Monday, November 11, 2013

Meeting Kate DiCamillo




I went yesterday to the Glendale Branch Indianapolis-Marion Public Library to see Kate DiCamillo and...it was great! I got there at five minutes 'til two, and the place was packed out. I bought Kate's newest book from the booksellers there(more on that later) and managed to squeeze into the back of the room.

The other half was just as full, and the sides and back of the room were standing room only.

Kate started out by saying how nice it was to see so many people and then asked, "Now...what are we going to do?", which caused a wave of laughter. She then jumped straight into letting people ask questions. The kids there were not shy about sticking their hands in the air! =) After a young boy asked about Rob Horton(the mc in The Tiger Rising) Kate explained that she wasn't sure what it was that Rob wanted for awhile- until one day talking on the phone, Kate's mother informed her there was a tiger loose in Florida. And she realized then that Rob Horton needed a tiger- and she hung up on her mother. "Never hang up on your mother," Kate told the kids. I hope they follow her advice, as I've been guilty of doing just that- but boy oh boy, did I only ever do it once!

Kate has such pretty white/blond hair- though it's sort of blending in w/the white board here.
 
When asked to talk about when she started writing, Kate asked the room if we wanted the long or short version. 'Long' was the unanimous vote to which she replied, "What a strange and wonderful group of people you are." She also told us that when she started out writing she borrowed her mother's JCPenney card and bought three black turtle necks and sat around looking serious...while not getting a whole lot of writing done.

So as time passed she told herself she would sit down an hour a day at the typewriter. Which was exactly what happened...but still no words. Then she made a promise to herself to write two pages a day. And since her first book, Because of Winn Dixie to her most current, Flora & Ulysses, she's written seventeen books, with three more due out soon- though I'm sure that two pages a day has been increased!

Another of her quips that caused a laugh was when a teenager not too far from me asked if Kate would ever write anything focused towards YA. Kate's reply? "Probably not. I've found that as teens you leave me, but then you come back to me in your twenties." So true! =)

The line for the signing was huge. While I waited I amused myself by taking some more pictures. For you football fans out there I give you Andrew Luck. Tah-dah! Oh...you're not fooled. Fine. You're right. He's a cut-out.


Here's some pretty lights in the ceiling:

 
And finally, it was my turn! Since we were both wearing black, we look a bit conjoined, but I swear that's Kate's arm behind me. I'd never be so presumptuous as to just fling an arm around her! See, both hands above table! =)

 
All in all it took me around forty minutes to get to the table, and it looked like there'd probably be another thirty mintues until everyone else was through. And while I was there I also spotted another author, Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall Trilogy. I've seen him speak once before(informative and engergetic), and meant to go over and get a picture of him as well, but after meeting Kate I was a bit starstruck and just wandered off looking at our pic together and completely forgot until I was out at the car. *sad face* 
 
But back to the booksellers that were there, Kids Ink. They're a great Indianapolis independent bookstore that I've been dying to check out. I don't get up to Indy a whole lot, but one of these days I'm going to make a point to visit what looks like a great kid's bookstore. Also, the last I knew, Mike Mullin's mother is the owner. How cool is that? 
 
All in all it was a fun day, and the one last thing that made it even better? A diet, extra vanilla coke from Steak 'n Shake. Life's good. 

 
 
Footnote: I'm reading Flora and Ulysses right now, and it's SO GOOD! I totally recommend it! Also, I've already besmirched my copy with ketchup... =(

46 comments:

  1. She is awesome, isn't she? Kate Dicamillo doesn't have to beg her friends and relations to fill the room, and she's earned it.

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    1. I'm a bit in awe of her writing- I always end up crying when I read her stuff. She's amazing w/words.

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  2. So much fun! That's quite an audience!
    I had the chance to meet Kate a few weeks ago, so I can't be jealous on that account, but I DO envy that milkshake... I used to make regular Steak & Shake runs when I was in college in Ohio, but they don't have any in Connecticut!

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    1. No Steak 'n Shakes in Connecticut?! *gasp* I could never live there! Lol!

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  3. How totally cool!!! I would have loved to have been there.

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    1. It was definitely a special day! And my husband watched the kidlet for me so that I could actually enjoy it. 18 month olds aren't all that interested in sitting still and listening... =D

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  4. Wow! Awesome! Sounds like you enjoyed!

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  5. Cool post! Kate seems like a wonderful writer and person.

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    1. She really does! I bet hanging out w/her is a blast.

