Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meeting Jasper Fforde

Well, a couple days later than I said I would post it, here is my story about me meeting one of my big heroes, Jasper Fforde. (There he is, right there! ^_^)

I'll start at the beginning. At first I counted on just Annette and me going alone to this event, since we'd both read all his books and were probably the only ones who cared about this guy. About a week before it came, my mom Shira showed some interest in it, but she was torn between coming with us and going to her women's circle with her friends. The night before though, I believe the leader of the group got sick, so Shira didn't have to go there after all, and she could come chaperon us. That was cool.

By the time the day arrived, the 14th, the Fforde book I'd ordered on Amazon had not come in yet (The Big Over-Easy for just 80 cents instead of buyingShades of Grey at the store for over $25). (The funny thing is that it didcome in today!) So I didn't have a book for Jasper to sign his autograph for me with. But I figured if I just brought my small notebook with me, he'd understand and sign for me anyway. I just hoped the people at the bookstore wouldn't stop me. It's kind of been my experience, when I've gone to Borders events in the past, that youmust buy the book that's being promoted or other books by the author, though I've easily gotten away with not doing that. I still wanted to do the right thing this time around though, but I didn't know what to expect, because it was a bookstore I've never been to before.

So we get there pretty easy a little after 7:00, and we find the event, only it wasn't what we expected at all. There were 3 authors sitting at a table and talking to people, and I didn't recognize any of them. An old guy said some pretty good stuff, but since he wasn't Jasper Fforde I didn't pay much attention. Later I discovered that this "old guy" was Richard Peck, and that name seemed to ring a bell for some reason. Today I found out that I'd actually read one of his books without knowing it. Invitations to the World. Well, it was a non-fiction book, so how was I supposed to know him? =P Anyway, they signed books too, but we didn't get their autographs. We asked the front desk if this was the place where Jasper Fforde would come. They said he was, but that event started at 8:00, not 7:00! I'd checked the wrong time. 0,o Oh well, at least we were extremely early. I was even able to get a front row seat. ^__^

So finally Jasper Fforde arrived, and he was just as I'd pictured him. ^_^ He seemed a little nervous at the podium (since I'm in Toastmasters, this was very obvious to me, but I secretly commended him for being up there at all), but he still made fabulous jokes and talked about his book and made everyone genuinely like him. What a sense of humor. He's a British author making a special tour through America for this book, and he claimed that he hadn't been to Miami since he was 4, so it was amazing to just be there with him. My mom took the Flip camera and actually took an almost 15 minute long movie of him talking. (What would we have done without her? ^_^) Then Annette took short movies of me asking Fforde a couple questions, followed by his answers. I was soooo proud of myself. At first I was nervous to ask him anything, but he was such a cool guy and took my questions seriously.

Finally he sat down to do the signing. I got a great spot in line, about 5th or 7th. The closest I've ever gotten to being first in line for something, I believe. Again I was nervous, wondering what would happen now. But my turn came and I briefly explained how I'd ordered his book but it hadn't arrived, so could he do me the honor of signing a paper out of my small notebook? Of course, he did it, and he also even signed a postcard that he'd been giving everybody as bookmarks, so I actually have two autographs of Jasper Fforde. Yay!

Looking back at this evening, I kind of remember that Mr. Fforde had a face and voice that reminded me strongly of Hugh Grant, but he had the charm and personality that I imagine James Dashner to have. I can't wait to meet him, but as of now I think this was the best and most memorable author meeting I've ever had.

(One funny thing more I'd like to add is that I still like this guy, even though I haven't read his books in at least 1 or 2 years! =P I forget most of the plots and particulars of each, but I remembered really liking them. And now I've started to read Shades of Grey, I'm a few chapters in, and I think it's his best book yet so far!)

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