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!
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