My Big Book Project began at the 2014 Salt Lake ComicCon when I fell in love with a giant hand-made leather book made by Poetic Earth Journals. This book is a fantasy writer's dream come true, with flowers, vines and swirls decorating the cover along with inlaid gems and measuring 13 1/2 inches x 21 inches. My, husband, Brett, convinced me to buy the 900 page book (but honestly, it didn't take too much coaxing).
It was close to the end of the day at ComicCon and Brett and I had one more stop to make before leaving. I wanted to meet Brandon Sanderson, a science fiction fantasy author who had been chosen to finish out one of my favorite series, The Wheel of Time. Brett carried the 30 lb Big Book to the author's table and we waited in line. While we waited, an idea began forming in my mind. I asked Brandon Sanderson if he would sign the Big Book. His became the first signature in the Big Book, and the largest autograph the author has ever given.
As we drove home from ComicCon, Brett and I talked about how the book could be used and we considered the options. What if we filled the pages with other autographs from famous authors? And what if I took the book to schools for children to sign in it as well? After all, children are already authors and illustrators, writing stories and sharing them with their peers.
Thus the Big Book Project was born. Just as the Big Book had grabbed my attention, it continues to grab the attention of others who see it, inviting interest and opening discussion.
It was a great honor to meet Gail Halvorsen, also known as The Candy Bomber, and have him sign the book.
One of my favorite authors, Brandon Mull, had a book signing for his Five Kingdoms series. Of course I took the opportunity to meet him and bring the Big Book along. I always love to see the reactions people have to the book, and Brandon Mull was no different. In fact, he was eager to take a picture with it to share with his son what interesting thing he had seen that day.
I am so excited about The Big Book Project and the opportunity to meet authors, but is even more excited to be able to work with children in schools, helping them to be enthusiastic about writing and encouraging them to keep working on their stories, and most importantly, to never give up on their dreams and goals.
September 2015: I returned to Salt Lake Comic Con to see what signatures I could add to my beautiful Big Book. But first I looked for the Poetic Earth Journals booth and found the maker of the book. Of course I had to take a picture of him:
While at Comic Con I also had the opportunity to listen to Richard Paul Evans talk about his popular Michael Vey series. I somehow made it past his Elgin guards afterwards to have him sign the book.
Local authors Frank Cole (author of the Hashbrown Winters series) and Johnny Worthen graciously signed the book. They both have a great sense of humor and I love listening to these two speak at writing conferences.
Next I listened to James Dashner talk about his Maze Runner series and his thoughts about how the series differs from the movies. Fans had to move out into the hall for book signings, so the Big Book ended up on the floor. Holding a 30 lb book for someone to sign is no easy thing. I suppose I need to start some weight training for this effort!
October 8, 2015: I had the opportunity to participate in Literacy Night at Butterfield Canyon Elementary. It was a wonderful evening where the children participated in many reading and writing activities including a book exchange as well as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson activities. We filled four pages in the Big Book with names of children attending the school.
The Big Book continues to excite and inspire people wherever I go and the Salt Palace was no exception. One of my favorite moments at Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 was when I discovered Christopher Gorham (star of Covert Affairs and Jake 2.0) was sitting right around the corner from me. Of course I had to grab the Big Book and hightail it over to his table for an autograph and a picture.
At the February 2017 LTUE (Life the Universe and Everything) Conference, I had the opportunity to have L.E. Modesitt Jr. sign the Big Book. I've listened to him speak at writer's conferences before, but sadly hadn't had the book on hand in order for him to sign it. It isn't something I typically carry with me. But when I had the chance, I hurried over to his table to get his autograph. I'm so glad I caught him, as he was packing up to leave. And may I say that I can only dream of writing as many books as he has. He inspires me. And I love the vest!