Saturday, January 22, 2011

Christi's Adventures: E. Lockhart & Tonya Hurley Author Visit!

Sorry guys, this is kind of a long story--my adventures to get to E. Lockhart and Tonya Hurley!

So I had heard a while ago that E. Lockhart (Real Live Boyfriends, among others) and Tonya Hurley (Ghostgirl trilogy) were going to be the Barnes & Noble in Princeton, NJ. Princeton is not that far away from me--I mean, it's not close, but I used to go to college near there (and I commuted for a year), so it's completely doable, just over an hour each way. And the "snow" that we were supposed to get Thursday night turned out to be nothing, so I decided to make the drive out there.

But first! I get home from work and rush inside to try and throw some dinner together for dear daughter (Toy Story mac & cheese! Yay!). While I was doing that, dear hubby went into the garage. And heard a hissing noise. And discovered a hole in one of my tires. He wasn't able to plug it, but he was able to get the spare on for me. I decided that while a flat tire was probably a sign I shouldn't head out, I was going anyway.

It took me TWENTY minutes to get my crapppy GPS to register the Barnes & Noble address, and even then I'm pretty sure it had me heading to Princeton by way of Venezuela. See, I pretty much knew where I was going. As I said, I went to school not far from there; as a matter of fact, on the night he proposed, now-dear-hubby took me to this very same Barnes & Noble to get bridal magazines. So I *kind of* knew where I was going. I just hadn't been out that way in over ten years, and wanted the GPS as reassurance. But last night, man, that GPS was all over the place. Even as I was pulling in to the Barnes & Noble parking lot 'she' was recalculating to figure out how to get me where I wanted to be. Ugh.

But! I'm FINALLY there! Late, but there. I missed Tonya's reading and most of Emily's, but was there to hear the Q&A portion. Both authors are pretty sure that each book is the last in their respective series. Tonya indicated that Ghostgirl had been optioned for TV by Fox, and will be animated if/when it comes to the small screen. (Disclaimer: I have not yet read the Ghostgirl series, although I've always meant to, so I really didn't know too much about Tonya. Like, that she was a TV writer. Or that she was instrumental in the Mary-Kate and Ashley craze of several years back.) She did speak about the artwork for her books, and how she passed over a prior book deal because she wanted to make sure her book was done right. She had complete control over her covers and such, which isn't that common for a first-time author.

This led to a conversation with Emily, who revealed that she had no control over her covers. She spoke about the difference between the hardcover and paperback editions of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and the changes made to the Ruby Oliver series when the fourth book came out. Fans will know that the original covers of the first three books featured iconic images--specifically, a ceramic frog, a ceramic penguin, and a marshmallow snowman (my favorite cover, and apparently Emily's, as well!). When Real Live Boyfriends came about, the publishers decided to revamp all the covers--the reprints and Real Live Boyfriends show a model in various poses. Emily said it's very unusual for a publisher to want to repackage older books like that, so she was grateful. As far as control over the cover, though--she was asked to provide examples of what kind fo clothing she's like the model to wear.  

The pair was asked what other YA they enjoy reading, and Tonya revealed that she doesn't read that much YA. Emily did recommend Jaclyn Moriarty, particularly The Spell Book of Listen Taylor and The Murder of Bundy Mackenzie. For adults, she said that The Magicians by Lev Grossman is like Harry Potter for grownups, and a really good read. 

Then it was time for signing. There actually weren't that many people there, so it didn't take as long as I'd expected. I bought three books from each author and had them signed--one each for me, one each to give away to my teens at the end of summer reading , and one each for future contests right here on this blog! So stay tuned! I just have to say that Tonya's books, especially the hardcover versions, are absolutely. GORGEOUS.

Emily was a little surprised when I told her I'd read most of what she's written--the only one I missed was How To Be Bad, which she wrote with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski).

I didn't have my picture taken with them because 1. I hate having my picture taken 2. I was by myself and felt a little weird asking random strangers to take my picture, and 3. my camera battery was nearly dead. UGH.

All in all, even though it seems like the fates were plotting against me (did I mention that I coasted into Princeton on fumes and almost forgot to find a gas station on the way home?), I had a quite enjoyable evening.

Enjoy your reading!


  1. This is so awesome! Where do you live, btw? I was going to go to this signing- I'm from Philly, but I knew I wouldn't make it there in time after work. Jealous!

  2. Hey, Jessica! I'm in Ocean County, pretty close to Seaside (ugh)--not too far away! It was a good signing, I was surprised that there weren't that many people there, only about a dozen or so.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.