relics_on meeting your heroes, book signings and why I sometimes shouldn’t be allowed out in public

Thankfully there were no rabid fans in Cleckheaton.

So, on Monday night (Sept 17th) I got to meet a literary hero of mine, Mr John Connolly. Author of the Charlie Parker novels, The Book of Lost Things and the Samuel Johnson books, he was speaking at an event at a Kirklees Library event at Cleckheaton Town Hall. I entered the Wrath of Angels contest on his site some months ago and was one of 11 winners, so I was very excited to meet the man himself (and so were the Boif and my good friend Sam).

As it turns he is much as I expected him to be, quick talking, witty and a little bit cheeky. He spoke for almost two hours on the subjects of writing, his influences, why as an Irish man he writes American crime mysteries, why the reading audience are not to be trusted and many other topics. It really was a very informative and entertaining discourse. (With the exception being the one guy in the audience who during the Q&A decided to ask Mr C if he would read and give pointers on his own book. Talk about a giant faux pas,even I felt embarrassed for the guy)

Being the giant geek that I am I decided weeks ago, that I was going to take my very old, very battered (and held together with tape) copy of Every Dead Thing for him to sign, as well as an A4 copy of my winning design for him to sign so I could frame it. While in the queue for books signing I was starting to get a bit giddy nervous, you know that feeling that simultaneously makes you feel like you are floating and also like you want the ground to swallow you up. It didn’t help that I had this song stuck in my head or that I kept singing it out loud, that I kept giggling nervously or that the Boif and Sam were staring at me intently.

Then we are at the front of the queue: the first thing he said to me before hello was “you look like someone I have to give money to” and then “so you’re Miss Farquharson” and produced a cheque with my prize money which was the first of a few surreal things to happen in under 5 minutes. He was so very complimentary about my design which was just amazing to hear! I mean, who doesn’t want to hear praise from the man who created the inspiration for you design. mind = blown / tongue = tied. I mean I really didn’t know what to say other than mumbling thank you (a lot). Then on producing both copies of the print he insisted that I sign his copy which was just crazytownbananapants! I also got a copy of the UK postcards which are beautiful.

So yeah, surreal and amazing evening in Cleckheaton of all places! I look forward to receiving my copy of Wrath of Angels next week!

The writing in my copy of Every Dead Thing says:

“To Emily,

In admiration
Thanks for the beautiful illustration

John Connolly”

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