That amazing time that I met Laini Taylor – Part 2

A few weeks back I began to tell you about that amazing time that I met Laini Taylor. And while I got to tell you all about the amazing lead up to this event, and the great Q&A with Laini Taylor and Lauren Owen and how I was just as excited to meet Jim Di Bartolo, I didn’t actually get to the part where I actually met Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo!

I made no secret of the fact that I was super excited about meeting Laini (and for the few that knew, about meeting Jim as well). I also didn’t try to hide the fact that I would probably make an absolute idiot of myself. I had absolutely no idea how I would react to this situation - I am one of those people who have no control over their emotions. I had been excited about this for months, but honestly as I was equally as scared as I was excited. I had no idea if I would cry, become a blubbering mess, become completely mute, if I would squeal, if I would totally fangirl and make an absolute embarrassment of myself - and if you want the truth - I was totally prepared for all of these things to happen. Not that I like public embarrassment, but meeting Laini and Jim was going to be totally worth it! I had prepared myself for people to come to conclusion that I was crazy, for Laini and Jim to run away scared, for Asti to laugh at me, and for my friend Carolyn to do something to capture evidence of the most amazing and embarrassing moment of my life (she was already threatened about not distributing such evidence).

So, how did I go? Did I cry? Did I blabber uncontrollably and incoherently? Did I squeal like a 5 year old girl being kissed by a boy in the playground? Well… surprisingly no. I totally kept it together - and I cannot be more surprised. And by saying I kept it together, I mean that my stomach was knots, and I have no idea if I sounded like an idiot, but I didn’t make anyone run away, I didn’t cry or squeal and I could talk in sentences (although I am not going to say that were good sentences - I probably sounded like an idiot, but a coherent one at least). I went rather quiet early on, even before the Q&A, but I was keeping it together - but internally I was yelling things like “OH. MY. GOD!!!” and “THAT IS LAINI TAYLOR” and “AND JIM DI BARTOLO” and “OMG - THAT IS LAINI AND JIM!!!!!”.

Internally I was squealing and squeeing and totally fangirlling.

As I had a lot of things for Laini to sign, I had already decided to wait until most of people had their things signed - and since it was so hot in the room where the event was I decided to go out and get some fresh air. As I was walking out, I was telling my friend how disappointed I was that Jim had left half way through the Q&A with Laini’s and Jim’s daughter. Although I understood if he needed to leave for his child, I was still massively disappointed that I wasn’t going to get the chance to meet him. But, as I was walking out, I saw Jim sitting in the foyer section with his sleeping daughter. After a minute or so (or maybe 10 seconds or 10 minutes - I didn’t have any concept of time), I decided to go say hello to Jim (whispering). This isn’t something I would normally think about doing as I didn’t want to interrupt him or wake his daughter, but I had spoken with Jim prior to this event and I told him that I was going, so I wanted to at least say hello and introduce myself. My plan was to go over, say hi, not cry or faint and then hopefully walk away with some dignity.

So somehow I got the courage to go over to Jim. I don’t know how, but I did. I was shaking, and my heart was going a million miles an hour, but I did manage to walk over and talk. Like I said, I had planned on quick hello and then leave - after all, it is a little rude to interrupt someone when they are with their child. Thankfully Jim didn’t mind - and although I felt bad about the whole situation (yes I blame my craziness/fangirlling) I was still giddy with joy that Jim was okay with me saying hello. And then, I was totally blown away… Jim offered to sign all my books - which was ridiculously generous considering he had an adorable bundle of sleeping joy in his lap at the time.

I think I kept it together - but I am not completely sure.

I was internally flipping out, and I was actually in shock about how sweet and kind Jim was to offer to sign my books considering I had rudely gone over to him while he was trying to get away from everyone. But, on the upside, if I did say anything stupid, I was whispering and hopefully Jim didn’t catch my idiotic rambling :)

After Jim ever-so-graciously had signed my books, I was packing up to leave (yes, I had that much I had to “pack up”) and Laini came out to check on Jim and Clementine. I was internally freaking out while Jim introduced me to Laini, and Laini gave me a hug! She knew who I was - and I was surprised that by this time I was still actually standing! I couldn’t believe it… not only was Jim sweet enough to sign all my books, but I had a “private” meeting with Laini! It was quick, I will admit, but who cares - I met Laini!!! Laini thanked me for coming to see her, and I explained that I had a lot of things to sign so that I would wait towards the end and then I left so Jim and Laini could do what they needed to do before Laini went back inside to meet other attendees and sign their books.

All the books I took to be signed - and yes, all but DOGAM came with me from Australia

After finally going outside for some fresh air, and to calm down, I ventured back inside to wait to get all my things signed by Laini. When I was near the end of the line there was no one moving forward and Laini said to come over - so I did. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t jumping the line… I was just going over to start unpacking the 1000kg worth of books and getting them ready for Laini to sign (by this time, it really did feel like 1000kg). Between meeting other attendee’s and signing books, Laini and I chatted - about her possible upcoming trip to Australia, my trip to Prague, and her ability to sign so many books without her hand getting sore. I was kind of in shock that I was standing next to Laini Taylor, and that she was talking to me! (I hope I was making sense lol). I gave Laini some chocolates I had taken over for her (I mean who doesn’t want chocolate kangaroos from Australia) and a set of bookmarks made by one of my friends who makes bookmarks and jewellery. Laini made jokes about the bookmarks not being able to go in her carry-on luggage as they looked like weapons, and that she thought it was awesome that I gave her chocolate and weapons. After Laini finished signing my many books, I was lucky enough to get a photo taken with her! EEEEEEK!

