Tag Archives: authors

Step Right Up: Book Signings and Readings

Jen Lancaster will be in NYC tonight and I had grand plans to attend but just learned my presence is required elsewhere (per my boss).  Suffice to say I’m none too happy about this last minute turn of events. 

Though an avid reader, I’ve only ever gone to three book readings and/or signings.  Maybe I’m afraid that my inner-nutcase will shine through and I’ll get wild-eyed and start fawning in the presence of literary greatness.

As a child, I think I met Judy Blume at a “Young Writers” conference.  I have a hazy memory of this and Blume is from New Jersey, which strengthens my case. 

A few summers ago, before her meteoric rise to stardom, Jodi Picoult came to my local library and though I hadn’t read any of her novels, I went to check her out.  She was a charismatic speaker, erudite and self-deprecating, and made writing seem like something any of us could do.  I didn’t own any of her books but ended up buying Plain Truth and having her sign it.

The other reading I went to was at my local Barnes & Noble.  Megan McCafferty, author of the Jessica Darling series, paid homage to her old stomping grounds at my B&N.  Megan was so entertaining and thankfully I didn’t make a fool of myself when speaking with her.  In my book, that counts as a success.  I was sorry to miss Megan’s most recent book tour for the final Jessica Darling book–I was driving home from Florida when she had a signing in Princeton.

Do you go to many readings or signings?  Who were some of the most memorable authors you’ve seen or heard?  Have you ever made a fool of yourself while chatting with an author (or is that just my own special talent)?

SomeONE To Write Home About…

I guess you could say I’m a “lifer”; I was born and have always lived in New Jersey.  NJ holds the dubious distinction of having the highest population density in the country and is one of only 2 states (Oregon is the other) that doesn’t permit self-service gas stations.  I got to wondering about all the other people (8.6 million of them!) who call NJ home.  More specifically, I pondered about famous people who hail from my native state.

We’ve got the musical market cornered with Holy Trinity–Sinatra, Springsteen and Bon Jovi.  But this blog isn’t about musicians.  Or politicians and/or actors–but we have them in spades too.

Instead, I wondered about famous authorsfrom New Jersey.  Joyce Kilmer, Judy Blume, and Megan McCafferty immediately came to mind.  Upon further investigation, I learned that James Fenimore Cooper, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, and Dorothy Parker were also natives.

Who knew that such a tiny state (8,729 square miles-you can drive the length in 3 hours and the width in 1 hour at the thinnest part) could produce so many illustrious writers?  How does your home state measure up?