Last month, the incredible julietthehuman won our The Fault In Our Stars contest. The prize? The chance to meet John and Hank! Here she tells us what it was like...
Whenever I’ve mentioned the fact that I won a writing competition to meet my favourite author, the immediate question seems to be ‘what was it like?’
Truthfully, I am still caught between two answers: the first being something along the lines of ‘it was an impeccable display of absolute genius that I still can’t believe I had the tremendous honour of witnessing’, while the other response is exactly how you would imagine ‘asdrtsfdhjbkfvbn;dfjkn’ to sound when spoken. (Internet Language 101: online, we call that “keyboard smashing”. It happens whenever the writer is struggling to coherently explain their thoughts. But moving on…)
My only complaint about the event is that it was over too soon for my liking; it seemed to pass by in a sequence of blurred motions. Even though I know it’s impossible, it felt as if the time it took for John to read the first few pages of The Fault in Our Stars, for Hank to sing songs like Accio Deathly Hallows and A Song About an Anglerfish and for their special guest Maureen Johnson to pull out cards with questions on from the top of her dress, passed by in matter of minutes. I suppose this is not a bad thing, since it meant I got to meet John and Hank and talk to them quicker, I can’t help but think that the afternoon was just like a book that you’re sad to finish. On the subject of meeting them both, I am delighted to clarify that neither brother disappointed me in the slightest, since this seems to be something many worry about.
You often hear people say that you should never meet your heroes, because they will never meet your expectations. This saying, honestly, makes me want to put my head through a brick wall. It’s not like I was expecting them to make an entrance on jetpacks – though maybe next year, Penguin? – and when I was watching the people I admire at Cadogan Hall, making jokes and poking fun at each other, the whole idea of whatever I had wanted to happen became irrelevant. Because I was living in the moment, and it was a million times better than anything my brain could’ve created simply due to the fact that it was real. It’s now this tangible memory that I want to hold onto for a long as possible, and I had the wonderful chance to experience it and be a person in the audience behind their camera instead of behind their laptop, witnessing it on YouTube days afterwards.
TFiOS Live ended with John, Hank and the audience singing I’m Gonna Be by the Proclaimers, a sort-of-joke that originated from the Green brothers being told that they look like the singers back when they first created the YouTube channel vlogbrothers in 2007. So even now, after two weeks, I still have AND I WOULD WALK 500 MILES, AND I WOULD WALK 500 MORE running through my brain like a train caught on the same loop of track. Not that this is a bad thing, but now listening to that song is the same a flipping a switch in my memory; suddenly I’m sat in row A, seat number 8 in the gallery and waiting and waiting and waitingwaitingwaiting for someone – anyone – to walk onto the stage and introduce the show.
Everything was wonderful, and if you ever have the chance to see John and Hank Green in future, I sincerely hope you do everything in your power to meet them.