Thursday, April 8, 2010

John Green and David Levithan Book Tour

No matter how many times I tell myself to be cool, my heart still races. I rack my brain to come up with a clever, memorable comment - something that will make them laugh or at least smirk. Hell, I'd pay hard cash for a chortle. But, alas, I regress into a child with the eloquence of a bowl of Jello. Does this happen to you when you meet your favorite authors? It seems impossible to convey much they have impacted my life without sounding cheesy, cliche, or creepy. Still, I can't be the only one who feels so deeply without being a disturbed stalker or Twilighter. The event that provoked this intense emotion was my visit with my friend Adriane to the Belmont Theatre Building (thanks to the Book Cellar) to see David Levithan and John Green discuss their latest book, Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

The book is written in alternating chapters from the perspective of two teens named Will Grayson who undergo parallel processes. Rather than offering the standard reading, they performed a reader's theater version of John's chapter and then David's chapter. Both were incredibly witty and humorous, while exploring deeper themes, just like the rest of their books. The highlight of the experience was the Q&A session when they discussed their craft, influences, experiences, and reasons for writing - all in a completely non-pretentious way. They exuded humility, and gratitude to all those who supported them. As they spoke, I remembered half-born stories that I had put aside and felt inspiration stirring. They made me want to work on my writing and bring my stories to life. Moreover, they remind me why I am obsessed with them in the first place. Their work speaks to my soul - to the possibilities that have yet to linger and the strings that are broken. They make me dream of an endless night that will transform me forever, and an epic road trip to a fictional city. My perspective on life has been enriched by their work, both by exposure to enlightening ideas and the affirmation that I am not alone in my nerdy, inquisitive ways. I wish there was a way to express my appreciation that didn't sound so much like lyrics to Wind Beneath My Wings. Still, I know they will understand if the words come out wrong or garbled. They understand the human condition of supreme awkwardness. While I may not have declared my adoration in iambic pentameter, I told them how glad I was to meet them and John Green liked my name. And that's got to count for something.

* Sorry for the pictures' blurriness. I tried to take a picture when other people were filming too, but it didn't quite work as expected.

If you look closely towards the back and to the left, you will see Adriane and me saying "Good morning, Hank!" in John Green's Vlogbrothers video for Monday. Click on the video below to see it.

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