Um, you see that picture right up there? Yeah, that's definitely me with Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, and Jamie McGuire. Is this real life?
I have been the biggest fan of Colleen since I read Slammed two years ago. Since then, I obsessed over Point of Retreat, Hopeless, and Losing Hope and she has become one of my favorite authors that I've ever read. So when I heard that she was coming to Dayton, OH, only ONE HOUR AWAY, for the Fall In Love Tour with Atria Indies, I knew that I had to go.
All summer I've been planning on attending this signing, so I knew that I had some time to pick up Jamie's Beautiful Disaster before meeting her. Little did I know that I would read that book in one day and utterly fall in love with Jamie's writing. Needless to say, I had yet another favorite author. I've only read one of Abbi's books (Fallen Too Far) about a year and a half ago and wasn't that big of a fan of that one. I've been meaning to pick up her other books, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Either way, I was super excited to be able to meet three popular and talented authors, two of which have become some of my favorite authors I've ever read.
On the day of the book signing, I got to the books store about 2 1/2 hours early, which was 1 1/2 hours before the bookstore would hand out line numbers. I immediately went to the register and bought myself a copy of Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover and, after much discussion with both the cashier and the ladies in line behind me, a copy of Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire. In my bag, I already had a copy of Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, and Red Hill by Jamie McGuire for the authors to sign. After purchasing my books, I got my spot in line and spent the next 1 1/2 talking to four lovely ladies about anything and everything book related. It was so much fun to be able to talk about my favorite books with people I've never met before and bond over our similar love for all things romance and New Adult. We kept on throwing out authors and we had actually read and enjoyed a ton of the same books. Needless to say, we've all friended each other on Goodreads and are definitely going to keep up to date with each other on what we thought of our newest purchases from that day.
When the super cool tour bus pulled up right outside of the bookstore, mass chaos pretty much broke out as everyone rushed to the windows to take pictures. Colleen, Abbi, and Jamie all stuck their heads out of the tiny window to wave to us and it was so adorable. We all couldn't wait to meet them! We finally got our signing tickets (I was #65 and there were at least 100 more people behind me) and headed upstairs to grab our seats for the Q&A and signing.
I knew that I already loved these ladies based on their writing, but meeting them in person made me love them even more. They are so gosh darn funny and acted like the best of friends, which was so fun to watch. It was interesting hearing about how they write. We learned that Colleen can't wear Beats headphones because she can't breathe and "needs all of her holes open" while Abbi loves listening to different playlists for specific books while she writes because her office is right below her teenage daughter's bedroom. Then, Jamie is the most disciplined of them all because she's been diligently writing every day while Abbi and Colleen tend to goof off more on the bus. Oh, and Abbi and Jamie have their books planned out until 2017. Isn't that crazy? Colleen, on the other hand, likes to focus on books one at a time or else she wants to write about the characters of future books that get stuck in her head. I know that these three ladies are just regular people, but they are so cool and now all I want to do is be their best friend too.
When it was finally my turn to get my books signed, I was beyond nervous. My heart was racing and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say to them. When I was about second next in line, Jamie looked up, smiled at me, and said hi. I literally had a mini heart attack. Jamie McGuire just talked to me. To. Me. I smiled and said hi back and then proceeded to stand there having absolutely no clue what else to say while she went back to signing the book in front of her. When they were finally signing my books, I told them that they were all amazing and that I loved their books. They were all like, "Aw, thanks!" And that was it. I was planning on telling them how I fell in love with their characters and how I was reading Hopeless walking through the streets of London while I was studying abroad there because I couldn't put it down and how I had a book blog where I've reviewed some of their books. But none of that came out. Just the typical, "I love you guys!" that pretty much every fan says. Oh, and I completely left my copy of Red Hill in my bag without realizing it so Jamie only signed two out of the three books I had for her. But you know what? It didn't really matter. These amazing authors who I look up to so much signed my books specially addressed to me, took a picture with me, and all talked to me. It wasn't the world's deepest or even unique conversation, but I was still able to meet three incredibly talented women who I absolutely adore. And everyone attending the signing also got a really cute tote bag from the Fall In Love tour with a tattoo and button inside. It was pretty much the best day ever.
Can you tell I had fun? This was my first ever author signing and I am already dying to go to some more. I was a little wary about having to wait around for 2 1/2 hours before the authors even came, but being surrounded by people who love the authors as much as I do and even more (there were plenty of tattoos dedicated to the authors' books) made the time pass so quickly and made the event and unforgettable experience. I'm already half way through my copy of Ugly Love and completely love the story. I can't wait to read more of what these authors have to offer and fall in love with even more of their stories.