This is another Book Squad adventure and as you may already know, we are keeners and huge Stiefvater fans. So we left Toronto at 11am for a signing at 7pm. To be fair, we had an hour-long drive to Oshawa, I’m the only one with a driver’s licence at the moment, and I get very nervous about driving on the highway, so beating traffic was of the utmost importance. Also, we’d been planning this for months. Months.
Luckily the drive itself was pretty calm (note that I didn’t say I was calm) with only minimal yelling over Spotify playlists.
When we got there, we found Indigo Oshawa to be a really nice store that even sells vinyls so we immediately got distracted. We eventually found copies of All the Crooked Saints (we had to buy a copy in-store) and bought them. Turns out it was a good thing we arrived so early because we got into groups 1 and 2, meaning some people had already come and gone!
I was, however, super impressed at Indigo Oshawa’s organization because if you got into group 1 you were seated in the first row, if you were in group 2 you were in the second row and so on. This arrangement was smart and didn’t require us to sit in line for hours, clogging up the store. The only problem here is that I was not about to drive us back to hang out at home and then come back to Oshawa. So we sat at Starbucks for six hours. I mean, two of us worked on the NaNoWriMo novels, and the rest of us wandered a bit at the mall, but still.
Finally, after five hours of loitering, the setup for the signing was complete and we were able to sit down in our designated spots. My only complaint here is that they had a sound guy playing some god-awful weird jazz music when they had Maggie’s amazing ATCS playlist at their disposal. But I digress.
Anyways, we were greeted by an employee who told us that there wouldn’t be a Q&A, but that Maggie would come up and talk for 45 minutes, and then we would have our signing. This was fine by me. I had a question I kind of wanted to ask, but I had never been to a signing for an author I love as much as Maggie, and I had never been this nervous to meet an author before, so to be honest, I was a little relieved.
And then Maggie came out looking like a badass dragon rider ready to overthrow the government. And essentially began a stand-up routine. I didn’t think I could like her more, but. She. Is. So. Funny. And definitely one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen. So good, I think she should do a TED Talk.
She talked about how she came up with the idea for All the Crooked Saints, the adventures she had on her last book tour, why she wrote the book that she did, and everything in between. It just amazed me how she makes even ordinary things seem extraordinary and magical. Which is a recurring theme in all of her books, really.
And then she serenaded us with the following instrument, which I was very much not surprised to find out that she played:
I was sad to see the talk end, and at this point I was unbelievably nervous for the signing. Especially when I realized that I would be third. Third. Out of a hundred people. Of course, I had a small pile of books. 3 copies of ATCS (one for myself, another for a friend, and another for my dad), one copy of Shiver, and one of The Raven Boys.
When it was my turn, I think I forgot how to function. She asked me if I’d read the whole pile and which one was my favourite, and I think I mumbled something about The Raven Cycle and ATCS and completely forgot about the existence of The Scorpio Races even though I love it. And then I mentioned that one copy of ATCS was for my dad and that he’d read most of TRC. She replied that it was great that I read with my parents because she does the same! So that was really nice. Immediately afterwards, some of the Book Squad and I realized we forgot to give her our keys (if anyone doesn’t know, she asked readers to give her old keys to hang on her wall)…But we were able to hand them to an employee who put them beside her. We were still standing near the table waiting for the two of us who were in Group 2 anyway, so it turned out alright.
After the signing, I felt like I had so much I should have said to her and I didn’t or couldn’t. I’d even forgotten to show her my ATCS nails! But we all agreed that it had been one of the best (if not the best, period) signings we had ever been to, and that if Maggie did not come to Canada on her next tour, we would road trip to her.
And then in the bathroom before we left, I dropped my phone in the toilet. A public toilet, may I remind you. By some miracle (a Soria miracle, perhaps?), my phone was still functioning even though it was a sad LG G5. I managed to open google photos and upload as much as possible during the hour-long drive back before it died for good. It even survived as a GPS for the trip home, so that was nice.
The next day, it was well and truly dead and when I checked Google Photos, all my pictures post-talk were gone. I didn’t have any of the candid photos that the employees took of me getting my book signed. I was pretty sad. So I did what many millennials do and tweeted about it:
Maggie’s response made me feel 100% better. I am also now a proud owner of the Google Pixel 2, so that helped make me feel better too. Even though that was its own seven-hour-long saga.
Which brings us to the end of the Stiefvater Signing Saga of 2017. If anyone else has been to one of her signings, tell me all about it! I already can’t wait until she goes on tour again so I can see her for a second time.