Meeting Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir!
You know what's really fun? Going to an author signing and the conversation between the two authors at said signing is AWESOME.
On Thursday, October 10th, my wonderful friend/neighbor/fellow writing buddy Shannon Fox and I attended Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore's event featuring Renée Ahdieh. And interviewing Renée was none other than best selling author herself Sabaa Tahir.
Right off the bat, I knew this was going to be a great event by the turn out. Ohmygoodness. So many people. By the time we got to Mysterious Galaxy 15 minutes before the event, there were no seats - standing room only! And if I didn't know it would be a great event by the turn out, I'd know it by catching glimpses of Renée and Sabaa's badass eyeshadow from afar.
The nail in the coffin that I would love this event? It was obvious, right off the bat, that Renée and Sabaa are great friends. They didn't speak to how long they have been friends, but it felt like many, many years. The conversation flowed easily, and the laughs were many. They had a certain way of talking that made it feel like we were all lurking on (hopefully not like creepers) while they gabbed in a coffee shop. Comfortable, warm, and inviting.
Renée went into detail about what had inspired her to write her new novel, The Beautiful. The little (read: huge) Anne Rice fan in me felt all warm and fuzzy as Renée and Sabaa both gushed about Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire series. Sabaa asked Renée why she chose New Orleans as a setting, and Renée expounded on her love for the diverse city, and how she wanted to choose a setting that also served as a character. Those little facts alone have me NEEDING to read this book ASAP.
I loved meeting Renée and Sabaa in the signing portion of the event, as both women have a certain way of making you feel welcome. Both are funny as hell, warm, and easy to talk to. I especially connected with Sabaa's dry sense of humor, seeing that reflected in my own personality. I loved how warm Renée was, and how much she appreciated her fans.
It struck me, while waiting in line to get our books signed, what a weird bunch we are. We readers come in all shapes and sizes, every single ethnicity, every background. What binds us together is that we are all experts in imagination. We can take words and form them into dramatic pictures, situations, and even movies in our brains. I realized what an amazing talent this truly is, if not a bit alienating to the outside world. We live in our heads, exploring little pockets of imaginary worlds we have never seen, but are forced to operate in a real, tangible, sometimes wonderful and sometimes tragic world. It makes us weird. In some cases, very weird. But it can connect two seemingly opposite people together, all over the love of a single character. Truly a weird and beautiful thing.