A Day in the life of a book signing 6th September 2012
I woke up very excited on the morning of the 6th September thinking OMG today is the day, my first ever book signing and it is the amazing EL James the Author of the Fifty Shades trilogy!
I have been a fan girl of EL James since I read Fifty Shade of Grey last year. I remember reading it and thinking oh…what did I just read? I had never read anything like it but I knew immediately that I loved it….umm loved Christian, not going to lie!
No one I knew around me had read it and when I told people about it they said why would you want to read porn? Yeah, true story! This is where I found some fab internet buddies who didn’t judge me for why I loved this book, they had read it themselves and understood why I was excited about this series and the Author, because they felt the same. (Oh and isn’t karma great, the judgers jumped the bandwagon this summer and Mr. Grey is ALL they talk about…yeah I told you!!!)
I had the honour of being chosen to ask EL James some questions in a Google Hangout with Random House this year. I was so nervous…and in true form of what is my trademark ‘Gitte cock up’s’ I nearly blew this amazing experience when my laptop shut itself down halfway through, before I had even gotten to ask any questions. However, I got there in the end and although I already had a feeling EL James was a lovely sweet and funny lady, this interview cemented it! It raised her in my fan girl estimation!
So to say I was excited when today came around and I’d get to meet her in person well that for sure is an understatement!
I had all contingencies planned, the kids were sorted, even Molly dog was planned for cause this time I wanted nothing to go wrong! As I sat on the train at 12pm I thought YAY I have loads of time, the signing isn’t till 6.30 pm and I can fit a bit of shopping in and go for lunch somewhere nice. (Yeah rookie mistake as it turns out!) Even though I live just outside London, I actually don’t go in that often so it was a treat, especially as I was child-less for the day! So I am sitting there, reading on my kindle uninterrupted when I decide to check my phone to see if there are any tweets about the signing. This is where my rookie mistake became apparent. Apparently people have been queuing since 7am, in their deck chairs no less. Ooops…suddenly the train couldn’t go quick enough for me and I sprinted off it as soon as we got into Paddington! I jumped on the tube to Piccadilly and found Waterstones where the signing was taking place. Yep, there were ladies in camping chairs and the queue looked quite long already! I’d had nothing to eat yet because I’d been rushing around sorting everyone out and I REALLY needed coffee! But I decided that THIS was more important so I got my books, joined the queue, got my ticket and with a deep breath realised that I would be standing here for 5 and a half hours!!
These hours actually didn’t drag. I met some lovely people that day, they were funny and they loved books. Seriously PERFECT, oh and our spot in the queue was right next to a Costa Coffee…so caffeine, cookies and a place to you know…SORTED!
Everyone in the queue had their books out and were reading Fifty for the umpteenth time, I decided to walk the line (yes the lovely Sam, Gina and Lou saved my spot!) taking photos, talking to people and they all said pretty much the same thing: “Fifty changed my life”: “EL James rekindled my love for books and reading”, “my hubby and I have sex again we make time” (can I say sex? Or do I need to say “special cuddles”?). “EL James made me want to write again”, “she made me feel alive through her books”…..the accolades went on and on. It really was quite amazing how these ladies AND men had been affected by these books! The main talk in the queue was who could possibly play Christian. The overall consensus was Matt Bomer, Ian Sommerhalder or Alexander Skarsgard. No one really had an opinion on Ana except she had to be young, sweet and innocent looking; the only name that came up was Emma Watson.
So yes, there were men too in this line with their books, and I APPLAUD them. It got hairy at times as people walked past shaking their heads or voicing their disapproval…so it made me proud when they got no reaction except a wink or a smile, oh and a few lines of “I have sex now do you?”
There was a bit of a lull at one stage in the line, about 2 hours left to go, so I decided to try and get them all excited again. I got my new friend Sam to go with me to the central reservation in the road and I whistled really loud (one of the only skills I have that I call my super power…I have a VERY loud whistle!!) I shouted across to them: “Who wants to be famous for loving Christian? Hold up your book and screeeeaaaam”…and they did!! Yeah I loved them for it, I took a photo and wish I could have gotten the whole queue in but as it snaked round the corner down a smelly alley that was not to be L !! Oh and I may have almost shocked a cyclist off his bike…oops!
The next form of entertainment was a TV crew walking down the line asking for couples to join their reality TV show. A stay at a retreat where they would be filmed with a sex therapist for problems with their sex lives! I was quite surprised when a lot of people said yes and gave their details. Brave! There were no inhibitions no embarrassment, I wonder if this is down to the Fifty phenomenon or purely the lure of having the 5 minutes of fame? I’m not sure…maybe a bit of both.
Okay, so at 6.30 almost on the dot our part of the queue got called in and we got moved into the room EL James was signing in. The flashes from the press were blinding, the classical music was playing and there was a hush of excitement until the Lady herself walked out and people cheered and wolf whistled at her. Now I am a short arse at 5 foot 2 so I couldn’t see her at first, but I felt as excited as if I was at a gig when the band comes out. Yes, Authors are my Rock Stars, they really are!! I actually got the shakes and when it was my turn to walk up to the desk I became my usual shy and mumbling self. That is until EL James looked at me and said “Ah it’s Facebook Gitte…” I burst out laughing and even mentioned my google hangout cock up…never got any of my questions out to ask her cause I rambled about everything but what I had meant to. Such is life and those few moments made the 5 + hours of waiting and sore feet worth it. They really did! My hubby took me out for a meal afterwards and I clutched my bag of signed books to my chest all the way home on the train!!