Yesterday, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting one of my writing inspirations. A friend had asked via Facebook if anyone wanted to go with her to the Arkansas Literally Festival where Charlaine Harris would be speaking. And since I had the weekend off from work, I told her I would. In turn I invited another fan and friend, April, to join us.
After arriving it didn't take long for us to find the church she would be speaking at. Beautiful church. And the irony of a vampire fiction writer speaking in a church was not lost on us. We found it to be quite funny, actually. Of course we were a few hours early since the event didn't start until 7. It was a nice sunny day with a nice breeze, so we sat under a tree in front of the church and just hung out and goofed off. At least April and I did. After some picture taking of the church and ourselves and playing with our ringtones, other fans started trickling in and staff informed us that they would be opening the doors at 6:15-6:20, So we moved from under the tree to the church steps. Where we did some more waiting and book discussions with two ladies from Oklahoma. April turned to me at one point and told me I should be promoting my own book, which I hadn't even thought of doing. Which she told everyone sitting nearby to go look me up and buy my book. Gotta love best friends. (April later told me she thought I might have sold a few copies)
After that bit of waiting, and around 6:15, we got up and stood by the door expecting our wait to be over. As we're standing there, still chatting and waiting, three women walked up from the side trying to get into the church. One of the women was Charlaine herself! She was locked out of her own event. We took several pics, of course and did some chatting with her, before her assistant directed her to the door she was supposed to enter. Showing up over 2 hours early had it's advantage. Perhaps the best moment I had ever had.
When we were finally let into the church, the three of us got front row seats, cause April is cool like that. XD Charlaine had quite a sense of humor as she told us about her begining struggles as a writer and her "overnight success in 32 years". Pretty amazing how her most popular series had been originally turned down so many times. Then there was the question and answer session, with so many great questions, including one that had never been asked before.
Being in the front row meant that when it came time for Charlaine to do book signings, we were in the back of the line. But it was all good, since April and I got to chat with a couple of authors and I received an invite to write a blog on one of the authors' blog, since I'd created my own fantasy world. When it was finally my turn to get my copy of Dead Until Dark signed, I told her she was one of my inspirations, which delighted her. The smile that came across her face was a genuine "thank you" smile.
All in all, my first trip to a book signing and a meet and greet turned out just great
And the Ice Queen is cool with that