Tag Archive | Book Signing

Book Signing Adventures: Kat Richardson

There is a writer that I have admired since Uni. I’ll never forget how I saw her first book being cradled in the hands of a sorority sister. ‘She’s a great writer.’ She stated. ‘I think you’d really like her, and she’s local.’

The year was 2006 and like clockwork every August, each book in Kat Richardson’s fantastic Greywalker series is published. It’s my favorite time of year. 

Since the beginning of her series I have always gotten her books from the Seattle Public Library. I couldn’t purchase them because I knew I’d be moving to England in the future. ‘One day,’ I thought, ‘I will have a lovely collection of her books.’ 

One of the best things about moving back is that the one day has begun. 

This week the University Bookstore (hurray for being an alumni!) did a release party for her eighth book in the Greywalker series, Possession. I got there early and noticed a bit of humor from the staff. 

Bookstore Humour

Well done mates. 

Kat's Books

I snatched my copy of Possession and strolled through the bookstore waiting for the event to start. I had bought the first book in the series elsewhere, due to being unemployed I wasn’t able to snap up all of her books. I felt that by slowly taking advantage of Richardson’s frequent appearances around Seattle, that I would built up my library of signed books in time. Hopefully she won’t think I’m a crazy stalker. I wasn’t going to make her sign all eight books with different things, that’s asking way too much. She had others to sign for and I wanted to respect her time. 

Books signed

Book 8 (Left) Book 1 (Right)

I went alone. When she arrived I became giddy and overwhelmed with how long I had waited for this moment. Richardson was so exceptionally kind, sweet and real. She spoke to crowd as if we were all old friends, with lots of laughter and the feeling of fun in the air. 

She read a couple of passages from the new book. 

Reading

She gave us some spoilers for the ninth book (seriously can’t wait!). 

Richardson knows so much about Seattle and it’s one of the best things about her writing. She really gets out there and knows her stuff! Her books were the biggest comfort I could turn too whenever I was having a hard time in London. I am grateful to my friends that posted me her books as she was dropped from her UK publisher. (TRAGIC MISTAKE) Her writing is home and I’m so lucky to have discovered her work early on. 

Then came the best part of the evening. The book signing!

Unlike my two previous book signing adventures, of Neil Gaiman and E. L. James, for Richardson I had the chance to speak to her for more than a few seconds! I had an actual conversation and it was difficult to not cry during the joyous moment. 

Signing

Me trying to not act/look/sound stupid.

I was a complete and utter fan girl. 

Fan girl

The best part was that she remembered one of my tweets from last year:

Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 20.16.39

As if the night couldn’t get any better. 

It was inspiring to be around such a talented writer from home, who writes extremely well about monsters and creatures and Seattle things that go bump in the night. Full of mystery, spookiness and adventure. I’ve always highly encouraged anyone and everyone I know to read her series. 

I couldn’t be happier to have the chance to meet her in person. 

She signed my books with grace and words that made me weep and smile. I kicked myself because I had another one of her books but forgot it at home!

The lovely signs

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Kat Richardson for making such a silly fan like me so happy! I can’t wait to start reading! 

Ashleyisee

xx

Book Signing Adventures: Neil Gaiman

Oh how fortune throws a good hand every so often. 

Neil Gaiman is on his very last book signing tour. Why? Because it’s now getting to the point that there are so many people that all he ends up doing is signing for hours and hours and hours. He stated that in San Fran (I believe) He was signing until 3am! (I’m sorry, but authors shouldn’t have sign for that long!)

When I first saw the tour dates, it stated that Seattle was sold out – BOOO! BUT, by a lucky rare chance I caught a last minute wave of final tickets! I was seriously considering driving four hours away to Vancouver, BC because they still had tickets available. 

Anyways! I was super excited, I mean this was an evening with Neil Gaiman! Hosted through the University Bookstore as a part of the 2013 Clarion West Writers Workshop readings at Seattle Town Hall. I was one lucky girl to be a part of a huge crowd entertained by Gaiman. 

First he did a reading from his latest book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Neil reading

He then did a short Q & A with some questions such as, “Christian Bale or Adam West? Which is your favourite batman?”, “What’s one thing you’d like your readers to know?” Gaiman’s answer: “I’d like my readers to know how to read.”

The favourite question of the evening was, “Will Neil ever do a spread for Playgirl?” Gaiman’s answer, “I’m 52!”. 

