Last night Derek and I went to Tahereh Mafi's book launch party for Shatter Me. It was held at this tiny university that we had never heard of before - Soka University of America. This place had hands down the most gorgeous college campus I have ever seen in my life. It was such a shame that we were there after dark. I'm sure it's even more beautiful during the day!
I can't tell you how excited I was to go to this party. The whole way down to Orange County, I felt like it was Christmas Eve. I've met authors at signings and stuff before (mostly in college), but this was the first time I was going to meet an author since I decided that I want to become one myself.
The evening did not disappoint. As I said, the setting was beautiful. The party took place in this lovely meeting room with a ceiling so high I couldn't even see it clearly. There was such a supportive, excited vibe there. Some of the guests were Tahereh's friends and family members, but a lot of them were just fans of her and her blog, like me. But here's the funny thing about fans: They know you, but you don't know them.
You see, Tahereh was in the elevator that Derek and I took upstairs to the party. As soon as the door shut, I looked around, smiling politely, but as soon as I saw her, I lost my composure. My finger flew up and I pointed at her like an idiot. I think I stammered, "You're...you're...you're!" She nodded with immeasurable grace, then Derek complimented her typewriter purse and they talked while I continued to stare like an idiot.
Around the time the event was supposed to start, the president of the university made a little speech, then Tahereh herself welcomed everyone. There was a delicious cake with a picture of Shatter Me on it. Derek chatted with Tahereh's brother about how cool the university's campus was. The fangirl in me assigned Tahereh's brother fame-through-association, so I wasn't able to speak to him with any more composure than I spoke to her.
Later Tahereh sat down at a table and started signing books. A Barnes & Noble vendor was there selling them, which was lucky because my pre-ordered copy hadn't arrived yet. There was a long line of people and I was wearing heels, so Derek and I sat down in some comfy chairs and just observed everything for a while. I was tempted to dive nose-first into the book, but I resisted because I do have some social graces.
Once the line died down, we joined it, and then I got to talk to Tahereh Mafi. And do you know what??? SHE RECOGNIZED ME. I wasn't sure how at first, but then she explained that when I commented on her blog (which I had a few times) she looked at my picture and because I had said nice things in my comments, she remembered me! Hell, this was Christmas! I felt so honored. After she signed my book, Tahereh even got up and came around the table and hugged me! Derek was beaming because he knew how much this all meant to me.
After that we drove home. By the next evening, I had finished Shatter Me and fired off an email to Tahereh telling her how much I loved her book and how happy I was to meet her. I didn't expect a response, but I got one a few months later. She apologized for taking so long and explained that she was very busy, but she appreciated the message.
I tell you, that girl is a class act.