It was snowing that night, and ever so coooooold.
It was actually clear in Colorado Springs when we left, and I hadn't checked the weather. The drive up to Denver is about an hour long, though probably a bit over to this part of Denver. We hit snow about halfway there and slowed to a crawl on the interstate.
~Pause, roll, pause, roll.~
It was so bad, my friend and I had to open the windows and let the snow drift in, because we were both nauseous. There's something about swirling chunks of snow that gives a person a little vertigo, especially when it's dark and the snow is whirling through various sets of headlights (plus, I suffer from a chronic migraine condition that causes frequent vertigo, so that didn't help).
The Tattered Cover is a shrine for readers and writers alike, and one I've wanted to visit for ages. Problem being, I'm not a big-city girl. I don't like to drive in the area, and I hate having to find parking (and pay for the privilege of using it). However, for Kim Harrison, and with the company of a friend and my little sister (who we picked up in Denver), I figured the trek would be worth it.
There are two Tattered Covers, but this one is somewhere called the 16th Street Mall, a stretch of old roadway with shops rising on either side. A shuttle runs from one end to the other alongside horse drawn carts, bicycles and pedestrians.
We found parking just a couple storefronts up. The meter wouldn't let my sister put in more than an hour with her card, so we shoveled in a few more coins, figuring we'd come back out to add money if we were in there too long. We then braved the slick pavement, shuffling through bits of slush, until we came to the unassuming, yet still magnificent, double wooden doors. My first sight of the Tattered Cover!
The old wooden floors creaked and groaned beneath our feet. I've always loved that sound. Bookshelves rose all around us, the smells of ink, paper and coffee enveloping us, drawing us in. Covers both shiny and dull beckoned us--leather, paper and cloth.
I should have taken a photo of the inside of the Tattered Cover, but we were late due to the snow, so we rushed upstairs to get our numbers for the book signing: 111, 112 and 113--yeah, we were really late.
For the signing, we were upstairs in a dedicated area. I dream of signing a book I've written in that space some day.
We moved around the already seated audience, taking in photos of famous faces that lined the walls, and ended up in a row one from the back, behind a large column. A few more people made their way in, some wearing matching shirts. We'd find out later that Kim Harrison gives away shirts at her signings/readings, so these guys must have attended others.
A brief intro, and Kim Harrison stood before us on a podium, wonderful thick hair, dark glasses.
She read a snippet from her new book, Ever After. I learned I'd been saying one of the character's names wrong the whole time...whoops! It was great to hear it in her voice, and she didn't read for so long that I was bored, which was nice. She then did a Q&A, her favorite part, she said.
The questions were good, better than I expected. One amusing one stuck out: they asked what burnt amber smelled like and she said she really had burned amber, and she didn't recommend it, because it stank. She was asked if she was tired of writing the series yet, and she said she was getting there, but wasn't yet. She also said that it was an author's job to keep themselves interested in their stories, because if they're bored, the reader is bored. She did say that when she grows bored of it, she will let it go.
She and her husband had some fun banter back and forth throughout, and during the signing process he came around and asked if there were any additional questions anyone had, any stories anyone might want to hear. He chatted with us about Kim Harrison World, and how she writes every day and keeps business hours. As he said, that's how you get a series of best sellers. He told us about their first date (Valentine's, but he had no idea it was that day; he just knew it was Friday). He makes her tea in the morning, and then checks on her throughout the day to see if she needs food. I asked him to write a letter to hubby so he'd know what would be expected of him. ;-p
During the signing, they also had a camera going around, and asked people to take photos of themselves or their shoes. Yes, she has a Pinterest board for shoes/feet, as well as photos taken at her signings, so check it out if you have an account.
We finally got in line, and when we got to the front a woman offered to take a picture of us (my little sister, me, Kim Harrison):
She was pleasant to talk to and, despite being a self-confessed introvert (her hubby is the extrovert), she was a great speaker. I highly recommend attending if she has anything in your area. I think she was heading east again, to one of the Carolinas?
When we got out of there, it was after 10pm, and I had a big fat parking ticket, because the meter had run out. I'd turned my phone off inside and had no idea how late it had gotten. Instead of putting the ticket on my windshield, where I first looked for it, they shoved it in the door, so I was all relieved when I didn't see the darned thing, then brought right back down. Messed up. I was NOT a happy camper. Jerks.
It had stopped snowing while we were inside, so we went to dinner at a Village Inn. By the time we walked back out, the snow was falling in those big, heavy chunks again, and the drive down was hellacious. My windshield wipers froze, so they stopped actually clearing anything off the windshield. My contacts dried out. Visibility was low. I couldn't tell if it was icy or just wet. I did finally pull off in Castle Rock and get the ice off my windshield wipers, but yikes! It dried up soon after, and we arrived to find a bone dry Colorado Springs (though it did snow overnight).
And that was my Adventure in Kim Harrison World.
I'd love to go back up to Tattered Cover, but I have no interest in paying the city anymore money to do so. Boo, hiss. Way to ruin a girl's night. Stupid meter. Stupid me for having manners and turning my darned phone off!!!! Next time I'll turn it on when it comes to signing time. (And, no, I can't wear watches--I kill the batteries.) My bad.
Ever been to a signing? How about a Kim Harrison signing? Did you get a shirt? Heard of 16th St Mall or Tattered Cover? Been there? Do you have as much trouble as I do adjusting to using only one space after periods?
May you find your Muse.