I was in Austin, Texas this past week, and while I was there Wildwood Imperium, the third novel in the Colin Meloy series, was released. By chance, I stumbled into BookPeople, one of the best independent book stores in the nation. It turned out that Colin and Carson Ellis, his wife and the illustrator of the books, were going to do a book signing two days later and I instantly made plans to attend.
I read first two books in the series last year, Wildwood and Under Wildwood, and was blown away. I've long been a fan of Colin Meloy's band The Decemberists and the narrative scope of his songs, but I was still mesmorized by his writing ability. I told him as much at the signing and he seemed flattered.
The entire event was a joy. The couple told an entertaining story of how the books came to be, and how their entire lives seemed to be leading towards the creation. It reinforced what I've always preached, that a story doesn't just come out of nowhere, but develops over time, growing within your imagination as you puzzle it out.
As an author who has done my fair share of book signings, I'm always a little unsure of how it is to be on the other end. You sometimes forget the excitement that those who come to them might feel, so it's good to attend a few every now and then and be reminded of what a treat these events can be.
By the way, if you're in Austin, stop by the store. It's an amazing place, and there are also signed copies of my book Life is But a Dream now on the shelves. A full review of Wildwood Imperium to come after I finish reading Hallow City.