Last night we hosted a magnificent signing at Forbidden Planet London with our bestselling and very cuddly authors Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch. We knew it was going to be big, but we didn’t know how big…
We arrived at around 5.15 to sign some preorders and meet with the staff. It should have been a sign of how many people wanted to come that there was already a queue of forty or so, but we weren’t prepared for what would greet us when we came out of the back office twenty minutes later. The queue snaked all around the lower floor of FP – we reckon it was about 350 people in total, and the staff said it was the biggest book signing they’d ever had downstairs.
It was a long wait for many, and very sadly we had to close the line – there was literally no more room for people to join. Scott and Pat were determined to make sure that everyone who was in the line had a moment with them, and there were a LOT of photos taken, handshakes shared and a fair few hugs. It was a thrill to see how excited people were to meet the two authors, and everyone was very patient with the long wait. We were also very pleased to see how many people were fans of both authors, or left saying ‘I must try this other guy’s work’….
The signing had been scheduled for 6 until 7, which was laughably optimistic. We started at 5.45 and the last book was signed at around 9.05. Breathing huge sighs of relief, the authors were allowed to relax.
For five minutes.
Then we went off to the Phoenix Artist’s Club, just around the corner from Forbidden Planet, where around 100 fans had gathered for an informal Q&A and a chat with Scott and Pat. There were a handful of people who hadn’t managed to get in to the signing, so we made sure that they all got some facetime with both authors, but generally everyone just milled around, had a drink and got to chat to fellow fans, publishers and the authors. Pat lead a group of around 40 people outside so he could hear them over the noise of the pub, and an impromptu signing happened on Phoenix Street, much to the bemusement of the local theatre goers.
We finally convinced Scott and Pat that they were allowed to stop being amazing at about midnight, and they headed off to their hotel. Gollancz then gratefully finished their pints and left as well.
We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to a few people. The authors, of course, as well as their wonderful support teams. All of the fans, who waited without complaint and showed Pat and Scott just how important and loved they are. The barstaff at the Phoenix, as well as the Irish band who provided a surprise soundtrack to the last hour or so of the evening. And especially the staff at Forbidden Planet, who kept the shop open and stayed until the end despite the fact that they were meant to go home at 7.00. It was above the call of duty, and we’re very grateful.