Tuesday, June 19, 2007

me and JC

Longtime readers of this humble blog know that I have a serious thing for Irish author John Connolly. I first became acquainted with his work in the summer of 2001, when I found a copy of Dark Hollow at the library. I was hooked, and vowed to immediately read everything else he’d ever written…which wasn’t too hard, because at that point, he’d only published one other book.

At any rate, there’s a small independent bookstore not too far from the Merry Mansion, and whenever John is on tour, he stops by there to sign books. I’ve gone to see him three times, and I was always charmed by his easygoing manner, sense of humor, and that accent. Christ, it’s like a perfectly chilled shot of Bailey’s!


Er, where was I? Ah, yes. Anyway, since he had a new book out, I figured I’d check his webpage periodically to see if he was coming to town again. Sure enough, he was, and yesterday I gleefully tucked my copy of The Unquiet under my arm and sped off to the bookstore.

And as expected, he was just as engrossing and witty as ever. He talked about his inspiration for The Unquiet, went off on a couple of amusing tangents, and then took a few questions from the audience before sitting down to sign books.

When I got to the front of the line, John said, “Oh, hello! Good to see you again; I missed you last time.”

Now, I don’t know how on earth he manages to remember me each time. Maybe it’s because I gave him a CD the first time, or maybe he just has an incredible memory, but either way, it gives me a serious case of happy.

“Well, the last time you were in town, I was in the process of moving and it totally slipped my mind.”

He put down his pen and stared at me. “My goodness! I don’t know that I can forgive you for that.”

“Sorry,” I said sheepishly. “But I’m moving again, and I remembered THIS time!”

“All right, then, I suppose I’ll let it slide.” He signed my book and shook my hand, and I mustered up the courage to ask him for something I’d wanted for years.

“Um, if you wouldn’t mind too much, could I maybe get a picture with you?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said, standing up. I asked the guy behind me if he would take a picture of us, and I handed him my cell phone. John put his arm around my shoulders, and I was so flustered that I lost my footing and banged into him and almost sent him backwards into a freakin’ bookshelf.

“Whoa!” he said, righting himself.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” I gasped.

Jesus, can you imagine the headlines? “Bestselling Author Suffers Traumatic Career-Ending Head Injury at Hands of Clumsy Fan”.

Anyway, the picture was taken and I thanked him profusely, and then I went out to my car and read what he’d written:

“To [C], Thanks for coming again…and for not forgetting this time! Big hugs, John Connolly”

He is, truly, the win.

(Muchos merci to my friend Susan for her assistance with blurring out my overly shiny, somewhat psychotic-looking mug)

EDIT: Oh my god, NOW look what she sent me!