Friday, January 7, 2011

Once Upon a Book Signing

This is a new meme from Once Upon a Twilight and I thought it would be fun. I've been to a lot of book signings and most of them happened before I even had a blog. This is my opportunity to share one really memorable one. I'm picking Neil Gaiman's book signing on his tour for The Graveyard Book.

The event was at an auditorium in a middle school in Santa Monica and set up by Barnes and Noble. My boyfriend and I showed up really early and were only the second people in line to go in. We waited for about an hour and were finally greeted by the strains of Camille Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre and a mock-Vincent Price announcer to introduce Mr. Gaiman. He was incredibly witty and made me laugh a lot. Everyone filled out one question to ask and he chose a few to answer in front of the audience. My particular day isn't posted on the website, but an audience member caught one question on tape where he is compared to a swallow.

Afterwards, Neil Gaiman told us about the poem he made for Tori Amos when she was pregnant called the Blueberry Girl. He recited it to us and I taped it with my camera. Sorry in advance for the shakiness.

After that, he read an excerpt from the Graveyard Book. At each stop on his book tour, he read one chapter, except for mine and the one afterwards because Chapter 7 is very long. All of his readings are available on his website, so you can listen to the book for free and with an awesome reader. Neil Gaiman is an incredible speaker and author. I didn't even realize how long he spoke, but according to the video it's over an hour. When we left, I had sworn I had seen a film because the descriptions were so vivid. I was lucky enough to be in the group that had a half chapter read that ends on a cliffhanger. If you don't listen to the whole thing, just fast forward to the end and you can hear the funny sound everyone made at the conclusion of the reading. It was a mixture of agony, amusement, and delight.

Then, we were shown a sneak peak and a trailer for his upcoming movie, Coraline. If you haven't seen this movie yet, you should. It's directed by Henry Selick, the man who directed my favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

After everything was over, my boyfriend snuck me backstage. I knew we weren't supposed to be there, but there was a line of people waiting to talk to him. I tried to look nonchalant and like I belonged there. When it was finally our turn, I handed him my sister's copy of Good Omens (previously signed by Terry Pratchett) and asked if he would sign it because my librarian sister couldn't make it. He was very nice and let us stay there even though he could have easily told us to leave. He personalized my copy of the Graveyard Book and gave me a hug. It was probably the most awesome author even I've ever been to.

How about you guys? Have you been to a super awesome author event that you'd like to share? If you make your own post, please link it back here so I can see it. :)

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