This past Sunday, the book squad (see below) and I attended Sarah J. Maas’s signing at the Sherway Gardens Indigo (which is absolutely gorgeous, by the way, even though it was crowded as all hell).
One of our group asked the store employees at a previous date how many guests they were expecting, and Indigo said they expected people to full-on camp out. So we woke up early, dressed in our Night Court best (which probably made our uber driver very confused since we looked like we’d gone out the night before and never changed), packed our books and headed off.
The signing had many more limitations than I am used to seeing, which kind of sucked, to be completely honest. To get a book signed we had to be one of the first 250 people to buy A Court of Wings and Ruin at that store that day, which would get us a wristband (which means I now have two copies and plan to return one). The store opened at 11am, the signing was scheduled for 1pm, and we arrived before 8am, expecting to be one of the first people in line. We were pretty shocked to discover 150 people were already there. Some had been waiting since 3am! Totally bonkers.
We also saw some teenagers arrive too late, and they were crying which was a really sad scene. It made us wonder whether the guidelines were Indigo’s or SJM/Bloomsbury’s.
Once we arrived, one of the employees gave us the guidelines for the event:
- We had to wait in line until the store opened, could only leave for a few minutes to get coffee or go to the bathroom, and had to inform security if we did so;
- We had to purchase the book in order to get a wristband, the employees would keep the purchased book with them and we would receive it right before getting it signed;
- We would be called to enter the line for the signing in groups (we were in group 4 out of 5);
- We could only get ACOWAR personalized and signed;
- We could get two more books stamped with her signature by her husband who was sitting beside her;
- And finally, there was only enough space for the first couple of groups to see SJM talk, but we would be able to hear her if we were nearby.
So, we waited. Got Starbucks. And waited. Steph read our tarot cards. And we waited some more. Finally, after about 3 hours, we got moving. Once the line was inside the store, I decided to pick up a copy of American Gods, switched the one I grabbed because it was damaged, misplaced the ticket the employee gave me, went back to the original damaged copy of American Gods and retrieved my ticket, and then (at long last) purchased ACOWAR. Keep in mind that this all happened while the line was moving–I’m clearly a bit of a mess.
After that, we were free to roam for a while but we decided to stick around nearby so we could find a good spot from which to listen to SJM talk. We chose the middle grade section, and to be honest couldn’t hear that much. But by that point we had been discussing how problematic the books are enough that I think we mostly were just listening to roll our eyes at her answers.
On that note, I just want to add that I’d like to make a post about the issues I have with the series at some point, but I’m not going to go into it right now. Just be aware that yes, I enjoy the books, but no, I will never shy away from speaking out against how problematic they are. In fact, we were yelling about it enough in line while waiting that I’m surprised no one jumped in to argue with us. Although, maybe that’s not fair–I’m sure a lot of people recognize her issues like we do.
Anyways, during her talk she tried to sort her characters into Hogwarts houses and failed miserably. Sorry SJM, but I don’t think you understand Hogwarts houses enough. Feyre is not a Hufflepuff. Trust me, I am one. She didn’t say much else that I remember, but she did say to get tissues ready for Tower of Dawn which sounded awfully ominous.
So after that, we got in line yet again and were the first ones of Group 4 to line up. After waiting and moving for about 30 mins, we were able to finally get our books and see her (and her husband). A lot of the fans were crying and she hugged them, which was sweet.
And then it was our turn! I asked her to sign Heir of Fire instead of ACOWAR, since I like HoF infinitely better and she happily obliged. She also complimented our Night Court outfits and makeup. She was really very nice in person (even though while we waited in line we heard her say to another fan that she ships ReyLo and we were all a bit disgusted).
All in all, the signing was fun! We were out of there by 4pm, which was not a bad time. Although our second uber driver was a bit nuts (he drove through at least one stop sign), we made it back home alive. The experience was definitely worth the trouble, but I’m not certain we would do it again for her. However, we did all agree that we would camp out much earlier if Stiefvater had a signing as large as this one. And there is a chance we would be the ones crying (and you can bet I’ll immortalize the experience here as well).
Until next time! 😉
For future reference: I will likely be referring to my friends with whom I attend books events and the like as “the book squad”. Check out their social medias below!