Monday, October 31, 2011

October 29 - Maureen Johnson

On October 29th, Maureen Johnson visited the last stop on her month-long book tour for The Name of the Star, and that stop happened to be at a Chapters (the big box bookstore in Canada) in the city I live in. *big shocked face* I first heard about this at the beginning of the month, around the 5th, and I was surprised. The last two events I was at were in Burnaby, closer to Vancouver. This was huge. And of course I got there early. It's Maureen Johnson, she's kind of a big deal. Right?

Well, yes, to a certain crowd. My best guess would be about 40 to 50 people showed up. It was a little awkward, tucked in an odd corner of bookcases with a podium for her to stand at. Then we had to move to the front of the store for the signing part, which sort of meant the people who had to stand were first in line to get books signed. Fair trade, I suppose. And the bookstore wasn't prepared for the number of people that actually showed up. I think they put out about 2 dozen chairs then went back for more. *sigh* This is exactly why I want to work at a bookstore: everything would look awesome for book signings with lots of chairs. I also don't think the event was advertised enough. I saw more than a few Twitter comments Saturday morning going, "I didn't know Maureen Johnson was in Vancouver/Surrey/BC, I have to cancel my afternoon plans now so I can go."

Remember Maureen's tweet from Friday night that said "free shirt for anyone who brings Nanaimo bars?" It's possible I started that by saying we should give her Nanaimo bars instead of throwing a sandwich her way. So I brought her some (it was only fair). And so did about 6 other people, plus the one girl who brought maple syrup. So I have a "YA Saves" shirt now (which I'll give away the next time I hold a giveaway, it's a Large but a bit snug on me, I think I'll be buying one that actually fits me). I also have magnets but I'm keeping those. Magnets are fun. :)

And the crowd was awesome, full of avid listeners and readers and Nerdfighters and YouTube/vloggers. And a girl in front of me with a VidCon shirt. I wish I knew who the vloggers were, cause I'd watch their videos. Maybe that's why there were only about 50 people, because Maureen fills a niche market and that market is full of Nerdfighters. Honestly, I expected a 100+ crowd like at the Smart Chicks event.

So, here's Maureen. And the rocket shelf of Tintin books. ;)

Maureen was awesome, eccentric and abstract and so interesting to just listen to. She sort of goes off on tangents and eventually gets back to your question if you remind her because she might forget it entirely. One girl had Let It Snow, the anthology she did with John Green and Lauren Myracle, and Maureen moved closer and closer, asking the girl if John's story was the best. And asking her. And asking her. And Maureen denied sending John dirty jokes during his live shows on YouTube (see his recent live show reading of chapter 1 of The Fault in Our Stars).

I hope Maureen comes back. I think she said this was her first time coming to Canada as part of a book tour (sorry if I'm wrong) and I hope her publisher books more Canadian dates for her next tour. Oh, and Maureen said there will be 2 more books in the series for The Name of the Star (the second has a title that I've forgotten) and that she's working on the third Suite Scarlett book. Which people enjoyed hearing. :)

I haven't read any of Maureen's books yet, but I'll be starting with The Name of the Star before moving on to the e-book of 13 Little Blue Envelopes that I've had for months. :)

Well, I have no idea when my next event post will be, so keep an eye out. All future events I attend in the foreseeable future will be in BC (unless you, gentle readers, are willing to pay for gas or plane tickets).


  1. Sound like a fun time even with the lack of sufficient space. Loved Maureen's book and will be anxious to read more from her.

  2. Sounds like a seriously good time! I definitely would have expected more people, but maybe it had to do with the lack of publicity, like you mentioned.

  3. You haven't read any MJ books yet?! I love her books, but the Last Little Blue Envelope, the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, is one of my favorites of hers. It's fantastic.