The time it was about friendship

Posted February 6, 2015 by Stacee in Signings | 0 Comments

When I saw that Gayle Forman was going to be at Vroman’s, I knew I wanted to go, but wasn’t sure I was going to be able to. Hubs can’t take a lot of time off from work during the week and I didn’t really want to drive up to Pasadena by myself. Thankfully, Michelle wanted to go, so we planned a date.

We got up to the store just after 5. After buying our books, we went to the cafe that is inside the bookstore. Michelle got the hugest and most delicious looking slice of red velvet cake and I got chocolate dipped madeleines. We got our treats to go, headed upstairs, and quickly claimed the front row to settled in and wait. The events lady offered to put a reserved note on the back of our chair so we could roam around the store.

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Gayle, Margaret Stohl and Deanna Kizis came out around 7:15 and Georgina {the audiobook narrator} was with them. The audience said they couldn’t see, so they all sat on the table. Gayle set up the book and then Georgina read from it.  {And oh man, she was GOOD.}


{FYI: this post is sort of a mess.  I mean, more of a mess than normal.  These women were hilarious together.  There were many, many tangents and Margie busting out into a rap that was on someone’s answering machine, and so many funny things.  I was so busy laughing that I couldn’t get down a lot of it. If there are sections that don’t really make sense, that’s why. Consider yourself warned.}

G: I’m so excited to have my friends with me. Deanna has been my best friend since we’ve been 12 years old. Margie was one of my first YA friends. You get to a certain point where you don’t make friends anymore. And then you join the YA community and it’s like a tribe.

M: We all like the same authors and the same books. It’s a tribe and we defy convention.

G: It’s hard to say that a book that starts with a suicide note isn’t about suicide, but it’s really a love letter to friendship.

D: We used to fight and break up and she would write me a letter. And put a stamp on it.

{Insert Gayle explaining how you mail a letter for the kids in the audience who don’t know what it means.}

G: We would make up and then she’d get be letter and then we would fight again.  I had my heart broken more from being dumped by platonic friends than I did from boyfriends. No one wants to talk about it.

M: A lot of people ask me about Kami and if we get along. I tell people that we fight like cats and dogs. It’s never over anything serious, it’s never about the book. It’s about things like the fact that I don’t have an ice maker in my house.

G: When you have relationships of that magnitude, things will go wrong.

The inspiration for the book came from an article. I realized that I was working through all of the friends that dropped me. Cody is working through the “Why didn’t you love me enough? Why did you leave me?”

M: They’re not deaths, but they are.


{Insert a tangent of Margie calling out people she went to school with who ignored her, watching The Love Boat on Friday nights, and never getting invited to the parties on the boat.}

D: I’ll ask the questions everyone wants to know. Is Chloe a bitch?

G: Chloe is fantastic. She’s a mixture of a goofy 16 year old girl and someone who is way more put together than we are.

D: Do you think Chloe and the guy who was in the movie ever did it in the trailer?

G: You’re going to make us end up on TMZ.

D: You’re supposed to say no that they were really good friends and that’s where the chemistry came from.

G: They were. And he has a very sweet girlfriend who visited the set.

M: What does it feel like to have 3 books on the NYT best sellers list?

G: It was crazy to see it.


M: Did you weep or drink?

G: I went swimming. I go swimming because no one can see my tears.

M: If you could pick one movie to happen right now, what would it be?

G: I’m super excited for Just One Day and Just One Year. The screenwriters were telling me how they were going to make it and it sounds great. The missed connection set up is perfect.

Gayle to Margie: what was your favorite part of the movie?

M: I was more excited for the people who made the world. I’m not really a movie person, I’m terrible about dream casting. Let’s be honest, the people on tv are my closest friends.  I liked that the movie got the book to a lot of people.


Gayle to Margie: did you have your mind blown when you went to the bathroom and everything has your book name on it?

M: I always have my mind blown when I go to the bathroom

I loved listening to Jeremy Irons and his southern drawl. Emmy Rossum has a photographic memory and she would go around telling everyone that they were wrong.  I loved that.

Margie to Deanna: do you ever get to go on set?

D: Yeah, I went to video village and it’s like a bank of screens and they gave me some headphones to listen in. I got meet all of the actors and they’re always really nice.

G: I was so lost the first day on set, so I followed the same rules I would tell my kids: find a mom. So I found Chloe’s mom and just stayed glued to her for about a week.

At this point, they decided to open it up to audience questions.  No one raised their hand, so Margie took the microphone and started pacing in front of the front row with it.  She decided that if no one would ask questions, she would do a speed round.  That only lasted one question.

Whats the worst idea you ever had?

G: This event

D: I had to pitch a movie about the trolls being made a movie.


Are they making a movie about Where She Went?

G: That is still being discussed.

Are we getting Beautiful Darkness?

M: Maybe.  I think it will happen eventually.  The first movie wasn’t the blockbuster they were hoping for, but I think it’ll limp it’s way to the screen.

Is the Dutch boy real?

G: There was a Dutch boy who broke my heart, but he’s not Willem.  Also, the takeaway from this night is that you never cross Margie.


What are some tips for when you’re blocked or have trouble getting started?

D: The 20 minute roll. You set your timer for 20 minutes and you are going to write pages. Swear that you won’t stop writing for 20 minutes. Most of the writing will happen in the rewrite. The idea that you’re going to sit down and write this beautiful thing is bullshit.  You’ll find that if you can write for 20 minutes, you’ll be able to write for another 20 minutes, then another.  Eventually you won’t need the timer.

{Insert tangent about about famous people in general, Will Smith and his ability to act, and the Academy Award winning actor who toured a school at the same time Margie did.}

Some of your books are emotional draining to read. Which of them was the most emotionally draining to write?

G: I probably cried the most during If I Stay, but it was so uplifting and so filled with loved. Where She Went was probably the most emotionally draining to write. My sister reads all of my drafts and when she was done, she said she forgave me for being a bitch.

I wasn’t planning on writing a sequel, but they wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t want to deal with the immediate place I left them, so I had to skip ahead.


M: Did you ever want to write a sequel to anyone else’s book?

G: No. Sequels are hard.

From a little boy: When is this going to be over?

G: Right now.

We were then told to line up along the wall.  I was first in line with Michelle right behind me.  I got up to Gayle and said hi.  Then her adorable father came over and asked if he could hug his daughter before we officially started.  I told Margie and Deanna that the three of them were hilarious together and thanked them for coming.  I even mentioned that I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t get everything down.

Gayle came back from her dad and signed my books and we didn’t really chat too much because she was talking to Margie and Deanna about if they were going to stay for the signing.

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As always, Gayle is an amazing author to see in person.  Coupled with Margie and Deanna, the three of them were basically unstoppable. If you read this before 2/8, click here to head over to Michelle’s twitter for a chance to win a signed copy of I Was Here.

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