Meeting Anna

So I recently had the pleasure of attending the LA festival of books, with Anna Shinoda on the panel. In case you don’t know Anna she is a published author with her debut novel learning not to drown on book store shelves as of April 1,2014. Yes that’s right her book is currently out. So go buy it. She is also the lovely other half of the super talented rock star Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park.
Driving from San Diego to USC in LA, of course I hit traffic and was late for the panel. Quickly finding parking (not legally) I parked my car as close as I could and rushed to find the Norris theater. There were signs specifying that the staff had the right to turn late comers away at there discretion. Now I start to panic. Luckily they were nice and told me go on in. I quietly went in trying not to disturb those who managed to make it on time. It was just my good luck I got there in time to hear Anna read a blurb from her book. I should mention it was a panel of 4 authors and Anna was in the third seat.
So she finished her reading then the 4th author read and the moderator started asking questions.
Now comes the good part the moderator asks Anna about her book and Anna in true Shinoda form doesn’t miss a beat. She is a natural in front of an audience. She tells about her inspiration for the book and how growing up in the small town and her family was part of that. She is the youngest of 7 and had to wear hand me downs. That in itself would be bad enough but her sisters are 8 and 14 years older then her so she would end up going to school in the 80s in 60s bell bottoms.(That got a chuckle out of everyone) which also go her pegged as the girl everyone made fun of for what she wore. She also went on to tell us that she had a brother that was in and out of prison. How she never liked to talk about and still doesn’t like to talk about it. So of course she wrote a book about it and now has to talk about it all the time. That got another laugh. That led in to the moderator asking about skeleton.

Skeleton is a cymbal of the skeletons in the closet that you don’t want anybody to know about. That’s the obvious part. But Skeleton was also created to bring guidance not only to Clare but also to Anna. The other part of skeleton was at the time Anna started skeleton her favorite show was 6 feet under and she wanted skeleton to be a bit animated like the corpses in 6 ft under. How they would just sit up and start talking to people. Which made her think I don’t know is it real is it imaginary are they a bit crazy. I don’t know but I like it! So Anna wanted skeleton to have that kind of feel and for Clare to be able to go along with it.

Then it got opened to audience questions and unfortunately I was unable to hear the questions asked. But Anna answered a few questions without missing a beat. You would never have known this was her first novel she appeared comfortable well spoken answered without hesitation and giving me a glimpse of her sense of humor. She at one point said that when she was in school she was meek and quiet and would never have done the things Clare did because she was afraid to disappoint her parents. So with the sneaking out that Clare did she was able to hand Clare her emotions and then let Clare be her own character and wish that she could have done some of the things that Clare had done while she was in high school. That ended the panel. Then on to the book signing booth.
I rush out to find out where the signing booth was. Get there and there are people lined up. Okay not that bad. Then I see it’s sectioned off a lane per authors table. Score I’m the first in line. I patiently wait for Anna to get there and think of what I want to say to her. I have a million questions I want to ask but not sure of what order I want to ask and if course I don’t want her to think I’m a crazy stalker. So as I wait I try to make an order of my add thoughts. Here comes Anna and I’m thinking score I’m still the only one in line I might be able to monopolize a few moments of her time. Ha no such luck here comes people lining up behind me. Dang it couldn’t they have waited a bit longer. Ok so now back to what I’m going to ask. As Anna is getting situated one of the people asks the group if there is anything they won’t sign. Haha again in true Shinoda form I won’t sign skin or underwear. Again proving she has a sense of humor and also she might know how the linkin park Fangirls are?!!
So she’s finally ready and I go up smile hand her my book with my blackout show lanyard conveniently placed in the page she’s going to sign. She comments on it. I think yay she remembers me. Ok this is my chance. I jog her memory and she says oh yeah with a smile in her face. Then she asks would you like me to sign your laminate as well? Of course I would!!! My response was if you wouldn’t mind. She’s like no not at all this is my first lanyard signing. So I tell her well in that case it’s yours sign anywhere you want. So she flipped over to the back and takes up the entire back if it. As I am watching her sign it I think haha Mike your wife is a bigger rock star then you!!! She took up the whole back so no one else could sign it but her. We have a little conversation during her signing my book and lanyard. I think should I ask for a selfie with her. I decide I don’t want to push my luck she’s already agreed to a couple other things. Ok so now my things are signed and I thank her and walk away so that I can give the other people in line a their turn.

To sum up my meeting and chatting with Anna she is truly a breath of fresh air. Talented, smart, well spoken, beautiful both inside and out,married to an equally talented man and just incase that’s not enough she has a sense of humor. This woman is the definition of CLASSY!!!! All I can say is if you get the opportunity to go to a book signing or the chance to meet her do it. I don’t regret a moment of my traffic filled drive and I am so pleased that she is so generous and kind with her time. So thank you Anna it was nothing short of a pleasure meeting you.

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Weight

As I sit in the weight management clinic I look around and see the others here for the same reason, it occurs to me what society has turned us in to. Rather than being healthy and a bit over weight we strive to be super model status. Then I realize i could never be a super model my legs are far to short. Society has turned us in to a bunch of narcissistic freaks more concerned about what we look like then who we really are. I do worry about who I am and try to be the best me I can be so why do I worry about my weight? Oh yeah because my pants don’t fit. Something for all of us to think about.

“Learning Not To Drown”, Debut Novel by Anna Shinoda

Mike Shinoda's Blog

I rarely talk about my wife Anna.  But today is a special exception, for a special reason.

Anna grew up in a mountain town so small it only had one stop sign.  He parents grew up during the Great Depression, and they lived in a modest home packed tight with her large family.  As a kid, she used to climb up into trees with books to escape the chaos of being the youngest person in the busy house.

Reading led to writing, and she eventually immersed herself in classes and conferences.  She worked with as many other published and non-published authors as she could.  In particular, she devoted herself to a manuscript that was clearly special.

I met Anna in the late 90’s.  Like most people close to her, I admire her honesty, integrity, generosity, and fierce independence.  A few years ago, after her manuscript got nominated for the…

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