The time I got a history lesson

Posted July 15, 2012 by Stacee in Signings / 0 Comments

I had bought tickets to see Deborah Harkness in May.  I then went on a super mega huge hunt for an ARC of Shadow of Night.  I figured that if I could get my hands on a copy, I could get her to sign it at ALA and then I would cancel my ticket with Warwick’s and not have to leave Comic-Con early.

And then Kassiah got me a copy while at BEA, but I decided to go to the signing anyways.  I wanted to hear Deborah talk about the series.

I got to Warwick’s around 6:45.  I had reserved seating, so I didn’t have to worry about fighting anyone for a seat or trying to rush.  They had the table set up off to the side, so I got my book and watched people line up.

They let us in around 7.  The entire store was filled with seats and mine was in the front row.  On the chair there was my seat number and a Shadow of Night bookmark.

Deborah came out right on time.  She had been at Warwick’s during her tour for A Discovery of Witches and commented right off the bat how there were so many more people attending this signing than for ADoW.

She briefly spoke about how she came up with the idea of ADoW: She was in Puerto Vallarta and saw a wall full of books about vampires, werewolves, fallen angels, new angels, fairies, etc and had questions.  Like where did they all live? How did they date? Where did they work? Those questions sparked an interest to the historian side of Deborah and she started thinking about the answers.

One of the questions she gets consistently is about her character Matthew knowing all sorts of famous people and why she made it happen.  Apparently, Matthew Roydon was a real person who is referenced in the inquiry of Christopher Marlowe’s death.  Matthew Roydon the real person was around the same people that Matthew Roydon/de Clermont the character is and Deborah uses that has her explanation.

She did two separate readings from the book and after 30 minutes of talking, Deborah opened up the floor to a Q&A session.  The one answer that I really loved had to do with when book 3 was going to come out [she’s still working on it, it’s outlined, but needs the time to write].  Before she gave that answer, Deborah talked about how the day before the release of SoN, she called her local bookstore and checked her Kindle download to ensure she could get the book in every format on release day.

After about 30 minutes of Q&A, she started signing.  It was sort of a free for all and everyone bottlenecked right in front of the table.  Thankfully, everyone was pretty cool and it didn’t take long for me to get up to her.

I had my copy of A Discovery of Witches to have signed, along with a second copy of Shadow of Night.  When I walked up to her, she looked at my name on the post-it and said hello and asked if I was on Facebook.  I said I was, but not under my real name, explaining that I don’t use my real name on the internet.  She said it was probably a good idea, but it makes it difficult for her to remember who she talks to online.

I asked how she liked Comic-Con [she had come to the signing straight from CC] and she said that it was unlike anything she’d seen before.  Then she noticed that I had my badge still hanging off my belt loop and commented on how I also just came from there as well.  She even took pictures with everyone.

I was delightfully surprised at Deborah.  Her writing reflects her intelligence and I wasn’t expecting someone so much fun.  Not that smart people aren’t fun, but she’s witty and captivating and really knows her way around a story, fictional or imagined.  I look forward to future books and signings.

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