Written by Shannon Geary. Media by Shannon Geary.
On Wednesday, March 26th, I took a road trip. Since starting at Greenville, the farthest I’d ever been out of town (besides home on the occasional weekend) was to Saint Louis, but that Wednesday, I left around noon to drive a full four hours up to Naperville to see my favorite author, D.J. MacHale, speak at a bookstore.
D.J. doesn’t just write books though. He’s also a screenwriter, producer, and director, most commonly known for the 1990s television series Are You Afraid Of The Dark? He graduated from New York University with a degree in film production. His newest book, the second in a trilogy, was released on Tuesday, March 25th.
I have been reading D.J.’s books since the 6th grade, but had never had any interaction with him until 2010, several months after The Light – the first novel in his Morpheus Road trilogy – had been published. I felt a personal connection to the narrator, and really enjoyed the book, so I sent him an email. I wasn’t expecting a reply, but a few days later I found one in waiting in my email inbox. I now speak with him via email and send him art on a semi-regular basis. He’s been a very influential figure in my life, and is one of the people to whom I attribute to my pursuit of a degree in graphic design. I first met D.J. face-to-face at a YA fiction conference in September 2013, where I presented him with an art piece I had done inspired by his books. It now hangs on his office wall.
The event took place at Anderson’s Bookshop. I’d been to several other events hosted by the store, including the aforementioned YA conference, and have always enjoyed my time there. The staff is absolutely amazing – they are accommodating, helpful, and genuinely care about their customers.
Shortly after 7 pm, due to some scheduling conflicts, D.J. began speaking. And he didn’t just talk about books. He encouraged audience participation, and one of the hot topics of the night was pizza. Yes, you read that right. Pizza.
He was also gracious enough to grant me an interview. Special thanks to the Anderson’s staff for making special arrangements for us to record this in the store basement after the event.
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