What was it, you ask? Oh, just the official Tribe Party for Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper's new book "Venom and Song". I was a little late getting there so I missed a few things: apparently the authors had a medieval duel over which hairstyle best suits a warrior swordsman. I wish I could have seen it live, but found out later that they streamed it and you can watch the whole hour (that I missed) here. Thank you Jake for that link! :D
Long and short, the authors are not only great writers, but great people. Period. The end. Both of them mingled with the fans, signed books, talked amiably, took pictures, started and continued personal conversations with people... It was very refreshing, to be quite truthful. It reminded me of the parents in our homeschool co-op talking after meet. Everyone seemed comfortable with everyone else, as if all who were there knew each other previously. It was a very encouraging atmosphere.
I was like a kid in a candy store!
Yes, I said it. I was outrageously excited. And there were a couple of surprise "fans" there as well. *shifty eyes* But I'll talk about those in just a few minutes. :D
Before Saturday, I had a marvelous surprise when Mr. Hopper left a comment on my blog. Arriving at the Borders in Chamapaign, I got another extra-special surprise when, upon telling Mr. Hopper that I was excited about his comment, he jumped up and hugged me!
Introductions were a bit interesting. Instead of going up to someone and saying, "Hello, what's you're name?" everyone was walking around saying, "Hi! What's your Username?" And then. "Cool! Now what's your real name?" *lol* I'd never introduced myself like that before, although it DID make perfect sense. I met quite a few people I knew only by their internet profile. But somehow it never felt awkward at all; in fact, half the time it felt like I'd known that person for at least half of my life.
Actually, I introduced myself to the authors that way as well:
Me: "Hello. My name is Nichole White, but my Username is Star-Dreamer. It's nice to finally meet you!" *giddy*
Mr. B: "Oh, yes. I've seen you around." *smile*
Me: "Yeah, that was an interesting contest you hosted: that "kill this thread" contest? It went on forever! I was the one who kept suggesting you just give in and send everyone a copy of the book."
Mr. B: *laughs* "Oh yeah! I remember you!" *huge grin*
Adele Treskillard's Gaelic band, Wren Song. If you haven't heard Adele's band before, you should check it out: they have a CD out now, and Adele's voice is very lilting: sounds rather like a flute or a penny whistle, which she plays just as well as she sings.
Adele and I have been conversing over the internet since I discovered her dad's book on Authonomy.com. Both she and her dad are writers. When Mr. Treskillard told me about his daughter, and mentioned that I might like her blog or might enjoy checking out her book, I was too curious to refuse. Call it a weakness, but I LOVE meeting other Christian fantasy writers... and it's a bonus if they like singing and Celtic/Gaelic/Irish music! So I did check out Adele's blog and we ended up e-mailing each other. The funniest thing is, I didn't recognize her at first. She came up to me after singing and asked, "Nichole White?!" We shook hands, and I was trying to remember where we might have met before. Then she told me her name.
Me: "Oh my word! It's you! It's so nice to finally meet you in person!"
(yeah, talk about a blond moment... and I'm not even blond!)
And after that I felt like I'd known her all my life. Perhaps that is a bit presumptuous, but in my own defense she does remind me very much of my best friend. We took some pictures together with Mr. Batson and Mr. Hopper. It was a very thrilling experience... at least for me. :D
People were taking pictures of just about everything. And everyone was milling around, asking for Usernames so they could remember who was who. I was no exception, and it was nice to meet everyone! Hey Millard, Evergreena, Gold Arrow, Ness, The Golux, Whisper, Silver Angel, and everyone else I didn't mention because I don't have my notebook sitting here with me with the names written in them. It was so cool to meet you all in person! We mingled and talked, and talked, and talked some more, and you could have sworn we'd all grown up together or something. It was totally AWESOME!!!
After a while, Adele took me around to meet even more people. And that was when I had two more heart-jerking surprises.
Teen Inklings, I've been following it closely. Christian's blog isn't an ordinary one: it's actually an online magazine for writers... especially young writers. He's gained quite a following, and no wonder: his advice is inspiring and accurate. And how does he come by all this good and accurate advice? Why, by going through the writing/publishing process himself, of course
I felt completely honored. And, just like Adele and everyone else I had met up to that point, Christian felt like someone I'd known half of my life and had gone to homeschool co-op and church with... even though we'd only just met. It wasn't to be the last time I felt like that. Oh no, because after meeting Mr. Miles, Adele introduced me to...
And that's why I had that quirky smile. I just couldn't believe it!
Jacob is the author of "Kestrel's Midnight Song", newly released through Flaming Pen Press. As it so happened, I hadn't bought the book yet, so I was able to purchase my first copy from the author himself, and he signed it for me!
Jacob has a true success story for young authors everywhere to look up to. He started writing "Kestrel's Midnight Song" at age 15, finished soon after he turned 17, and then sent off to the publisher soon after that. I'm not 100% sure how old he is now, but surely 18 or 19. How encouraging is that, right? And his book is GOOD. I'm not quite half-way through it, but I really can't put it down.
And yes, he's a fan of Batson and Hopper as well (of course). That's why he came after all: to get his copies signed.
After I got over my initial shock and my giddy euphoria, the four of us just started talking. From what I gathered, Jacob and Christain rode in with Adele and her family. After the signing they were going to go work on... something. I won't mention what it was here because I'm just not completely sure they want it known yet. But it sounded awesome and I can't wait to see the finished product.
And we just talked about life in general. Had all four of us lived closer together, it might have ended up that we all knew each other through Co-op, 4-h, or even church. Again, I may be just presumptuous here, but I felt completely comfortable around them... after I got over my excitement, of course. :)
Yes, I get like that. :D
From left to right they are Adele Treskillard, Wayne Thomas Batson (with a signed copy of "Kestrel's Midnight Song" in his right hand), Christian Miles, Jacob Parker, Robert Treskillard, Robert's wife and Adele's mom (I apologize but I just can't seem to recall her name right now: she was an amazingly sweet woman though, who obviously loved the Lord with all of her heart. She practically beamed! And she allowed me to take her picture to remember her by, even though she didn't really want to: thank you so much for that!), and on her left stood Christopher Hopper.
We all walked out together, and before we left, we stood and watched the Bopper Wars: basically, fans beating at each other with padded silver stick-swords. I didn't get a chance to do it myself, but there were quite a few who did. Gold Arrow seemed to be somewhat of a champion: even the boys had to admit it after awhile!
And I did purchase a copy of "Curse of the Spider King" and "Isle of Fire". Can't wait to dig into them either!
So all in all, it was probably the most amazing day I've ever had in my entire life, and I can't wait to see everyone again at the next Tribe Party.
Until then, Ahsulinde to all!