Annette's Acre

Stitching, knitting, reading, life…whatever catches my eye
November 6th, 2009 by Annette

An Evening with a Pioneer Woman

Last night I attended a book signing at a local independent bookstore: Changing Hands

It was for this:

Here’s how it went:

Several weeks ago:  Pre-order cookbook online

One week ago:  Decide to attend booksigning and pre-order second book at bookstore

Thursday: Realize I will have two copies after the signing, and check with friend to see if she would like the spare.  She does.  Whew.

Thursday 5:15ish:  Head to bookstore

–Just so you know, the policy at this store is that when you buy your book, you receive a signing group (designated by a letter of the alphabet) that will not only be used to form an orderly queue for signing, but also determine who gets to sit in the relatively small area reserved for author events.  My group was “D” so while I’d be sitting in the back, I should get a real chair to sit in.

5:30ish:  Arrive at bookstore.  Pick up book and notice a line forming to enter the event area.  Hmmm… must be the “A” people.   Clerk encourages me to “shop” the store while I wait for seating (6pm) due to the orderly group seating practice.  Realize I forgot my camera.  Will have to rely on phone pics.

5:40:  Notice there are a LOT of people in the store.  I’m browsing fiction shelves about the 15th person point in the line.

5:42: Store clerk stops nearby and calls for attention.  She drops the following lovely piece of news:

“Someone has “tweeted” that they are unhappy with our seating policy.  The author has phoned and asked us to seat folks as they arrive, rather than by signing group.  We like to make our authors happy, so we will honor her request for this event.”

5:43: Briefly entertain the thought of staying where I am and “merging” into the line at this point.  However, my conscience compels me to find the end of the line 🙁  Which unfortunately is now three times longer than when I arrived.

5:45: Overhear much grumbling.  Re: change in seating policy.  My end of the line assumes author has called out-of-the-blue.  I relate the store clerk story. They are somewhat appeased, but would love to know who complained.  To provide an “educational opportunity.”

6:05: Seating opens and line slowly moves.  There is much jockeying for position.  Needlessly, but just my opinion.

6:10: Find a marginally-acceptable leaning area against a bookshelf bordering the event area.  Crime fiction section.

6:10 – 7:00:  Lean.  Read (Kindle – Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men).  Feet and back start to complain to conscience about choice made at 5:43.

7:03:  Author enters to applause.  I realize there is a large column between author and myself.  Oh well, at least I can hear.

7:04 – 7:30:  Q & A session with author.  My favorite question:

What does your husband think about the fact that lots of women love him as much as you do?


Answer:  He’s fine with that 😉

7:35:  Clerk calls for Group “A” to line up to begin signing.  Oh, and anyone with small children.

7:36:  Realize there are a LOT of small children.

7:37:  Wander to connected bakery (Wildflower Bakery) in search of sustenance.

7:39: Realize that bakery is not the best choice for someone with a wheat allergy

7:41: Manage to procure apple juice and rice cereal treat (leftover from Halloween.  It had candy corn in it.  An unnecessary modification, but one takes what one can get)

7:42: Find small table and SIT.  Feet and back finally SHUT UP.

8:15:  Give up table.  Wander back in to store area in hopes of finding a chair tucked away in a corner.

8:25:  Find seat on the floor in fantasy/sci-fi section.

8:30:  Signing Group “B” called.   I keep reading.

8:50:  Signing Group “C” called.  Decide to return to my original leaning spot to await the “D” group.

8:52:  Ladies I was standing next to during the chat have the same idea I had.  They ask if I’ve been standing there the whole time… LOL

9:10: Group “D” called!  Make my way to the line…. on the opposite side of the event area.  Lo and behold, most of the “D”s are already there, so I’m second to last.  Oh well.

9:15:  Use phone to snap quick pick of Author.  Realize store is in a Cell Phone Dead Zone and I can’t save the picture (not enough memory).   Hope upload to Facebook will go thru eventually.

9:30: Present my books for signing 🙂  Make small Oklahoma-based small talk with Author.

Me:  I lived in Oklahoma in a previous life.  In Stillwell.

PW: Stillwater or Stillwell?

(This is ALWAYS the response, I swear.  Like I don’t know the name of the town I lived in).

Me: Stillwell.   It’s 90 miles southeast of Tulsa.

PW:  When did you leave Oklahoma?

Me: 13 years ago 🙂  I do enjoy your stories about living in small town Oklahoma.

PW:  I’m glad you can relate to them!  (scribble…scribble….)   You know, my husband would be appalled that I have no idea where Stillwell is… LOL

She was lovely and very gracious.  Even with the HUGE number of people there (and books left to sign).

As I was leaving, I heard two of the bookstore employees discussing the fact that the publicist told them to expect 20-40 people tops.  There were at least 200 there.

And as you probably guessed, the picture didn’t get uploaded.  You’ll just have to take my word for it….


5 Responses to “An Evening with a Pioneer Woman”
  1. I owe you one Spa Pedicure w/ super duper foot massage. 😀

  2. Wow, sounds like an ordeal but how nice that the author was so gracious! Go put your feet up and relax now! 🙂

  3. I had a similar experience when I went to the Jen Lancaster book signing earlier this year. They were expecting 50-75 people, but 200+ showed up. Thankfully, I lucked out and had an “A” band and they stuck with the orderly seating method. 😉

  4. I really loved reading your ‘method’ of writing this, LOL

  5. Melissa C. says

    Wow. lol I have to admit I have never heard of this author. Will check her out.