Meeting My Favorite Author For The First Time!!

If you happen to follow me on social media (which if you don’t, you totally should…all my info for that is always left at the end of my posts), you would have seen that this past Tuesday, October 16th, was SUCH an exciting day for me.

I got to meet my favorite author and pretty much the person who is responsible for inspiring me to want to write as more than just a hobby.

The author I’m referring to is Nicholas Sparks, who I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with his work. He is the author who wrote best-sellers like The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, The Last Song and SO many others…many of which were later turned into films.

Since it’s still so fresh, and I’m still really excited about it, I thought it would be fun (like most other things that I try to do) and share my entire experience of it with you guys!

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The Waiting Process

I had literally been planning for that day for about 2-3 months in advance since I first heard about the event happening.

It was a big deal, I was SO excited.

I had actually taken off from work to be able to go to it, because I didn’t want to risk missing anything from the event.

So, I made sure to wake up extra early (at about 5-6 am I believe), get ready as fast as I could (doing my hair, makeup in about half hour which I’m PRETTY sure is record breaking time) and rushing out the door. I managed to get to the 14th Street (Union Square) Barnes & Noble store by 8 o’clock. The doors didn’t open until 9 though, so I had (along with many others) to wait outside for an hour.

Personally, although it was REALLY cold that morning, it didn’t feel like all that long of a wait (thank god for social media and YouTube).

Once the doors opened at 9 you were directed to the main cashiers to be able to purchase the book and receive your wristband for the event. After getting both, you had the option of either coming back later when the event started at 12:30 OR just hanging out in the store until it was time.

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I was still freezing from being outside AND starving, so once I got my book and wristband, I quickly made my way upstairs to the Starbucks to get my coffee and something to eat. After getting those, I thought I was being “smart” by running upstairs to get to the floor that the event was going to be at so that I could secure my good seat…I quickly realized once I got up there that a TON of other people had the same idea as me πŸ˜‚. It was all good though because I still managed to be pretty close up, in like the 3rd row.

By the time I actually got myself settled with my seat and other things, it was only about 10am, so I still had about 2 and a half hours to kill before the event started. Again, the waiting really wasn’t so bad for me honestly. In that time I was able to watch YouTube videos, read the synopsis of the book and author’s note, and even walked around the entire store and managed to come out with 4 extra books then what was originally intended. Needless to say I was very entertained lol.

While I was clearly having the best time EVER wandering around my favorite store and finding more and more books for me to buy by the second, before I knew it it was 12:30 and the event was about to start.

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The Event

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The event itself was pretty cool and fun. The events coordinator for the store introduced Nicholas Sparks a little bit, then had him come up on stage to say a few words before the meet and greet/book signing actually started.

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When he finally came up, he spoke a little bit about his previous books and what led him to write this one specifically (the name of his book is Every BreathΒ if I didn’t already mention that). He spoke about a few key points in this specific book like the characters, their backgrounds, what inspired certain details in the book and a ton of other things that I don’t want to get TOO detailed about because I don’t want to spoil anything. He also took a few questions from the audience which I thought was really nice because a lot of people don’t do that.

I even got to ask and have him answer a question!

I’m one of those people that gets SO nervous about things like that and second guesses whether or not I actually want to and/or should, even if I really DO want to. Anxiety freakin’ sucks man. BUT, I literally had to tell myself to get over myself and just ask my question because how often am I ever going to get an opportunity like this again, ESPECIALLY with my favorite author?

So that’s what I did, I got up the courage to raise my hand to ask a question, and sure enough…he picked me! πŸ˜„ My question was, “What advice would you give to aspiring writers like myself who can only hope to be half as successful of an author that you are one day?”

He answered by saying “Speaking for myself, I love to read, so you of course have to read a lot. But you know what else I think helps me? TV and movies, and you know why? Because they’re stories. And if you’re talking about TV, every 8 minutes they kind of have to end on a cliff hanger when a commercial is coming because they have to keep you tuned in. Well that’s very handy in writing as well whenever you end another chapter, because you have to end in a way to make them, your readers, want to turn that next page. So there’s lessons to be learned from any form of good story. So you have to read, learn to value stories, and to see how stories tick and wind, and practice honing reasons why one book is better than another.”

