Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Holy Crap - I met Neil Gaiman!

We are very excited
Kayso, on June 21, I turned 30. The Beau threw me a party - there was punch and pie - and my Florida parents surprised me : it was awesome. But, the day before something even more awesome happened: The Beau drove me like 5 hours to Saratoga Springs so we could see Neil Gaiman speak. That's right, beyotches...I met Neil Gaiman. We are totally best friends now.  Here's how it went down:

Neil's (Because we are close personal friends now I'm going to refer to him as Neil - because we are clearly on a first name basis. Deal with it.)Anyway, Neil's new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane just came out. He was doing his "last" book signing tour, and one of the stops was in Saratoga Springs, hosted by Northshire Books. Neil came out and was interviewed by Joe Donahue of the Book Show - but I'm not sure if it aired yet.
Neil talked about the new book and his inspiration for it. He talked about how he was writing it for his wife, Amanda Palmer, when she was away and he missed her. He hadn't planned on it being a novel, but it just kept growing. This was really interesting to hear, because just maybe a day or two before, I'd read Amanda's take on the book. Her version is slightly more personal and emotional, which is cool. Kind of neat to hear them both talk about it from their own point of view.
Cooler than you

  Then Neil read a selection from his book. Very cool to hear him read it; he's a great audiobook reader but in person he was awesome. He also read (because Donahue happened to have a ARC copy of the book) a selection from Fortunately, the Milk his next children's book coming out in September. That was cute and funny, and I can't wait to get that as well.

After that he talked a little more candidly about why it's his last tour: so get this, there were 1500 people in Saratoga to hear him speak, and I would guess that about half or more stayed and waited in line to get their books personally signed. That's a butt load of signing. We waited in line for about 3 hours, and we were not the last people. Imagine signing books and trying to be cheerful to fawning strangers for upwards of 4 hours. How exhausting! Gaiman said that he loves it, but it's too much to do such large events, so he plans on doing more ninja signings in the future - like Twittery flash-mob type things. But he also said he loves reading to an audience so he won't stop doing that.

So back to the signing part, like I said, we waited a long time. We talked with a guy who is planning on taking a road trip based on Gaiman's novel American Gods. We saw lots of cool t-shirts. We saw Neil sign a ukelele. Neil was signing in sort of an assembly line and you could tell that he was tired, but that he was trying to talk to everyone at least a little. There were like 6 employees laying out the books and pushing them to him. There was a lady who was wrangling different colored sharpies. It was intense. Then it was my turn. I was all nervous, because I wanted to say something cool, but I'm usually a fangirl dork and I end up sounding like a herb. But he was cool and smiled at me and I told him I put his quotes up in my library all the time and he goes: "You're a librarian? I love librarians! They're my people!" and he cheered for librarians a little. I swooned and was all: "We love you too!" So now Neil and Amanda and I are all married and living happily ever after. Or not, but either way, I got my book signed and it was awesome :-)
Yes, he signed everyone's with a heart, but ours was obviously a love connection...
Me looking 12, Neil smiling at my sparkling wit, and the Sharpie wrangler
           My book review of Ocean at the End of the Lane will be coming soon. For other Gaiman reviews by me, go here.      For Neil's website, go here. For his Twitter, go here.