Author Visits! May 21, 2013Posted by ccbooks in Nerd Line.
Just a couple of photos here from recent author visits at Politics and Prose, one of the other independent bookstores here in DC. They are probably the most high-profile independent, regularly hosting people like Michael Pollan and Maya Angelou, as well as political figures such as the Clintons and Mrs. Obama. As well as evening events for the general public, they offer morning visits for local schools, which anyone can sit in on. This has been a great way for me to catch authors like the Steads, who I wouldn’t meet otherwise.
Charles Vess is, along with Arthur Rackham, one of the few illustrators I know who I believe sees fairies in the same way that I do. From his collection The Books of Ballads, to his gorgeous Oberon and Titania in the ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ of Sandman, Vess excels at depicting lush nature scenes and mischievous fantasy characters. He generously shared artwork from his latest middle-grade project The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, by Charles de Lint and patiently listened to a bunch of boisterous fourth graders give ideas for his sketchpad. He gamely created many of them, from the valiant (dragons and griffins) to the slightly absurd (a duck and a flying hot dog).
I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity a few days later to meet Elizabeth Wein, the author of what was hands-down my favorite YA book of last year, Code Name Verity. Wein, who lives in Scotland and is a pilot and a knitter, to say nothing of a Phd in Folklore, was an entirely delightful speaker, who shared several artifacts that she used as research (a facsimile of Pilot’s Notes truly brought Maddie’s story to life) including a silk map scarf that she modeled and mittens that she had made herself. She really does talk a lot like Verity in the novel, with literary references galore like a fountain of words. Wein also discussed several of her favorite books–apparently she considers everything she writes to be in some way a reflection of A Little Princess, which I can start to see being true for CNV. When I got my book signed, I asked if she had read the Hilary McKay sequel to A Little Princess, called Wishing for Tomorrow, which led to a quick discussion on how much we love McKay’s Casson family series and that she had sent an ARC of her latest to Wein’s daughter. There really is nothing better than learning that your favorite author is just as much of a fangirl as you are. I can’t wait to read Wein’s new book coming out in September, Rose Under Fire.