Sunday, February 7, 2016

My first author signing event

I have been an avid reader all my life. But I was never one to wait in line to buy a book, or to have one signed. I did wait in line at midnight for one Harry Potter book, until I discovered the joy of pre-ordering and having books delivered to my doorstep on their release date.

As I started writing and reading more in hopes of honing my talent and perhaps being published at some point, I found interest building in listening to what authors I enjoy & respect have to say about the craft. I added a few to my Twitter feed. Then it dawned on me (I can be a bit slow sometimes) that authors do public appearances, and Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville hosts many of these events. Derp-a-doo on my part. I could have been gleaning some advice and meeting other bookish folks in the area all this time. *facepalm*

Last night I attended my first author event. Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, was in town. It's a series I very much enjoy, and I figured would be a good choice for my first signing event. We got there an hour early, and got almost the last seats in the house. The store was jammed full of Atticus fans. Or Oberon fans. Or both. The event was well worth the drive! Turns out, Kevin Hearne is a funny, likeable, really cool person. And pretty normal. He once waited in line for 7 hours to have Neil Geiman sign a book for him. Now his experience was a bit different than it would be for me....he related the tale of a girl recognizing him from the Iron Druid poster on the wall at the Geiman event, and he autographed something for her. All in all, rather cool anecdotes from Hearne. He gave a bit of information on where the series is going next, talked about the new book that just came out, annnounced a collection of short stories that he will be working on, and the fact that the Iron Druid series will stop at 9 books.

After speaking for about 30 minutes, he opened it up to Q&A, and answered many, many questions
from the audience. Then it was time for the fun part. The very long line. Very. Long. Line.

I didn't  mind the line. We were standing with other bookish folks, winding in among the shelves of we all discussed...books. Met a very nice man standing behind us, and talked about Jim Butcher's steam punk series, among other bookish topics. That made the time go by faster. Pretty soon I was at the front of the line and it was signing and photo time.

I had a great time! But I did learn a few things: for large events, buy the new book ahead of time (they ran out); get there early or you get crappy seats (lol), and just enjoy the experience, even the long line. :)

Already planning to go up the mountain again in February to hear Beth Revis talk about her new writing advice book, Paper Hearts. If you are ever in Asheville, NC...I highly recommend Malaprops. Not only is it in a very nice, ecclectic shopping area of Asheville, but it's a great indie bookshop!

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