I queued from around noon yesterday to see Chris at Waterstones. It was, despite the hard floor for a bed and the necessary speed of signing, an amazing and totally worthwhile experience.
As the time arrived, I began to feel sick with nervous anticipation and when we were called in as the first group, my legs went to jelly. So much for playing it cool *g*
When we were in, we waited for him to come out. Everyone said that it seemed the longest very short time in history! ;-) And then, there he was. Obligatory squeals from some as he walked down and posed for official photos. And amongst all of us dying, we had time to all turn to each other and agree that the previous reports that we have all read and thought hyperbole, are right- he is better looking in person! Seriously, he is mesmerising to look at. There is a beauty mixed with a strange, quiet dignity and a very cute boyishness that is really unique in my estimation.
When it was my turn, my mouth was dry but I thanked him for the inspiration that he has given my students and told him that they had been reading and writing more. I said that we had been listening to his audio book and he gaped and looked shocked. Then I said that they had been writing fairystories. He said, ” OMG, that explains it. This is so dirty!”, gesturing to the SBL books he’d signed for my two absent friends and me. He’d thought we had been listening to that! We both laughed. He thanked me. I thanked him and I staggered off. My companions’ encounters were equally as brilliant for them.
Chris makes you feel like you matter. He focuses wholly on you and, although it has to be brief, each person’s interaction with him feels meaningful and important to him. I cannot emphasise enough how even more deeply impressed I am by him.