I paraphrased a lot of what he said obviously, otherwise I could’ve gone on forever with his response, but that was pretty much the gist of it.

After he answered my question was when the meet and greets and book signing actually started.

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Meeting Nicholas Sparks Officially

As if simply asking him a question from afar wasn’t nerve-wrecking enough, I was about to finally meet him officially too!!

The whole process went relatively quick, I mean obviously right? There were over a hundred + people there waiting to meet him and get their book signed so of course he had to keep the line moving.

But regardless of the fact that they (his people?) were trying to keep the line moving smoothly and relatively quick, I thought it was really cool and interesting to see the interaction he had with each of his fans. He was really friendly and managed to go out of his way to speak to his fans individually as much as he could, and was even willing to sign as many copies of his book as you bought.

At one point I even saw that there was this girl who had brought every single book she had of his in hopes of getting them all signed by him, and he actually did it. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I just think little things like that says a lot about a person/celebrity (in a good way), because he could’ve easily said no since there were so many people waiting, but he still made the time to do it in between signing his recent book for others.

Anyway, once my time came up, I was SO nervous. I didn’t actually know what to say to him, I wanted to make sure the picture(s) came out nice and a million other things were going through my mind too.

Ultimately, I actually got a couple of good shots of our interaction (see some of them below) and as for what I said to him, although it came out all jumbled up and I’m sure he didn’t understand half of it, I told him that he was my absolute favorite author and one of the main reasons that I decided to take my writing more seriously and hopefully become a successful author one day like he is. He said thank you so much, encouraged me to always keep trying and writing, gave me my signed book and I was on my way.

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Overall, although it wasn’t the ‘longest encounter’ ever, generally, it was a really great,Β  and very much worth it experience.

I don’t typically tend to do things like go to events like this, ESPECIALLY by myself because of my anxiety, so that alone was a BIG deal for me. Being able to step out of my comfort-zone to meet my favorite author, get to ask him a REALLY important question (to me anyway), get my book signed by him AND get a few pictures with him…what better?! He was also really nice about it all which made it even better.

I can’t even tell you guys how inspired and motivated I felt leaving the event that day, like I had so many different ideas for the blog going through my mind, so many things I wanted to start working on with my writing, etc. It made me really excited for not only my future, but my WRITING in the future. I’ve got some really exciting things coming soon for you guys and I can’t wait for you to see them.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for reading, please like, share and follow if you aren’t already, and I’ll see you guys in the next one! 😊

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❀

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Tell Me You Love Me Tour 2018: Barclays Center!

Hi Guys, today’s post is going to be about my recent Demi Lovato concert experience. Yes, I realize that this may not be a post that many people will be interested in, but if you know me you know that I am absolutely in LOOOOOVE with Demi Lovato, so I figure it would be a cool way to document and share my experience with you guys.

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Background Info:

What a lot of people don’t know is that as much as I love Demi, the days leading up to and me actually going to the concert were really hard. It was hard because every time I thought about it, it brought me back to the exact day I bought my tickets and meet & greet package which was November 3rd. That day started off beyond amazing because I got the front row seats that I was DYING for and of course the meet & greet with Demi herself! Little did I know, however, that the best day that I had in a long time was going to turn into the worst day of my life real quick. If you read my “Paw Prints on Our Hearts” post, my cat and long time best friend, died on that day. I won’t go into the specifics of that because I already wrote an entire post about it, which you could check out if you’re interested and I’ll leave linked here: Paw Prints On Our Hearts.

The point is, all of that was really hard on me and although I was super excited about the show, I also felt really guilty about being happy for it. After months of going back and forth about it, I finally had told myself that I’ve been waiting to do this for nearly 2 years, if not more, so I deserved to be happy and excited about it. So that’s what I did, I stopped being sad about it and started to get excited, which was good because time flew by and before I knew it, it was concert day.

