Photo via NY Times
Yesterday, I met Caitlin Moran and it was glorious. I could just end the story here and leave you with the tantalising notion of just how awesome it would be to meet Caitlin (it's FAB) but I'm nicer than that so I'll try to recall some things that happened, even though they seem almost dreamlike and surreal now. Because being in the same room with one of your current favourite people doesn't REALLY happen, does it?!
Ok, firstly the event was in this teeny little bookshop in North London, which was at once both excellent because hellooooo intimate venue, but also sort of terrifying in a 'argh! I am going to be super near Caitlin, I hope I don't throw up on her Doc Martens' kind of way. Because about this whole thing I was both SUPER excited and yet SUPER nervous (for no good reason!) all of which combined to make me feel like I was going to throw up a tiny bit.
I did not throw up. That's not how this story goes.
So we got there and it was already sort of full, and the options for seats were either sitting on these weird uncomfortable looking stools near the back, or sitting on a nice looking chair (that unfortunately also turned out to be uncomfortable, but by that point did I care? Not really!) right at the front. I mean, the FRONT. I could have easily reached out and grabbed Caitlin's leg or something (but that would have been weird, and why would I?!) and Frances did, in fact, kick her a teeny bit. Not on purpose, obviously! So there we were at the front, glancing back at Caitlin just standing there in the back of the shop, looking all awesome and sort of other-worldly, in a 'I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE'S IN THE SAME ROOM AS US!' kind of way. And then she came to the front of the room and was inches away from us and it was the BEST THING EVER!
The format of Caitlin saying things was basically a Q&A thing between her and this other lady whose name I can't remember now (which I feel really bad about because she was really good! A good foil for Caitlin), although, if you've seen this piece of wonderfulness then you'll know that a Q&A session with Caitlin kind of turns into 'A question is asked. Many things are said. Half an hour later, the question is answered' which, really, is my kind of interview to watch! And many many many things were said- if it felt really surreal at the beginning, after a while, I was so massively agreeing with basically everything Caitlin said that I kind of forgot who was saying it!
One of the most interesting things, I found, was her discussion of the working classes, and the idea that, the way everything is at the moment, with people expecting to get news and music and movies and everything for free, means that working creatively is something that isn't really open to working class people, which means that everything is becoming really homogenised and boring and almost back to before the 60s when there was a massive BOOM of working class people being creative. And it's not like working class people aren't being creative now, but that they can't really afford to be, and that if you have to get a job to be able to afford to eat, then you can't concentrate on being creative full time and you can't really reach your full potential in that way, and the only people who can, really, are those with rich parents.
You can guess whether or not my parents are rich...
And then many many many other things were discussed, serious things like feminism and socialism and politics, and fun things like My Little Pony and Dalek porn (possibly the funniest moment: when Daleks having sex was being discussed, and the question asking lady went 'I wonder if there is Dalek porn though' and this woman in the audience went 'oh, there's LOADS of Dalek porn!' How does SHE know, huh?!) and Caitlin's confusion about whether she wants Paul McCartney to be her dad, or whether she wants to fuck him. Which I get. AND, maybe most interestingly, she hinted that she thinks Eddie Izzard might run for London Mayor (!) and that she has an idea for an episode of Dr Who but 'isn't really allowed to talk about it' which sounds EXTREMELY exciting! And, finally, of course the picture of Bruce Springsteen that she always posts on twitter came up. Which is always awesome. WHICH picture, I hear you cry? Why, this one!
So all that was awesome, and honestly would have been enough, but then we queued up and waited to speak to Caitlin and get her to sign our books! Cue more nervousness, OR SO I THOUGHT, but I actually felt pretty relaxed because she's just that kind of person, you know? Except, apparently, not for the people just in front of us in the line who she told should be having sex (they were a boy and girl, both single, in their early twenties, friends... I saw her point!) and when she appealed directly to our giggling faces for our agreement, we obviously gave it without hesitation! And they slunk off embarrassedly, and hopefully to, you know, get it ON (but probably not.)
And then we stepped up to her and she was so lovely and friendly and things were said and it's all kind of a blur now, but she definitely misheard my name and wrote Nora in my book and I had to correct her and OH the misunderstanding! And then she told Frances that she had lovely boobs and a lovely dress and there were more things I can't really remember and then said it was really nice to meet us and SHE TOUCHED US and then I died because it was so wonderful! But then I revived, and now I'm probably going to change my name to Nora, because unlike that non-couple, I AM inclined to do anything she says.
I'm kidding! Probably. You probably definitely shouldn't let me change my name.
So, that was my very first book signing experience, and I'm pretty sure they don't get much better! I am just this minute slightly regretting that I didn't ask if we could have a picture taken with her, but hey... We all know where we were! And I have this completely surreptitious but actually not that bad photo that I took actually pretty far back in the queue, which should give you some idea of how small the place actually was
So that's good enough for me! And now, after literally WEEKS (like, 3) of waiting, I can finally read Moranthology! And I shall, of course, report back in due course.
This all sounds awesome. And I'm surprised they did it in a tiny bookstore, because isn't London like CRAWLING with her fans? Mebbe. I don't know. I DON'T KNOW THINGS. But smaller venues are GREAT so hurray.
CAITLIN MORAN DOCTOR WHO EP YES PLEASE
I feel like she totally warrants a massive audience because she's AWESOME and, I'm sure, everyone loves her, but at the same time, it was this teeny indy bookshop in North London (where she lives) and I don't doubt that she wanted to support them. Plus she has done many bigger things. But yeah, it was brilliant for us!Delete
I KNOW RIIIIIGHT!!! It would be all socialist utopia-y, like the Olympic opening ceremony!