Another good one, “If you were a God, what kind of God would you be?”

Gaiman stated he’d be the God of extended deadlines. Very well said!

After the Q & A Gaiman did another reading of a short story inspired from one of his earlier works, and it was just delightful! 

Then, the signing began. 

Full House

Sigh. Gaiman is SUCH a trooper. I had gotten to the event just as it was scheduled to start, meaning I missed out on snagging a prime seat. Instead I was in the group of last 50 people to get items signed. 

Long Queue

There was a long queue. 

Once you made it to the lobby though, there was a last chance to buy any of Gaiman’s books from the beautiful display. 

Neil's Books

There was also the Seattle Town Hall poem to read too:

Town Hall Poem

I believe he started signing just before 9pm, by the time I got to meet him it was 12:20pm. 

Neil signing

He is lovely. So kind, sweet and engaging. I was very nervous and tried not to say much because I was tired, which mean he must surely be more tired and he still had a load of more people to sign things for. 

Neil sign 1

I shook his hand, thanked him for a lovely evening and then went on my way. 

Neil sign 2

I had him sign just his name on his new book and personalise my second attempt at buying and reading Neverwhere. He wrote, ‘Ashley, Mind the Gap!’ 

Neil sigs

Oh Neil, if only you know how well I can mind that gap. 

I will treasure them forever. 

Signed books

If you have the chance to meet Neil, DO IT, opportunities like this are rare and take advantage! Gaiman knows how to put on a show and he’s delightful to listen to and learn from. 

THANK YOU Neil for coming to Seattle! Thank you so much for doing a last signing tour and giving every fan your time! It’s greatly appreciated and YOU’RE AWESOME! @neilhimself

For those in Seattle, there are four more evenings of science fiction and fantasy from Clarion. Please check out their site and go. They’re on Tuesdays at 7pm. 

xx

Ashleyisee

My Night with EL James

EL James. A woman who has rocked the literary world for a multitude of reasons. As a Seattlite, when I saw that Waterstones was having a book signing with the (in)famous EL James I marked the date on my calendar.  As fan fiction from Twilight, James set her ‘stories’ in Seattle and her books have created a phenomenon, I had to go and document the event. Please click the photos to enlarge, apologies if they’re a bit blurry.

I didn’t attend to tell her what I thought of her writing. I didn’t attend to be mean. I attended because it was an event I couldn’t miss. I knew it would ridiculous, I knew there would be loads of people. I didn’t buy any of the books myself. I brought the one a friend had given me, charged my camera and off I went. I brought along a postcard from Seattle. I wrote EL James a nice message and included my business card. Cheeky.

I had planned to stake my place in the queue two hours beforehand. But I had things to do and time got away from me and I ended up getting to Waterstones at 5pm. The event started at 6:30pm. Here’s the queue when I got there and after standing around for an hour and a half.

A camera crew showed up and interviewed people, but not me. I was number 182 in the queue. There was a banana on a wall by a door too.

It was another hour and a half of standing and waiting until I got my chance to get my book signed. They herded us like cattle as we swarmed upstairs. It wasn’t practical because we were put in a huge group and then were slowly whittled down to single file for the signing. It made it seem like the process took FOREVER!

The weirdest thing about the event was that once people learned I was from Seattle, I became a little celebrity myself. They’re eyes got big and they exclaimed, ‘You’re from Seattle?! Wow!” I think I might have been the only person from Seattle there, but I had to go. We were also given the chance to have the first book personally signed. Most people had their names. I chose Seattle. The PR girls and EL James herself were surprised when it came to be my turn. I shook her hand, and gave her the postcard. I thanked her for her time and she was so sweet and genuinely kind. She signed my book and I took my leave.

People were asking me what number I had been when I left, there were LOADS more people waiting and it had been about two hours of signing already. Was it worth it standing for that long period of time? Not for my feet, (I have problems, see how small they are?) but nevertheless I’m glad I stuck it out. Thank goodness for the Kindle app on my ipod and overall it was a very interesting evening. The energy of those who bought the beautiful trilogy editions (they were stunning) was infectious. There was a universal look of embarrassment as well. I was most surprised by the range of ages. It wasn’t all middle aged women, there were girls younger than myself giggling over the spectacle of the event. It wasn’t about what I thought about the books, it was about being there and experiencing it all. It was my night with EL James.