Just got my ticket to see Neil Gaiman in June
To which I commented:
Looks like I'm coming out to Phoenix in June
To which she commented:
Please do. I have an extra ticket.
So I went out to Phoenix to meet one of my all-time favorite authors ever. It may surprise you that as much as I love books I've never been to a reading. I have kind of an irrational fear of meeting people I really admire because it's just too fraught with danger -- namely, me doing my best impression of a weeping mute. I think I've told you the story of that one time I happened upon S.E. Hinton doing a book signing at the West Covina library (I was picking up tax forms, I think) and I could not bring myself to get in the line to meet her because I loved her too much. The Outsiders was a really, really important book to me growing up and the thought of trying to express to her just how much it all meant terrified me. All I could envision was me standing in front of her, holding back tears, and squeaking out, "Um...love." So I just stood there for twenty minutes, watching her sign books, like a creeper.
But I have no such childhood connection to Neil Gaiman so I felt confident that I could get a grip. And I did.
I had high expectations (I didn't even try to manage them) and they were all met. He was just like his books: funny, witty, sweet, smart. He read from his new book and a forth-coming picture book and both were great. Plus, I've decided I want him to read everything to me - health labels on cereal boxes, street signs, the manual to my printer. And he told stories and answered questions. And then the signing started. He told us that in the last 4 weeks he has signed over 20,000 books. He'll do an event at night and then travel to the next city and waiting for him in his hotel room are 500-1000 books to sign. Fatigue, right? So imagine how wonderful it was that after he had signed books all day and then sat and signed more books for 2 hours with many more hours to go, he was friendly and lovely to talk to. I mean, seriously, he could not have been nicer. He even drew me an owl. And I wasn't a weeping mute. I talked like a human being without a tear in my eye. Maybe one of the best nights ever.