Thursday 28 February 2013

An Evening With Peter V. Brett…

Wednesday night and Waterstones New Street again, as you can tell from the awesome chalk artwork, this time an evening with Peter V. Brett as part of his UK tour. Writing West Midlands hosted the event, and they and the Waterstones staff made this a really memorable one. There was a brief welcome which discussed the location of the event and the drive towards more fantasy events in the Midlands – yes, I inwardly shouted, bring fantasy home! – and then Peter V. Brett took the floor.

A Q&A session began and the questions were fantastic. We got such an insight into Peat’s world, his writing practice, his characters, his journey to publication, his wards and so much more, including his warded ring, aka the precious. What stood out most was Peat’s clear passion for his work and his dedication to putting out the very best writing he can. And you could tell the fans were definitely glad of it.

After the Q&A came the signing, and Peat spent time with every single fan, signing books, personalising messages, answering more questions, humbly responding to compliments and issuing us all with superb bookplates – don’t fear the dark! It was so good to see an author interacting with their fans and Peat obliged every photo request and made everyone’s trip special.

But really this blog post should be dedicated to the fans as much as to Peat. It was fantastic to see such enthusiasm and appreciation of creative effort as they showed. And of course some deserve a special mention: 

There was a guy who named his baby Arlen and brought in the onesie that Peat had had made and sent to him when he found out.

Luke Fielding, twitterer, brought Peat a gift in the form of his rock demon painting, which Harper will post over to Peat’s home.

There were ‘keep calm and draw wards’ bags to be envied, not to mention a few cool t-shirts and hoodies in the crowd too.

There was Emma, whose dog ate her copy of The Daylight War (mostly literally as it turned out) somewhat redeemed by the great story of Harper Strikes Again, having shipped a replacement out as soon as they found out.

And there was lots of laughter, perhaps more so during the group hug bromance – I couldn’t decide if Peat or the huggers felt more awkward in that one – but it was all in good spirits and an excellent time was had by all.

All in all a great atmosphere and another successful event in a venue that I love, and despite Peat having a terrible day transport-and-other-wise he performed, entertained and impressed the crowd, reminding us just how hard fantasy authors work to bring us amazing stories and how appreciative they are of their readers. Now all that remains is to wait for his next book. 18 months may be just long enough for me to forgive him for my ‘gasp’ moment in this one!

An inspirational man and a night to remember.

Elloise Hopkins.

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