Tonight, I met Garth Nix.
This, for me, is like meeting David Tennant for Doctor Who fans. Or ... I don't know, David Beckham for football fans? Anyway, if you don't know who he is and you have a vague interest in reading children's fantasy, you must order his books NOW: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Garth-Nix/e/B000AQ01XU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0. I would happily recommend them all, particularly the Abhorsen series for teens and the Keys to the Kingdom for younger teens. Oh, and the amazing Shade's Children. And the Ragwitch.
Anyway, he has been a childhood inspiration for a long time. Many times I've been battling away at my own writing and turned to admire his prose not without a huge twinge of jealousy. I've loved him just as much as J.K. Rowling or Philip Pullman. They're my top three authors of all time.
So I was incredibly excited to hear that he was coming to Cambridge, and even better, on the night after my exams finished! I've been his friend on Facebook for a while and recently he has started putting up fairly frequent updates. That was how I found out about the event (Facebook has made life so much better, in certain ways!).
Anyway, I went, I saw, I left awestruck.
He was amazing. He did an hour talk, involving some fun facts about himself (yes, his name is his real one and not a pseudonym) and a fun fantasy story about a magical ring that gave him nine years success, which he then gave to the first person who put up their hand (unfortunately I was too slow, though I did put mine up very quickly). Then, he read aloud a bit of a novel that will be coming out next year. There was a question and answer session and finally a book-signing session.
I was far too star-struck to say anything very coherent when it was time to meet him, but it was still amazing. I did manage to request a photo with him and it turned out okay:
He was just as incredible in flesh as he is on paper.
I would have liked to have asked him to read something of mine, but of course, I know he would be too busy to accept even something short. My mid-grade fantasy Between Time is strongly influenced by the style of his Keys to the Kingdom series. I can dream and think he might read this, though; that would be amazing!
Anyway, all too soon, the evening was over and I was trembling in a corner, putting my signed book away and getting ready to cycle back. I think I must have looked rather mad on the way back with the huge grin on my face.
I don't think there's much more to say than that. Read him. Love him. And see him, if you have the chance.
Here's the signed book too: