You can’t be in John Hughes’ movies and be low-key

“We’re all betrayers, and we’re all betrayed,” Molly Ringwald said last night at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass. while introducing her novel, When It Happens To You. This commonality, regardless of who you are, is something she wanted to explore in this collection of linked stories.

The stories, she told me later, were written in the same order that they appear in the collection, save one, a short one, that took hold of her and wouldn’t let her go. She struggled with moving away from the story she was writing at the time (Ursa Minor, the story she also read last night), but when she gave herself permission to write out of order, she did, then returned to the story already in progress.

She doesn’t get to go incognito often, she said (her red hair and all), though she lives as “normally” as possible. She added that most people can tell when she wants to be left alone, and are often courteous enough to do just that.

“Though, you can’t be in John Hughes movies and be low-key,” she said.

The John Hughes movies all feel like one movie, she said, though each have their own sensibilities. As for her other favorite in her oeuvre, she credited her first film, Tempest, with showing her the ropes and setting her on her course.

In other Ringwald news: She and her jazz band have recorded an album, which will be out next year.

A couple of hundred people turned out for the event, as did a police officer, who stood near Ringwald throughout the event. A 15-minute Q&A followed her reading, and a nearly two-hour signing followed that.

Ringwald said she was glad to be reading at an independent bookstore, and if we weren’t careful, and if we didn’t continue supporting independent bookstores, they’d disappear, and what, then, would we be left with?

No memorabilia, we were told, about what Ringwald would sign. Later, a bookstore employee walked through the line, amending the list: No cell phones, no Kindles, and no body parts.

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