I’ve had the most amazing Tuesday – no, work was stressful and harried, as usual. The commute has and will always be a bit fraught. But all the ickiness of the day fades away when I think about how I met one of my literary heroes today. The encounter was fleeting but I have a photograph as a memento.
I’ve adored the All Souls’ Trilogy, this trio of books about a witch and a vampire, how they go against all odds to fight for their relationship. There’s a bit of historical fiction, there’s a lot of talk about love and relationships, and there’s a lot of the supernatural. But I loved the books. I love how the stories unfolded and how all the things seemed to really come together and how all loose ends were tied up in the last of the three books. I thought the writing was brilliant — and that brilliant writer is Deborah Harkness, an American history professor. I love her books because the historical bits were believable and the fiction was weaved wonderfully with what was factual. While the melding of fact and fiction was seamless, I thought it gave credit to the reader, I thought the stories didn’t take it for granted that the reader wouldn’t know which part was written for the story and which part was historical and helped set the scene for the story.
I’ve read the books several times now and I follow Deborah Harkness on Twitter. Nothing a fan girl wouldn’t do hey? I’m quite pleased to say that I’ve gone a bit further than that. I’ve actually met one of my literary heroes! She had a book signing event in Chelmsford and I really couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. I had to meet her!
It was quite nice waiting. I eagerly got there 30 minutes before the event started and expected a huge queue because a lot of people said they were excited she was coming. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t such a queue at the time – but on the flip side, I was second in line so I was a happy bunny. It was also really nice to be able to chat to other people who enjoyed the books as much as I did!
When Deborah Harkness arrived, she said a cheery hello and told us she’d be right with us, that she just needed some peppermint tea. It reminded me of how much Diana, the heroine of the trilogy, loved strong, almost greasy tea. Always made me smile because I love strong Yorkshire tea over Earl Grey or English Breakfast.
When DH got settled, she chatted pleasantly to everyone who came and signed all the books that people brought to the table. I cheekily asked for a photo and she said, “Of course! By all means, this is why I’m here!”
She signed all my books and they will sit very proudly on my shelf! I am a VERY happy fan girl!