Last night, YA author John Green held a sell-out event called "The Evening of Awesome" at New York City's Carnegie Hall.
It was, well, AWESOME.
The event was held in honor of the one-year anniversary of Green's bestselling book The Fault in Our Stars (included in our Best Books of 2012.) The night was filled with singing (partly from musical guests The Mountain Goats), dancing, music, reading, a Q+A portion, and acting. Green hosted the event with his brother, Hank Green - together they present a hugely popular YouTube series of video blogs under the name The Vlogbrothers, as well as the annual fundraising event Project for Awesome and the Crash Course series of entertaining short films teaching their audience about science, history and literature.
The event sold out at lightening speed (yes, an author sold out Carnegie Hall). For those not fortunate enough to snag a ticket, the event was also livestreamed on the web, and bookstores around the country hosted special watching parties.
The fans (known as Nerdfighters) were lined up around the block to get in (even though the seats were assigned). We have never seen so many people get so excited about seeing an author. When Green took the stage, they screamed louder than a roomful of Beliebers.
During the event, John Green discussed the story behind his YA hit. The Fault in Our Stars follows the life of a teen girl, Hazel Grace, as she battles cancer and falls in love with a fellow cancer survivor. Green talked about a young cancer patient he knew, Esther Earl, and the impact she had on his writing the novel. He noted that "understanding that love is stronger than death was essential in writing The Fault in Our Stars." He also stated, "The real hero's journey is not from weakness to strength...[it] is the journey from strength to weakness."
Hank Green played some very funny musical numbers on the guitar (some literary themed, others science themed) and The Mountain Goats played a short medley of their own songs in the middle.
There were also a few surprises thrown in. Shortly before the Q+A portion, John mentioned that the person who would be asking him questions (all curated from audience members/fans via Twitter) was an author who had written some Dr. Who episodes. A buzz went around the crowd. Surely it cannot be Neil Gaiman??
Enter surprise guest, author Neil Gaiman.
The one answer that stuck out from this section was to the question: "[What is your] advice for aspiring novelists?" Green responded with, "Read a lot. Read broadly... Tell stories to your friends, and pay attention to when they get bored... Write a lot."
Gaiman also had some advice on that subject: "Read everything. Write. Do not hope that elves will come in the night and write your novel for you. They NEVER do. I've tried, and it's a waste of time. And finish things, just whatever it takes to finish, finish, and then get on with the next one. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished."
Kimya Dawson, formerly of The Moldy Peaches, also sang a few songs. Hanna Hart, creator of My Drunk Kitchen, interviewed Hank Green. Ashley Clements and Daniel Gordh, of The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, acted out a scene from The Fault in Our Stars. Grace Helbig of Daily Grace also made an appearance.
The night concluded with a song performed by Hank Green, a cover of They Might Be Giant's "New York City" (John Green sang along). The Mountain Goats came out for one more song as well and every guest, including Gaiman, danced on stage.
In short, awesome.
SOURCE + Interview with John Green
The “Beautiful Disaster” movie is slowly but surely making its way to the big screen!
Jamie McGuire’s New York Times Bestselling Beautiful Disaster is slowly but surely making it’s way to the big screen! The book tells the story of Abby, a girl trying to escape her past by adopting a prim and proper look and lifestyle in college, whose plans are derailed when she begins falling for Travis Maddox. Maddox is a tattooed, motorcycle riding, bare knuckle fighting bad boy, with some issues of his own(OP NOTE: He's abusive, controlling, and one of the worst love interests ever romanticized in fiction). He’s not only the talk of the university for his exploits with the ladies on campus, but also the cousin of Abby’s best friend America’s boyfriend (got all that?), which puts Abby right in his crosshairs. What happens next is an addictive love story that had readers everywhere flipping pages as quickly as they could to find out the fate of these beautifully flawed characters.
Many are calling Beautiful Disaster the next Fifty Shades of Grey, partially because of the troubled romance aspect and partly because of the book’s evolution from self publishing to bestseller, but in my opinion the similarities end there. Where Fifty Shades of Grey is all “inner goddess” and where will “it” happen next, most of the excitement in Beautiful Disaster comes from the romance and build up to the steam; perhaps that’s why both Warner Bros and CBS Films were originally trying to get their hands on the rights to Beautiful Disaster, which will undoubtedly be easier to adapt into feature film than Fifty Shades.
Warner Bros won the rights bidding war and both a producer and screenwriter are already attached to the film. Donald De Line, whose credits include I Love You Man, Green Lantern, and Michael Bay’s latest, Pain and Gain, is reportedly set to produce and Julia Hart has been hired to write the screenplay. Hart is also slated as screenwriter for The Keeping Room, a Civil War drama directed by Daniel Barber and starring Olivia Wilde and Hailee Steinfeld.
As of publication, there still isn’t any talk of a director being attached to the Beautiful Disaster film or any casting news, although there is no shortage of fan opinions on who should play the leading roles. We won’t know much about possible casting until more of the key players behind the movie’s creation are in place, but what we do know is some of the actors Jamie McGuire could see playing the parts. In an August 2012 interview with Maryse’s Book Blog, McGuire said she didn’t have anyone in mind for the female lead Abby, but she did have an opinion on Travis, America, and Shepley! McGuire named actor Chris Hemsworth as her “first choice” for Travis after seeing his performances in Thor and The Avengers going as far as to say, “Chris could definitely nail the fierce and soft sides of Travis in a way few actors could.” As for best friend America, McGuire thought actress Britney Snow would be “fantastic” and Cam Gigandet would be “the perfect” Shepley.
While you wait for more Beautiful Disaster production news to be released, you can get your Beautiful Disaster fix voting in our Poll “Who is Your Ideal Travis Maddox?” and by reading Walking Disaster, the Travis Maddox Point of View Sequel when it comes out in April 2013.