*Contributed by Jacklin, Staff Reviewer*
Meeting J.K. Rowling
As you may have noticed this month is dedicated to Harry Potter, because not only do we get a new book but we also get a play. With all the news about Harry Potter it has me reminiscing about all the amazing things that have come because of this series. Beloved characters, awesome movies, and amazing theme parks (that I have yet to go to)! But one of the most amazing and exciting experiences I ever had was getting to meet J.K. herself. Even to this day I can’t believe I met her. It was back when the second book came out and before I knew how much this series would be apart of my life.
Now my mom has always been a huge advocate of reading and one of the things she used to do with us was take us to signings. She has never said no to buying us books or us using our money on books. Which would account for me being 25 and buying way too many books. We spent a lot of time in our local bookstore. So much so that the woman who worked there was good friends with my mom. So when my mom found out that J.K. would be stopping there on her book tour, she jumped on the chance for us to meet her. I mean who wouldn’t!
The day finally came for us to meet J.K. I remember being so excited. I kept thinking about the things I would tell her. I would tell her how much this series meant to me and how much I love her writing and that she made me fall in love with three characters more than I had ever loved anything in my entire life. I mean I was INVESTED.
I don’t remember much about the drive (I was probably listening to music), or about what lead up to getting in line. But I do remember the line was out the door. I had never seen so many people before in my life. It was exciting and also a little scary. I was so nervous. It’s such a surreal experience meeting an author. To me they’re more exciting than meeting any actor or actress… Unless it’s Tom Hardy. But it was the first time I realized how much this series meant to people. It was the first time I realized I wasn’t alone in my love of HP. These people were willing to stand for hours in line just to get a book signed (which would become a very normal part of my life). And I was one of them. It was also the first time I realized that these people, these book nerds, were where I belonged. Plus what’s better than a group of book nerds? Answer: NOTHING.
I don’t remember standing in line, all I remember is getting closer and closer. This was the first author I had met that made me nervous. What if I said something stupid? Which turned out not to be a problem because I didn’t say a word. Nothing. Zip. I stared at her. I mean I was so starstruck that I literally just stared. I don’t know if you have ever met an author before, but if you have you know all the things you plan to tell them, and then you get to the front and suddenly you no longer speak English. I mean I didn’t know what to say. How do I tell this amazing woman, that she is in fact amazing?
Despite the fact that I didn’t say a word, I remember feeling such a connection with her. She created this world and she made us fall in love with these characters. I didn’t say anything but I felt understood. She wrote about characters who very much felt like they could be me. Because of time limits we could only get one book signed, so it wasn’t a long meet and greet, but it still left such a huge impact on me. So much so that years later I still think about it.
I feel so lucky, despite not saying anything, that not only does Harry Potter exist, but that my mom took us to the signing. That I got to meet her. That she smiled at me, like without saying anything she still understood me. This signing really opened my eyes to a world I didn’t really know existed. Book nerds coming together to meet an author that meant so many things to each of us. It was truly an amazing experience. One that I will never forget.