Despite the fact that Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and hosts the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival every year, not that many English-speaking authors visit Montreal. So when Linda let Donna and me know that Elizabeth Kostova was doing a reading and book signing at Paragraphe Bookstore last Tuesday evening, I knew I had to go, even though I haven’t read either The Historian, Kostova’s bestselling debut (the first debut novel to land at number one on The New York Times bestseller list), or her latest, The Swan Thieves. And I undoubtedly committed a further faux pas by not buying The Swan Thieves at the event (I really dislike hardcovers and they’re so expensive!). I did, however, bring my copy of The Historian to get signed!
Kostova read two passages from The Swan Thieves and then took questions from audience members. Paragraphe isn’t very big, so there were probably no more than 20 people there, but the questions were very interesting, as were her answers. Afterwards, I thought I should have taken notes! Kostova did mention that she did extensive interviews with a psychiatrist and several artists (and also observed artists at work) in order to write this book.
Following the questions, we lined up to get our books signed. When it was my turn to actually talk to a real live author, I felt completely tongue-tied and had no idea what to say! (In the end, I told her I’d enjoyed her readings and was looking forward to reading her books, and she thanked me for coming, but I felt completely silly for being so nervous!)
Here’s a photo Donna took of Elizabeth Kostova and me (don’t I look nervous? I couldn’t figure out what to do with my hands!):
As Donna, Linda and I left the store, I remarked that if I was this nervous meeting one author, imagine what I’ll be like at BEA when I’m surrounded by authors, publicists and big-name bloggers? (Yup, after reading the BEA tour posts organized by the Book Blogger Convention folks, especially Amy’s, I’m determined to go to BEA with Linda and Cindy—and maybe Donna and Tina—even though I haven’t quite figured out how to pay for this trip yet.) I’m afraid I’m going to be a nervous wreck! Does anyone else feel this way? (Please reassure me!) Also, if you’re going too and would like to meet up, let me know!
You can also read Linda’s and Donna’s posts about this event:
Better with Books • BookBound