- 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.