On Tuesday I made yet another trek out to the Princeton Barnes & Noble, this time to meet the inimitable Ellen Hopkins. I gotta say that this B&N does a really great job for author events--before Ellen came out the woman in charge of events sent around a clipboard that we could add our emails to if we wanted to be kept up-to-date with events at that store. You mean I won't have to remember to check the B&N website constantly? Yes, please! She also had a ton of Banned Books Weeks bookmarks (with Ellen's manifesto on the back) that she handed out, and when I told her I was a librarian, gave me a bunch to share with my teens.
Ellen Hopkins is, simply put, an amazing speaker. To start the program she read several pages from each of the four characters in Perfect, explaining that she wanted us to hear the characters the way she wrote them. (By the way, I totally hear the characters the way she reads them. Awesome!)
Then she spoke about Banned Books Week and how she's one of the most challenged authors of 2010. It was totally reassuring to hear her say that she writes about dark subjects because it exists, and there are teens out there who nee dot know they're not alone. She also spoke at length about the inspiration behind her books--most are based on things that happen either to friends or readers--and she spoke about her upcoming projects. Triangles is her first foray into adult fiction and will be out next month. Tilt will be her 2012 young adult release, and the main characters in Tilt are actually secondary characters from Triangles. She said she's also doing research on her 2012 adult release, titled Collateral, which is about people in the armed forces, and those they leave behind when they're deployed. They all sound incredible!
She took many questions from the audience and discussed everything from how she felt about being challenged, her inspiration for her work and her favorite authors (Stephen King, who is also the most influential author of my teen years!).
Then it was time for the signing! I was a little flustered when it was finally my turn, but still managed to tell Ellen that I was a teen librarian and a blogger, and that my teens were quite jealous I was meeting her. I got my copy of Perfect signed, as well as Crank (for my Banned Books Giveaway--you're already entered, right?) and Identical (presumably for next summer's Book Auction at my library, if I can bear to part with it).
(It's me and Ellen-freaking-Hopkins OMG)
So there you have it, another author event in the books. Ellen will be promoting Triangles at the Princeton Public Library on Wednesday, October 19th, and you know what? I might have to make the drive to see her again. She was just that impressive and I love her. :)
Enjoy your reading!