Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Kings

Last month, Micawber's sold books at two big Talking Volumes events at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. On November 11, the guest author was Barbara Kingsolver. And on November 18, it was Audrey Niffenegger and Stephen King. Two Kings = Two Big Events!

I was at the Kingsolver event selling books before, during and after the show. We had arranged ahead of time for Barbara to sign some copies of her new book, THE LACUNA, which is her newest title. When it was time to go get the signed copies, I volunteered. I have long been a fan of hers and wanted the chance to meet her.

Hans and I walked back stage and down into the rather small green room below the Fitzgerald stage. (It smelled like Hot Artichoke Dip, which was not the smell I was expecting.)

There at the table sat Barbara Kingsolver with Kerry Miller going over a few last minute things. We gathered up the signed books as they chatted. We were ready to leave and they were still talking. I didn't want to miss this chance to meet her in person, so I (nicely) interrupted them.

"Hi, I'm Dara. I'm one of the booksellers from Micawber's selling your book tonight," I said.

"Oh. I'm Barbara," she answered, shaking my hand. "Nice to meet you."

The fact that she said, "I'm Barbara," in such a normal, down-to-earth-way made me like her even more. Of course, everyone there knew who she was. But she kindly said, "I'm Barbara," just the same.

We chatted briefly about the state of independent bookstores. She wanted to know how our store was faring.

I told her that I was low person on the totem pole, so the fact that I still had a job was a good sign.

She laughed.

I made Barbara Kindsolver laugh!

So, that really made my night. Her interview went very well. She is smart and articulate. Plus, the voice she did for Frida Kahlo was amazing!

I bought two (signed) copies of THE LACUNA - one for my mom for Christmas and one for me. (Mom, if you're reading this, ignore the last sentence.)

All in all, the Kingsolver event went very well!

The Stephen King event went well too, although differently. It was a bit of a well-organized, mad house. He doesn't "come out of hiding" very often, so a public appearance is a BIG deal. We sold a lot of his books, including all 250 copies of UNDER THE DOME that he agreed to sign ahead of time.

This is a busy time of year - for events and now for holiday shopping. I'm glad I had the chance to meet one of my favorite authors in person. That was a gift.