Friday, September 28, 2007

Obert Skye and the Line of Infinity

I saw something amazing last night. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

Obert Skye is the author of the Leven Thumps series. The third book, LEVEN THUMPS AND THE EYES OF THE WANT, was just released on Tuesday. His publisher is the same as mine, Shadow Mountain. In fact, he paved the way, being their "guinea pig" in jumping into the national juvenile fantasy realm. Needless to say, he's done very well, having sold something like 300,000 copies of the first 2 books.

Obviously, I was very intrigued and have a vested interest in this guy. Having never met him, I ventured out to attend his book signing at Barnes and Noble last night.

Again, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

I got there before it started and saw all these strange strips of tape on the floor everywhere. On closer inspection, I realized they were mapping out a route for his "line". Having done many a signing myself in the last few years, I couldn't help but chuckle, despite what I'd heard about Obert's success. A line? Yah, right. I had a line once. It was about 6 people and they were all related to me.

As I continued browsing, I saw several tables, SEVERAL, and each one had at least 200 hardback copies of his latest. So we're talking hundreds of books. Probably a thousand. Then I made it to the back of the store, where his signing table was set up. I picked up a copy and this hilarious, gruff kid nudges my elbow.

"Hey," he said. "You here to see Obert Skye?"
"Yeah," I replied. I expected the kid to spit on the ground and wipe his mouth with his sleeve.
The kid jerks his thumb over his shoulder. "There's a line."
My eyes looked up. Sure enough, a long line of salivating children and their parents were all looking at me like I'd just told them they were ugly and their fathers smelled like elderberries.
"Sorry," I said. "Don't worry, I won't break in line."
The bouncer sneered and went back to his position, first place.
"Hey," I said, trying to reconcile. "I have a book coming out next March, same publisher."
"What's your name?" This came from a sweet little girl behind the tough guy.
"James Dashner."
The bouncer rolled his eyes. "I've never heard of you."

That is a true story, I promise. I truly hope to see that kid again, he was awesome.

Anyway, I left to go and get something to eat. When I came back, there were at least 200 people in line, wrapped around the store along those nifty lengths of tape. I caught a glimpse of Mr. Skye, signing furiously but taking the time to give each kid a high five and a few words of encouragement. Awesome.

But that's not the amazing part. Knowing there was no way I could meet Obert Skye in the conceivable future, I left.


There were still 50 or more people in line. Three hours later. Unbelievable.

It was odd, actually. It's hard to describe the mixed emotions I felt. Amazement. Jealousy. Excitement. Pressure. Anxiety. Amazement.

Obert Skye, I salute you.


Tristi Pinkston said...

Next year that'll be you, Dashner. Your friends will have to wave at you from afar. But you'll be too busy signing to see us. So we'll slink off, sniffling, but happy for you.

Dedee said...

I hope I don't get reamed for saying this, but I'm not super fond of Leven Thumps. I like others better.

Your book will be better, won't it?

Tamra Norton said...

James, buddy! You were witnessing a glimpse of your near future. Just promise me you'll come to a B&N in Houston, okay?

Luisa Perkins said...

Dude, you are SO going to be doing a national tour soon.

Luisa Perkins said...

PS--Awesome post title!

James Dashner said...

Dedee, this is an open forum and you can say whatever you want, especially opinions about books. In fact, I welcome and encourage it.

For obvious reasons, I think I will decline on commenting on THIS particular topic, however. You others feel free.

But I will say this. OF COURSE my book is better. Duh! :-)

As for a national tour, that will definitely happen. The ARC says in the marketing plan that I will be sent on a 10 city national tour. Yippee kai yay!

Houston? Maybe. Though I will never forgive them for stealing Matt Schaub from the Falcons.

Anonymous said...

Wow! An actual line that wasn't just a checkout line that ran by the table. I'm so excited for your first booksigning line. And you will have one :) Take pictures to share with the rest of us!

Annette Lyon said...

When this happens to you, I'll be able to say I knew you when, and even added a comma or two to your book.

Katie Parker said...

Oh, but your line will be longer, won't it, James?

Dedee said...

SLC in your tour plans?

James Dashner said...

I'm sure there will be a ton of stuff in Salt Lake City since that's where I live. Can't wait!

Julie Wright said...

James, I just want you to know I fully plan on you kicking this guys butt. :)

Julie Wright said...

oh and James I totally promoted you at the literacy night last night. I expect that favor returned pal ;)

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Read them both, and James---yours is way better!

Dapoppins said...

Do you think the bouncer will be there for your national tour? Too funny.

C. Michelle Jefferies said...

James I really had a hard time geting through Leven Thumps.

Next year this will be you, and like Tristi said, we will be waving from the nose bleed section. (hey remember us?)


Dedee said...

See, now I feel silly.

James Dashner said...

Thanks, Julie. You know I'll return the favor. I mean, after all, I did steal your number.

Thanks, Lu Ann! At least I know one educator who thinks I'm better than LT.

Dedee, why do you feel silly?

Michelle, of course I remember you guys! How could I forget a free lunch?

Dapoppins, I just might hire that little dude as my own bouncer. Actually, he's a little frightening.

Shanna Blythe said...

Oh what would it be like?? I'm sure James, you are going to find out!!

Dedee said...

Here I ask if SLC is going to be in your plans and you live there. I'm blushing a little!

James Dashner said...

Oh, sorry, didn't mean to make you feel dumb. Now that I think about it, it doesn't say where I live anywhere in my profile, does it?

Born and raised in Georgia, now live in Utah. Which I love. Especially when we have blizzards in September, like today. Can't wait til ski season!

James Dashner said...

Scratch that, it says it write there in the "About Me" paragraph. Sorry, Dedee, you actually should feel stupid.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

Anonymous said...

Better have a loooong Atlanta tour!

Haven't read LT yet, waiting on my ARC before I buy any new books!

James Dashner said...

The ATL will hopefully be on the list considering my Mama's there!

Sis, I'm trying to convince them to use your photo of me in the book. We shall see. I'd just as soon not have a photo, but it seems like they don't want people to think I'm a psycho.

Of course, don't see how my photo will dispel that worry.

Luisa Perkins said...

Dude, I just buzzed you. RSVP.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

It's all a bit staggering, isn't it? Thinking of where your talent and the amazing opportunities you've been given are going to take you.

Dedee said...

In my defense, it doesn't acually say SLC. Utah is a rather large place. However, that's no excuse for me since I didn't read that particular pararaph until after this all happened!

I'll just tape a sign to my head that says NERD! and be done with it.

James Dashner said...

Hey, then you'd fit in perfectly with my crowd.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

My oldest daughter [12] is hooked on these books! But now that I'm reading your blog there might be a new series headed for the Infidel family household in March of 08.

Blogging is so incestuous......I know half the people here from other blogs.

James Dashner said...

Incestuous? Do we really have to use that word? I mean, I am from the South, but . . . ew. :-)

Hey, I hope I make it into your household. That would be awesome.

Sandra said...

I loved your books and my boys devoured them. They will so be looking forward to meeting you and having you sign them. And I am sure the line will be just as long as the other one that we stood in. ;)