And so it begins: the bittersweet Sunday and the beginning to the end of a weekend of labour and fun and books. Today was the day that I could finally enjoy being a consumer. It just didn’t help that I was stuck on commute because it didn’t occur to me to find out that it was also the Santa Clause Parade in downtown Toronto. So there were many kids and semi-agitated parents stuck in the same vehicle. I was kind of disgruntled when we were stuck in traffic for 45-minutes in a 10-meter stretch because I knew I had to get down earlier to buy a book for a signing. But I’m a pretty patient person. So even if the world went to the crapper and those on the commuter bus went manic, I’ll still be the one in the corner patiently waiting hoping for some salvation. Tangents.
When Savindi (The Streetlight Reader) and I arrived, it was like 2PM-ish and Maggie Stiefvater’s panel was at 3. After rushing to the Indigo bookselling area to get a copy of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, we walked around a bit and got asked to do a Penguin Random House survey for a free tote. Of course I’ll do any survey for free swag. After scouting out if there were any further discounts of books [on this last day of the fair], we chilled at the main stage to hear the ending bits of Sarah Richardson’s Q&A on home designing and the like. And what’s notable was that this discussion catered to a lot of the older folk. Then once 3PM hit, it’s like the average age in the audience went down to 12. Okay, perhaps not that young but you get the gist of it.
Apparently, Maggie Stiefvater’s panel, “Building the Arc: Bestselling Series Writing” was to-be delivered with Deborah Harkness but planning didn’t work out that way. Stiefvater delved into the topic of writing about the supernatural through three of her own unique experiences with the creepy; to which I guess you could correlate to the development of a trilogy. Stiefvater played the role of every character [pertinent to the story], with charisma, and brought to life stories that may or may not have influenced and molded her to become the person she is today. And by dealing with the supernatural in her own life, the creepiness of the story might not be delivered by some paranormal entity but simply associated with the events. For example (and not a story she spoke of): how the floors may creak in the kitchen at the same time every night but the horrific thing isn’t the ghastly sounds…but the fact that your fridge is actually empty. And you are hungry. Sounds bone-chillingly horrific, no? Also, I don’t imagine I’ll ever get bored of saying Stiefvater…what a cool name.
When her panel was over, Savindi and I parted ways so she could get in line early for the Maggie Stiefvater signing at the Scholastic booth (more to this story in a follow-up post). So I was in line at the main stage signing area alone. That’s okay. Thankfully, we talked about how to get this book personalized. And the result is below:
“For Those Who Seek Glendower”
It was pretty difficult to find a medium of personalizing a book I’ve never read before that caters to a general audience (that’s you, my fair reader). I’m thinking the ladies at the Indigo signing booth enjoyed the personalization because they smiled at it and even Chandra Rooney, the host of Stiefvater’s panel, took a picture of it on her phone! So when it was my turn in the signing, Stiefvater did ask if I had read any of her books, and I felt kind of bad that I haven’t read anything despite having her graciously personalize this book LOL. (Well, actually, I did try reading Raven Boys way back on Savindi’s request but just couldn’t get into it.) I just explained that this book was to be given away on my blog, and she (Stiefvater) also hopes that the individual, who wins this book in a future giveaway, also enjoys the personalization!
I reconvened with Savindi at the Scholastic booth and went to grab some sustenance from the TIBF volunteer room (thanks again, TIBF for feeding me!) Long story short:
Yes, my t-shirt is a pattern of Campbells soup. No judgment. And just like that, INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair was donezo. Truly bittersweet as I felt like I was a part of something much greater but didn’t get to truly experience it as a regular consumer. But hopefully, there’s always next year. So with that weekend coming to an end, it’s time to get back to our regularly scheduled posting (or actually, the lack thereof :D).
I will be posting an additional unabridged talk about the fair as a whole, just to separate daily blogging versus talking transparently about it as a volunteer and as a consumer.
Disclaimer: Photo-cred for main stage image taken from the Inspire! TIBF Facebook group.