Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Book, One Community - OHIO

Last weekend was a busy and beautiful one. It began with the wedding (thirteen years in the making) of my brother, Nate, and his new bride (my new sister!), Sarah. They had an outdoors autumn-themed wedding. When you walked from your car to the ceremony, you went down a leaf covered path, past pumpkins, lanterns, and hand-painted signs that retold their story. If you arrived as early as the wedding party, you may have seen my son (one of the two ring bearers) give each pumpkin a hug.

And here is the magical couple!

Early the next morning, after partying late into the evening, I flew out to Ohio for a One Book, One Community event. Why? Because I wrote the book! New Philadelphia chose Thirteen Reasons Why for their community read, hosting several events leading up to my presentation that made for a wonderful visit. They had school and public discussions surrounding the book and its topics. They held a book trailer contest, where the students of the winning trailer earned a visit from me to their school. So my first stop in town was Buckeye Career Center!

One thing I've really enjoyed during my author visits is getting to see the many creative ways communities educate their students. BCC has over thirty vocational tracts students may choose from. Here are some of the students who came to hear me speak...

...including a Hannah Baker. Her name badge even proves it!

I then had time to stop at an awesome used bookstore, Books-N-Things, where I bought just enough merchandise to barely squeeze into my carry-on luggage. They even had an entire section of Christmas books, which I'm a sucker for.

In the evening, I spoke at the Kent State Tuscarawas campus.

But before I spoke, the winners of the top three book trailers received a signed book and prizes.

This was a very fun group to speak with, laughing easily, oohing and aahing on cue, and asking great questions.

The autographing part of the evening was one of those inspiring and slightly overwhelming times of being an author that send me back to my hotel with so many profound emotions that I need to decompress by reaching out to author friends and then taking time to let it all soak in. These are the times I feel both unworthy and completely grateful to be in this position.

One of the notes I was handed included a line I can repeat right back to so many of the people I meet at these events.

Of course, it was also very cool to sign so many books handed to me in this condition!

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