It's no secret I adore authors - their bravery and courage to confront a blank page, fill it with words then send it off out into the world to be read/judged/enjoyed/hated or the dreaded indifference. It's always a total thrill for me when I get to meet an author in the flesh and I couldn't have been more excited when I heard international best selling author Helen Brown was touring the country to promote her latest book After Cleo: Came Jonah.
So on Thursday afternoon my (under sufferance) partner and I headed up SH1 to Auckland (via Little and Friday for delicious baked goodies and coffee) to the Takapuna Library to hear Helen talk. What a delightful, warm person she is! Really, what you read in the books (which I love) is exactly how she came across in real life. She spoke about her book, dropping juicy titbits to entice those among the audience who hadn't yet read it about her battle with cancer and daughter Lydia's ambition to become a Buddhist nun in Sri Lanka. I was delighted to hear about the forthcoming movie of the book Cleo: How an uppity cat helped heal a family, that Lydia is writing a rebuttal of sorts to her mum's book, and of course anecdotes about the star of her latest story, the "drag queen in fur" Jonah.
Then I just about burst apart with happiness when it came time to get my books signed. I know it's totally uncool to be so excited, especially at my age, but it really is a case of me meeting a hero and I couldn't disguise that if I tried. And then imagine my euphoria when Helen knew who I was because of my review!!! *Total fan girl squeeeeeeee moment*
Lastly, I must heap praise on the wonderful team from the Friends of Takapuna Library for putting on such a wonderful event. What an awesome crowd braved the chilly evening - I counted roughly 120 guests (including legendary TV3 journalist Bob McNeil) and what a pleasant surprise to have simple but delicious canapés, wine and juice served too.