Living in the DC area, I was lucky in that Neil Gaiman had two scheduled events nearby on his book tour for Anansi Boys. Saturday September 24th he was at the previously mentioned National Book Festival and on Sunday, September 25 he was at a Borders Books in Northern Virginia.
I arrived at the Bailey's Crossroads Borders Books sometime around 7 pm for Gaiman's 7:30 reading and bought a copy of Anansi Boys with part of the birthday money I got from my mother-in-law. I doubt she would be pleased. From the looks of the crowd, it was obvious Gaiman was a science fiction writer. Lots of black clothes, pony-tailed men and a smattering of individuals who looked like their last event that day had been the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Either that or they were dressed as characters in Gaiman's graphic novels.
Another blogger, Puzzledance, and I planned to meet at the the event so I walked around the store for a while looking for someone wearing what she said she would wear. After a while I came to the conclusion that she had been one of the lucky few who got a seat and didn't want to risk giving it up to find me and we would meet up after the reading or had not gotten back from her dance camp event yet and would either be late or be not able to come. I finally found a spot behind the other Gaiman fans, but in front of a low table against which I could lean.
Gaiman opened with a few words about what would take place that evening, chatted a bit and then began reading from his book after telling us the "story so far". Because the sound system was a little wonky and I was tired, I decided to sit on the floor instead of stand. I also thought I may have given Puzzledance an incorrect phone number so I tried to check one of my gmail accounts to see what number I gave her, but I could not figure out how to do that on my Sidekick. (although I know it can be done, having done it in the past). As I was giving up on my email, I noticed a pair of shoes pointing at me and not towards Gaiman. I looked up and saw that Puzzledance had arrived.
We listened to the reading, but I left before the signing as I was #287 and didn't want to stay that long. I hear the signing went smoothly though, but am not sorry that I left. I think I may have had a literary burn-out last weekend as I over-indulged in authors. Is such a thing possible? I also think I was intimidated by the crowd. After all, I've only read a sprinkling of Gaiman's works, although I am quite a fan of his journal. I never feel quite comfortable actually talking to authors in person as they sign their books. First of all, I think I am somehow putting them out by making them write their name. Secondly, if I really like the author, I usually say something stupid and feel stupid. So, I saved myself from the possibility of being embarrassed by myself.