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  6. What a fun experience! I find myself scrolling back up to the lights, mesmerized by the pattern. Pretty, pretty lights.

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  7. Meeting your favorite author is such a moment. I like it to meeting a rock star because authors are rock stars! So cool.

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    1. Exactly! That's why one day I would love to go to the book expo in NY and get to see tons of them!!!

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  8. Looks like such a fun time!! I love seeing author events that are packed like that :)

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    1. I wonder if all the rest of her stops were that full as well? I should have taken a video of the crowd at the door when everyone was trying to get in at the last minute- nuts! I also wish I'd gotten there sooner, but I hadn't expected that many people to be there!

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  9. Yay! I've been looking forward to hearing about this fun and fabulous event for a few weeks now. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I felt like I was right there with you. Great post, Leandra and loved your pics!

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    1. Yay, thx, I'm glad you enjoyed it! =D

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    2. Wow! Faith Hough just posted about meeting Kate in CT and I am one of those people who, after hearing something a number of times, take that as a sign. I won't wait for the third time. I'm purchasing Flora & Ulysses the next time I'm at the bookstore. Great post, Leandra, and LOVELY pic of you and the Author (both in black, no one looking serious, though. Just happy.)

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    3. You'll enjoy it so much! If you haven't read Because of Winn-Dixie, I recommend that on too. I always cry, but in a good way!

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  10. Very cool! I got to meet her when she came to Denver, so I recognized some of Kate's answers to questions. I got Flora & Ulysses (and I loved it!), but didn't get a picture :(

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    1. I wanted to take notes while she was speaking, but I was standing so my hands were full w/my bags. So I hope I remembered everything correctly! =) F&U was absolutely adorable- I hope there's a sequel!

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  11. I met Kate a couple years ago. She was so genuine and hilarious. I love when amazing authors are also wonderful people.

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    1. Coming from another wonderful author person! ;)

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  12. How awesome you got to meet her! This sounds like it was so much fun!

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    1. It was! I wish Indiana attracted more of my fav authors...Like would it really be so hard for JK Rowling to hop a plane and come visit some cornfields? ;)

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  13. Sounds like so much fun! But also, boo about the ketchup

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    1. Uh, yeah...Half of the books on my bookshelves are a testament to my liking to snack while reading...*red-faced*

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  14. You probably have no idea how much this helps me! My first book comes out in March and I have no idea how to do school visits or workshops...just letting the audience ask questions is a great idea!

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    1. It really is! B/c then lots of stuff comes up that you would probably address anyway- when you started writing, fav characters, are you sad when you finish a book, etc. And it engages the audience so much more, instead of them just having to sit quietly and listen- 'cuz they get to talk too! And you could tell the kids really enjoyed it. =)

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  15. This sounds like a great, great event! I'm going to confess something... please don't judge me... but I've never read anything of Kate's. I know, I know, major oversight! this post totally convinced me to get to know her work. So, thank you!

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    1. You won't regret reading anything of her work, promise! Just keep the tissues handy!

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  16. Wow! Sounds like a day to remember. I bet Kate was an amazing speaker.

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    1. She really was. I don't know if practice makes perfect, or is she's just one of those people who can get in front of a crowd and naturally make it look effortless

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  17. It's always so cool to meet writers face to face. And now I want some Steak & Shake! :)

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    1. Me too! But I'm stuck at home today. My husband had to take the SUV to work, and I don't know how to drive his car- a stick shift. =( Guess I should learn, huh!

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  18. Sounds you had a great time:) Great post:)

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  19. Sounds like so much fun!! Glad you enjoyed yourself. I hope I have such enthusiastic readers at some future book signing of mine.... sigh. A girl can dream, eh?

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    1. Exactly! And it's a beautiful dream... I've dreamt it a few times myself! ;)

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  20. That is so awesome! I love the smile on both your faces. Makes me wish I didn't live so far away.

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    1. It's tough when it seems like there's never any fun events that happen close to you. Or they're almooost close enough- if you could get off of work and not mind driving for hours, as well as finding a baby-sitter for the day!

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  21. What a great event. I was in Indy in EARLY November. If KD's visit had coincided with mine, I'd have totally gone!

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    1. Wow, then you weren't that far from me- I live about 45 mins away from Indy. If you visit again, you HAVE to go to the South Bend Chocolate Co. on Monument Circle. They have the most AMAZING DELICIOUS MIND BLOWING white chocolate hot chocolate. Seriously. I crave the stuff. They also drizzle white chocolate across the whipped cream. Pure. Deliciousness.

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