12 May 2010

My Evening with Brad

Two days ago, Kirsten and I trekked out to the wilds of West Chester to visit the Chester County Bookstore so I could (at long last) meet my favourite author. For those of you who might have missed this post or this post or my numerous Twitters or Google Reader posts about it, Brad Meltzer not only released his newest book, Heroes for my Son, yesterday, but he kicked off his book tour in Philadelphia (well, the Philly area) on Monday.

And, although all of his book tours have included Philly, I've never been inclined to go all the way out to West Chester to go see him. First, it really isn't that close. Second, it's not that fun to go to something like that alone (at least, to me). Third, it's kind of daunting to meet someone who you've come to like, admire, adore, etc., THIS MUCH.

I mean, this is a guy who, when his mother died, his wife sent all his all of us the eulogy he gave at the funeral. Because he considers his fans not fans, but extended family. This is a guy who lets us vote on his book titles because after writing all of that, he just can't decide. This is one of VERY few authors whose books I make sure to grab in hardcover. This is a guy, who, when I recommend him, I don't loan my books out, I will just buy you his damned book and tell you to read it. Because I believe THAT MUCH that you will love it (also, if you lost it - or dropped it in the toilet and gave it back to me (yes, that really happened to me once, and no, that person and I are no longer friends) I'd have to poke you with dpns). And as I'm doing my book purge, he was the VERY first one that I made sure went in the "DO NOT SELL" bookshelf.

In short, if he turned out to be a douchebag in person, I would be shattered. Utterly gutted.

We enjoyed supper at the Magnolia Grill, the full-service restaurant located within the bookstore. The food was VERY good, and we both took home PLENTY of leftovers, but it probably would have been better had I not been busy worrying that Meltzer might not live up to my expectations. See, this is the problem with meeting your idols. It's just nerve-wracking. And stomach-wrenching.

Finally, the time for the reading came and we sat down (a bit early, but I reminded Kirsten that those of us who are only 4'6" get a bit antsy about getting good seats near the front. Btw, Kirsten, thanks for enduring the blinding sun!). Brad arrived and the good times began. He was funny and smart and engaging and witty and... *sigh* All of my fears and worries were for naught.

He spoke, then did a reading from his book. He opened it up for the Q&A, and when a 9-year-old asked which one of the heroes in the book was his favourite, Brad had the kid come up and read the passage to the room. He welcomed questions about any of his books, his graphic novels (he writes The Justice League graphic novels for DC Comics, as well as Buffy comics for Joss Whedon), and his television show (he created/wrote the now-cancelled "Jack & Bobby" for the now defunct WB and has a new series coming out on The History Channel called "Brad Meltzer's Decoded" - and he's promised secret decoder rings!!!!).

After, he did the signings. I had brought my camera, as well as my hardcover of "The Tenth Justice," which was his first novel. I brought that book because it was by his first publisher who is no longer in business, and I wanted him to see that I really had been a fan of his from the very beginning (I'd told him that in my first email to him, and his reply was "a fan since The Tenth Justice in hardback? That makes you family!"). I was hoping that he would be willing to sign that as well as signing "Heroes for my Son." He was:

And I hoped maybe, just possibly, he would pose for a picture, too (not only did he pose for the pic, when Kirsten snapped it, and she said, "Oh, it's blurry," he said, "Oh, we can't have blurry!" and he patiently waited while she took another one. Then he used HIS camera to take a pic of Kirsten and me for his records!).

So, remember when I said the readers vote on his book titles? He mentioned that his wife had voted for "50 Heroes for my Son" and I shouted out "SO DID I!" and he pointed to me and said, "So did she, so she lost, too." And he said for anyone who wanted, he would add "50" to the title of the book. (For the record, I've lost in the last TWO book title votes now. Yay me.) He kept his word:

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is AWESOME!! I am so glad he turned out to be cool.

    I guess I'll have to look for him next time I hit the library.