Friday, April 10, 2009

Did that really just happen?

On Saturday, April 4th, I had an amazing experience. I got to help with the coolest fundraiser ever.

Any of you who haven’t heard of Project Book Babe, please come out from under your rock. Or just check my facebook more often, because my status was PBB-related for like a month. Anyway, The “Book Babe” is a friend of the teacher with whom I work, and she has worked in the book industry for a long time, becoming great friends with anyone who met her, and developing an entourage—made mostly of authors. The Book Babe (alias: Faith Hochhalter) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Her retinue of authors and friends quickly put together the fabulous event known as Project Book Babe.

There were ten amazing YA and Children’s Lit authors who are all hilarious and wonderful, five artists, and two bands. The bands played. The artists drew (I assume they were just drawing and not painting) whatever anyone asked of them, provided they would pay for it. I’ve been informed that Twilight drawings were the most popular. What did they authors do?

They signed 150 books each (or 600, if the author happened to be Stephenie Meyer).
They signed 1000 posters each (one even took the time to draw halos/horns/vampire teeth/eye patches on herself and her friends).
They sang/danced to Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You.” (You should watch the video, but it cuts off at teh best part, so if you have time, see if you can find the next part. It will be worth it to see the back-up singers rock out. Totes. This one isn't as good of an angle, but it has the whole song. I'll keep looking for a good angle and the end of the first clip.)
They participated in an awesome Q & A panel.
They raffled and auctioned their books, manuscripts, ARCs and a few personal belongings.
They worked together to write a new horror story—“Stephenie’s Dress”—each writing one line at a time.
They had a signing/reception with the people who bought the Platinum-Level seats.

(Most of the event, or maybe all of it, is on youtube. Just search for Project Book Babe.)

That’s where I stopped getting to hang out with the authors, but I know they went out to dinner because I’ve seen some of the pictures. They’re adorable.

So, throughout all of this, what was I doing? I was supposed to be being, essentially, slave labor to one of the authors (Jannette Rallsion), but she was so low maintenance that I ended up helping everyone sign posters by checking all of them to make sure that all ten authors had signed. If one hadn’t, it was my job to track down him or her and make them sign it. I’m pretty sure that some of the authors (Brandon Mull) wanted to throw Sharpies at me, but in a good, thank-you-for-helping-us-help-Faith kind of way.

I did other stuff, like entry-level techie stuff: move the table, find the light, move the table again so it’s in the light, find a chair, etc., and I helped Stephenie figure out where she was sitting for the panel. She was the last one in the wings and couldn’t see any empty chairs, but I reassured her that there was an empty one between Dean and Brandon. So, as a techie, I was quite satisfied with myself. As a book nerd, I was in heaven. TEN authors!! All of whom I actually talked to and several of whom knew my name by the end of the event. WOW.

I decided that Brandon was my favorite of the day. First of all: he’s quite attractive, Second: he was the first to ask me my name (besides Janette). Third: he was totes fun to talk to. Fourth: he was hilarious (if you didn't watch the video of the Aretha Franklin thing, you really should). Fifth: he doesn’t even really know Faith, but he cancelled other plans to come and do this for her (yes, I know that probably should have been first, but you all will just have to deal with my poorly aligned priorities).

If he weren’t married… Jk.

FYI: There is still an online auction going on and new items are added every so often. You should check it out. It’s totally worth it.

We’re almost done.

In case anyone is still interested, I thought I’d post how much the things that were auctioned at the event went for (remember, there was a raffle too, but these things were auctioned):
Twilight ARC - $1500
The Host skateboard deck - $1200
Forever Dawn epilogue - $5100
Eclipse prom dress - $5600 (I got to touch it!)
Lunch with Stephenie- $6500 (two winners)
There were also early, marked manuscripts of The Host and Eclipse, but I don’t remember how much they went for, I’m sure it was over $1000 each though: those people were spending their life savings for this stuff.
If you want to see some pics, you can go to Shannon Hale’s blog. The other authors all have websites too, but I haven’t looked at them yet, and I don’t think any of them would have as many pictures as Shannon, but I’d definitely encourage you to look into more info about Project Book Babe, and each of the authors that participated: they are amazing.

Last thing, are you ready?
I read through and decided to link you to all of the author's websites, just because I can.

Frank Beddor was supposed to come, but couldn't make it because one of his kids got super sick, so didn't meet him, but still, by the sheer nature that he agreed to come, I've decided that he deserves a link on my little blog.

Chris Gall was a little upset that his was the only picture in black and white on the poster, but was ok with it when I told him that black and white pictures are more artistic. : )

P.J. Haarsma has an adoreable little girl who fell asleep part-way through the panel, so she was left to sleep on a couch backstage, he kept coming to check on her. Good job, Dad.

Shannon Hale was hilarious to listen to during the reception with the platinum ticket-holders. I'm glad we were sitting next to her.

J.S. Lewis was one of the main players in bringing this event to life. Thanks, Jon.

Dean Lorey modled Stephenie's Eclipse Prom dress. It was hilarious.

Stephenie Meyer donated things to the auction that I never would have donated ie.: manuscripts, ARCs of books that only have a few ARCs, her PROM DRESS!!

Brandon Mull is totes adorable. And he wants to have police and the next event he does, now that he's gotten used to the safety he feels when they're around. : )

James A. Owen missed the party that everyone else had to get a head start on signing the posters, so he had to sign all 1,000 that day. He started less than 2 hours (I think it was closer to an hour)before it started, then signed a few more after it ended.

Jannette Rallsion was tons of fun. I almost wish she had been more diva-esque so that I could have felt useful, but she was fun. Go buy her books, they're awesome.

Laini Taylor was volunteered to give birth on stage if things started getting slow. I don't think she knew that, and we're all glad it didn't come to that. She's adorable though.

Ok. That was probably the best saturday of my life.

That’s all for now. Goodnight!

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