Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book Reading

I'm a little late with sharing my experience at the Laurie R. King/The Language of Bees book signing last Monday.

laurie r king reading may09What happened is, I really didn't feel like going, but knew I'd regret it if not. (I wasn't ill, certainly not contagious, just meh.) I thought I'd arrive early... not early enough: the place was packed! Seating was managed, and I ended up in a makeshift first row, just off to the side instead of in front.

This was my first reading/author talk, and I did not know what to expect. I certainly couldn't tell you if Mrs. King is a typical author or not. She has a very self-deprecating manner, and is quite funny. She read a short chapter that I had just finished, from near the beginning of the book, talked a bit about her process and inspiration, then took questions. Lots and lots of questions. I didn't ask any myself, but there was no lack. Finally, it was time to line up for the signing. Everyone had a ticket, and they had us line up in groups of ten, so we were free to wander about the store & shop until our group was called. I'm not a big autograph collector, but a) I feel a little differently about authors v. other personalities, and b) I was already there.

When I finally got to the table, I gave her a little bee pin that I'd made awhile ago... and said just that. Felt dumb for awhile, but it was the truth after all: I made it a long time ago, when I made such things, and gave her one of the couple I'd saved for all these years. I did find out that she's a cat person, too.

Everyone talked so fondly about a book of hers, called Folly, that I wanted it, but every copy had been snapped up. I finished The Language of Bees, a day or so later, and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven't read Laurie R. King's books, I recommend them to mystery lovers. I wouldn't start with this last book -- at least read the first in the series, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. You can download the first couple chapters of several books on Mrs. King's site. (Link to excerpt of The Language of Bees, since it's not on the other page.)

laurie r king reading may09 #2This pic is a little blurry, but that's not a terrible thing, considering my actual subject. Not only is the image blurry, but the subject -- the little girl on the floor in the front -- has her face hidden.

Which is perfect, because I'm really not comfortable taking pictures of total stranger's children and posting them online. You can just make out her hands. See what she's doing there? Knitting.

She knit for a good part of the talk, as did the woman I took to be her mom. So did I, as a matter of fact, until I reached the end of the cuff on the baby sock I was working on. I didn't have the pattern with me, and wouldn't really want to consult it at that point anyway (definitely distracting to the people around me), so the knitting went back into my purse.

Later, I went over and said hi, and asked her what she was knitting. For someone with good hearing, I had a rough time understanding -- entirely my own fault, I don't know what was wrong with me (she spoke perfectly clearly, although quietly (I was a total stranger after all!)). I finally got it (headband!), apologized for being lame, and wandered off to shop. Poor kid. Hope I didn't scare her. (She was surrounded by what looked like her entire family - the only time I'd attempt such a conversation.)

Bonus: I found a really nifty, independent bookstore. I definitely plan to return!

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