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Concert Day: March 16, 2018

The entire day leading up to the time of the show was INSANE; so much going on and so much to do! Diego and I both took off from work because we knew there was going to be a lot going on and a lot that had to get done (more for me than him, but still lol). I was packing for the weekend, getting my nails and hair done, and had to go to the city to check-in to our hotel before the meet & greet, and even had to do my makeup!

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Both Diego and I had meet & greets (me for Demi, him for DJ Khaled), so we had to be at the venue way earlier than the time of the show. My check-in time was between 4:30-5:15pm, and his was at like 6:15pm. I had to be there first but made sure to ask them beforehand if it was okay for me to bring him inside the venue just to hang out until it was his turn so he wouldn’t be alone somewhere outside and freezing (shoutout to Karla from Host for making that happen!!).

To say that I was shitting bricks the entire time I was waiting up until I was finally face to face with Demi is a COMPLETE understatement. I WAS FREAKING THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!! I mean seriously, I was about to meet Demi Lovato! If you know me, you know how ridiculously overdue me meeting Demi has been.

The overall waiting process was about an hour and a half. I know that may seem like a super long time, but 1. I was super nervous so it didn’t even feel that long, 2. while waiting we got to hear Demi in soundcheck, and 3. I had made a friend on the line. It was cool because I had never done anything like that before, and she had done it one other time, so we were talking for a while about her experience, what I should expect, etc. it was nice, I had someone to freak out with lol. And before I knew it, the meet and greet sessions were starting.

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Meeting Demi:

It all went so freaking fast honestly. There was this divide between the line we were on and the little space that Demi was in. The divide was a curtain. So every time someone would go in, you would get the tiniest glimpse into where she was and seeing like her jacket or her hair but not fully her!!

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The one thing that did kind of suck was that beforehand, someone from her team came out to tell everyone that Demi was put on voice-rest before the show, so if she didn’t happen to say much that was why. And I know a lot of people were upset about that because they wanted to be able to speak to her and do all these different things (understandably so) and get what they paid for. So when everyone heard that, they were kind of disappointed (again, understandably so). Personally, yeah it was a lot of money, but since it was my first time and I love Demi so much, just being in her presence alone was fine for me. And I know that may sound weird or stupid, but it’s the truth. I was in Demi’s presence for a total of 5 minutes more or less. As soon as they opened the curtain and it was my turn to go, I was literally like 😨😡 OH.MY.GOD. and I just kept staring at her. I swear it felt like a dream and like I was floating. To be honest I don’t even remember telling her my name. What I do remember telling her is how fucking beautiful she is. She couldn’t say much, but she whispered “hi, how are you?,” and “thank you so much.”

After that came the picture…. I was TERRIFIED about the picture because I didn’t want to look fat or gross, or have my eyes closed or anything dumb like that and you only got one professional photo! So if it was fucked up, that was it. **Spoiler alert!! If you haven’t seen it, it looks AMAZING (I think anyway)**Β Scroll down to see it!

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Side Note: Originally I wanted to be able to take a picture with us hugging, which I’m sure I could’ve done had I asked her, but I was just so nervous that I completely blanked and forgot to ask πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ lol.

Once I left the meet and greet, I was dazed the fuck out and couldn’t believe I just met Demi Lovato. Somehow or another though I managed to direct myself to the merch table and bought a t-shirt and sweatshirt, which was good because I wanted to be able to do that at some point. Now, the meet and greet was over, I got my merch and food and it was time to hear bae sing her fucking heart out!!

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Showtime!:

The show itself started at about 7:30pm and opened with Kehlani. If I’m being honest, before the show I had never heard any music by her; I knew a bit about her, but not her music. So Diego and I were pretty much going in blind for her performance while everyone else was hyped af. But trust me when I say that by the end of it, we were definitely fans. Her style, her voice, her dancing, and the way she hyped up the crowd was all great. She really is a great performer with an amazing voice, and at the moment, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t listen to CRZY. My absolute FAV right now.

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After Kehlani came DJ Khaled. Now again, if I’m being honest, although there are a lot of great songs that he’s apart of, since he doesn’t actually sing or anything, I really didn’t expect much from him. I didn’t even actually know WHAT to expect from him because of that. But honestly, he did his shit and his set was great. He’s like the greatest hype man ever lol. He played and danced to all the hype hits like Turn Down For What, All The Way Up, Wild Thoughts, and his new song Top Off.

