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“Hale”ing Her Favorite Author

Nov 06, 2015 12:58PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Margaret Spencer

West Jordan - Everyone has a favorite book with a special world they disappear into every time they open the cover. For Jakkalyn Jessop, her special world is the world of Ever After High, created by Shannon Hale. She has dressed up as her favorite character for Halloween and any other chance she has gotten. On Oct. 13, Jakkalyn had the chance to meet her favorite author and get some books signed.

Dressed from head to foot as Madeline Hatter, the daughter of the Mad Hatter, Jakkalyn arrived at the event, held by the Viridian Center, with a stack of books in her arms. The books, all Ever After High books, were a little tattered from being read so many times. Following the signs, she entered the large room set up for the event and saw bleacher seats set up on one side and a low platform set up for the authors across from it. She sat down on the first row, nervously fidgeting in her chair.

As the room began to slowly fill, she slid down a little in her chair, realizing she was the only one in cosplay. Many people complimented her outfit and she shyly thanked them. Readjusting the itchy wig, she straightened her dress and sat up a little straighter. A few minutes later, a young girl dressed as Princess in Black and another as Apple White, another character form Ever After High, made their way to some seats in the back. Jakkalyn smiled happily, knowing others had taken the time to dress up as well.

When authors, Margaret Stohl and Shannon Hale were announced, the room thundered with applause. Margaret and Shannon waved to their fans and, just before she turned to the platform, Shannon ran over to Jakkalyn.

“Hi, Maddi! Love the dress!” She smiled and headed up to her seat. 

Adri Cowan, a representative from Marvel, sat on the stage with the authors. Discussing the new book by Margaret Stohl, “Black Widow: Forever Red,” and the new upcoming book by Shannon Hale about Captain Marvel, they laughed and interacted with the audience for nearly an hour. Jakkalyn sat quietly, absorbing everything with her eyes wide. She was watching the creator of her favorite storybook world and characters in person.

Bringing the event to a close, Margaret Stohl mentioned they had a prize for the children in cosplay. Shannon invited up everyone in costume. The three girls made their way to the front and were each presented with a cookie with the Black Widow symbol on it. Shannon posed for a picture with the girls and then everyone went back to their seats.

The authors then went outside into the lobby area and sat at tables for book signings. Jakkalyn nervously switched from one foot to the other and kept peering down the line to see how much longer. After about twenty minutes, it was finally her turn. 

As Shannon signed and dedicated her three books, Jakkalyn asked who her favorite Ever After High character was and was delighted to find out that they both like Madeline Hatter the best. Shannon complimented her costume again and then posed for a picture with her.

Jakkalyn walked to the car with her books clutched to her chest in a happy daze. Not only had she just met her favorite author, but she had talked to her, gotten her books signed and even got a picture with her. One of the best nights ever!