Monday, October 18, 2010

Party In Champaign!

Well, if you're checking this out because you think there's something awesome happening in Champaign IL, you're a little late.  The party was Saturday, but it was indeed awesome!  I was lucky enough to go.

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

Picture time!

When I first got there, this is where I found the authors... cracking jokes with the fans and each other.   I still think Mr. Batson looks somewhat like my dad. *lol*  It would be interesting to have a author for a father... of course, it's just as interesting to have an artist for a dad, I can tell you!

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*

Then there was a surprise performance by 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  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

 We got one taken together, because I insisted that we do.  Yeah, I'm funny that way.  Look at her: she has such a pretty smile!  And yes, I was wearing a shiny black shirt... and my stupid sweater wouldn't stay where it was supposed to.  *ducks head*
 And then we got one taken with Mr. Batson.  Adele's dad, Robert Treskillard, took the pictures.  She had him take some on her camera as well.
And then this happened.  *lol!*  Mr. Hopper is a riot!  But no one seemed to mind: in fact, most welcomed it.  He's quite the character!

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.

Christian Miles was there!  Since I first learned of his blog, 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.  :)

Then, before everyone left, I just had to get a picture of all of them together.  Just couldn't resist!  And they graciously agreed.  I was so happy!  After following them all for so long on the internet, I couldn't believe I was actually meeting them in person.  Perhaps I'm over doing this, but I was just so  extremely happy... my smile must of split my face in two!

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!

Nichole White


Squeaks said...

Wow! That's so awesome! I love the pictures :) You look so much like a gal I know who works in the Christian bookstore in a town that's an 1hr from where I live :P She's a really really nice person.

I watched a bit of the video that CH posted through the Underground, but I didn't see you in it. It looks like so much fun! Too bad I live in Canada (seems like all the jazz goes on in the Sates lolz! We have to get some good Christian authors published in Canada, either that or we'll kidnap them from the States and bring them up here lol!)

Signed with fireworks,


Star-Dreamer said...

I wasn't there for the video, although I really wish I had been! But I had to leave my house later than expected so I was about an hour late.

It was still awesome though. Man, I would like to visit Canada some day: but maybe you'll be that author you were just talking about! :D

Squeaks said...

You should visit Canada :) It's beautiful here! (of course it's beautiful in the States too) Perhaps I'll be that author, if I can find out how to write meaning into my books as well as have a good story :P

I've never been to the eastern side of the States before (ok well, I've been to Florida, but that doesn't really count lol). I'm not sure where Champaign is, but it sounds eastern to me XD

The best thing about watching that video was hearing the accents XD I keep forgetting how much fun it is to listen to American accents :P The more east and south you go the more distinct the accent becomes (at least that's what I've noticed from my travels)


Jaleh D said...

Wow, that sounds fantastic! I'm glad you got to meet so many internet friends in person. I've got a list of people I'd be totally giddy over, too.

Star-Dreamer said...

Squeaks: lol! American accents... it's so funny, because I know we sound different to people in other countries and other parts of the states, but it's just hard to think of it that way... And I know we must sound so different. :D :D :D

Well, Champaign is in the middle of Illinois, and Illinois is more in the center of the states... and a little bit north.

I would like to visit Canada sometime... very much in fact. :) So maybe something could be figured out like that.

Adele Treskillard said...

lol I was so busy with the book-trailer of To Darkness Fled, I didn't even realize you had posted all this! :D Whoa! Awesome pics. I'm going to put up some pics too. It was really awesome to meet U 2, Nichole! You're so personable and kind. We'll have to start our own critique group, rofl

Don't forget!!!

~Adele Treskillard

Star-Dreamer said...

Adele: we definitely should! :D

BTW, how's the trailer going? Be sure to let me know when you get it finished: I wanna see!

Chris said...

Sorry I hadn't seen this! Adele brought it to my attention. Like her, I've been working on the trailer lately. :)

I felt honored to meet you, too! That was such a fun day. It was amazing how I felt like I knew everyone already.

Maybe I'll see ya again someday? That'd be fun. haha

Robert Treskillard said...

Great post, Nichole! And it was wonderful for me and my family to meet you in person ... and to think we met on Authonomy!

I am quite a bit tardy in putting up a post, but it *will* happen, I assure you!


WayneThomasBatson said...

But you didn't mention giving me that righteous drawing of Anne Ross! That was such a highlight! You are one talented young lady!

Star-Dreamer said...

Chris: It would be absolutely amazing to see you all again sometime. :) Good luck with that trailer too. I can't wait to see it!

Robert: To think we met on Authonomy is, perhaps, the most thrilling and mysterious thing of all. But, you know, God does all things for a reason. :D This must be one of his reasons! It was such a complete honor to meet you all!

Mr. Batson: *lol* I'm so glad you like it! :) I have a drawing of Declan Ross that I've been meaning to send you and haven't gotten around to yet. When you see it, then you'll know why I said I wished I could have drawn Anne more realistically. *lol* I'll get it out to you today. :D

Christopher Hopper said...

I'm so honored! You're UH-MAZE-ING! ch:

Star-Dreamer said...

Mr. Hopper: *lol* Thanks! :D So are you!!! *random hug* :)