Thursday, May 22, 2014
Reading and Book Signing: Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand
Yesterday I was purchasing a thank-you gift at The King's English bookstore here in Salt Lake City when a bookseller asked me if I were coming to the signing that night. Well, three YA authors in one shot sounded pretty good, so I picked Everneath by local author Brodi Ashton, bought it, and committed to return that evening.
Now, The King's English does author visits. I've been to see numerous authors there, including Alexander McCall Smith, Eoin Colfer, and *cringe* Stephenie Meyer. (Look; I hadn't read the books at that time, and she wasn't really famous at the time.) So, I thought this would be a well-done event.
But it was.... nice.
Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, and Cynthia Hand were lovely, giggly little school girls telling inside jokes with each other while the 20 or so of us in the audience listened on the edges of their little world. They gave silly answers to questions like "How do you think up character names?" And they only spent a couple of minutes each talking about their books. There was no reading, no attempt at all to "hook" new readers in.
But they were really nice, lovely ladies.
I can't even remember who wrote which book without looking it up now; that's how bland and just-like-hers their presentations were. I ended up unconvinced that I needed to buy Meadow's and Hand's books -- or even get them from the library -- and almost sorry I paid for Ashton's.
You see, the big problem was that they had so much fun giggling with each other and being so proud of their own accomplishments that it became clear that they didn't feel we were necessary. Those of us in the audience were outsiders, mere readers -- while they were this little group of "in-girl" writers.
I can't tell you one thing, good or bad, about their books. Maybe the books are great. I don't know. I felt so alienated by their presentation of themselves that I lost all my enthusiasm.
Note to self: never treat readers like this. Ever.
(Of course, I wouldn't look anywhere near as good in a photo as they do.)