LAST WEDNESDAY, I was invited to spend an evening with author, Jodi Picoult, and Editor-In-Chief of Good Housekeeping magazine, Jane Francisco, for a Girl’s Night Out held at the breathtakingly beautiful Arena Stage at the Mead Center in Washington, DC. It was an amazing event hosted by Random House, to celebrate Jodi’s newest novel, Leaving Time—we were treated to incredible food, drinks, gourmet snacks, music, and even manicures, while also getting a chance to chat with both Jodi and Jane themselves.
Our night started with a quick introduction by Theresa Zoro, Senior Vice President, Director of Publicity for Random House, and a moving presentation about efforts to end elephant poaching in Africa, by Ellen O'Connell, Executive Director of Tusk, a wildlife conservation organization. Elephants play a large role in Jodi’s next novel, and as part of her extensive research on the topic, she traveled to Botswana in Africa, to learn more about elephants and their habits.
We then listened as Jane engaged Jodi in conversation, which gave us more insight into Leaving Time, her writing process, and what it was like two write two books with her daughter. We also heard questions from fans themselves, wanting to know her favorite music, books, snacks (chocolate, and potato chips, by the way) and how she comes up with her stories. One thing that I found interesting, was that she only ever plans the beginning, and end of her stories, and, she says that the characters fill in all the things that happen in between. Jodi was incredibly funny, warm, and down to earth, I felt like I was listening to a friend speak, and not a well-known author, who has sold millions of copies of her books worldwide.
The Mead Center is stunning.FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT, we got to walk around and mingle. We were given these really cute cards, with different destinations on them, and for every station you visited, you got a stamp, and if you filled your card, you were entered to win an awesome prize box, filled with Jodi's favorite things. We got to eat food inspired by the Good Housekeeping test kitchen, try Jodi's favorite chocolates, and there was even an Olivia Popecorn station, inspired by her favorite DC girl—Olivia Pope. One of my absolute favorite parts of the event, was the Palm Strings quartet, a local music group, who played us popular music, set to classical violin—I had a total nerdgasm when they started playing the Game of Thrones theme song at one point.
Guests chat with Executive Director of Tusk, Ellen O'Connell. Please check out www.tuskusa.com to learn more about this amazing organization.Talbots gave us a preview of their Fall collection. I'll take that coat, please!I loved meeting Jodi! Guests were treated to express manicures, in the shade 'Elephant Gray'The September issue of Good Housekeeping features cover girl, Katherine Heigl.EIC of Good Housekeeping, Jane Francisco, chatting with guests.The vibe of the entire night was relaxed, lighthearted, and fun—exactly how a Girl's Night Out should be! It was so amazing getting to talk to fellow guests, local bloggers, and Jane and Jodi themselves; everyone was so kind, and bubbly, which made the evening that much better. It really was such an awesome way to spend my evening, I had such a great time!
One last thing, I forgot to mention: I was invited to interview Jane Francisco, for my blog! The next morning, as she rode the train back to NYC, I got to talk to her for a bit about style, and the fresh, new, modern direction of Good Housekeeping magazine! So, be sure to check back soon for that!
Talk to you soon!
Photography by Tasha James
Thank you to Random House, Good Housekeeping, TUSK, Talbots, Twinings, La Crema, and Ouidad.