mutantenemy: (charmed::fangirl)
March 31, 2010

The time is 4:30pm, two and a half hours before Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson Series, arrives at my local Powells Books. I come ready with knitting basket in hand, to knit and purl and ssk the minutes away while I wait. Patiently. Earnestly.

Strolling through the double doors, my eyes immediately fall upon vibrant book covers. Book covers with the titles, "SILVER BORNE" scrawled across them. I practically scream of pure geekdom within the stacks as I grab a copy and hug it like a precious, fluffy kitten. People stare. I blush. I suppose my suave decorum could only last for so long. Hey, I tried.

Fortunately, I was not alone. Huddled with the comfy chairs were other fans, some of whom I had seen last week for the Cherie Priest signing, and they were waving me over. We chatted, we knitted, and I kept my eagerness to dive into the new novel at bay. "When I get home, I'll start reading it," I promised myself.


At 6PM, Powells employees were setting the stage and unfolding the chairs. Because of our preparedness (or overzelousness, which ever you prefer), the early birds were able to snag the front row. Minutes ticked away as I counted the rows in my shawl pattern and searched in my bag for my measuring tape. I was curious as to how many people would show up. Every reading I've been to, the numbers have always been unpredictable. Twenty? Fifty? Five hundred? I also find it humbling and cool to peer upon the guest author's face as they survey the crowd, jaw a bit slacken, and say in awe, "Wow. There are so many of you here." Not once are they grumpy because not enough readers showed up, they are always surprised people actually like their books.

Patricia Briggs was no different. )
mutantenemy: (humour::take it to 11)
There are ebbs and flows, mountains and valleys, dry spells and monsoons in one's life, but it definitely correlates to my social life as of recently.

I am not one who needs company 24/7. I don't need to be in constant contact with anyone. I can be perfectly happy entertaining myself by going to the zoo on my own, knitting in a coffee shop, or checking out the latest Tim Burton flick-a-roo. Ever since I was a kid, playing in my room brought me the greatest satisfaction because I only had me and my imagination to keep me from getting bored.

However....this does not mean I am a lone wolf or despise human contact. Quite the contrary. The only thing human I despise is undiluted stupidity / ignorance / over-inflated sense of self-entitlement. In other words, to use one of Dean Winchester's favorite words, I stay the hell away from the douchebags.

I may be an independent person, but I am not 100% myself without my friends. My friends keep me sane, they remind me of how loved I am, and they help me get my groove on when needed. This past weekend was just that. After a long dry spell of social activities (seriously, tumbleweeds were rolling through my apartment), I was inundated with activities galore and reminded, yet again, that I love going out with my fellow freaks. )
mutantenemy: (misc::steampunk watch)
Last Thursday I finally finagled my energy to pick up "Boneshaker" and finish it. I had been reading it for the past few months, until something expected happened. I got a case of The Shinies. Something glorious and new and sparkly caught my attention which caused "Boneshaker" to sit upon my nightstand, collecting dust. I cannot remember what was so amazing to put a steampunk zombie novel on hold as it was very engaging and chock-full of adventure.

Was it a knitting project?

Perhaps a quick short story idea which needed to get written STAT before I forgot?

Or did I succumb to the hypnotic, thrumming purrs of Jameson to where I slipped into a pleasant coma?

I suppose it's not important. What is important is I finally finished the novel! And Friday morning I learned the author, Cherie Priest, was going to be at our local Powell's to do a signing! How synchronicitous! And, wow, Spell Check does not recognize "synchronicitous" as a legit word. Scary.

Friday afternoon I camped out at Powell's with two knitting projects in tow and waited. I met up with Tanuki and MartianMoonCrab and before long, a petite pixie with vibrant blue hair appeared. It was none other than Cherie Priest herself.

All I can say about the author, well I cannot simply say ONE thing, so I shall just rattle off what is impressive about her:

1. Cherie Priest's bubbly attitude is infectious. Perhaps being a former goth, she might take a slight comedic offense to the word "bubbly", but she had every right to be bouncing all over the place. She just received an email from George R.R. Martin (yes, THAT one) regarding a project they're working on together. He had written how much he LOVED her storyline ideas and Cherie was simply beside herself. She was practically giggling out of her skin. "I am so holding back the urge to bounce around this store yelling, 'G.R.R. Martin doesn't think I'm a moron!'"

2. The author has seriously done her research. Seriously. The world she created for "Bonshaker", called The Clockwork Century, is so wonderfully detailed and has so many branches, I was in awe. She knows her Civil War history and she shows no remorse in pushing up the Klondike Gold Rush if it allows her to have 50,000 zombies in 1880 Seattle, rather than 5,000.

3. Digressing is her most polished skill, as she so cheerfully admitted. There was no such thing as a "Yes" or "No" answer.

4. The author can totally pull off blue and aqua green hair.

This photo was taken with my ancient camera phone, and with her permission, so I apologize for the lack of quality. Regardless, Cherie Priest was very charming, very personable, and very inspiring as she joyfully signed everyone's books. Upon my turn, I had mentioned I found her through Kyle Cassidy's LiveJournal. She laughed and started regaling stories of her cat and how he would try, without much luck, to take a photo of her.

As I left the book signing, I was reminded how success can be quite the tease for some authors. One can get it right out of the shoot on the first try. Cherie, on the other hand, this was her seventh book and, like a perfect storm, it happened to hit pop culture at just the right time we needed some steampunk. To date "Boneshaker" is what truly put her on the map.

I felt encouraged, not dismayed, by this thought. Cherie finally found what she loved to write. It took her seven novels (a few Southern Gothic) to find it, but she did. And I will too.

My signed copy of "Boneshaker" now sits upon the inspirational shelf of my library. Right next to signed copies by David Sedaris and C.E. Murphy. Tomorrow night, Patricia Briggs will be added to my growing collection of authorial motivation.