Monday, May 14, 2012

Christi's Adventures: SE Hinton Author Event

Last week I made the trek out to Princeton, NJ, once again--this time to meet SE Hinton, author of many novels, including The Outsiders! And, here's the absolute best part about the whole night: I. Did. Not. Get. Lost. I can't tell you how embarrassing it is that I can't get from my job to Princeton without getting lost! But! I did it this time!

So thankfully I rolled into the Princeton Barnes & Noble at around 6:30pm (the event was scheduled to start at 7pm). I got in line and purchased my 3 copies of The Outsiders, and was handed a signing ticket. This was my first indication that this event was going to be way different from any others I'd attended here.

I was told to head out into the mall to get in line, and wait for the "B" tickets to be called. I waited about 20 minutes with tons of other people, and then we were led into the author area. It was already standing room only by the time I got there, but my standing room was  dead center. At about 7:10 SE Hinton came out:

Here's my awesome SRO view. Except for that annoying woman in the gray sweatshirt who was constantly moving around taking pictures like she was a professional and was totally getting in everyone's way.
She spent the next hour walking around the area, taking questions from students and teachers. Some of the teachers got really emotional talking about the reactions their kids had from reading The Outsiders, and some of the kids weren't paying attention because they asked the same questions that had already been asked, but SE was always gracious with her responses. She wrote The Outsiders for 3 reasons: 1. she loved to read, 2. she couldn't find books that she wanted to read, and decided to write her own, and 3. the social tensions going on in her life were not being addressed in fiction at the time. She said if she had to pick just one character that she related with, it would be Ponyboy, but she couldn't pick a favorite character. And she shared that not only was she still close with the actors from the film adaptation, she'd just had dinner with Matt Dillon just a few nights earlier! *swoons*

At one point she was standing directly in front of me answering a question. I thought it would have been weird to hold my iPhone up literally in her face, so I didn't take a picture of her then. I did, however, snap one of the back of her head as she was walking away, a la David Levithan:

She would have answered every single question, but at about 8pm the woman in charge of the program started frantically signaling that it was time to start the signing. There were at least 200 people there, and I was pretty much right smack dab in the middle, so I parked myself on the floor and started to re-read The Outsiders. It took almost an hour for me to get to SE, and by that point the program lady decided that SE wouldn't be taking the time to pose with people anymore, so this is what I get after 4 hours of waiting (including my drive out there and wait time):

You should see the other picture: I'm blinking and SE Hinton is looking off to her right. It's awful, really.
Not the greatest shot, but I can't really fault SE Hinton for that. I've been to a lot of events at this bookstore--and will continue to attend them--but it seems that the store was ill-equipped for an event of this magnitude. This B&N was hosting Martha Stewart the following afternoon--I can only imagine what a circus that must have been! All in all it was nice to have the opportunity to meet SE Hinton--something I'm sure not that many people can claim!

And I will have a giveaway coming up soon, I promise!!
Enjoy your reading!


  1. Yay for not getting lost! I think I'm jealous that you got to meet her. I may be more jealous that she had dinner with Matt Dillon - he's always been a favorite of mine (Tex!) and I may just have a son named Dallas.... Anyway, sorry you didn't get to spend any one on one time with her, but so glad you got your books signed.

  2. I absolutely love The Outsiders! It was the first book I felt I just had to buy as a child. It is so awesome that you got to meet S.E. Hinton!

  3. I'm glad you put up a recap of this event! I had to work that night and happened to stop in around 9:30 and the event was just wrapping up--I wish I could have gone to the actual event but felt lucky that the employees let me get a book signed (they were signing the store's stock at that point).

    Princeton seems to be getting really big names recently (and Rachael Ray is coming in a few weeks). Hopefully the trend continues.


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