Was better than my other book signing experiences! Jacqueline Wilson and JK Rowling didn't look at me :(ReplyDelete
Awwwwwwww (some more) *hugs you*. Although I would just say that at that point they were probably kind of jaded since they'd done about a million book signings- this is only Caitlin's second book!Delete
Just, you know, had to defend some childhood heroes...
They can stil LOOK at people. Grr.Delete
This is true. They are fucking bitches (I'M SO SORRY JACQUELINE!)Delete
Soooooooo exciting! I love when authors are actually interested in meeting their fans and not just going through the motions! And I'm so glad you didn't throw up on her! That may have caused some issues.ReplyDelete
I met my favorite author David Mitchell at a small signing in LA...I almost died. He actually wrote a couple of book suggestions for me on a post-it. Of course, I still have the post-it. GUH.
YES, me too! I mean, I guess that's what I like. Seeing as I've never been to a book signingesque thing before. But yeah, she was so lovely and genuine and I just want to HUG HER. Which I did not do. Because I sense it would have been scary for her.Delete
Dude, that's so cool! Maaan, I wish I'd gotten book recommendations now!
OK, you've convinced me. How to be a Woman has been on my TBR for nearly a year now - I am GOING TO READ IT next week so I can test her amazingness for myself.ReplyDelete
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! This is the exact correct thing to do!Delete
YAAAAYYYYY that is so amazing and awesome and I'm so jealous. Not only that you got to meet her but that apparently you avoided the super-awk-ness of meeting author people.ReplyDelete
That format sounds way more interesting than having her just read something out of the book and some prepared speech thing.
Side note, I love her hair (especially the Rogue-esque streak up front) but I also just really want to brush it so it's not so...not brushed looking.
It really didn't feel awkward! And I so thought it would! It's probably because she's the excellentest person. :) She'll go to the US one day! Mebbe.Delete
And yessssss, it was so much better than I imagine your way would be! The book was barely mentioned to be honest! Although I am seeing that quite a few of the things she talked about are in the book, so it wasn't just like... she's never thought about all these awesome things before and is just coming out with them now. Which is kind of a relief, actually!
Side note: OMG were you just bitchy about her hair?! Although I know what you mean. But I suspect that my hair never looks brushed, so... She's my homie! it does look lovely on the cover of Moranthology, which obviously you're going to buy as soon as it comes out in the US? (Sometime in November, I believe!) Hehe
This was a great post! I really wanted to love How to Be A Woman but unfortunately I just didn't :(ReplyDelete
WHUT?! But also, fairenoughwecan'talllikethesamethings (I GUESS. GRR!) Thanks for the post complimenting though! And ALSO I would say don't necessarily discount Moranthology because it's pretty different from HTBAW. But still so awesome...Delete
Have just read your review AND I see what you mean only I didn't mind the structure at allll, and I think Moran is the awesomest writer that ever was awesome. But I stand by my Moranthology comment, because the columns are short enough not to go shooting off wildly in all directions, you know?Delete
*sits and waits patiently for everyone in the world to love Caitlin* hehe
Okay, that's totally frickin' awesome. I J'ADORE Caitlin Moran and she once wrote about how she kinda fancied Aslan from the Narnia series and, well, we all know how I feel about lions so... Clearly it is a good thing I wasn't at that book signing because the conversation could have taken a very awkward (and possibly illegal) turn. Though I'm sure she'd totally have rolled with it because SHE IS AWESOME LIKE THAT.ReplyDelete
P.S. Totally agree with Red - when I think 'questions for Caitlin Moran' the first thing that springs to mind is ZOMG I LOVE YOUR ROGUE HAIR, HOW DO YOU DO THAT?! I like to keep things highbrow...
Duuude, she totally mentioned that on Thursday! And I hadn't read that before, so I was highly amused! And at least it's not you who enjoys the raw power of virile male lions... ;) And ZOMG she would have so enjoyed mental turns in conversation. She basically initiated them ALL herself! SHE IS THE BEST I WANT TO MARRY HERDelete
I'm thinking how she does her hair is that she dyes a streak in it, and that's about it? It is awesome though. I should have been like 'does anyone have any questions for me to ask' before I went and we could have found out allll these things!
Awwww it's lovely that you got to meet and talk to such an awesome famous person who you adore!!! Now you just have to meet Alex Skarsgard or Johnny Depp and you will be SET!ReplyDelete
I have How To Be A Woman out from the library, but I haven't read it yet... I'm afraid I won't love it as much as everyone else seems to and I'll be shunned. I do love that she told that couple/non-couple to get it on. Fun stuff like that just doesn't happen in America! And if it does, that famous person would be torn apart by the media and public outrage.
Duuuuude, TELL me about it! I'm not sure I could manage to keep my cool with either of those dudes though, because OMGSOHOT! Honestly, even the *thought* of meeting them is making me feel sort of ill!Delete
Aw, I promise to still like you if you don't like HTBAW! I feel like... Even if you don't find it fully hilarious, or helpful or whatever, there's still something there that you're going to at least ENJOY, you know? But we shall see! Dude, America is soooo puritanical. No joke. But I think she's just on the edges of fame that means she can say things like that and no one really notices/minds. And even if they did mind? I doubt if she'd give a shit. BECAUSE SHES AWESSSSSOME!