The time they saved me wristbands

Posted June 9, 2016 by Stacee in Signings | 10 Comments

I had just seen Nina LaCour at YallWest when I found out that she was going to be at The Grove with David Levithan for You Know Me Well. I put it on the calendar and monitored The Grove event page to see if the event would become wristbanded.

Since we live in San Diego and wristbands go on sale at 9am, we often skip events at The Grove. Mostly because we usually can’t take an entire day off from work to get to the store early and ensure a low letter group. By the time we would get to the store after work, the letter group we would be in would be higher, which in turn makes the time we get home really, really late. And we’re up at 4am for work.

But I digress.

On the morning of the event, the website still didn’t state it was wristbanded, so I called, just to make sure. The woman I talked to said that it definitely was not wristbanded and Hubs and I planned a leisurely trip up. No hurrying!

We got to the store just before 4pm. We wandered around a bit and then I went to purchase the books I needed. The cashier then asked me how many wristbands I needed. I probably very loudly swore and hesitated about continuing to purchase. I told the cashier that I called earlier and was told it wasn’t wristbanded. He asked if I drove up from San Diego and when I said yes, he handed me a different envelope.

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He explained that it was eventually decided that the event needed to wristbanded and he had talked with the woman I talked to on the phone AND THEY SET WRISTBANDS ASIDE.

I think I high fived him like a fool and thanked him like 166381912 times. I’m probably black listed now.

The event area was opened after 6pm and I settled into the front row to wait just a little more.


Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon came into the audience just before 7. When Nicola came to the front to take a photo, she saw me and came over to say hi and hugged me.

The authors came out at 7:15 and Nina introduced Brandy Colbert and Brandy read from the Summer Days anthology.


After Brandy read, David pointed out all of the authors sitting in the back row like “all the cool kids at school” and told them if they needed to run out and take a smoke break, they could.

He then started talking about how he and Nina started writing.

D: I thought the idea was obvious. I wanted to write a story about a gay boy and a lesbian girl where you know at the start that they aren’t going to end up together. But it wasn’t so obvious to you.

N: I was so star struck when I met you.

D: We didn’t plan anything out. We knew the characters and that it would take place during Pride Week in San Francisco. We had no idea what was going to happen. When I read the first chapter, imagine Nina wondering about what is going to happen.

They then read parts of the book.


D: Coming from the senior class of a Stephanie Perkins anthology, I know what it feels like to be given a vague subject like “Christmas” and need to write something.

How did you go from such a specific subject like “summer” to what you wrote?

B: I lived in Chicago for a while and it’s horrible there except when it is summer. I wanted to touch on metal illness and maybe it’s not so light, but I think it works. She did give us a lot of leeway, but I think I did it.

N: Yeah, I think I did the same. I just needed to remember to make them in love by the end. It was super fun to write a short story. I used to write them a lot, now I write novels.

{Nina to David:} What was it like for you?

D: It was scary. I knew I had to bring the gay. Part of it was cosmic. I just saw Rachel Cohn and we have a sequel to Dash and Lily and arcs are out there and we get people talking about it now. I mean, we’re Cohn and Levithan. We’re a Jewish law firm.  Somehow our names are attached to Christmas.

Stephanie is a genius. She tells you who else is going to be in the anthology. It ups everything. I was going to be in a book with Kelly Lake and I was wondering if my sentence would be a even a tenth as good as Kelly’s.


Tell me about your research?

D: I always intend to research and then never get around to it. It was helpful to write with someone who lives in the Bay Area. I had to rely on my co-author.

N: One thing I learned is that David doesn’t quite care about the truth.

D: That’s true.

N: Pride Week is in June when school is out and while we were writing, I told David that…and then I remembered ohhhh it’s fiction.

Did you outline or wing it?

D: We completely winged it. I accelerated a plot line on Nina and it was surprising for her. What was clear to me was that Nina didn’t know how my storyline was going to end.

N: When I write by myself, I would agonize about choices. For this, I would write my chapter and send it to him and then wait for his to see where it was going to go. I didn’t totally know where my story was going to end.

{Nina to David:} Did you know how yours would end?

D: Yes.


{David to Nina and Brandy:} Are either of you outliners?

B: No. It feels stifling.

N: I don’t outline, but I write completely out of order. I have little pieces that I have to map together. I’ve never written a book from beginning to end.

D: That’s funny, I’ve only written a book from beginning to end.

Did you ever have a disagreement as to where it was going?

