Today's Author Monday centers around the amazing Stephen Chbosky. I met him at the American Library Association annual conference in Anaheim last year. I admit, I hadn't read The Perks of Being a Wallflower yet, but I told him I had lived in Pittsburgh, and he got so excited that he volunteered to give me a hug. This remains the only time an artist I don't know has volunteered to hug me. And I *love* hugs. He was just so affable. I took a picture with him, but he made me promise I wouldn't post it online, so I haven't.
That summer, living alone for the first time in a long time and enjoying my status as a new librarian, I'd come home to a hot apartment and curl into a fetal position to read the book. What followed was pure goo. Chbosky wrote of infinity in the tunnel systems of the 'burgh, and I remembered driving through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel to get to Oakland, and I broke. It was one of those beautiful moments when you're both overjoyed and nostalgic and sad, so you don't even know why you're crying, but you are anyway.
So in Anaheim I asked him my cookie question:
If you could bake homemade cookies for up to three fictional characters, what would they be and for who?
His answer is one of the most original I've heard:
- chocolate chip for Willy Wonka
(from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
- snicker doodles for Romeo and Juliet
(you should totally know that's by Shakespeare)
- peanut butter for Jay Gatsby
(from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby)
- poison cookies for Hamlet
(another quintessential Shakespeare drama)
Then again, I don't think I really need to meet him again. It'd be nice, of course, but it's not a necessity. I have my golden experience reading the book, my secret picture, and a short but absolutely perfect dedication in the book he autographed for me for free.