Monday, June 6, 2016

Misfit Adventures: #JenniferNivenInPH Event Recap

Hello there misfit booknerds! Gosh! It's been a while and seriously, I feel both happy and awful about my time off the blog but I'm glad that I somehow found the schedule that would fit me this year. Also, I did not expect work to get in the way of me really getting into reading and going through my bookish resolutions this 2016. I think that's scrapped out for now. *cries in shame*

Anyway, if you guys remember, I blogged about my anticipation of seeing Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places (my favorite contemporary novel for a while now) for her book signing here in the Philippines.

Jen and I are actually very good friends and have been in contact with each other for over a year and I have been supporting (more like stalking lol) her for a long time, and the plan was that we meet each other, say, for lunch or dinner when she gets here. But because of my job and her busy schedule when she got here, with interviews here and there, we couldn't really find the time. I've set my heart into meeting her in the public signing. I said to myself, 30 seconds with her is enough for me and would make my entire year. Just the shortest amount of time meant the world to me, I didn't care at all if it wasn't as how I dreamed it was going to be.
I went to Manila straight from work Saturday morning to settle in my Aunt's place, get some sleep and go to Megamall very early. Back at my Aunt's place, there was no internet service, so I ended up texting my best friend, Eriele of This Is Not Your Book Blog and asked her what time she was going...and then she texted me. "Jayvee, Sir JB tweeted you." And I was like, WTF?!

Sir JB, for all I know, is part of the marketing team in National Book Store and when Eriele told me he tweeted me, I flipped. And because there was no WIFI and I had no way to find out what was going on, I told Eriele to hack into my account, gave her my password, told her to pretend to be me, get his phone number and then lo and behold. Jen was requesting to meet me personally.

My emotions were all over the place! I was watching The Bottomline and crying over Geraldine Roman and then I was crying some more because of Jen. I don't even know. Anyway, I was hella excited!

The morning of the signing came along and there were so many people outside of Megamall already lined up! I came into the venue 6AM and I had a feeling more people will be coming by then. My friends who knew that I was gonna have a one on one with Jennifer asked why I lined up and told them that I've always lined up for signings and that I didn't mind it at all even though it was hot and I had to wait 3-4 hours in the scorching heat. I wanted to be there with my friends, which was as important as meeting Jen. (Also coz I pretty much missed 2 of the biggest signings in March. EFF MY LIFE.)

Thank you Anette of Anette The Wicked, for being my "SUNSHINE BUDDY"

Just hanging with two of my best friends. Thank you for helping me survive.

I get the call. I was told to meet her in a room. A staff escorted me to the said meeting place. There were media waiting for her as well. I felt somehow out of place. They were there to interview her and ask her questions while I was there to say hi. It was weird.

And then she arrived. I felt my heart burst out of my chest, out of joy and I didn't know what to do. I was asked to get out of the room first because she was gonna get interviewed but when I saw her face and how excited she looked, I couldn't wait one more second. My patience was challenged. Thank God Louis was there.

Louis is Jen's fiancee. I've known Louis for over a year as well, not just because I know him from Jen but because I also work with him. He's our tech guy over at Germ Magazine, where I'm a member of the staff. I know him from Jen's stories and also from sending him a few emails when I needed his help. He's been great and meeting him the first time, I came in for a big hug and we talked for a while about their trip, home, work and basically about life. Louis felt like that Uncle you haven't seen in a while, making an effort to get to know you and then you realize he's a pretty easy guy to be around.

And then came my time to meet Jennifer. The Jennifer Niven I know from Twitter, who has literally broken and saved me at the same time, who has fangirled with me like a pro and who has always been there when I needed her the most.

We hugged like there was no tomorrow. I could feel my whole body shaking and I knew that if we didn't release from each other's hugs, we'd probably die from suffocation. HAHAHA! There were no cameras on us, just her, Louis and me in the room. And weirdly, I didn't cry. I've always been a sentimental person and when I get flustered, I feel the need to always just burst into tears but I was overcome by joy, that I was the one telling Jen not to cry.

Maybe it was because we've known each other for a long time online that it didn't feel like an entirely new experience. Of course I was a starstruck at how insanely gorgeous she was in person. I've always known she's gorgeous but I didn't expect it to be like the sun was beaming straight to my face. Her gorgeousness was blinding. HAHAHA! She held my hand all the way through when we were talking with each other. It didn't feel like an interview at all. It felt like meeting a friend you haven't seen in so long and you're just catching up. I didn't ask her about All The Bright Places because it was something we've always talked about.

