Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Real John Green

I spent the weekend in Indianapolis, at the CYPD Conference where people like me go for a good time. Really! It was a good time. I got all kinds of fantastic ideas for activities we can do together, met some really cool librarians from all over our state, and met John Green. Yeah--the real one.

I went early to the big room where John Green was supposed to talk, meeting up with other over-eager YA librarians in the hallway. These are people like me, who skipped the door prize drawings next door to make sure we got good seats.

Someone waved us in, and we scampered inside, then sat down at a nice table near the front.

At some point, we noticed that there was someone sitting at the table across from us. That someone was John Green.

Usually, or at least at all the Barnes and Nobles or Borders author visits I have gone to, the author hides in the back until it is time for them to give their speech, then go over to the little table where people can go get their books signed. During this, their eager public is kept in their seats so as not to crowd said author, terrify them, or trample them in an attempt to get to them.

But this time, since librarians must be more docile than the general public (please!), John Green was sitting right there at one of the tables--just talking to people!

Since John Green (no, I can't just refer to him by part of his name. He's too cool for that) is a real human being, despite his cool author-ness, he could sit there and talk to people without us all bursting into flames at his mere presence.

To understand what happened next, you need a little background information about me. I am not really that shy--when you get to know me. But in most unfamiliar social situations, I am the person sitting in the corner saying to myself, "I should go talk to her/him. They are my friend. They know I'll be here. They want to see me. But look, they're standing there all talking to someone else like the cool person that they are, and talking to me will so make them seem less cool. So I should just stand here for a while. Right?"

That happened when I saw Candie Cooper (from our jewelry program) at Biaggi's in Fort Wayne right after the jewelry program. Like two days after. I was eating with a friend of mine, and she will tell you that I spent half the dinner thinking about saying hello at some point, then talking myself out of it.

You also need to understand my List.

I have a List, The List, of authors whose books I buy without even looking at them. Like, I see a Melina Marchetta book, and I just buy it. I know it will be good, no matter what it is about. So I buy it.

The List is hard to get on, sometimes it takes many, many books for an author to make it. I had to read five Jasper Fforde books for him to make The List, even though I loved all five of them. The List is about consistency. The List is for authors who I know will always be good.

John Green made the list after I read Paper Towns. He made the list after one book. That has only ever happened with one other author--that is how rare it is (Patricia A. McKillip is the other author; best fantasy writer around).

So I figured, sitting at my little round table with the other YA librarians, that I maybe had one chance in this lifetime to meet John Green. And this, I figured, was it. I took a deep breath and quashed whatever remnant of self-doubt remained within me. I decided to be Brave.

Here is what happened:

And he knew about the blog. This one. Right here.

He had been here, and read some of it. "You've written about me before," he told me. "Not that I Google myself."

He totally Googled himself. When I Google myself, I get German Lauras, and me. I bet his is more interesting.

If nothing else had happened after that, it would have been enough. It would have been just peachy. But he was hilarious. He talked to us about the survival of the human species. Because, according to him, there was nothing else important enough for him to talk about for forty minutes. It had to do with books...and us.

Then we all got to go and get our books signed, and here he is doing the signing:

Then I brought the books home with me, after I re-read An Abundance of Katherines. And then I brought them here.

So go upstairs and visit them in our YA section. I am now re-reading Looking for Alaska, so you will have to wait on that one. But you can take it.

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