He also brought out 2 special guests which was pretty dope, A Boogie and J. Balvin. They both played great songs of theirs; A Boogie rapped My Shyt and Drownin’, and J. Balvin sang his hit Mi Gente. It was awesome. To end his set, he hyped the crowd up to see Demi finally and gave us one of his usual motivational speeches about life and his upcoming album. And then finally before he left, Asahd came waddling out and everyone freaked tf out from how cute he is (which btw, he’s like the calmest baby EVER).

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Side Note: That night, if you go on his Instagram, DJ Khaled took a group photo of himself and the audience, and if you zoom in REALLY close you see me and Diego in the bottom corner… heyyyyyy we made the cut! πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ LOL

Finally for the main act, Demi came out (or up I should say since she came from below the stage)!! Of course, she killed every single song that she performed (which was a total of about 18, relatively back to back too with maybe 5 minutes (if that) in between like 7 songs for the sake of wardrobe changes). I absolutely loved every minute of her set, especially being as close up as I was. I had seen Demi live one other time about 2-3 years ago on her Future Now tour with Nick Jonas, and my seating was nowhere near as close as I was this time, but they both put on an amazing show so there wasn’t a doubt in my mind the same thing would happen this time, if not better on her own tour. Which was exactly what happened. She played a ton of songs from her new album Tell Me You Love Me, including a handful from previous albums like Heart Attack and Give Your Heart a Break. She also brought her own little special guest out, Iggy Azalea, and they performed one of Iggy’s songs called Savior. I had never seen or heard her perform live before so that was pretty cool too.

However, I think the absolute best part of the show was somewhat towards the end when DJ Khaled and Kehlani stopped the show to give a speech and congratulate Demi on 6 years of sobriety (which was actually made official the day before on March 15th). And yes, for those of you that aren’t aware, Demi was an avid user up until 6 years ago. She is now completely sober of any and all drugs and alcohol. The entire thing was extremely emotional. She cried, which made me cry, and then she made little jokes to try lightening the mood up a bit. But before leaving the stage, Dj Khaled and Kehlani had the entire audience sing happy birthday to Demi, to which then followed by everyone chanting “Demi! Demi! Demi!” It was sad, but overall extremely inspiring. Once she finally collected herself, she gave a little speech thanking all of us and them and then went on to play two of what I think are probably her most emotional songs, one about overcoming her struggles (Warrior), and the other about her father who passed away and was an addict himself (Father). She had also never performed Father live before, which was really cool to be able to see (it came out in 2015).

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This is where she was when DJ Khaled & Kehlani came out to surprise her and where she performed Warrior and Father (also one of my absolute favorite photos that I had taken of her that night).

To close out the show, Demi performed two of my favorite songs from her newest album, Sorry Not Sorry and Tell Me You Love Me. It was such a great and fun way to close out the show honestly, everyone was singing along and not a single person was sitting down. Demi really knows how to finish things with a bang!

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Final Thoughts:

One of the BEST shows I’ve ever been to hands down, I mean granted I’ve only ever been to 2 other concerts before and one of them was another of Demi’s, but still. From the setlists, to all of the special guests, the outfits, special effects, etc., overall truly a great show. And I feel like Demi has been SO slept on as far as her voice, style and how she is as a person; people are only now starting to truly recognize her for the star that she is. Meanwhile, she’s always been this person, the only difference is that she’s more open, edgier and sexier.

10/10 would recommend her and her shows to anyone, she’s an amazing performer and will not let you forget it. Oh and meeting her was obviously amazing too 😍😍 she looks like a freakin doll (in a good way!!) and is 10 times more gorgeous in person!!! And obviously Kehlani and DJ Khaled were great to see live as well. Overall great tour and show, and if I could, I would totally go to another show from this tour to do it all over again.

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Wish I had gotten a better picture of this, but it’s how she closed out the show after she finished performing TMYLM, which was SO cute (if you can’t tell their 2 roses).

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❀