Monday, September 6, 2010

Meeting Cecil Castellucci + Mailbox Monday (September 6)

When Cindy (Cindy’s Love of Books) told me that Cecil Castellucci was going to be in town to launch her two latest books, Grandma’s Gloves (a picture book) and Rose Sees Red (a YA novel), I knew I had to be there. I’m a big fan of her graphic novels, The Plain Janes (read my review) and Janes in Love (read my review), plus Scholastic Canada was kind enough to send me a copy of Rose Sees Red (which I’m currently reading to Mr. B).

Cecil started off by reading us Grandma’s Gloves in its entirety. (She prefaced her reading by telling us to “put on our sad pants,” an expression I’d never heard before.) The story is sweet and sad—it brought tears to my eyes. Cecil is obviously an experienced reader of picture books—she took the time to show all of us each picture in turn. She then read us what turned out to be one of my favourite passages from Rose Sees Red (which I’ve almost finished).

Following that, she took questions from the audience. A local YA author (whose name I unfortunately didn’t catch) asked her a series of questions, interview-style, about voice (how she found her 14-year-old voice, how she made sure she used the right teenage lingo), which was super interesting. Cecil said she made it up, or rather that she listened to her characters—she figured all schools have their own rules and vocabularies... She also told us that Rose lives in the apartment she grew up in and there really was a Russian family next door, although their daughter was four years younger than she was. Basically, she used the setting of her adolescence, but made up the people.

I later got a chance to ask her about the third Jane book, which she confirmed that she has written, but when the Minx imprint folded, it went into limbo. (She also suggested that I write to DC to encourage them to publish it, which I intend to do!)

Someone in the audience very kindly took a picture of me (left) and Cecil (right)...

Click to enlarge

I also bought two more of her books: Boy Proof and Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, which she co-edited with Holly Black. (I was very disappointed that the store didn’t have any copies of The Plain Janes!)


Mailbox Monday buttonMailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books they received during the previous week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists! Mailbox Monday, which was started by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on blog tour—this month, it’s hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog.

In addition to the two books I bought at Cecil’s reading, I also received one book in the mail: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are—Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life by Brené Brown, for a TLC book tour in October. (I almost passed this book up because I dislike the cover intensely, but it so sounds like what I need to read right now!) I also bought The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee (for a dollar—how could I resist?).

What did you find in your mailbox this past week? For other Mailbox Monday posts, head over to Bermudaonion’s Weblog.


  1. The author event sounds like a lot of fun - I love Cecil's hair!

    There was a time when I would have needed The Gifts of Imperfection, but I have learned to let so much go here lately! I hope you enjoy your new books.

  2. Meeting authors is so much fun! Great books this week. Enjoy!

  3. I love that you got to meet Cecil Castellucci! I still haven't read any of her books besides the two GNs, but i will one day!

  4. Yea you wrote up your post about the event. LOL that is too funny that we both bought the same books.

    It was so much fun and I think Cecil did a fantastic job especially with the children's book and I still laugh when she said "Put on your sad pants." I have never heard of that tills he said it.

  5. Author meetings are the best and that audience member managed to get a good shot of you both. I'm not lucky that way, someone's head is always cut-off or someone is blinking.

  6. {{jealous vibes}}, you got to meet Cecil Castellucci! :)
    Grandma's Gloves looks interesting, what is it about? I've only read the Janes so far by her.