A Vision of Fire
So I was starting to get organised for a convention this past weekend, which I’ll write about after this, when my my friend Bunny starts getting excited about something that’s causing her plans to be rearranged.
A lengthy phone call later she explains that Gillian Anderson (yes, the delightful and gorgeous Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame) is doing a book signing for her first novel in London at Waterstones in Piccadilly on the first morning of the convention we were going to.
Gillian is lovely to meet and Bunny had been lucky enough to see her perform on stage recently in “A Streetcar Named Desire” which was quite the performance by all accounts, and met her afterwards too. The problem was that she couldn’t get there very early due to buses/trains etc so I offered for her to come down the night before, stay with me and I’ll drive us in so we can get there in plenty of time as I’ve never done a book signing and was interested in meeting Gillian again as well. And from where I live it was much easier and quicker to get there.
Great. The convention opened at 2pm that day and the signing was at 11:30. That should work, but how busy will it be? She’s popular but it’s a Friday so people are at work and she’s only signing the book, nothing else, so then the discussion on how early to get there starts. Bunny wins of course and we decide to leave at 6:30am which I estimate will get us to the bookstore for around 8am. Sure, I’ll wait for 3.5 hours, it’ll be fun.
And actually it was. Didn’t sleep much through not wanting to miss my alarm, drove us down to Stanmore and got the Jubilee line to Green Park and walked along to Piccadilly Circus where the bookshop was to find two other friends, Robert and Richard, already in the queue and we were numbers 3 and 4 behind this sign.
To be fair, the time passed pretty quickly. Helps to have other people there to chat to and before long it was after 11 and the staff came and escorted us inside, first to buy the book which wasn’t actually due for release until the week after, and then upstairs to queue behind a barrier. While we waited again, we watched the press photographers setting up and staff asked us if we wanted the book made out to anyone. They wrote names on a post-it and placed that on a certain page in the book. Apparently this was the page that would be signed, no arguments. And then, there Gillian was, making her way over and looking stunning.
She stood with a copy of the book for the press who must have taken hundreds of photos and even she said they must have one good one after a few minutes of flashes going off. Anyway, eventually she sat down and it was our turn. As with all these things it was over quickly but she was lovely, smiling and welcoming you.I asked a quick question about the next series of one of her shows which she said would be on TV soon and after a quick thank you, off I trotted with my signed book (which at the time of writing I have yet to start).
It was only then I realised I’d forgotten to take a photo when I got close to her so I’m relying on cropping one I took from the front of the queue. We were all using our phones so it’s a bit blurred. But this was the third time I’ve met her and I have other, better, photos so I wasn’t too disappointed by this.
I have to say, for my first book signing, it was well organised, the security guys were good and not over zealous at pushing you through like I’ve been told can be the case. Gillian was looking stunning and was great to speak to once again, however briefly and the whole thing was helped by some good company. As we left we could see the queue had got bigger and had this photo of us all taken by a very helpful passer-by (I’m the one in the glasses). A really good start to the day though I was almost ready to just go home by this point but there was a convention to get to, more on that later.