I’ve been in England five weeks, and I’ve met an amazing author. The Queen of teens is quite the award and Maureen Johnson definitely deserves it. I’ve loved her ever since someone gave me 13 little envelopes in dutch a few years ago and I still do. She has written so many amazing books (many of them who are still on my endless to read list) and they are worth picking up. Girl at sea, suite scarlett, scarlett fever the key to the golden firebird, the last little envelope and the Shades of London series are some of the books she has written. Of course, we can’t forget that she wrote Let it snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle. I’ve just picked up the name of the star which is the first in the shades of London series, and it’s amazing. Amazing.
I’m usually a person who sticks to one genre. I will occasionally read other books, but when I go to a bookstore I immediately go to the fantasy section. Still, I do enjoy a bit of good Young adult novels, especially if they are by a brilliant writer like Maureen Johnson. I’ve been here for five weeks and I have already met an amazing author like her. I did meet Rupert Grint when I lived in Norway, but we drove 3 hours to get there. My friend had a “willing” mother who drove us, as there was literally no way out of the tiny….amazing…..*cough* town we lived in. That was completely off-topic.
I don’t mind distances. If someone drives me there I enjoy it.
I had a long day at school and I had to take the train to Leeds. Despite people being a lot nicer here than in Norway, I have a problem with trains. They suck. There is nothing I would like to do less than stand in a small space with far too many people. There is a thing called personal space and I don’t like it when a handful of strangers are standing in it.
Anyways, once I had arrived in Leeds and could finally breathe again, I met up with some Nerdfighters. I’m bad at remembering names so I will probably get some wrong, but I believed it was Michael, Maisy, Daniel, Jaydine, Ellie, Julian, Dev and Rachel. I think that’s everyone, but if I forgot someone I’m really sorry. We walked to Waterstone together and oh man. Heaven.
It was massive and there were 3 floors. 3 floors. If I had the time, I would have spent my entire months budget there. Easily.
The signing was in the 3rd floor and there were only about 20 people there, which was nice!
I’m not a patient person. We had to wait for like 10 minutes, which would have been horrible without good company. We also got pins and postcards!
After some waiting, Maureen Johnson made her entrance. I don’t know why I always assume authors are so serious and mature. I mean, I’m a big John Green fan (both his videos and his books) and he drew on his face with sharpie. I should stop assuming authors are… normal.
Maureen was awesome. She talked a lot. Rambled even more. She was hilarious and intense in a good way. We were allowed to ask questions, and the second question was about how her dog was doing. She answered in the longest way possible and talked about her dog for ages. She told us a lot of great stories, lost track of what she was saying and abruptly changed topic. Her answers were funny yet true. I’m not gonna write in detail what she said as I might die from exhaustion soon, but it was just great. Trust me. Also, she is a Ravenclaw. Someone made sure to ask her, because that’s how you know if they are good people. Life tip: Always ask someone for their Hogwarts house.
She talked about her writing degree and how she benefited from it, but that it wasn’t necessary to become a writer. She asked us who wrote and if we ever felt like what we wrote was absolutely horrible. She then assured to tell us that everyone felt that way and that those who weren’t were the “evil” people. Not only was she hilarious when she explained the different between “evil” typers/writers and “good” writers (the ones who hate their work), she also gave some great advice.
She told us that even the best writers lost motivation to actually write, and that the best advice was to just write and plough through it. She talked about her writing habits and how she writes with Cassandra Clare and others. She also acted out a little scene for us.
I don’t know if you have ever heard of Nanowrimo, but it’s basically Nation novel writing month in November. It’s what it sounds like. You write a novel in a month. 50.000 words, 30 days. Congratulations, you are officially insane. I’ve done it 3 years in a row (won all years), but probably have to step back now because of college. Anyways, she talked about that and how it was awesome. Someone mentioned there were writing gatherings in Leeds all the time, and she said that it was amazing. He told her someone had written the entire novel in one day, and we all came to the conclusion that it was witchcraft.
Before I bore you all with midnight blogging, she gave us some very good advice. Since many of the people who were there liked to write, she said That everyone could be a writer, as long as they wrote. It’s so simple, but very true. It’s nice to hear that even the best haven’t always been great. Even she started somewhere.
Then it was finally time for the signing! Maureen took her time to speak to everyone and a few people brought stacks of books for her to sign, but it didn’t take too long since we weren’t that many. When it was finally my turn, I wasn’t sure whether to step towards the table or run.
I was brave enough to step forward (after all, that’s why I was there) and said hello. She was so nice! And she complimented my necklace and then tried to figure out where it was from. She got as far as “star” and “fairy” before I had to give her a hint haha. When she signed my books, she said my name was interesting and then tried to pronounce it. When I said it was just “Kelly”, she asked where the spelling came from. I hate that question. I really do. Because I don’t know and it’s just a weird way of spelling a quite common name. She really liked it though and said more name’s should start with a Q. She was really excited about my name, and when I was about to collect my books to walk away again, she stopped me. I said I hated my name, so she grabbed my book again and left a little message.
She was seriously so cool, and I’m so glad I got to meet her and listen to what she had to say. Despite it being a lot less serious than I thought it would be, it was great. It was even better than I imagined, and I think I might love Maureen a little more than I already did. I didn’t even know that it was possible.
I needed a few moments to do my fangirled, before me and the same people as before made our way back to the train station. The Leeds station…… I don’t even wanna talk about it. Actually, I do.
First of all, there are no bins anywhere. I need to throw away my stuff as I don’t want to carry it around all the time. It’s massive and impossible to find. Since I barely missed my train by a second, I had to wait for an hour for the next one. I walked to that station after purchasing a coffee because I was really tired, I saw that there was a train standing there. It drove away just as I reached it, and apparently that went to York. It wasn’t on the board. So I still had to wait an hour. They also need more benches. Please don’t make me stand and wait for an hour. The train journey was even more unpleasant, but I wont go into detail.
I’ve probably forgotten a lot, but oh well.
I had a great day and met so many cool people! 🙂