Fan Event and Signing
16th June 2017
Although, I’ve attended a book signing before this was my first time experiencing a fan event for a book series, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Waterstones seemed to have already prepared by the time I arrived, having reserved the entire second floor of the store for the event, and attendees were sent to the third before to not block the staircase – their apparent fire exit… a little worrying.
However, upon entry attendees were ticked off a list and given a copy of the book before being instructed to sit down, where a temporary tattoo and badge was waiting for us. A sweet gift, which now resides on my jacket. The starting time was at 6pm, however, I’d advise anyone travelling to events such as these to plan secondary travel routes to prevent having to leave early, as there’s a chance it won’t keep to the schedule. In this case it didn’t, however, it gave me a chance to meet like-minded fans, who were all easy to get along with.
When Derek Landy arrived the initial talk began on the return of his beloved series Skullduggery Pleasant, and fans were given the chance to understand his creative mind and the decision he’s made from not only the tenth book, but throughout the series. During both the talk and fan Q&A, Landy made lighthearted jokes and entertained fans enough to feel equal in his presence. He seemed genuinely interested in the comments and questions being made around him and not once did I feel awkward or insecure during the event.
The most time consuming part of the event was the book signing afterwards, where Waterstones allowed a few rows to head to the back of the level to meet Derek Landy. I was situated in the centre of seating, meaning there was a few hours before I’d even moved from that place. However, after hearing of Landy’s interaction with each person he met, I didn’t mind waiting if it meant I’d have the chance to have a chat with him. ‘Hi’ and ‘bye’ signings are usually the most awkward. However, eventually I’d made it to the front of the queue and it was an amazing experience to meet someone I’ve admired since I was younger. After introducing myself, I admitted that he was my main inspiration to become a writer when I was young, and he seemed happy and genuinely interested in my future career. He was kind and welcoming, yet also extremely funny to speak to, making jokes and joining in with my own until we had a photo taken together. He told me where to stand and how to pose, which calmed all anxiety I had about the photo. He then asked if I had any questions, where I asked if Skullduggery Pleasant was the first full length book he’d worked on, which it was, and he gave me some advice on ‘false starts’ during writing before I left.
After such a pleasant interaction and interesting talk, I’d definitely consider attending more events such as this, and will take any chance to meet Derek Landy again.