Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jean M Auel Book Signing Event

Jean M Auel
Book signing
Portland, Oregon
4/19/11 at 7:30pm

My cousin and read the Children of the Earth series back in 9th grade (11 years ago). I was so excited around a year ago when I finally found out when the final book was going to be released, I had been checking every 4-6 months and updating both my cousin and my Grandma. Since she had done past tours I figured she would be doing one again and if she didn't come up to Seattle she lives in Oregon and that is a very do-able drive. So we had the release date, the tour date and the hotel booked for this event.

If you have read some of my other book reviews and know that I always talk about the lead female character and liking if they are strong or disliking them because they are weak and whiny is because of this character Ayla. She is a very head strong female that has been put through many trials, but overcomes them all.

Okay, so now to the fun stuff. We left for our little trip around noon on Tuesday and headed down towards Portland. We stopped at this little town for lunch and we saw this sign on a building staying "Kalama A Twilight Location". We were thinking, "what the heck does that mean?", so we decided to ask the barista and she said the school where Bella went to in Forks was filmed just up the hill. We decided what the hell, we are here lets just go check it out. It was so funny pulling into the school because it was the school, so of course we took some pictures. We just had to.

(Left) My cousin standing in front of the school.

(Right) The parking lot where Bella almost gets hit

Now back to Jean M Auel signing stuff. We got to our hotel Mark Spencer, which was only a block away from Powells. The hotel had a complimentary wine tasting for an hour so I had a glass and a half and that is the most alcohol I have ever had, but I was eating cookies with it so I was fine.

It was recommended to us to get to the signing at least an hour before because they were expecting it to be pretty crazy. They said they would close the room at 300 people, there would be both seating and standing room (if you didn't get there early enough). We got there an 1.5 hrs early and there was already 50 people sitting waiting, so we were glad we got there extra early. 45 minutes till the start there was only standing room with an occasional individual seat here and there.

The event consisted of a her telling about her inspiration and process of the book. She figured we could all read so we didn't need to be read too. She had a lot of great information. 
The series originally was going to be a "short" story, well it didn't end up to be any short story. There will only be 6 books, the series is finished. She has no plans for other books, but she could possibly writing something else.
She also never expected to be a writer at all, it kinda just happened for her. 
Almost all of the caves that Ayla visits in the final book Jean has also visited them as well.
Jean took some classes about eating of the land, so she did get some first hand experience foraging for food and tasting the food. These books make me realize how disconnected I am from my natural environment and if I were put in the woods and told to survive I would be very screwed! 
The Mother's Song took her 6 months to write, because she wanted to get it just write since it is very important to her characters way of life. 
Ayla's name was inspired by a chant that she heard of Native American people rowing
The female names of the clan all start and end with a vowel Uba, Iza...
The male names all end and start with consonants Brun, Bran, Greb...
Many of the names are just her own creations that sounded right
A man was able to do the double sling throw that Ayla does, originally she just created it.
Jean is well respected in the pre-historic community and a lot of things she wrote about are actually being proven. 

There was many other tid-bits of  information that I can't remember. The signing line was one big cluster of people. They should have signed by row, figuring that the 1st people there were probably the ones in the front row, but no they didn't do that. So everyone rushed to get as close and they could or some other submissive/nice people went to the back of the line. My cousin and I figuring we were there for 1.5 hours there was NO way we were going to the back of the line so we kinda just melding in the line up near the front. It still took us 40 minutes to get our books signed, but it was so worth all the wait. We also got our Grandma a book signed for her and I know she will love it.
Me (Left) Jean (Center) Erin (Right)

After the signing event we went to dinner and back to the hotel to hang out and play some cards. On Wednesday the next day we hung out and shopped around in downtown Portland. And of course we had to stop at the famous Voodoo Doughnuts and get doughnuts covered in Oreos, Captain Crunch and bacon.

That was our little trip. It was a lot of fun and some great time spent with my cousin. I can't wait for my next book signing trip down to Portland for the YA Supernatural event. I still need to find someone to go down with me. 



Jennifer A said...

So, so fun!!

I can't believe you saw the high school where they filmed some of Twilight. My friend and I want to do a whole tour someday. LOL.

Forty minutes isn't too bad of a wait at all! Yay! I was waiting for 3 hours at the cassandra clare and holly black signing. They had more of a method to it, too!

I love me some voodoo! We try to limit the visits to when we have out of town guests. They are sooooo good!

Jennifer of Little Shelf

Kristina said...

The high school was around 30-40 min away from Portland if I remember right. It was just really funny that we just happened to stop in that little town. One day I would love to go to La Push, I have heard the beaches are really awesome.

For the Cassandra Clare/Holly Black we waited in line for 1.5 hrs. So we did get very lucky with this one, it could have been hours!

Voodoo is awesome, I guess there is a place like it up near me, but I haven't gone to it yet.

vvb32 reads said...

what a fun experience! thanks for sharing it with your pics too. and neat-o to see you were in twilight territory ;-D

Kristina said...

@vvb32 I love to write about my signing experiences. I go to them all the time and Ill talk about each on of them.

I will hopefully one day go the La Push I hear it is really beautiful