N: No.  There was one thing that I felt like he was leaving me bread crumbs to do, so I did it. It was tiny, just in a paragraph, and when he got it, he was like, “No, I don’t do that.”

D: Other than that, it went pretty smoothly.


Who took longer to write a chapter?

D: We both took a long time.

N: Sometimes it would be 24 hours, but usually about a month. We both wrote other books. I had a child.

D: And that’s sort of a big deal. You can’t be like “Hey what are you doing with your life?”

How long did it take from start to finish?

D: 2 1/2 years. And then we were going along and then it’s all finished and turns out it was Pride Week.

N: And it was at the time that the Supreme Court over turned Prop 8 and made gay marriage legal. And David was in town.

D: And I got Nina’s last chapter in my email on that day. So we went out and celebrated.


You would write for the other’s character in your chapter. Did you ever have conflict there?

N: David is really good with words and I would see that Katie would say something witty and I would be like, “Oh, she’s going there.  Nice.” I think how Katie sees Mark is different from how he sees himself.

D: Little things like, I was determined to have her stay Katie, not Kate. It’s such a YA trope to become this different person with a new name. It was a subtle thing about wondering what the character is named. When we went through to do comments, everything stayed. It was pretty consistent.

Did you set any ground rules?

N: Just that we weren’t going to talk about it.

D: It was just something we were doing. We had met a couple of times, but we didn’t really know each other. That process worked nicely for our characters too.


From there, the signing started. After the table was wiped down, they told me I could go up. Nina said hi, that it was nice to see me again, and thanked me for driving up. We chatted for a second about how far it was to come up from San Diego.

As she signed, David signed the second book I had, then they switched. I think I thanked them?

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As I was leaving, I completely interrupted Jennifer Niven with her friends. I think this is now our thing. We chatted for a second about how we each saw each other and wanted to be sure to say hi. She said she was going to DM me to make sure I saw her.

Then we started talking about her gorgeous foreign copies and her friends started chiming in about which ones were their favorites. Jennifer said I had purchased a bunch of them, they asked if all of the copies had been signed…it went on for a few minutes and I’m fairly certain I made a damn fool of myself. Which also seems to be my thing when I see her.

After saying goodbye to the group of them, we headed home.

As always, The Grove held an awesome event and the staff was amazing. I wish I could have high fived the wristband cashier one more time.

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10 responses to “The time they saved me wristbands

  1. I would have most likly cried and screamed if that had happened to me and I didn’t get a wristband, but that was really nice of them to do that.
    Here in Australia a lot of our events are ticketed, and we just have to book online (they are free, but they are much like your wristbands)

    David Levithan is coming down to Australia later this year – so it’s going to be pretty exciting.

    Angel @Angel Reads recently posted: Book Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
    • Stacee

      In this instance, there weren’t a ton of people, so even if we would have been forced to wait, it wouldn’t have been a huge deal. We’ve been to wristbanded signings where there have been HUNDREDS of people, so that would have really upset me. Usually they’re pretty good about knowing which events need to be wristbanded; this was the first time the switch has ever happened to me.

      Have fun meeting David, he was hilarious.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Aw, YAAAY for them saving wristbands for you :D That is so so awesome. <3 Yay for getting to go to this event :) All the hugs. I'm glad you had an awesome time sweetie :D Sounds like lots of fun. Sigh. Thank you for sharing this stunning recap. <3 Hugs.

    Carina Olsen recently posted: In My Mailbox #240
  3. Glad they saved a wristband for you! I would have been so angry. They did something similar to the Maggie Stiefvater event I went to. That was the first time I’ve ever butted into someone’s conversation before, but the “wait, what reserved seating?” saved me from being at the end. (Especially considering I made it to the store about 40 minutes before opening to make sure I got a book.)

    Glad you had a lot of fun at the event.

    • Stacee

      Yeah, I’ve mostly been lucky when it comes to signings. Fingers crossed that my luck holds. :D

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. OMG THAT IS SO AMAZING!!! And I’m glad you still got in even after the wristband mix up! I loved how you gave snippets of their talk, eeeeep, and their process seems very open and carefree, right?!? And 2.5 years to write a book. Wooooow, that’s such dedication. xD I’m more intrigued by this book now! YAY.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Stacee

      It was pretty awesome that they did that. I wanted to jump over the counter and hug him.

      As for the book, I loved it. I think it’s going to be one of my top 5 of the year. I hope you love it if you read it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • Stacee

      Well, he doesn’t really “like” them, but he goes because he’s awesome. There are a few authors he knows and likes to see, but overall, he would rather not go.

      Thanks for always loving the recaps!!

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