When Gretchen McNeil said she would have ARCs of Ten at WonderCon, it was a must for me. I was prepared to throw elbows, push children and basically do whatever it took to get a copy. Of course, all that build up meant that I was able to just walk up to the table and request a copy without any problem. Needless to say, when the launch party was announced at MGRB, it was a done deal.
We got up to the store early [and without incident, YAY!!]. Early enough that the chairs weren’t set up. I bought books and we left to grab coffee and snacks. Got back to the store around 1 and I chatted it up with Carlos [talking all things Doctor Who and concerts where he got punched in the face] while he struggled to put the chairs down.
LeAnna got there with launch party snacks and we proceeded to decorate. She had made these awesomely bloody dvds that we strung up all over the place.
LeAnna also made pretty rosettes from this weird stretchy plastic sheeting and draped it all over the table. And then I hung bloody dvds from the table. The leftover dvds were thrown on top of the table for extra ambiance.
Gretchen got there around 2 with Nancy Holder coming in shortly afterwards. Nancy said that she was there to sign, but she was mostly there to support Gretchen at the release party.
Gretchen talked about Ten, but admitted that there wasn’t much she would say because she didn’t want to spoil it for anyone. Ten is her homage to Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians. She talked about getting Christopher Pike to blurb it. When Christopher emailed her back, she thought it was a fake email address because it was a really, really, really old AOL address. She cried after talking to him. Gretchen even likened him to JD Salinger, saying that Christopher lives in Santa Barbara and is never seen.
Personal note: I would been borderline hysterical in Gretchen’s situation because I read every single book Christopher Pike wrote when I was younger. I’ve always loved him.
We watched the book trailer and it was adorable to see Gretchen cringe as much as she did due to her own singing in the background. Afterwards, she did a brief reading from Ten, picking out the reveal of the first body because it was the only place she could think of that didn’t spoil anything for people who hadn’t read it yet.
She answered questions about her upcoming books. 3:59 [about the same girl in two different parallel universes who find out their worlds touch for a minute every twelve hours and decide to switch places] and Don’t Get Mad: Get Even/Get Dirty [a two book deal about a secret society of 4 girls in a Catholic high school who avenge victims of bullying].
After about 30 minutes of talking, the signing started. Since I was in the front row, I was able to be first in line. I was able get some books signed for Michelle and a finished copy of Ten for myself. I also asked Gretchen to sign one of the left over dvds.
I thanked her for being there and she thanked me for helping to decorate the event area. I was also able to get the super awesome Possess bookmark, complete with the charm attached to the top. After raiding the super secret ARC shelf in the back room [THANK YOU, LEANNA], we quickly left.
But not until we grabbed our red velvet Ten cupcakes and bloody hand print goodie bags.