Thursday, October 11, 2007

Booking Through Thursday Live and In-Person




  • Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Gotten their autograph?

  • How about an author you felt only so-so about, but got their autograph anyway? Like, say, at a book-signing a friend dragged you to?

  • How about stumbling across a book signing or reading and being so captivated, you bought the book?

I’m normally far too shy to ask anyone for their autograph, especially if it was one of my favourite authors. I certainly wouldn’t ask an author I only felt “so-so” about for an autograph. It’s all a bit too embarrassing.

BUT I did do it once. I went to a talk Adrian Plass gave at a local church. Adrian Plass writes really funny books about Christianity and he’s even funnier in person. A link to his website is here. He’s written many books, perhaps the most well known is The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass aged 37 1/2 and I think my favourite book is Alien at St Wilfred’s. He had the whole church in hysterics and I was laughing so much that tears were running down my face. I can’t remember any other time when I have laughed so I cried – my face was aching. He hardly ever cracked a smile and delivered his talk in such a deadpan way that made it even funnier.

The talk was called An Evening of Serious Stuff with Adrian Plass. We have it on video, but I can't find it on Amazon now. He started off as though he were a vicar giving the church notices. One was about opening the Side Chapel of the church – the key to the chapel is on a hook in the junction box outside the vestry door – the key to the junction box is in the tall cupboard at the back of the church – the key to the tall cupboard is in the robing chest, which is outside the vestry door under the junction box – the key to the robing chest is held by Mr Dumpney – who has kindly made it available on certain days of the month … It’s much more funny when he says it than when I write it down, believe me.

At the end of the talk his books were on sale and he was signing copies if you wanted him to. Very nervously I joined the queue and when it was my turn and he asked my name I chickened out and said the book I'd bought, A Smile on the Face of God, the biography of Philip Ilott , was for my husband, so he wrote my husband’s name on the title page and signed it “To D … God bless, A Plass”. I wish now I’d been brave enough to admit it was for me really, although my husband likes his books as much as I do.

We were at my friend's Ordination Service in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford recently and when the Bishop of Oxford read the notices we were both reminded of Adrian Plass's talk - it made us chuckle, inwardly. It wasn't the same of course.

8 comments:

GeraniumCat said...

I know just what you mean about the embarrassment. At a couple of book signings I asked for the books to be signed for my younger son, who wasn't able to be there. When I went to a Douglas Coupland reading (he's a favourite author) I just left when it finished. What would I have said to him?

I liked the story about the key! I'll look at the website.

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts said...

I had never heard of him, but I clicked on the link to his web site and watched a few of the videos there. Now I am wanting to read his books!

I get shy and nervous at the thought of meeting authors, too.

gautami tripathy said...

That nervousness is normal I think. I too feel the same way about authors. What do say to them whem you meet them?

Melody said...

I know what you mean. I'll be very nervous if I've the chance to meet my favourite authors too!

cj said...

Plass sounds interesting and I love authors who can make you laugh like that.

Thanks for stopping by my place.

cjh

BooksPlease said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets embarrassed.

Dorothy W. said...

Oh, I'd be very nervous too. It's easier for me when an author does a formal book signing where everybody lines up, but to approach someone out of the blue and ask for an autograph? I don't think so.

alisonwonderland said...

great story!

i'd get really tongue-tied to try to have an actual conversation with an author, but i've done okay asking a few to sign their books for me. :)