Back in October, Will Vaus and I were featured speakers at a book signing at the Mystery and Imagination Bookshop in Glendale, California. Local signings can be particularly energetic, and this event was no exception.
Josh Long, a Tolkien scholar and teacher at a near-by high school, had invited his class to attend the event, and he sweetened the deal by offering extra credit to his students if they came in Narnia costume. There is nothing quite like talking about C. S. Lewis with Prince Caspian, a White Witch, and a few assorted LIONS in the room!
Other not-so-fictional notables included Stan Mattson of the C. S. Lewis Foundation; Inklings scholar Andrew Lazo; authors Joseph Bentz and Tom Allbaugh; Hugo winner Mike Glyer; and musician Lynn Maudlin. (Lynn took all of the pictures featured in this post).
Will talked about The Professor of Narnia, I talked about The Company They Keep, and then we answered questions from the audience. Our hosts, Malcolm and Christine Bell, were an absolute pleasure to work with. They were well prepared, they communicated freely and frequently, they publicized well, and they provided a bright and spacious venue for a truly great evening. Kudos all around.
Takeaway: Local, special-interest bookshops provide an extremely important service when they connect readers with writers. It's a great deal of fun, and everybody wins. Ask your local bookshop to provide time and space for authors and fans to connect face to face.