I got to meet Neil Gaiman yesterday! Woot! He’s on his last book signing tour. He says it’s his last one because it’s no fun for anyone. After last night, I can see that. He has to sign so many books and people have to wait in line for hours.
I got to the venue an hour before the doors opened and there was already a very long line. We had to stand outside on an unusually hot day for Portland. Once we got inside, there was no air conditioning, though they did open the windows. As Neil joked several times, we were cooking. After a little music from an opening act, Neil did a reading from his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Then there was a Q&A and another reading from a book that will be released in September. He was reluctant to do the second reading because of the heat, but everyone wanted him to do it. He was very entertaining. It made me think I should “read” more audio books.
Next came the book signing. Each book that we received as we walked in had a piece of paper of a certain color with a certain shape on it, e.g. red circle or light green star. We were called up to get our books signed in groups based on that piece of paper. He said that 900 people were in attendance and someone in my group estimated that there were about 150 left when we were called. I was very tired and annoyed while waiting, but once we got called that all went away. Once it was my turn to talk to him, all I really did was tell him how much I loved American Gods. He was cool. I’m sure he’s used to it. I got an autograph for myself and for my friend John.
From the time I got in line until the time I left, about 5.5 hours had passed. It was worth it. They had pre-signed books in the back for those that didn’t want to wait for a personalized autograph. They kept reminding people of that though people who had waited that long probably weren’t going to take them up on it. I’m glad I waited. It’s not every day that you get to meet one of your favorite authors.