Deb Linda’s Favorite Signings

Back on November 6, 2001, I met Diana Gabaldon in person for the first time. It was at a book signing for The Fiery Cross, and I couldn’t possibly have been more excited to finally come face to face with my writing hero.

Me and about *cough* four hundred other people. Yikes!


Borders (*sobs quietly at the loss*) handled the traffic very well, handing out “Guidelines for a bonny evening with Diana Gabaldon” with every copy of her book purchased. The line moved along at a leisurely pace, and it was pleasant to have so many fellow fans to discuss my favorite books with. She recognized my name from the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum, where there’s an entire section devoted to her books, and exchanged pleasantries with me.


(I don’t think babbled like an idiot, but I can’t swear to it.)





And what made the evening twice as nice was that it turned out to be a twofer. Signing alongside Diana, at Diana’s gracious invitation, was another Forum writer, Kathy Eschenburg. Her first book, The Nightingale’s Song, had recently been released. It was fantastic to meet another Forum friend face-to-face.






But if I’m honest, the biggest thrill I ever had at a book signing was when Diana asked me to autograph something I’d written.

It was at the Surrey International Writers Conference in 2005–my first writers conference. I went mostly because a lot of forumites go every year, and I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to meet so many of them at one time.

Before the conference, a few of the writers from the forum decided it would be a great idea if each of the forumites attending contributed a piece of writing to a chapbook, so we could all take one home as a souvenir. Thus was born:


The title comes from the longstanding Writers Forum tradition of “bigging,” a process wherein various members wheedle Diana into posting excerpts of her yet-to-published books. It tickled the rest of us to “big” each other into compiling the chapbook.

So we all emailed our bits to kc dyer (Canadian YA author extraordinaire), who bound them together and gave them to us at the Forum Par-tay (an annual tradition at the conference). Of course, we all had to sign everyone’s copy. And Diana had each of us sign hers, too.

That was totally surreal. Me, autographing a piece of my writing for Diana Gabaldon.

Geez, I hope I spelled my name right . . .

Do you have a favorite signing story?

Is there an author you would hop around naked on one foot and yodel Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for a chance to meet? Or at least stand in line for two or three hours to get a book signed? Do spill!

28 Replies to “Deb Linda’s Favorite Signings”

  1. Wow, great story!
    I actually just told my story yesterday, but it was a different blog, so here goes:
    I went to have a book signed by JR Ward last spring, thinking I would show up a few minutes before the signing started, and then run my son to his prom date’s house to catch the limo. This was at a bookstore about an hour from my house. No biggie…quick in, quick out.
    HAH! Me and four thousand million other fans!
    I got in line (ticket number 432) behind a nice couple, and we started chatting, while my son paced anxiously throughout the bookstore. As the signing started, it was very clear I was not going to be able to stay there to get my book signed. After I bought the hard copy at the bookstore, even though I already had it on my Kindle!
    So. Turns out, this nice couple in front of me? The live like half a mile from me. I gave them my phone number, they took my book, had it signed, and brought it home to me! So I didn’t get to see the Warden of the Black Dagger Brotherhood up close, but I still got her skin cells on the front page of my book, AND I made new friends.

    1. Aw, thanks. I haven’t been to all that many signings for famous authors, so I had to go back a ways.

      If I’m ever in a book store and see a new, unknown author doing a signing, I’ll always go up and talk. And buy his/her book. I’m hoping some kind reader will do the same for me in the future–book karma, or something. πŸ˜‰

  2. that IS one cool story. i don’t have a good one because i’ve only recently started going to them. meeting suzanne collins was surreal and, as usual, i turn into a mute idiot when faced with celebrity. i mean, how do you say something normal to the woman whose book you’ve read 10 times? i never thought saying “your book changed my writing life” would be a tongue twister, but it was, and all that came out was “i liked it.” *headdesk*

  3. Wait, you mean it’s *abnormal* to hop around naked on one foot while yodelling “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Aw, man…

    Up here in Cowtown, we don’t get many big-name authors passing through, so I’ve never been to a book-signing. I just stalk my favourite authors on the internet, which isn’t nearly as satisfying.

  4. Wow! That sounds like so much fun! I had Joe Hill make fun of my hair at a signing once, but I don’t think it was nearly as awesome as sharing chit-chat with Diana Gabaldon.

  5. Aww, you were at Surrey? I’ve only gone the past four years so I wasn’t there in 2005. You have to let me know if you go again! Wonderful place to hang out with fellow writers. I’m lucky to live next to the home of Powells Books, so lots of wonderful writers come through for signings. I’ve gotten to meet Lois McMaster Bujold, Mercedes Lackey, Tawna Fenske, Ken Scholes, JA Pitts, and Gail Carriger. At Surrey, I get to meet the writers first, then hurry home to buy their books!

    1. I’m considering going this year, if things aren’t too crazy around then. Probably won’t decide until closer to summer, though. I’ll look for you there if I do decide to go. I’ll be the one trying to shove a copy of my book into everyone’s hands. πŸ˜‰

  6. I live miles from nowhere so it takes major work on my part to get to a signing. I’ve only done it once so far. Big sigh. I met Jennifer Crusie. And she, too, recognized me from comments on her forum. I even have a pic with her.
    I’m also very proud of my email signings via winning books from Erica Marks, Tawna Fenske and Lucy March.
    My second favorite, however, would have to be when I wrote a post about one of Melissa Senate’s books and she commented on my blog to say thank you and offered to send me another one of her books signed.
    Gee for someone who lives miles from nowhere I’m doing pretty good with the signed books.

    1. You ARE doing well for yourself! Bet it was fun to meet Jennifer Crusie. I adore her books–they’re so funny, and her characters are so quirky and original. I want to be her when I grow up.

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