Then she gave me a signed copy of Holding Up The Universe, in which she described MY character (spoiler. I'm a character in it) as badass. And she showed me when I first pop up. It was a major KILIG moment you guys. We briefly talked about how the issue about it in the beginning was hard for her but I told her how proud I am of her and how there are so many people out there who love her and how the novel is starting to get some great review and that these challenges will only make her stronger in the future.

We also talked about the film. They'll be filming this fall. They still haven't chosen a FINCH for the movie yet but Jen and I have been talking about this ONE guy and we looove him and we want him too much and Jen said she's been sending the casting directors his videos...all the time. HAHAHAHA! PLS PLS!

We also talked about boys, her cousin's wedding, her trips to Italy and South America, her next trip to Asia, bringing her sweet adorable cats in her next signings and of course her 3rd YA novel. The concept is crazy exciting you guys!!!! You have to watch out for it.

There were tons of hugs and I'm gonna treasure them forever. We promised to go to Indiana and have the adventure that Finch and Violet had. We've always talked about it online but getting to say it to each other face to face meant a great deal to me. We promised to ride the rollercoaster and do all sorts of crazy things. I also told her I was gonna be there for her wedding. She signed my other books and we took photos...on her phone. HAHAHAHA!

I didn't want to say goodbye. I wanted to talk to her forever. Even though I was gonna have the chance to see her again, I became a little greedy in that moment. I wanted to keep her for myself. I missed her already and we were still staring at each other. But then I thought about the excited readers, the adorable smiles and anticipation for Jen. We gave each other another tight hug. I gave a flying kiss and left the office.

People waited so patiently and their roars were heard. I think till the ends of Ortigas. HAHAHA! Screams were everywhere and even through the interview, I wasn't even able to understand anything Jen was saying. I was assuming they were things I already knew but then I felt bad for some people who weren't able to hear or understand because of the audio issues. I think everyone forgot that when the book signing proper started.

While waiting for our turns, Eriele, Alia and I took some photos together. I was also able to catch up with some friends and talk to them also.

I had a chance to meet Jen and Louis again. I was asked to do a favor for a friend coz she couldn't be in the event, so I had her copy signed. I gave Jen a jar filled with messages from me and also my friends who were able to write short thank you notes for her.

She held my hand very tight as we took the photo and said "I love you's" to each other. I hugged and talked to Louis at the sides a for a bit and decided to stay a little longer, catching up with friends and listening to their stories, hearing people call my name out of nowhere then finding out they were people from Twitter who I knew, and then running around the mall with aching feet.

When it was time to say goodbye, I went to the venue again and took a peek. Jen, still busy signing. Louis, looking over her and I was just gawking at them and thought about how proud I am that I knew them and how amazing they were and how BOTH of them were making soooo many readers happy. I was given the chance to say my goodbyes, Jen giving me an I love you and Louis thanking me and telling me to take care. 

I went back to my Aunt's place, tired but completely elated and satisfied. I did not care if I had work the next day. My happiness was off the charts and I slept like a baby. But then, I woke up crying. Maybe coz I knew she was leaving that morning or because they were the tears that were suppose to come out when I met her. 

But either way, I was happy and so proud of her! The time that I got to spend with her was something I would cherish for the rest of my life and I know there will be more encounters like this in the future, with her of course. I'm also proud of the diligent readers who came in very early to line up and had to fight the heat of that day. We're all warriors and I know Jen is soooo grateful to y'all!!! Filipino readers are some of the best readers out there! DEDICATION! YAAAS!

I would like to thank JM of Book Freak Revelations especially, for hanging out with me before I went home and for sharing with me things that meant a whole great deal for him. You are my special bubble. Thank you so much! I love you! <3

Here's some post event photos!

Thank you Eriele for the "LATE" birthday gift. I will treasure this copy of Ada Blackjack forever <3 (Follow @bookishwanderlust on Instagram to purchase gorgeous bookmark designs)

Thank you Jennifer for being my brightest place that day. I love you very much! Thank you for the wonderful messages in my books.

Thank you so much National Book Store for making this possible! How was your #JenniferNivenInPH signing experience? Leave comments down below so we can talk about them.

Here's a list of some recaps from other bloggers:

Jesselle of The Lifelong Bookworm (she makes an adorable cameo in the upcoming novel too! YAY!)

If you have a blog and did a recap, you can also link your post in the comments below if you like! Thanks for bearing with this unbelievably lengthy post. It's been a while. See you again soon! Bye!

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