Hey guys :)
I used to do more personal, get-to-know-me posts on Sundays and I'd like to take that habit up again. This week, I'd like to tell about what I did on Saturday last week. A very dear friend of mine moved from Switzerland to Belgium almost a year ago, and during the summer we decided it's time I visit her again. We'd agreed on some time in August, but then she heard that Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, would be signing the last book in the trilogy, The Book of Life, in Amsterdam on the 6th of September. So I postponed the trip, and she talked her boyfriend into driving all of us from their little town near Antwerp all the way to Amsterdam. Because he is a great boyfriend, he agreed.
Well... not all went as planned. We took off with time to spare, but the GPS lied - you couldn't go 120 km/h on the highway, only 100. So instead of a bit over two hours, the trip took us at least three. Traffic was bad. We also couldn't park where we'd thought we could, and we weren't sure how to get to the bookstore. We were supposed to be there by 1:55 pm at the latest, as they'd lock the doors then. After a mad dash through the inner city of Amsterdam, we arrived at 2:08. We'd already kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that the trip was pretty much in vain, but we rang the bell. And one of the employees opened the door for us!!! :D Thank you, kind Dutchman, whoever you were!
So we barged into the room sweaty and out of breath, but it was so worth it! Deborah Harkness was so nice! The event was less a reading and more of a Q&A, and I was glad that there were no weird silences where nobody asks a question. The questions, too, were not just run-off-the-mill stuff but really interesting, relating both to how she came up with the idea of the series, her non-fiction research and writing, combining her academic and fiction-author careers, and whether or not she plans and outlines her books. I can't give you a detailed rundown because I didn't take any notes, I was too busy listening and soaking up the atmosphere. I was also really glad there were no spoilers for book 3, since I haven't read it yet.
After the Q&A, the whole party moved over to the actual bookstore (the main event was at a different building owned by the store) and there was a desk set up on the square in front of the store, where the line for the signing formed. I ran into the store to buy my book while my friend kept my space in the line. It moved slowly, but that was because Deborah took the time to talk to everyone a bit instead of just signing and smiling in an assembly-line kind of way. I'm always a bit nervous when I meet authors (not that it happens very often) but she put me at ease. We both took a picture with her together and got all our copies signed. There you go:
American Book Center, or ABC, whose fantasy section was, well, fantastic, and bought some more books. Then we miraculously found the car and took the long road home, including several turn-arounds because the highway we should have taken was closed off. But that was okay because we had great music and were singing along to stuff from the 80s to My Chemical Romance and basically having a car party ^^
Despite the car trouble, it was an awesome trip! Thanks again, amazing friend and her boyfriend who has to suffer our bookish moods, for taking us!
Have you ever taken a trip to meet an author you admire? Do you feel nervous when you meet them? Or do you, for whatever reason, not like this type of bookish event? Let me know in the comments :)