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Montreal Book Bloggers Brunch with Cecil Castellucci

Oh, dear. I started this post a week ago but couldn’t finish it and then life got all hectic and I haven’t touched my blog (or a book, really) in a week. Now I have a miserable cold and my eyes are watering as I type this, but come on, Me! Get with the program! This event was a WEEK AGO!

Sunday, November 20 a handful of Montreal Book Bloggers were invited to brunch with two Scholastic Canada reps, Nikole and Catherine (lovely name ;)) and with Montreal author Cecil Castellucci. It was a fun time for all! I have never been to an event like this, so I was super excited and nervous all at the same time. I don’t know why I was nervous, I mean, I had met the other Bloggers before but I hadn’t ever met Nikole or Catherine or Cecil before.

The brunch was a sort of book club/all things book discussion, focused mostly on Cecil’s latest novel, First Day on Earth (linked to review). It was great to talk books with like-minded people and get some inside scoops from the publicist and author perspectives. Cecil explained some of the process of books being optioned for movies, which I found very interesting. We talked review responsibilities, what we liked to see on blogs, what we thought of book trailers and more. Since I blog about books a lot differently than many book blogs it was a great opportunity to hear why others like to have certain things on their blog and that I am not the only one who feels anxious about having deadlines on review copies (of which I received only a few compared to most book bloggers).

Back L-R: Me, Avis @ She Reads and Reads,  Lucy @ Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf, Cecil Castellucci, Tina @ Bookshipper, Melissa @ YA Bookshelf, Catherine from Scholastic Canada
Front L-R: Lisa @ Starmetal Oak Book Blog, Nikole from Scholastic Canada

The small group setting was just perfect, though I was sitting at the opposite end of the table from Melissa and Lisa and would have liked to have talked to them a little more. I’ll be sure to sit near them at our next Book Blogger meet up in December! (Just realized I was sitting next to them at the first meet up, too. I guess we’re kindred spirits!)

I’m not one to go ga-ga over getting books autographed normally. I tend to want them signed if I have gotten to know the author and/or if I absolutely adored a book. I wasn’t sure if this would seem gauche or not, but Cecil was the author of one of my favourite graphic novels, The Plain Janes and I snuck that book along with me for the event in case I could sneak it to her to sign. (I also found out at the time that the first and second books were split from one full one. I suppose that’s why I originally thought that it ended rather abruptly!) Turns out others also brought books to have signed, so I didn’t feel so bad. 😉

Signed Plain Janes

I was surprised by a brown paper Scholastic shopping bag on my chair when I got to the cafe. Those kind Scholastic reps, Nikole and Catherine had prepared goodie bags for us all! I swear it was like Christmas and lottery winning all at the same time! Why do all the surprise books always come at the same time!

 Scholastic swag!

(I now HAVE to get Clarity by Kim Harrington. Good thing I had it on my Christmas list!) I was so happy about all of these books. I kept saying “It’s like you KNOW me!” Since I have never been in contact with anyone from Scholastic until this event, I was very impressed with their selections for me!

The only bad thing I have to say about the entire experience was the creepy art on the wall directly facing me. I told Avis when I was leaving, I wasn’t avoiding looking at her all morning on purpose. I just couldn’t look at her and not see this on the wall behind her:

Gah! What kind of food establishment puts nekked boobs on their wall while people are trying to eat!? Especially me! Prude Extraordinaire! I did not like that one bit. Of course I had to snap a photo to show my husband (and all of you) what I had to deal with all morning. =P

So a HUGE thank you to Scholastic Canada for including me in their little brunch and to Cecil Castellucci for coming home for a visit and taking time to meet us all and share stories and laughs for a few hours on a gloomy, raining, Sunday morning.