Oct. 17th, 2012

kittylady: (so much squee)
Earlier this month word was spread that Sir Terry Pratchett, my long-time most favorite and beloved of all living authors, would be in my half of the country, and I promptly went crazy with joy and frantic planning. After a few days of selling stuff and asking nicely and promising delicious foody things as bribes, me and the husband managed to scrape up a borrowed car and enough for gas, tolls and road food, and picking up most of the gas and muchies the night before.

Woke up yesterday morning at way too early an hour to hear the husband and roommate discussing exactly how they were going to fix the hot water tank, which had decided during the night to finally lay down it's life in the service of all the wonderful hot showers I'd had. I didn't have enough time to go into full blown panic mode before said husband calmly explained that he'd already listed the last of the silver online and yes, there would be enough to get it fixed by friday. Which means I should only have to borrow a friend's shower once or maybe twice before the end of the work week.

So we head out. At what turned out to be way too early, and after feeling old for hearing Hendrix on the oldies station we get there nearly three hours before the event and got to stand around really bored. We did see a clock tower that reminded me strongly of the newish Batman games and made me wish for a grappling hook in the worst way. I also think that the location the event was held at was the object of some kind of local scavenger hunt, as there were two occasions where people posed in front of the door and someone else would take their picture from across the street.

Finally people started coming in, which was very good for me as I was bored stupid by that time. I was lucky enough to see a few faces from previous conventions and even luckier to talk to a few people I'd only seen before in passing. Everyone was really cool and time passed much faster at that point until seating began.

We were told that this was Sir Terry's last US tour, but heard no clairification as to whether he would be at NADWCON. If he's not, I'll be really sad, but I honestly don't know, were I an older person with a busy schedule, if I could handle dealing with the TSA more than once every couple of years if I didn't absolutely have to. So while I'd still be sad, I'd understand. We were also told that there would be no signing of anything, which I'd half expected, and would recieve signed stickers made for the book launch, and there would be stamping afterwards.

The guest was a bit late, but that passed quickly enough, and then there was joy. Sadly, they all looked a bit wiped out. It occurred to me that they'd spent a few days at NYCC, and recalling my own convention experiences there was a good chance they were recovering from jet lag, hangovers, and Chicago traffic, the last of which is the worst because the cause is endless and ongoing. Rob Wilkins looked a bit better than Sir Terry, but they seemed to get better as the night went on. There was also a chance that they were just blinded by the stage lights, so I could be overthinking things.

There was talk of Sir Terry's production company, Narrativia. This is the company that is going to be bringing to the screen Good Omens and what will not be called CSI: Ankh-Morpork because that would be bad. The smiles when they talked about it were huge.

The man did confirm there is in existence the first draft of the next Discworld novel. Yes, I did squee.

There was talk of Dodger, and the work that was done in finding everything possible that would make it accurate, even down to knowing when wooden sewer grates were replaced by cast iron ones. They'd found the oldest tailor's in all of London, and the very first question that was asked of them was "What was the color of your front door in 1892?"* What surprised them was that not only did the establisment have the answer, but they also volunteered that not only did they provide custom to Robert Peel, a character in the book, but that they had also designed the first police uniforms, which gave Sir Terry a very useful thing to give the characters to talk to each other about.

Rob read the first chapter of Dodger, and after that came questions that the audience had written on cards beforehand. My question did not get asked, but many of the ones asked were wonderful, even if I really wanted a written transcript of what was said just so I could follow along better. Twelve hours in a car and then sitting around mostly bored are not the best way to prepare yourself to focus on something.

For example, one of the questions asked, which he's surely heard a few million times by now, was "what advice would you give to new writers?" This was immediately followed by an anecdote about Sir Terry giving a presentation in a writer's workshop with the opening of "What are you all doing here? You should be writing."

Another was Rob with silly grin as he said that there was one that he knew Sir Terry would answer with one word, then asked, "How do you pronounce 'Vimes'?", at which point Rob started cracking up, and when Sir Terry answered, "The 'g' is silent." well, at that point Rob went rather red in the face as he couldn't stop laughing.

All too soon it was over. I was looking gloomily at the very long drive home in my head when one of the ladies from the store that was promoting the event said that everyone who had a ticket number under one hundred could wait and have their picture taken, and that made me fairly giddy.

I was a bit of a pest, but it was totally worth it, because I managed to get a picture of Sir Terry, Rob Wilkins, myself and Anne Hoppe all together. For those who may not know, Anne Hoppe is Sir Terry's YA editor at Harper Collins, and she is the reason I get to read The Amazing Maurice and all of the Tiffany books. If you come to Baltimore and she's got anything on the event schedule, go and listen, because she loves what she does and it shows. I'm hoping to get everyone's signature on the picture once I get it properly printed out. Since she doesn't have any pictures listed on any of the Discworld sites I frequent, I decided I wouldn't upload it, but I love it lots.

Then came the insanely long and frustrating drive home. We crawled in the door at almost five in the morning, and took a few hours to unwind enough from all the caffeine we'd taken to make the trip back.

Sadly, even after not enough sleep today, I realize that the whole thing just makes me think next July can't get here fast enough.

*I could be wrong about the exact date, as I was a bit travel foggy.


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