Friday, October 2, 2009

Free Book Friday, and Infamous Moments from Sara Zarr's Book Launch

Free Book Friday

Just leave a comment today to enter. I have a bunch of Sara Zarr's books to add to the giveaway pool.

Sara Zarr's Book Launch at The King's English

I went to a reading/signing for the launch of Sara Zarr's newest book Once Was Lost. The book was partially inspired by the Elizabeth Smart incident.

Sara was so personable and did a great job discussing her book and the writing process. I can't wait to read it.

My favorite part: When she talked about switching the book from third person to first person.

Sara: "It becomes a whole different book. It's not like you can go through and just change all the she's to I's."

Afterward a bunch of us went for dessert at the Dodo.

Here are the headlines:

*Matt Kirby is accused of being a homewrecker when he sits between Sara Zarr and her husband.

*Below is Matt Kirby saying it wasn't his fault. (He has since promised to explain himself in the comments section).

*James Dashner joins our conversation just as I'm saying, "Speaking of Jesus..." He thinks I'm weird.

*Bree Despain admits she is unable to read lips or hand gestures after I spend 5 minutes mouthing the word writer to her, and then miming the act of typing on a keyboard. She was sitting directly across from me.

side note: This one time, when we were on an airplane, Emily Wing Smith and I had seats together. We found a third seat, and got Bree's attention. (She was sitting a few rows back). With exaggerated movements, we point to Bree, and then to the empty seat next to us, and then we wave her forward. We repeat five times. Bree gives a puzzled look, and shakes her head. She can't figure out what we're trying to say. Finally the whole plane goes, "They want you to sit next to them!"

*James Dashner joins our conversation just as I'm saying, "Speaking of nipples..." This does nothing to change his mind that I'm weird.

*It's okay, because this one time, in front of a crowd of people, he announced to the masses, "I am a psycho." Very weird.

*I get in trouble with the waiter "Cody" because I'm talking while he's telling us about the specials.

*I decide to blog about Cody, and so I point my camera toward him and say, "Can you smile?" He frowns. "Yes, I can." He walks away. It becomes official: I have offended Cody for the last time. He's fed up and he's not gonna take it anymore.
(Cody, posing for a picture)

*Sara B., Valynne and I start calling him "Colby". Strangely, this does nothing to melt his freeze.

*James offers to pay.

*James rescinds offer for fear of repercussions from his wife.
(James using his thumb to indicate who we make the checks out to...)

*Matt Kirby tells me his wife reads my blog. She also kept her last name, like me. I ask her name, and he won't tell me. He's afraid I'll call her out. I would never. So, Hi to Matt's wife!

*I give up my seat to Natasha Maw from Mawbooks because her work is more important. She blogs about books.

*To cover up an awkward moment, I announce to the table that I hate fruit.

*My end of the table decides the worst name ever is Peter Willy Johnson Dick. Now I have a new name for my laptop. And I'm apparently 12 years old.

*I take a billion pics of the table. Manage to cut off Sara B. and Valynne in every single one. I'm voted worst picture taker, as evidenced below.

*When I point out that Matt Kirby didn't order anything, Matt responds (in his most school psychologist sounding voice -- he can't help it, he is a school psychologist), "And does that make you feel uncomfortable?"

*We collectively decide we're gonna use that line whenever someone questions why we do something.

*Someone makes an inappropriate joke about aliens and bananas.

*Okay, it was me.

What's everyone doing this weekend? My kids have a 5-day weekend, so I'll probably spend my weekend cowering in a corner of my house, mumbling incoherently and chewing on the corner of my sofa.

Next Tuesday, James is launching his book The Maze Runner at The King's English. Everyone's invited. It's at 5:00. Check out his blog for more details.

For any of you named Peter Willy Johnson Dick, I apologize, and I will send you a free book of your choosing.


  1. Sounds like so much fun. I'm completely jealous.

  2. Poor Cody the waiter...dealing with a bunch of writers. Thats rough.

    I think Bree needs to take some time off and go to this school:
    You remember that time you were choking? If Bree was in the room, she would have had no clue what to do. She needs to learn how to interpret what people mean...and what better way to do it then to immerse herself in this class.

    I am just glad you came home last night from all of your partying.

  3. Ah, Colby. What a fun night! But what I love the most is how you mentioned nipples and pasties earlier in the night but refer to the aliens and bananas as the inappropriate comment.

  4. Hooray for Sara Zarr!

    SO many fabulous people in the same room? Seriously I would have been on cloud 9! Hey next time, you should invite me along to be your official photographer(I was dubbed it in my book club). I'll do it for free just to hang out with you.

    Hope your couch tastes like cinnamon or vanilla or chocolate. Well whatever I just hope it goes down easy since it's gonna be a long 5 day weekend. Funny how those don't sound as appealing once it means the kids will be home ALL day. :)

    Cody called. He said he's just trying to make a living and wants money for that picture. (And he was a little nervous cause he thought you were cute.)

  5. Ah, bless you. This is exactly what I needed after finally getting both children to stop screaming.... :D

  6. Thanks for the play-by-play. Felt like I was really there! And I probably should have been. Need to get my act together and start attending book events again.

  7. This weekend. It's gonna be a busy one. I need to clean out my car really bad for one thing. That's always a pain! Tell us, Brodi, does your car need to be cleaned out too? Does that make you uncomfortable?

