On October 7th, 2014, I had the opportunity to attend an event at Indigo Yorkdale staring Rainbow Rowell, author of Attachments, Eleanor & Park, and her latest novel (one River and I both gave five stars to!) Fangirl. Rowell herself was quite the charmer, as she did a great job flirting with her audience. She also told stories of how growing up fanfic wasn’t as accessible as it is today, discussing how fanfic plays a role in personal life, personal canons, and how it can shape who we are as fans. She also confessed to having written what might be the only X-Men/Wham! crossover fic. If this fic existed on the interwebs somewhere, link me, because I’m dying to see how all of this would have worked in the grand scheme of things.
She also discussed what its like being someone who suffers from social anxiety despite being an author. She explained to crowd how difficult a lot of social situations are for her and how she’s constantly trying to improve who she is not only as a writer, but as a public speaker. Truthfully with the way she mingled with the crowd, you’d never guess that this is something she suffers with every day. She seemed amazed by all the Fangirl and Eleanor & Park fanart, fic, and just the crazy response readers have had to the novels since they both debuted. I found myself nodding along to a lot of daily struggles with anxiety as a suffer myself, but she even said that regardless of whether or not people like her work, she’s going to keep doing it because it will always touch someone in some significant way.
Rowell was genuine, and that is what I enjoyed about her. She took time for each person during the signing to get to know them, to understand why they loved her books and what connections they made to her characters. She seemed so happy to just converse with her fans about all their fandoms, their joys, and even their sorrows. Eleanor & Park has a special place in my heart because I had read it towards the end of my father’s life, and it was a book that deeply affected me during that time (as odd as it is to say). But I loved those characters, and Rowell makes them so easy to cheer for. You know things don’t end well for them, but it’s so easy to fall in love with them and hope for the best. Rowell prided herself in being a bit of a dream crusher because she knew people were going to be somewhat disappointed in the results. Fangirl on the other hand, players with reader’s sense of self, as fandom is something we grow up with and shapes parts of who we are. It’s so easy to identify with Cath and her struggles, yet reader her fanfics, you could sense that Simon Snow was a part of who she is.
I enjoy Rowell’s works because they are personable, chock full of personality and spunk. She writers characters who feel real, so genuine, they are people you trust because you want to see how their lives unfold. Rainbow’s humor is quirky, yet gentle, and you get a sense of that when you meet her in person. You come to understand a bit of how her characters are crafted and how they are able to live, learn, love and laugh. If you’ve never read one of Rainbow’s books, I urge you too. She’s one-of-a-kind, and she knows how to make readers feel and fall in love with her characters. ALL of her characters. While she personalized both my copies of Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, I know these are books I going to reread int he future, buy for friends, and essentially, do my best to let Rainbow Rowell’s books take over the world. Does she not have a cute face that screams world domination? I can totally see it.
Check out Rainbow’s books. You won’t regret it, and while your at it, follow her on twitter @rainbowrowell. She’s funny and adorable, and I wish more authors were like her! Also keep your eyes peeled for her upcoming release Landline which is scheduled to drop next year! If you ever get the chance to meet her in person, do it! You won’t regret all the fun you’ll have!