I have been to a few book signings but never for Brad Meltzer. The guy is one of my favorite authors and it was a perfect opportunity to meet him and talk to him and you know...stalk him.
I arrived a little early and staked out my seat in the middle of the goup of folding chairs the book store had set up in front of a podium. I did not want to be too close to the front because then I would seem too eager, too dorkish. I did not want to be too far back because I did not want to seem like I was not interested. My seat was perfect.
I met a lovely couple, John and Joanne, who were there to get a book signed for their son Dennis. They were not fans of Brad but were willing to muddle through the event for their son. I chatted with them for a bit before Brad arrived.
Brad spoke for about 30 minutes about his book, his writing, his television projects and comics. He was very funny. Joanne and John seemed like they were entertained. I did not see too many people there taking pictures so I was not sure if I would look like the biggest dork in the world if I started snapping photos. When Brad sat down to sign some books I decided to sneak some pictures in.
That is him there signing away.
The above picture was so I could have a picture of Brad and me together in case they were not going to allow it. I stood in line for about 10 minutes trying to come up with something witty to say but I knew that once I started talking I would sound like Chris Farley interviewing Paul Mc Cartney. Again Iwanted to avoid the whole dorkishiness.
When I got to the table I said hello as Brad asked me if I wanted to have the book personalized.
"I'm Bill, from Poop and Boogies." I said.
Brad jumped up from the table. "I am so glad to meet you." He said. "Thanks so much for coming tonight. Give me a hug."
He hugged me and said. "I really love your blog."
Then we chatted for a few minutes and I do not remember what he said after that,because I could not get past the fact that he told me that he loved my blog.
I aksed him if I could take a stalker picture with him and he said of course. He thanked me for the review and again for attending the signing.
I was relieved. I was not a dork at all. I did not embarrass myself.
The Book of Lies is now #2 on the New York Times best Seller list. Do you know where it was on the list before my review? It wasn't. I like to think that my review boosted his book to the number 2 position. Poop and Boogies bumped his sales up.
I hung out for a while after and listened to other people talk about his books and I listened to his responses. He was genuinely gracious and appreciative of every person there. He was also very, very funny. I was enjoying listening to him crack jokes. Then, I realized that I was the only one sitting there besides Brad's friends and family. I suddenly felt quite awkward and weird. I was the only person there that was not part of his group. Should I just get up and leave? No, that would be strange, like why was I just hanging out and then get up and bolt out of there? Should I say something else to him? No that would seem waaay too stalker-ish. I was stuck. His friends were kind of giving each other looks, but referring to me, like "yo what's up with this dude?"
I sensed the complete awkwardness of the entire moment. I stood up and shook Brad Meltzer's hand and I left.
All the efforts I took to avoid me being a total dork...gone.