Ever since Jennifer Weiner posted her tour schedule for 2010, I had been eagerly anticipating her visit to DC. I was not disappointed tonight, even when I drove in crazy rush hour beltway traffic only to miss the first few minutes of her speech and a chance at any of the cupcakes she was offering. Hearing her speak again far outweighed my lateness and the lack of cupcakes. She was just as funny as last year.
She spoke about different topics, such as the premise of "Fly Away Home," her issues with "The Bachelor," publishers who made the mistake of rejecting books that have become bestsellers, her Nana's role in "In Her Shoes" (the movie), meeting Shannen Doherty in a bathroom, how Sylvie Serfer spoke to her in her head and her two and a half year old daughter's attempts at walking while eating a banana. She read an excerpt from "Fly Away Home," which was from the beginning so she wasn't spoiling anything. And she answered my question about the possibility of more sequels. (Answer: Kate Klein from "Goodnight Nobody" is coming back soon.) She also did a funny imitation of her agent, who apparently resents such imitations. I know she had a lot to say, but this is just a summary. Overall she inspired me to write. (Even when she asked me if I had written anything and I had to answer that I haven't....yet.)
After the speech, reading and Q&A, everyone was called up in groups to get their books signed. Unlike some authors, she was open to signing every book her fans brought, whether they were old or new. She also took pictures with those of us who had cameras. It was nice that Borders had a system of calling people up so we could mingle instead of standing in a long line forever. I got to see Sarah Pekkanen again and also met another fellow blogger, Megan from Write Meg! We had a fun time chatting and she's one of the few women whose boyfriend was brave enough to accompany her. :)
When it was my turn to meet Jen, I thought I'd get all starstruck and tongue-tied. However, she made me feel at ease by complementing my hair, which hadn't succumbed to the humidity tonight. Then I told her how I was from Chick Lit Central and she became even friendlier. It was so nice that with all the book bloggers out there, she knew who I was. That's when she asked me if I was writing anything. And I finally got the picture I was denied in NYC last year. She even personalized her signature in my book to be more than just "Enjoy!" :) It was even more of a delight to meet her this year and I plan to see her again at future book signings.
On a final note, I brought a friend with me this year. It was really nice to have someone along who likes chick lit as much as I do (that's what we initially bonded over when we became friends last year). We had fun chatting in the car both there and back. She even helped me laugh through the stress of all the traffic and super long red lights. I was glad she got to meet Jen this year and I introduced her to Sarah Pekkanen, as well.
Overall, it was a great evening and I didn't even miss the cupcakes in the end. (I just indulged in Party Cake ice cream when I got home.) And I'm still on a "I met Jennifer Weiner" high. :)