It was an odd sequence of events that led to me meeting one of my all time favourite rockstar authors. For starters, the wonderful Cindy ignited a spark of curiosity in me after relaying some of her author signing experiences. Secondly, an advert for Trudi Canavan’s new Facebook page just happened to pop up as a suggestion on my sidebar. I don’t tend to spend a lot of time on Facebook and rarely if ever like pages, yet for a reason that still eludes me, I clicked the link to discover a status stating Trudi was going to be in London for a signing! Thirdly, I had recently vowed to spend more time outside of my work filled Hobbit hole in order to investigate more of London. I don’t believe in fate, but it did almost seem as if the universe aligned. 🙂 After finding out the information I proceeded to text one of my best budds, an enthusiastic fangirl and native Londoner (and therefore my first port of call for all things London) to find out if she knew the area. Though she had no clue who Trudi Canavan was, she squealed along with me as if it was the best discovery in the world and offered to go with me to my first ever book signing, for which I will be eternally grateful, I would have been too scared to go on my own!
For anyone who does not know, Trudi Canavan is an author of several high fantasy series, The Black Magician Trilogy, The Age of Five Trilogy and The Traitor Spy Trilogy. Each whisks you away into a unique world full of magic battles and power struggles. I have followed her work religiously since the age of fifteen. 😀
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I set out for the train station on a bright and crisp October morning full of apprehension. As it was my first signing I had no idea what to expect about the setup or protocol. I was terrified of not getting there early enough and missing out altogether as the signing only lasted one hour! I tapped my feet, jiggled my legs, and bobbed my head impatiently to an invisible beat throughout the train journey. I greeted my friend with what was probably an overenthusiastic bear hug and we hopped on the tube to our destination. As we walked along the London streets getting closer to the signing I felt as if my entire body was buzzing, I had never felt so aware of the ground under my feet, the wind brushing my hair and the rustle of my clothes as I moved. The world suddenly seemed so bright, full of rich colours. It was as if my body went into overload from the adrenaline, and I was taking in the details of everything around me.
We reached Forbidden Planet and joined a small queue, which slowly built until it stretched all the way down the street. When the doors were finally opened a high pitched squeal escaped from my lips as we were ferried down to the bottom level of the store, where we formed another queue and were left with our festering thoughts for half an hour or so. Nervous chatter was exchanged back and forth with my friend, and we soon became acquainted with two other passionate Canavan fans in front of us. We bonded in that bizarre way you can only do with strangers when suspended in a weird moment in time, discussing our favourite characters, fandoms and our love for The Hunger Games and The Hobbit. We were all as fidgety and agitated as each other, nervous and unsure of ourselves. When Trudi arrived a ripple of conversation covered the crowd. As I was only ten people from the front I didn’t have to wait long. I watched my new acquaintances go through the motions, then my friend until I found myself right in front of the lady herself. I stumbled over to the desk sitting down with trembling hands…and went completely BLANK. It was as if somebody had hoovered up all the thoughts in my brain. For a while I just sat there staring at her, trying desperately to claw around the corners of my head for something, anything! Eventually I managed to string a few nervous sentences together. I told her I loved her work, had all her books and that they now filled almost one entire shelf of my bookcase. Trudi told me that it was really wonderful to hear, and that no matter how many times a fan tells her they enjoyed her books it doesn’t wear off or grow tiresome. I was kinda just glad she was able to interpret a word I said, lol! She also talked quietly so I really had to strain to hear what she was saying, at least I wasn’t the only shy one, teehee. Then before I knew what was happening she had signed my books, offered me a free bookmark and it was time to move on. It seemed to all happen within a blink of an eye, but it was epic. 😀
I was so dazed afterwards that I felt I was walking around in a trance. I kept pondering everything over and over again, trying to cement as much as I could in my memory for safekeeping. Every five minutes I found myself murmuring whoa, or wow out loud, as if speaking it would make it feel more real.
Afterwards my friend and I wandered trying to decide where we would eat. We settled on the pretty and stylish Café Rouge. Now, I do not normally get all that excited about food, the majority of the time I see it as a necessity rather than a big event. However, this food at the time felt like the best meal I had ever had the pleasure of eating! I ordered steak and chips, something I never normally have because of the expense but whoa, I felt like I was in heaven! I don’t know if it was because of the adrenaline, the actual food or all the naff student meals I had been consuming but it tasted absolutely brilliant. So I snapped a picture just for you. 🙂
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It still seems surreal to think about meeting Trudi Canavan even now, and if I didn’t have the signed books to prove it I would think it was all a dream. It’s strange to think I was sitting in front of the clever mind that came up with all those stories and brought those characters alive. Have you ever been to a book signing? If so, who did you go to see for your first one, were you just as nervous as me? And if you haven’t, which author would you like to meet if you could? 🙂
All my own, please do not reuse.