it. I thought I would share with you all my experience on going to the signing, along with a million (well, a few) photos from my time!
Firstly, Who is Sarah Dessen?
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.
Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Released: June 6, 2017
Pages: 400 (Hardback)
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.
Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.
I woke up on Saturday morning and I had to cut the grass because that is my job at our house. I showered and my mom came to me and was like, you want to go and eat before the event. It was funny she mentioned that because I had a graduation party I was attending that night and I was trying to figure out how I would have time for all of it. My dad got home and we headed out to one of our favorite restaurants called Carolina Ale House. If you guys have one around you and you are debating about going and trying it, you need to try it. They have some really good chicken and the burgers aren’t so bad either. You need to try the bacon cheese fries while you are there because they are really good.
Since we knew about how long it took to get there and to get the book and all, we gave about a half hour time frame to do it all. Because we sort of knew where we were going, we sort of went our way instead of my phone’s GPS (which is another story I have to tell you later…) and some how we ended up getting to the bookstore faster than what the GPS told us.
So this store about the phone goes a little something like this. Recently, my sister has been complaining about wanting to get a new phone. I came up with this plan to give her mine and I pay for me a new one. So the whole trip there, I was asking all sorts of questions about how to get more money around the house and if I was actually going to be getting this deal on. Since I will be paying for the phone, I will be on a book buying hiatus for a while because of two reasons: I really want a new phone, and I told my parents that I am going to go all summer without buying a single book and they do not believe me so I want to prove them wrong.
As I said before, I have gone to a Marie Lu signing at the location before. I walked in expecting it to be similar to the Marie Lu signing but it was totally different. When we walked in, it was about 1:30 and the event started at 2. The whole place was packed. Like we were lucky to get a seat. I didn’t expect so many people to be there but it was pretty cool to see how many people out there really liked Sarah Dessen. If you follow Sarah Dessen on twitter, you can actually see the size of the crowd if you search hard enough on Twitter.
The event was really fun and it was really interesting because I actually had to think through it! Sarah Dessen got up and talked about her daughter a little (who is adorable if you get the chance to ever meet her and she is hilarious) then moved onto explaining a little about the book. I can’t wait to dive into the book by the way. My mom had a better view of Sarah as she talked so I gave her my phone to talk the pictures. That is one of the reasons they aren’t that good but anyway. Sarah gave us this little quiz about her books and was giving out these little notebooks that went along with the book, and she geeked about how she loved blank notebooks so much, like me!
Something that both Sarah Dessen and Marie Lu agreed on when they answered this question was aimed towards future authors. They both said that if you want to become an author, you need to get into a schedule so you know when to write and so does your brain. You should be patient with the book and just let it go the way you want it to go. Sarah did give a good point about letting the book be your little secret before you let someone read the book.
My dad got a little bored through the event so when we were waiting to get my books signed, since I had 6 of them, but we sort of lost him but we found someone that went to my church. I knew that she was a big book fan but it was a little weird to run into her here. I know what you are probably thinking, it is not that weird. When you live a little over an hour to get there, it was weird. Of course we found her and she just proved how weird she was but we geeked out a little about meeting Sarah Dessen so it was pretty cool.
Sarah Dessen is one of the nicest people in the world and she loves every single one of her fans. Not only did she sign all of my books but she had a conversation with me and my mom, while making eye contact with us at the same time. She also had this really beautiful white dress on (even though she told us about how she should never wear white because of her frosting accident). We had a really nice conversation about how the book she just released was about weddings so naturally I had to tell her about how I though about being a wedding planner for a whole year. That phase was interesting… But Sarah also mentioned one of my other favorite authors Rainbow Rowell while we were talking so it was great. I could sit there all day and have a conversation with her because she is just so nice and friendly!
Who is one author that you would love to meet? Have you met any authors before? Have you met anyone that is famous in any sort or way before? Do you like Sarah Dessen? Have you met her? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!