Thursday, 26 November 2015

Authors are our rock stars: Sarah J Maas at Central Library

Auckland Libraries recently had the pleasure of working alongside our friends at Allen & Unwin, to bring you what was the rock star author talk and book signing of the year!

More than 100 fans, and their friends and family, descended on the Central City Library to attend Sarah J. Maas’ only New Zealand appearance.  The 100 tickets that allowed fans to listen to the author talk and gain priority access to the book signing went like hot cakes, and for several weeks library staff were answering emails asking if people could be placed on the waiting list if people didn’t collect their tickets in time. Plus, we had people living in Wellington, Whangarei, and Cambridge book tickets! >THAT< was the level of excitement!

On the day, the event opened with a brief author talk, where Sarah had the audience enthralled with her completely relaxed self-admission that she was practically unrecognisable without her makeup, has loved Lord of the Rings since she was a teenager, and she had Legolas adorning her bedroom walls!  After charming everyone with how down-to-earth she was, Sarah then spent the next four hours signing books for her fans, chatting to them one-on-one, and posing for photographs – in other words, she totally set the bar way high for future author talks!

This event was a great example of collaboration between Auckland Libraries and a publisher to provide a (hopefully not) once in a lifetime opportunity to meet an author who has something of a cult following.  Auckland Libraries provided the location and managed the ticketing, while Allen & Unwin organised the arrival of Sarah and provided a complete set of her books as a prize for an online competition asking: what question would you ask Sarah if you could only ask her one question?

Jenna and the team from Time Out Bookstore were there to help fans fill any gaps in their collections, and helped fans buy treebooks - because it is really challenging for an author to sign an ebook.  It was a great afternoon, and Jenna obviously enjoyed interviewing Sarah in front of a very engaged audience – an interview which showed that Sarah is a thoroughly lovely person as well as a talented one!

This was seriously one of the best author talks we've ever held, not only because Sarah spent so much time with each of her fans, but also because of how amazing those fans were.  Two young fans had to leave the signing early, because of a job interview and a work meeting respectively, and they were upset that they were going to miss out on their chance to have their books signed.  A quick chat with the two lovely ladies at the front of the queue and they were able to get their books signed with no fuss, and a very special memory of the day.

After her marathon signing session Sarah was driven off into the night to start her two week vacation in New Zealand, and if you are on Instagram you can follow Sarah and see what an amazing New Zealand fangirl she is!

But don't just take our word for it: read Tearaway eMagazine's great article about Sarah’s visit to the Central City Library too.

Photos courtesy of Dan Liu.

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