Friday 9 September 2011

Author Signing Derek Landy 9/9/2011

Derek Landy, as you may know, is the author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series. He is a LEGEND. These books will have you laughing out loud, your jaw will drop, your eyes will pop, you will grip the edge of your seat, they are pure awesomeness.

I follow Derek Landy's blog - 'Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress' and he is just as funny and friendly on there as he is in his books. When he announced his tour dates for this year I got excited. he wasn't coming to my local book stores but he was visiting Cambridge - this is about an hour away from me but do-able. I set about planning.

"Death Bringer" book 6 in the series was released on the 1st September 2011. I hurried out on the 3rd September and brought my copy. I could not wait to get stuck in. If you want to read my review of this book click here. Let's just say it is Pure AWESOMENESS. I read it in a couple of hours and was even more eager to see him at the signing today.

I met Derek Landy last year at Milton Keynes when he was signing copies of book 5 - 'Mortal Coil'. You can read about that day here.

As I had attended the visit last year, I was more aware about how these would work and the queue sizes. Although the signing didn't start until 3.30, my friend and I set out at 11.30 this morning. I drove to Cambridge Park & Ride, and arrived in the centre by 12.30, I was surprised we had made such good time.
We walked down the main street and looked in a few shops. Once we got to Waterstones we went in and were instantly greeted with piles of his book and a poster advertising the signing. My friend bought her copy of the book ready, and then we made our way to the store cafe for lunch.

After eating lunch we were still about 2 hours early. We had a look round the entire shop (it's 4 floors and really big) and then made our way to the first floor. It was now 2 o'clock. There were a few teenagers walking around with books but they soon disappeared. My friend and I found some chairs and settled in to wait. We picked a great spot as soon staff were setting up Derek's table and it was literally right next to where we were sitting.

At about 2.15 a young boy turned up with his mum and sat in the middle of the floor, desperate to be the front of the queue, he had to keep moving out the way as they set up but he was firm in his place. We sat and watched the magic unfold and laughed at the determination of such a fan. Then at about 3.00, a small group came up and the queue started, we leapt to our feet and joined. Ending up 7th & 8th in the queue.

It was getting so close we could almost taste it. I had carried out all of the books in the series (except book 5 of course having got that last year) My friend couldn't quite believe I had carried them all round, doubtful that I would be allowed to get them signed. We were discussing this as the young lad in front of us put his bag down and promptly lifted out all 6 books. I then looked down the queue and saw many others doing the same. It brought a smile to my face. The sore arms and aching back was worth it.
We got talking to the people both in front and behind us. The feeling in the air was of general excitement and friendliness. I heard a staff member say that Derek had arrived and was ready to start. I looked at my watch, it was only 3.20, but he was willing to start early. As Derek walked in a hush spread over the crowd, everyone seemed awed by his presence, I pointed out the stunned silence to my friend and we decided he needed a more enthusiastic greeting so we let out a fairly loud 'wooooooo'. No one else joined in though - we just got some strange looks.

By this time my arm was shaking from holding the books for so long but I was also trembling with excitement. I watched as the determined young boy got his books signed and a photo taken, then the next few people. I laughed at camera malfunctions and could hear Derek Landy talking to them - there was a lot of laughter and good humour. Then suddenly I was next, then  it was my turn. I approached the desk and gently lowered my stack.

Derek greeted me with a beaming smile and a friendly hello, while I replied with a fan girl 'hi' in a shy voice. Derek then asked what was in my hand. I then handed it over. I had made Derek a present - a collage of pictures from his books. Here's a picture (sorry it's a bit blurry my phone camera isn't the best. - )
He said he loved it and he put it safely in his bag.

He then looked at me and my friend and said 'I've seen you before haven't I?' my heart leapt out of my chest - HE REMEMBERED ME!!!! This made my day, no my week, no my MONTH! (I know it's only the 9th but I doubt anything will top that) I said yes and mentioned Milton Keynes last year and smiled. How totally awesome is that. Maybe craziness like I possess is hard to forget :D

I then asked him for a photo, he said yes but only if I did the 'pose'. Everyone that had approached the desk had to do the same 'pose'. There must be loads of photos out there, all slightly different but still awesome, I love my picture, I'm pulling a slightly funny face but it's great.
Don't we look cool!
I then asked Derek for a hug, as if you read his blog you will know he likes hugs. He said yes and we hugged - it was so awesome, some people in the queue went 'ahh'.
I was shaking with excitement and watched as he signed my books.  my hands literally trembling.
He then asked me if I had any questions I wanted to ask him. Before I got there I thought of some, and now I'm home again I can think of loads, but at that moment I stood there looking like a dazed fish going 'erm, er, well, er,...'
What an idiot! I should have written the questions down. My friend chimed in with one about movies, saving me from looking like a complete prat, he's looking at writing the movie script btw - how amazing is that - you know it will turn out fabulous if he writes the script. :D
I then stepped aside so my friend could get her book signed. We laughed a bit more but I can't remember what we were talking about. I tried to take a picture of them but my hand was still shaking, I got one on the 3rd attempt. (not posting here as I don't have her permission)
I then thanked him and told him about my blog. I hope he checks it out. If you have and you're reading this Derek - YOU ROCK! THANK YOU. :D

We then left, assuring Derek we will see him next year on his next book tour, shaking hands and waving at both Derek and the new people we had met in the line. Minions united for an afternoon!!!

We had actually got through and were leaving by 3.35, in reality it was quick but it felt longer at the time and was such a great experience. I thank Derek for starting early as it meant I had more time to get home just ahead of the traffic and according to the news, just ahead of an accident, saving me from being stuck in even worse traffic for hours!

On the drive home, we discussed our visit and the things we should have said and going over the things we did say, laughing at some of the memories. I got home and lovingly unpacked my book, looking over the signatures, showing them to my parents then lovingly placing them on their designated shelf. They look so pretty!

That's it, the summary of my day. If you read through all of that well done. Can you sense my excitement  - I'm still smiling. Derek was just so friendly and funny and I have a complete set of signed Skulduggery books! :D

His tour is still going, so if you're in the UK and want to meet him and get a book signed - even if it is the first book and you haven't read it yet, it's still worth it. Look up his tour dates here. I know he is in London tomorrow then Dublin after that, but check the details for times etc.
If you do go, tell him Becky aka. Barmy_Bex sent you!


Amber (Books of Amber) said...

It sounds like you had an amazing time, Becky! I've not read the Skullduggery Pleasant books yet, but I've been told by my brother's friends that they're fantastic! I love that you give them a huge recommendation, I'll put them on my list!

I love the pose! XD

barmybex said...

hehe, thanks Amber. I hope you enjoy them. They are definitely on my top 10 favourites list.


Unknown said...

Glad you had a great time! I met him on Monday at the Glasgow signing :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds so cool. I haven't read his books yet, but I can only imagine how nervous I would be meeting one of my favorite authors.

I love the pose, I think that's so funny that he'll only take pictures that way. It's very unique.

barmybex said...

hehe thanks. It was awesome!
Thanks it was funny seeing everyone doing the pose.

Megan Duncan said...

What in interesting and unusual series. I definitely wanna read the first one now!