Well! The day that I had been looking forward to, since last year, finally arrived! My son was participating in a 'RCA' competition, and whilst they were setting things up, I looked at my phone and saw a tweet from Karen Rose. When I read her announcement saying that she would be touring South Africa from February 2012, I just about had a fit. Of course, I am one to get overly excited about certain things, so took a deep breath, calmed myself down and read the same tweet approximately 5 times. I was definitely not seeing things. Messaged a friend and parted with this awesome news. I replied to Karen telling her how excited I was. I have been planning this day since then and if I look back on my Twitter history, I will find the date. Maybe I should, for posterity. I have had my eyes peeled regarding any bits of information since then. Not having seen any, I eventually worked up the courage in January of this year, as I couldn't wait any longer (so impatient), to ask Karen Rose if she was still coming to South Africa. I got back a resounding yes, after which hyperventilation set in. I asked my wonderful hubby, ever so nicely, if he would please take our son to school today (he did - thanks, lovie), just so I could get ready and leave home an hour prior to the event. Yes, a whole hour. Two reasons for my military precision: one, traffic, which more often than not, is horrific; two, I would be there, early or not, come hell or high water. Needless to say that along with the two lovely bookstore owners, I was the only other person there, the first to arrive! lol Remember though that I love books, so finding myself surrounded by them, with no one else blocking my view, was amazing.
I was offered tea, coffee, biscuits and cake by these lovely ladies. I declined - being as anxious as I was, excited and nervous - all at the same time, I feared sharing whatever went in, with everyone else - all over the floor. I know, sounds eww, but how else am I to explain it?
After what felt like days of waiting, in walks Karen Rose (she was a little late but it's to be expected as she told us, lol - but so worth it) with hubby (gentleman wearing maroon polo shirt: bottom right hand corner) and publicist in tow. I hope like hell the bookstore had no cameras 'cause I can guarantee that they would have caught me, jumping up and down in my chair. After introductions and a warm welcome, Karen did a reading for us. WOW. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a book would sound so different when being read out loud by it's author. At one point Karen paused for a drink of water to which someone loudly called, "Please, don't stop!". It was a goose bump moment. After the reading, Karen told us a little bit about how it all started and it was fascinating. I'll recount as best I can and any errors are my own (or my head making up stories). Reading to qualm her fear of flying, and loving both suspense and romance, Karen decided to write her own story that apparently turned into an extremely long book. She went on to write another two stories, but these stayed with her as Karen felt that people would laugh at what she'd written or her attempts at writing. Who would ever take an engineer seriously. An engineer, writing? And so, on her life went until the day Karen's husband came home with a flier. It advertised a group of woman, much the same as Karen herself, who got together once in a while and talked about writing or wrote themselves. Off Karen went, but thinking that these people may think she was not all there, went home. Of course, hubby knew right away that she didn't attend and proceeded to tell her that he would drive her there the following week, practically shove her out the car and drive away. It was hilarious. And so, she went. It was the best thing she'd done and met the most amazing and inspirational people. At some point along the way, Karen's husband asked her, why not do something with your writing? After acquiring an agent and pitching her book along with many refusals, all good though, Karen's first book was bought and published, two years later. The rest as they say, is history. I admire the fact that Karen Rose wrote her first 6 books whilst still working a normal job. That was surely not an easy feat.
As you can see, I took some pictures and could have taken more, but was too intent on listening. Once it got to the book signing stage and it was my turn, the shyness disappeared and oh, my word, I think I talked too much. Honestly. Now that I think about it, I may have come across as mentally unstable. If I did, I apologise, but rubbing shoulders with one of my all time favourite authors is surreal. I loved the fact that Karen Rose is extremely easy to talk to and I know I could have spent all day in her company. Her publicist, Clare/Claire (am hoping one of them is spelled correctly) also took one or two photos that Karen will put on her Facebook page, once she's back in the States. Karen's husband was just as lovely and funny. Prior to leaving home, I grabbed the 12th book, You Belong To Me, and took it with. Once I got to the shopping centre though, I left it in the car as I was too embarrassed to ask that that one also be signed. Understandably, there are time constraints, of course, and Karen was due to catch a flight to Durban. Upon seeing other ladies with 3 or 4 books and having them all signed, yes, you guessed it, sigh, I walked back to my car to fetch my book and promptly went back in, tongue in cheek. I must have been blushing at this point. I swore that I was not stalking, but, would it be okay to sign this one too? Karen's publicist was such a sweetheart. She actually said that it was fine and I could stalk away! Don't tempt me. :D Oh boy, oh boy, what a morning I have had. I am truly beside myself, have recounted this story, goodness knows how many times, and I see that I have done it here again. I hope though, that you find it as interesting and exciting as it was for me.
I must thank the lovely lady that was standing in line, who so kindly took the photo of Karen and myself during the signing of my book.
Karen, thank you, thank you, thank you. I will never forget this day.
In case you all missed it - I woke up to a comment on my review of 'No One Left to Tell' from Karen Rose herself. Uh huh, I got me some bragging rights. *wink*
Enjoy the photos.