Chapter I: In which our hero says, “uhm” to a famous author

WintersmithI’m really not much of a reader of books. In fact, there is only one author I will read religiously – Terry Pratchett. And last night, I finally managed to catch one of his book tour stops.

It took place in a small bookstore here in Connecticut, and there probably weren’t more than 30 people there. There were several small children in the 2-3 age range, as well (TP: “I imagine most of the [young] kids are here because their parents are fans.”). Fortunately, it was a kids and young adults bookstore, because most of the younger set wouldn’t sit still for the talk and Q&A.

Although, I must say, despite throwing a fit for most of the drive there, my daughter was very well behaved and probably the quietest of the youngest set. Of course, she was probably the oldest of the youngest. I’m still proud of her.

We even practice her saying her name so he could sign a book to her, and practiced saying, “thank you!” But in the end, she wasn’t patient enough to wait in line and ran off to look at more books.

For those of you unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett, I’ll talk more after the jump.

Much like The Tragically Hip are huge in Canada, but has only a relatively small following here in the States, Terry Pratchett is huge in the UK, but seems to have a smaller, but dedicated following here in the US.

He’s mostly a writer for adults (I highly recommend his Discworld series), but has, especially lately, written for a younger audience. While my daughter is still too young, for those of you kids a little older, there is the Tiffany Aching series (A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and one future book). There is also the Johnny Maxwell trilogy (which I have not actually read yet – Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny and the Dead, and Johnny and the Bomb). The Bromeliad Trilogy (Truckers, Diggers and Wings) which, I believe, is being done as a CG movie, is a fun read. Finally, there is The Wee Free Men. Althought they are all recommended for younger audiences, they can easily be enjoyed by adults, as well.

Last night, he touched on new developments (a Hogfather movie in the UK, Sam Raimi working on a movie version of Wee Free Men after he finished up Spiderman 3), as well as winning the Carnegie Book award (apparently the medal is filled with chocolate, or so he likes to fool people into believing, and is one of the few US-based award where non-Americans can win, “because otherwise, we Brits would win them all”) .

He answered a question from the younger set about how he came up with the idea for Death (TP: “actually, he’s been around for quite some time”), and finally a question about how he got started writing, in which he recounted meeting some contemporary authors when he was younger and seeing they were “just these guys, these normal guys”.

With that last thought in mind, I queued up to get my books signed, listening in to his discussions with others and his thoughts on Earl Grey tea (TP: “Earl Grey tea is for people who don’t like the taste of tea.”). So, I get up to the front with my two books and I think I came off looking and sounding like an idiot, and saying, “uhm” a lot.

But overall, it was fun to meet an author whose books you’ve enjoyed reading for many years. My daughter got to bed a little late, but I don’t think she minded that a bit.

[Kaz: Just a note - some of these quotes may differ slightly from his exact words, but I didn't twist the meaning of any of them, nor have I tried to take anything out of context]

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One Response to Chapter I: In which our hero says, “uhm” to a famous author

  1. Rob says:

    My brother in law, Picasso, loves the The Hip. He and I drove 1200 miles to see them at the Austin City Limits Fest.

    I don’t know Terry Prachett’s work (but I’ll definitely check it out) but I have had similar experiences meeting authors and other famous folks.

    A while back I met Dave Schools (a bassist for Widespread Panic) in a semi-social type setting. I am not a Panic fan, so I didn’t appreciate his ‘importance’ in the jam band world.

    I Talked to the guy about this and that, really easy going, shook his hand and parted ways. Needless to say, I had no problem talking to him.

    Now, if it had been someone I was aware of, I would have been a tongue-tied goober.

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