You are cordially invited to attend Little Shop's The Graveyard Book Halloween Party. Why, you may ask, are we doing The Graveyard Book Halloween Party?
Well, this is why.
We tried our darnest to get Neil Gaiman to come to the AJC Decatur Book Festival this year. There was an e-mail campaign. We contacted people we knew at Harper Collins. We begged. We failed.
As Mr. Gaiman himself put it, when he is asked "How can I get you to come to my bookstore in Vermont/New Orleans/Florida/New Brunswick/Nevada/Alaska etc?" and I tell them I don't know, because really I'm not going to take a couple of days off work (once you count the going and the coming back) to go and sign somewhere, no matter how nice the store and the people."
Being the persistent people that we are, we're trying again, particularly since Mr. Gaiman has opened a window of opportunity. "How?" you might ask.
"This is how. You have a party. In your bookshop. Better still. You have a Hallowe'en Party in your bookshop. You can have the Hallowe'en party anywhere in the month of October. And you theme it around The Graveyard Book. ... Then you get your documentation off to Harper Collins fast ... and they will decide who threw the best party and whose customers were the most imaginative and enthusiastic, and what was the most in the spirit of The Graveyard Book. ... And a winner will be announced ... Then, in December 2009, I'll turn up on a mutually-agreed day, pens at the ready, to do a reading and an Odd and the Frost Giants signing for the winning store."
So we're doing it. Friday night. October 30th. On the Eve of All Hallows Eve. 7pm
There are some 35 other bookstores in North America also competing for Neil's affections. (You can click here to look at the entire list on this map.) But ours will be best because, after all, this is Decatur.
It will be rather frightening, so we're limiting attendance to people who have been aged at least 9 years. The theme will be based on The Graveyard Book. Dress up in your best spookyness.
For the unaware, The Graveyard Book contains the story of Nobody Owens who, as an orphaned toddler, comes to live in a graveyard to be raised by ghosts, witches, and other creepy residents. (To read our review of The Graveyard Book, check out our book blog.) Graveyard has occupied the New York Times Bestsellers List for the past year and along the way has won the Newbery Medal, the Hugo Award, and Little Shop's undead affection.
For the younger crowd, come on Thursday night at 7pm for our Halloween Storytime.