On Saturday, Books of Wonder held a fantastic event to celebrate the release of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess‘s collaborative effort Blueberry Girl. I’m fortunate in that I live just six blocks south of nyc’s “oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore,” so I was able to retreat to my apartment and grab some lunch and fortification. I finally shook Neil’s hand roughly five and a half hours after I had first arrived and received my number (#350).
It wasn’t until a day later that I learned that Neil had very nearly missed the event altogether. Neil’s father had died suddenly that morning, and certainly no one would have faulted him had he cancelled. You can read some of Neil’s thoughts here and here.
I’m truly staggered. For eight hours, Neil greeted fans, signed several hundred books, and all the while maintained his smile and good humor. As a person in attendance, holding a number, gleeful at a few moments of conversation with one of my idols, my sense of appreciation for what Neil did on Saturday can’t be expressed here adequately. It means the world to me.
It’s slightly embarrassing in a way. As a fan, you can hardly feel worth the effort. Thank you again, Mr. Gaiman, and my sincere condolences.
Irene Gallo, art director for Tor Books, has a great blog up on the event here.
Some photos (Thanks to my wonderful and patient wife):