  8. Kim- There's always James' bash on Tuesday.

    Sam- You could stand to take a few classes too.

    Valynne- You think the nipples and pasties beat out the aliens with bananas comment? Okay. I'll include it next time.

    Britt- I find screaming kids prepare me to find humor in blogs too.

    Nikki- Get your act together! Come!

    Alysa- Yes that makes me uncomfortable. I'm planning on weeding my garden. How does that make you feel?

  9. It's posts like this that so make me want to hang out with a group of authors.
    neohippy10 hotmail

  10. Thanks for the shout out on my launch party!

    Last night was good times. And you are most definitely weird.

  11. Um. I don't even know what to say. There are so many awesome and extremely random things to comment on that I will choose not to comment on any of them (yes, that's intelligent). Thanks for the good laugh (but not at your expense, promise). I'm excited to get my hands on Sara Zarr's new book.

  12. A five-day weekend? Aren't kids supposed to spend more time during the week IN public school than OUT?

    Now I'm wondering where all my taxpayer money goes.

    If Cody was so offended, then why is his blurry face smiling in the picture? He was obviously flirting. He must have a thing for "aliens with bananas" jokes.

  13. And, because I'm Debbie's official camera holder at our book club, you have to invite me too. ;)

    What great fun you had! I love that James Dashner agreed with your assessment of him thinking you're weird. Whoa! That was a loop if I ever read one.

  14. You have so much more fun than the rest of us mere mortals. I guess if I want in on it, I would have to write something... Nah. Ain't gonna happen.
    But I do like to read, so I hope I win this time!

  15. Debbie- How did I miss you? Yes, my couch tastes delicious. Cody called? Ha ha!

    Cari- come hang out!

    James- Right back atcha.

    Melissa- thanks for laughing.

    Jessica- my point exactly. We need to lobby for school weeks that actually consist of school days.

    And really, who doesn't have a thing for alien and banana jokes?

    Jenni- Of course you're included.

  16. Jenny Jackson- "mere mortals" ha ha. I hope you win too. I'm pulling for you, but you know the final decision is up to the whim of Smokey the Cat.

  17. Okay, to set the record straight, I did not *intend* to sit between Sara and her husband.

    He and I were talking while our group waited for our table. He teaches high school English and I'm a writer and school psychologist, so we had some things in common. And he's a cool guy. So Sara *insisted* that we sit next to each other at the table so we could continue our discussion. I said, "that makes me feel kinda weird, sitting between you guys." But again, she *insisted* I sit there. So if I'm a homewrecker, Sara invited me through the door. Nay, she *insisted*.

    Does that make you feel uncomfortable?

  18. Matt- ha ha. Thank you for the explanation. I shall have all of the accusers promptly flogged.

  19. Wonderful writeup.

    However, it’s clear Cody takes his job much more seriously than you to. :p

  20. Sounds crazy but I bet it was a blast!

  21. Okay, okay, fine, I'm signing up for the mime school. But only if they teach me how to gesture things like "aliens with bananas" and "Speaking of Jesus."

    I was going to blog about the event also, but I think I may just link people to your account. You always tell it in a funnier way than I can.

  22. Brodi, you lead a charmed life. You do so many cool writer things. Would you say that you have found your true peeps?

  23. Doug- Cody probably takes a lot of things more seriously than me. :)

    Eliza- it was a total blast.

    Bree- the sign for "aliens with bananas" is universal, isn't it? And yes, please please just link to my blog!

    Heidi- I have found more true peeps, to add to my collection of true peeps. And what about my blog says "charmed life"? Was it the aliens with bananas?

  24. Ahaha! This post was so amusing! It sounds like you had a lot of fun. And I'm jealous of all the authors and bookish people you got to meet!

  25. Great story- You're one of those people who can tell stories so well, you never have to say, "I guess you should have been there." That happens to me all the time. Maybe I'm not quite meant to be an author yet.

    I have never been to Kings English but I've heard some pretty fab things about it. Maybe I'll make next Tuesday my day for visiting it!

  26. Paradox- It was very fun. Though they were all saying, "What's that blond chick with the camera doing here?"

    Olivia- I always fight the urge to end each post with "I guess you had to be there." Yes- come on Tuesday! It will be a party.

  27. That is so cool that you got to meet Sara Zarr! I haven't read any of her books but they all sound really good.


  28. Brodi, I don't think I know anybody that has more funny experiences than you do. I loved the awkward conversation starters!

  29. Book Pixie- She really is so talented. And nice!

    Lulabell- You've been around me long enough to believe the wackiness, right?

  30. You crack me up! I'm sure if I were to hang out with you I would be totally intimidated by your hilariousness, but I could tag along with Debbie anytime. She's pretty clever herself.

    I would bake you some cookies to eat while cowering in the corner, but I think the couch might have more vitamins. Natural fibers and all that.

  31. Kimberly- trust me, I am not funny in person.

    "natural fibers" ha ha!

  32. I'm sitting here late at night reading your blog and laughing to myself and my husband thinks I'm weird and it's all your fault. So funny. And I think you are funny in person, but since I'm only funny when I don't want to be, maybe somebody else should tell you.

  33. Writers must be the coolest people to hang out with.

  34. Elena- Thanks, girlfriend.

    Cassie- They always seem to be entertaining, that is for sure.