Monday, October 18, 2010

The Fabulous Diana Gabaldon

Yesterday I got the chance to do something that I've wanted to do for a long, loooooong time. I met the wonderful, luminous, gorgeous, funny, brilliant author of the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon, at the WV Book Festival in Charleston, WV!
See, told you she was gorgeous!  

She is one of my favorite authors and the only one that I insist that I have the hardcover editions of her books. I have to have them as soon as they come out. It killed me that I had to wait a week for The Exile because Borders sold out.

Seán and Zara dropped me off at the Civic Center at 11:45, which gave me plenty of time to shop at the used book sale before Ms. Gabaldon's talk at 2:00. It was only when I was standing in line after they drove off that I realized I had forgotten my cell phone. I had no way to contact Seán to let him know when to pick me up. I also had no way of knowing when 2:00 rolled around. I don't wear a watch. This was the first time I've ever regretted that. I really had no reason to worry. There were plenty of super-nice people around who didn't seem to mind that I was bugging them about the time.

Sometime around 1:00 I noticed people had started to line up for her talk, so I got in line, too. I'm so glad I did because about 15 minutes later people were lined up all the way out the hall door into the lobby.  When Diana Gabaldon walked by she made eye contact with me, smiled, and waved. I, of course, smiled and waved back, but inside I was dying! It was just like the Beatles had walked by. Or Meryl Streep. Or Oprah.

Seán and Zara dropped by to check on me, thank goodness! Seán took my big box of books that I had been dragging around (and broke two fingernails on) and put them in the car for me. He's so awesome! About 10 minutes 'til 2:00 we were allowed into the room. Ms. Gabaldon walked around the room so people could take photos and say hello.
Diana Gabaldon before the talk.
Diana Gabaldon keeping her audience in stitches.
I'll be the first to admit it, I have an exceedingly short attention span. I had absolutely no problems keeping alert and paying attention to her speech. She was so incredibly funny and fascinating. The whole audience was roaring with laughter all the way through it.

After her speech, some excerpts from her upcoming installment of the Outlander series, and a question-and-answer session, we all went to the North Hall to stand in line for autographs. I was closer to the front than most people and I had an hour and a half wait. Seán and Zara came back and waited with me. Remember when I said he was awesome? He bought me a giant pretzel and a bottle of water. I'm nominating him for sainthood.
Zara waiting patiently in line.

When it was my turn to get my book autographed, I went into slightly-crazed fan mode. I said something along the lines of, "I love your work so much and thank you for coming here! Oh my gosh, you are so pretty! I expected your photo on your books to be photoshopped, but they're not! You look amazing!" Yeah, I was crazy...and so nervous I couldn't feel my toes. I'm so not cool.

Diana Gabaldon's graphic novel The Exile.

My most prized possession.
Diana Gabaldon was so sweet. She smiled, said thank you, and didn't call security on me. And I will be forever thankful for that.

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