I’m engaged in a life and death struggle, and I need your help.
Doesn’t that sound dramatic? And it is only slightly exaggerated. You see, this struggle involves the living and the dead, a local independent bookstore, and a world famous writer.
You might have heard of this guy named Neil Gaiman. He’s won the Hugo, Bram Stoker and Locus awards many times, as well as a list of other awards as long as my arm. He was the first writer to win a literary award for his comic book writing (The World Fantasy Award for Sandman #19) and he’s been involved with many movies, either as the originator of the work or as the screenwriter. Most recently, he won a Hugo, an Audie, and this little thing called the Newbery Award for his young adult novel, The Graveyard Book.
That’s where the independent bookstore comes in. You see, while accepting yet another award for The Graveyard Book (this time the Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book) he announced an impromptu contest that his publishers immediately got behind. He suggested that, since he doesn’t get to do signings at independent bookstores much anymore (seeing as how he can sell out stadium seating events) that he’d have a contest to win him for a signing sometime in December. The rules: be an independent bookstore in the continental United States, have a Halloween party based on The Graveyard Book in October, and the best party wins him.
When I read this, I just about fell off of my chair.
Halloween is my favorite holiday, I work at an independent bookstore (and have done so, first at one store then another, for fifteen years) and my favorite author is (you guessed it) Neil Gaiman. I know my coworkers & I can throw a good book event (our Harry Potter release parties saw well upwards of two thousand people the last couple of times) and this one… THIS one… it was the biggest windmill ever offered for me to tilt at.
Now’s where the life and death struggle and you come in.
It is life and death because that’s what The Graveyard Book discusses. Nobody Owens, Bod for short, who is orphaned by a nefarious organization for seemingly mysterious purposes, wanders into and is reared by the citizens of a graveyard. The adventures of a living child raised by the dearly departed, and uncovering the plot that took away Bod’s family and threatens his own existence, makes for a Newbery-worthy read and one heck of a Halloween party.
The struggle involves getting what Russo’s does best (great books, fantastic customer service, and devotion to the community) and our community together for a common purpose.
We don’t get many big authors in Bakersfield. We’re nicely situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco, two great hubs for big authors and book signings, so we rarely get them to detour here.
Neil Gaiman has never signed in Bakersfield and likely never will unless we win this contest. And what we need to win this contest is YOU.
We are already making the best of this event by turning it into a fundraiser for our local school and county libraries. But for that to be a success, and for the chance to bring Neil Gaiman to Bakersfield in December, we need you, our community, to attend and have a blast this October!
Won’t you show Neil Gaiman and his publishers that Bakersfield counts? Russo’s Books is “in it to win it” this October, and we hope you’ll help us!
For more details on Russo’s Graveyard Party, participation and fundraising opportunities and more, just check back here in the days to come, or become a fan of our Facebook page set up specifically for this event! Just look for "Russo's Graveyard Book Halloween Party"!
For more on the contest, read Neil’s blog entry at:
And, of course, to order a copy of the book, simply visit our website at www.russosbooks.com!