About two weeks ago, on July 6, I got the honor and privilege of meeting the New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French series, Stephanie Perkins! I also got to meet the inspiration behind Etienne, Cricket and Josh, her husband Jarrod Perkins! I was supposed to be studying for my midterm exams, but to hell with it! There was no way I was going to miss the chance of meeting one of my favorite authors!
Registration was at 10am, and the event was at 2pm, but I arrived at about 7am. But guess what, there were already more than a hundred people who had arrived before me!
Before 10am, Stephanie Perkins was so nice that she came to wave to her fans in her car! Obviously, everyone screamed. I also heard from a security guard that she went to the mall during midnight, right after her flight from Cebu, to say hi to the early birds who came to camp outside the mall. She took pictures with them and signed their shirts and pictures! Is it possible to love her even more?
10:00am finally came, and the registration finally opened. After standing for a while, I finally got my number! #168 out of the hundreds who came, yay!
My friend and I proceeded to eat lunch after getting our numbers, and we came back before 1:00pm to wait for Stephanie Perkins. Unfortunately, we were at the back already because many had come before us.
(part of the crowd)
What I learned
• When asked which guy from her books is more like her husband, she said that Jarrod (her husband) is all of them.
• Stephanie Perkins met Jarrod Perkins at the age of 17, online. They were at opposite posts in the US, but that didn't stop them. Jarrod flew out to take Stephanie to her senior prom, just like Cricket. They wore matching red Chuck Taylors, which ended up as their wedding shoes. (Swoon)
• Stephanie said that she identifies with who she is writing about at a particular moment because she writes about what she was emotionally going through. Anna was about being brave (being published), Lola was about individuality, and Isla was about the reality of a dream ever coming true, and the happily ever after (her career).
• She's writing something very different right now.
• Isla is a happy and feel good book. "It's about true love and becoming your own person, and being confident in who you are. Isla was not a very confident person at first, and she has to grow into that and it is something that I hope my readers will think about. It is certainly something that I have to remember myself."
• She's close with Kiersten White, Gayle Forman, Laini Taylor, and Rainbow Rowell.
• She worked on Lola before Anna. From conception to getting published, she worked on it for a total of 10 years. It was actually written for adults for a while.
• She likes books that make her feel good.
• The story of Anna and the French Kiss came to her in a dream. She was in Paris, and the most beautiful boy was sitting on the steps. She realized that she was deeply in love with him. They started talking, and he has the French name, English accent and was studying in an American boarding school. She set aside Lola to work on Anna
• There's a holiday anthology that's coming out on October 14. There are 12 short stories by 12 different authors, and it's called My True Love Gave Me Twelve Holiday Stories. The authors are all NYT best sellers, and among them are Stephanie Perkins, Gayle Forman, Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan. It's gonna be published by St. Martin's Press, and her story is set in her hometown.
• Adivice to aspiring writers: #1 adivice, learn how to read like a writer. "When you're reading a book, take it a little bit slower and be more conscious and aware of it. And when you're reading something and you have a reaction, it doesnt matter what, stop and go back and reread and see how the author made that happed. Both good books and bad are helpful."
After the interview came the signing. There were actually two lines since Jarrod was kind enough to sign our books too! They were both really kind when they signed my books. I had a total fangirl moment when I asked Stephanie Perkins if I could hug her, and SHE HUGGED ME. Yes, she hugged me! *fangirl*
Stephanie Perkins signing my books! She asked what time I arrived, and I said 7:00 am, and she was saying thank you over and over again, when it should be us thanking her for coming all the way to the Philippines to meet us!
Jarrod Perkins signing my books! He told me that he liked my necklace, teehee! <3
My signed books! <3 Sorry for the horrible photography!
Now for the exciting part! *Drumroll* Dun dun dun dun! I will be giving away a copy of Anna and the French Kiss signed by Stephanie and Jarrod Perkins! The giveaway will be restricted to those who live in the Philippines (since I'm poor), but international followers may enter provided that they have an address here in the Philippines.
PH only, unless you have an address in the Philippines! :)
Want to win Lola and the Boy Next Door instead of Anna? Well, you're in luck! My friend Pauline, who I went to the event with, of the blog Fathomless Reveries is hosting a PH only giveaway too! Visit this link for her recap. :)