Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors. Her books are witty, funny, slightly scary, and a bit complex.
Last year I was checking out the children’s books at the U bookstore, as I am apt to do every month or so, when I felt a tug to look at the teen books too. The selection in the U bookstore isn’t that great, so it must have been fate that pulled me over there. Sitting in a spotlight (in my mind at least) in the middle of the first bookshelf I saw, was the Diviners. A new book by Libba Bray that I didn’t know about. How this occurred is a mystery to me, but I immediately brought it to the checkout, heedless of the price.
I chatted excitedly with the checkout woman, who responded with much less enthusiasm, about how I love Libba Bray and she is so funny and her books are so wonderful and I didn’t know she had a new one and I have all her others…and so on. Then, she pulled out a ticket. To see Libba Bray. In Seattle. OhEmGee. And I got it for free with the purchase of my book!
For those of you who haven’t read The Diviners, it is set in the Flapper era and has a lot of supernatural/ghost references. The author talk was a costume party, so the night of my fated meeting, with the help of two friends (thanks Sarah 🙂 ) I gussied up in my costume and flapper makeup and hit the bus with all the other cool kids. After a slight delay where I realized I was lost as soon as I got off of the bus, I made it to the convention center where the meeting was to be held.
I wasn’t early, but Libba wasn’t there yet. Everyone tried to entertain themselves with Flapper dancing and fortune telling until she arrived. Then she was there. And speaking. I was stunned. She was SO. COOL. I listened in awe as she made her obligatory jokes and, surprisingly, told her sob story. Turns out when she was in college she was in a horrible car crash that took her eye. She has a glass eye. Wow, she is cool. I couldn’t even tell.
She finished speaking fairly quickly and turned to her table to sign autographs. I quickly got in line, but not quickly enough. There were at least 10 people in front of me. I whiled away the time practicing what I would say when I finally got to the front of the line. No, oh I loooove your books, for me. I needed to be more original. Luckily I had brought my advance reader copy of Beauty Queens, so I felt I had a leg up on everyone else. I had it all planned before I was second in line. I would casually mention how I had reviewed her book (cue hand Beauty Queens to her), gave it a 5-star rating, and recommended it for Teens Top Ten. She would then stare in amazement at me, sign my book with a personalized paragraph, and we would be BFFLs 4EVA.
I was next in line. The girl in front of me had a suspiciously large bag with her. She took out a copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty and chattered to Libba. She took out a copy of Rebel Angels and chatted on with Libba. She took out a copy of The Sweet Far Thing and chattered on with Libba. She took out a copy of Beauty Queens, Going Bovine, more copies of A Great and Terrible Beauty, more copies of the Sweet Far Thing, more copies of Rebel Angels, more copies of The Diviners. AND CHATTERED ON WITH LIBBA.
Who was this girl and where were all her books coming from?? She was stealing my BFFL!
She stayed at that table for about 10 minutes (no I’m not exaggerating) while I tried to think of more amazing things to say to my favorite author. Then it was my turn.
Libba: Hi, [looks at nametag on my book] kl?
Me: Yeah that’s right. I love your books!
Libba: Thank you.
Me: I would have brought more books for you to sign, but I lent my copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty to my friend because I like it so much and I want all my friends to read it because I like it so much and your books are great I got this copy from my library and it’s an advance reader copy I reviewed your book!
Libba: Oh, that’s great! Here you go, thank you for coming. Would you like a free pin?
Me: …[mind is blank]. Thanks [meekly]. [Takes pin and leaves].
All in all not my best moment. The inscription in my book reads “To kl- Sparkle on! Libba Bray”. So we aren’t BFFLs yet, but obviously we are on our way.
Find this book on Goodreads! Click on the cover!