Saturday, July 10, 2010
Mandy and Jonita's Excellent Adventure!
So, it was settled. We were going! We made all of the necessary arrangements, and on July 7th I went to pick Mandy up at her house in Brantford. Now, July 7th happened to be the third day of a heatwave in Ontario and it was, to put it mildly, freaking hot. We set out on the highway towards the GO station (I am not driving in Toronto, people!), and no sooner had I said "Mandy, what is that noise?", our tire blew. And by blew, I mean shredded. All over the highway. So now we were stuck at the side of the highway with a van with a blown tire. Have you ever been stuck at the side of a highway in the over 30 degree weather? It's hot. And scary. Luckily Mandy had her cell phone, and she called a towing company to come and change our tire (thank goodness for full-sized spares!), and the guy who arrived was someone that my husband and I knew from the days when he was a tow-truck driver. He had us on our way within 30 or so minutes of the tire blowing (thank-you John!). Mandy and I decided that we weren't taking any more chances with the van, so we drove back to her house and got her car. 15 minutes later, we really were on our way to the GO station. For the second time.
We arrived at the GO station and got our tickets. Then we got onto a bus, which would take us to Burlington. In Burlington we got onto the GO train that would take us to Toronto's Union Station. Once we got to Union Station, we grabbed an iced coffee (for me) and a white hot chocolate (for Mandy) and Mandy attempted to explain to me how the TTC works. Really, I just did what she told me to. Thank goodness Mandy knows the system from living in Toronto a few years back, or else I would still be on there trying to figure out where I was going. And then? We were finally there. The Indigo on Bloor Street!! We had arrived!
A few minutes after 7 pm, it was time! Emily came out looking gorgeous (and cool!), in a beautiful white dress. She took her place at the podium and then told us a little about Heart of the Matter. She told us about her inspiration for the book (a woman she met who was the mother of a child with a craniofacial defect), as well as her creative role in the upcoming Something Borrowed movie. What I found really interesting was that she started the book on Tessa's side, but as she wrote she found that she was feeling empathy for Valerie as well! That was one of the things that I loved about Heart of the Matter, the fact that it showed that there is no black and white when it comes to these situations. Emily also took questions from the audience and we found out what the favourite book that she's written is (Something Blue, just like me!), about how involved she is with the movie (a considerable amount), and about her next book (it will feature characters that we already know and love!). I even got to ask her a question of my own (I asked what her favourite part of the writing process is. Her answer in short? The beginning and the end- the middle portion sucks!).
After her introduction and her Q&A session, it was time for the book signing! Those of us in the standing-room only section did have to wait to get our books signed until after those who were seated, but thankfully Mandy and I were close to the front of that line. Emily was both gracious and efficient. She spent a minute or two with each person, generously agreed to take pictures with everyone who wanted one, and kept the line moving while making each of us glad that we had come out. I had heard that Emily Giffin was one of the best authors to come and see because of these reasons, and that night really proved it. Not only is she gorgeous, but she was funny and interesting and personable! I will definitely go to see her again if she comes back to Toronto!
Mandy got home at about 1:30 AM, and I got home at about 2:20 AM, but you know what? I had a fabulous time with Mandy, and I had a wonderful experience with my first author signing, and I would do it again (for one of my favourite authors) in a heartbeat.