By this point I was starting to wonder if I was hallucinating.

Did all of that really happen? And did I really keep my cool during all of it? Apparently it had all really happened and apparently I didn’t lose it. Somehow I was still standing and seemingly handling it quite well. But inwardly, I was still totally freaking out!!!! Actually I was flipping out so much that if one more thing had of happened, there was no way I would have been able to keep from totally, and publicly, losing it and fangirling all over the place. So we grabbed our amazing goodie bags and headed home. All the way back to the hotel, I was still in a state of shock. Constantly saying things like “oh my god, I met Laini and Jim”. It all felt so surreal. And even on the way back to the hotel when I had to reflect back on the evening, I really couldn’t get over how utterly fantastic the night was and the fact that I kept it together. I’m not saying I was normal, I possibly sounded like I had lost a fair few brain cells, but I didn’t do anything embarrassing (that I remember). My friend was even commenting on how impressed she was that I actually kept it together.

And then I got back to the room and had internet connection again, and found a tweet from Jim. And this nearly undid me! Seriously, he nearly broke me with this tweet! Can you believe how amazingly sweet he is?

Jim’s tweet that nearly undid all my cool

At this event I only took my books for signing - as I had so much. But I had already planned to get other things signed later - I had left some things with Laini for her to sign and I was going to pick them up from her at an event she had just out of the city. I had also arranged with the bookstore where the event was being held to keep a few copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone aside so that I could purchase them when I get there. So yes, I had great plans for a fantastic giveway. BUT… this is where my trip to London all fell apart. The day I was going to the event that was only 1 hour outside of London, the trains were not running due to construction so the trip would now consist of 4 buses and would take 3 hours. But that’s okay - still doable. But the universe was conspiring against me - and there was an issue with our hotel room (long story, but basically it involved the bathroom and us being unable to use it) and we had to change rooms. So by the time we sorted everything out with the hotel and packed up all our things, we had worked out there was no room to actually move to, so we had to wait for one, blah blah blah. So basically, due to everything the universe threw at us, we missed our chance to get there on time (thanks stupid trains and hotel rooms). We even looked into hiring a car and driving - but we couldn’t get one in time to get to the event on time either. So not only was I upset (and angry and frustrated and disappointed) that I wouldn’t be meeting Laini or Jim again, but I was also saddened that I couldn’t get any books signed for a giveaway, or the items I had left with Laini for a giveaway.

My time in London was limited after this terrible day, and I was unable to get anywhere to pick up the items from Laini. But after a few conversations (which trust me is hard in London when you don’t have your own internet connection), Laini has offered to get the bookmarks, pics and bookplates back to me. So, sadly I won’t be able to offer any signed books just yet - but there is still hope for a giveaway for some other cool things! (how amazing is Laini for arranging to get them back to me???!!!!)

So, even though the second time I was going to meet Laini turned out to be a complete schmozzle - the first time was mind blowing!!! I could not have possibly have dreamt up a better scenario if I tried. Meeting your favourite author (and artist as well in this case) is always extremely exciting, but still a little scary. Not only is there the chance you will react like a crazy person (well in my case this was a real possibility), but I’ve also known people to feel a little “let down” after meeting someone they admire so much. Maybe it’s because they build their expectations up so high, or because these events can be so rushed. And yes, my expectations were very high, but I wasn’t worried about being disappointed as I knew going into this that both Laini and Jim are wonderful, down-to-earth people. But I could not have even hoped for them to be as amazing as really are!

I just cannot tell you how wonderful, amazing, sweet, generous and genuine both Laini and Jim are. Any dreams I had of meeting them could not match the experience they actually gave me - basically they made all the dreams I never had come true :)

Me and Laini Taylor


Thank you Laini and Jim for being you, and for giving me the most amazing experience of my life!


What do you think?

  • I can’t believe that you got a ‘private’ meeting with Laini and Jim. I’m very impressed you kept it together. My mind would probably go blank and I would forget any question I wanted to ask. Sorry to hear you couldn’t get to see her on the second day, but it sounds like that first event was amazing. She sounds like such a nice person and I hope she comes to Australia this year like she said she might and that I can meet her too. I’m glad you got to meet them both :)

    • Kristy says:

      Oh Rochelle, it was amazing! I honestly felt like I was dreaming! And yes, it was disappointing about the second day, but seriously, I could not have asked for a better experience that night, so I have no reason to complain!!!
      I hope you get to meet her too! She is sooooo nice! (Oh, and there is something on the net that say that Laini will be Brisbane at an event, we are all just waiting to see if any other news comes out)

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