Ok so another day post Peterborough has passed and I’m still in mourning that the weekend is over, I’m also suffering from a sore throat and a cold thanks to Natasha!!
I thought I’d try and put into words how I felt but there aren’t enough superlatives to do the job that Jo and Rachel did justice, I will however say you girls nailed it!
I arrived on Friday and was lucky enough to share a meal with old friends and make new ones. We had an absolute blast and it was then that the first hashtag of the weekend was coined. From then on the hashtags were in full swing from #ItsOnlyADandelion to #DuvetInTheCupboard. Natasha and I laughed continuously, so much so that my my eyes watered and my giggles turned into snorts. Along with tears of laughter there were tears of emotion. I teared up after witnessing a reader fangirl over Natasha, of course she laughed (a lot) and hasn’t let me forget it since, so much so that I am now known as #TheCryingAssistant hence the title of this blog post and no doubt the future heading of anything Natasha ever sends to me.
For me the weekend was all about firsts, although I’d attended previous signings, this was the first I’d attended as a blogger, also my first time as an assistant, the first time I’d slept in a zipped together bed with an author and more importantly, despite already meeting my fellow All For The ❤ ❤ ❤ Review Team members, this was the first time we’d been together since creating our Superblog. You know what they say, ‘you never forget your first’.
I’ll be the first to admit I underestimated Peterborough, for me it was just a chance to catch up with friends. I hadn’t read much from many of the authors and there weren’t many huge names catching my eye, but hey being in a room full of authors is better than being at work right? Due to this, I didn’t take any books to get signed and expected to leave with 5 or 6, so imagine my surprise when I returned with 21! You know that saying don’t judge a book by its cover? Well here’s a lesson I learned, don’t judge a signing by it’s big names. The atmosphere was immense from arrival until departure, everyone smiled and said hello, authors clubbed together and helped when needed. It felt like a giant family get together, you know the ones where you don’t really know everybody but you all share a person in common? Well on this occasion that person wasn’t actually a person, it was love, a love of writing and reading.
I can’t end without mentioning the Saturday evening. We had a chance to glam up and enjoy a civilised meal. I spent the first hour listening to Natasha say she didn’t want to see the magician as she doesn’t like being lied too, so naturally I spent ages winding her up about him and he never even visited our table!! Probably for the best as I’d already witnessed a mini meltdown when she didn’t know which colour sharpie to use #AuthorProblems. As the night went on and more wine was consumed Maz from Surrender to Books and I ran around the room with the #AllForTheLove board and thrust it upon unsuspecting authors and with the help of Natasha we even hijacked the official photographer!
For me though, the highlight came from the last 15 minutes of the night. I am a huge Kings Of Leon fan, so much so that ‘use somebody’ was the first dance at my wedding, so imagine my excitement when the first chords of sex on fire played out! I dragged my All For The ❤ ❤ ❤ girls and ran to the dance floor (which we were having a moments reprieve from as Maz and I had just rocked out to One Direction – don’t judge me I have 3 young daughters, of course I know every word!). I have listened to sex on fire so many times, I have danced to it at many parties and have even watched KOL sing it live in concert but hand on heart I have never felt the level of emotion that came with it that evening. I looked around and every hand in the room was in the air, every voice was singing along and almost every body was on the dance floor, to my left someone (Cameron Lincoln I think) was rocking out with a walking stick, in front of me the hourglass girls were tearing up and to my right even Natasha was dancing. It was that moment I realised how amazingly successful the signing had been.
By the end of the signing I had popped Ava and Caroline’s signing cherry. I’d laughed, I’d cried, I’d spoken for Natasha as she’d lost her voice, I bagged a much anticipated arc from Samantha Towle and I had an author change the spelling of a character in her next book to the same way I spell mine. All in all I’d say it was a pretty productive day! The downside was that there were people I didn’t get to meet and people I probably saw but had no idea who they were (even though I talk to them via social media) and for that I’m sorry. I really did plan to get to you all but as loud and chatty as I am, I am sometimes still a little shy, mainly down to the fact that I still feel like a fraud in this wonderful book world, after all I am just a girl that loves to read and is living a life that a year ago was merely a dream.
So thank you to the wonderful authors and readers, without your love and passion it would have merely been a room full of books. You guys make the book world special and for all the negativity that litters my fb feed daily, I will measure it against this weekends experience and know that the book world really does look after its own and welcome everybody. Here’s to the next signing!