Meeting Brandon Sanderson at Phx Comicon
With blistering, above average 110+ degree weather and thousands-I mean thousands-of cosplayers lining the Phoenix Convention Center floor, Phoenix Comicon was an absolute success. We had duck duck goose with Spidermans, Deadpools and Cher. There were meet and greets and panels with some of pop culture’s finest. Hands down, Phoenix Comicon 2016 went above and beyond my expectations. Aside from the fun to be had inside the Bookmans Youth Room and the awe-inspiring geekery that took over downtown Phoenix for three whole days, I was able to meet the one and only Brandon Sanderson.
Words can not express what it was like to meet a favorite author, thank him for his books and shake his hand. Thankfully, I had someone with me to document this amazing experience. Together we were able to piece together what little I remembered with what she witnessed and confirm that this was indeed a real moment in my life. I felt a wave of panic when I decided at the last minute to jump into the author signing lines. I wasn’t ready nor prepared to talk to the author of novels I have been reading and forcing upon friends, family and Bookmans customers for years. Even being in the same room as him was a surreal moment. Hyperventilation was eminent and I had remind myself that Sanderson is a mere mortal such as I, even though in the moment I was unable to believe this myself. In my mind I had a whole speech ready for Mr. Sanderson. I would thank him for his books, tell him how I push his novels on everyone I know and we would eventually become the best of friends! Of course, some of that didn’t really happen but I really did get to meet him.
I was waiting in the zigzagged line completely surrounded by my fellow Brandon Sanderson super fans. These were were my people, my comrades who shared a love for Sanderson’s storytelling. A collective feeling of excitement lingered in the air as we all waited patiently for our turn. There is something different about getting to meet an author that you appreciate. It’s not like meeting an actor or singer. Or maybe it is if you’re crazy about film or music the way I obsess over books. But for a bibliophile, this person wrote their heart out and connected with their fans on such a vulnerable and intimate level. They share their imagination with you.
Once I reached the front of the line, I could feel my mind start to unload every thought that I was having. I worried my mind would go blank and I’d have nothing to say. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to, at the very least, mutter the words thank you. This was it! I was standing in front of him and I can tell you truthfully, I think I blacked out. I’m pretty sure I managed a “thank you” but everything else is a blur. I know that I emitted a jumble of words like: bookstore, books, love, and can I please shake your hand? There was a moment however that I will never forget. I managed to get out that I was so thankful for his stories because I felt they had changed my life. At that moment, he lifted his head from signing my book and looked up at me. Then, Brandon Sanderson took a breath, looked straight at me and genuinely said, “Wow, thank you.” At that point, it didn’t really matter anymore what I had rehearsed. Here I was prepared to shower him in gratitude and he thanked me!
I will never forget that moment and I will continue to tell everyone I know and beyond about how amazing Sanderson is as an author and how much I appreciate his novels. Not only because they are truly just outstanding, but because he was humble and kind. Further proving that he just genuinely loves to write and share with his fans. If you have yet to pick up a Brandon Sanderson book, you can read all about my deep infinite love for his novels here. My signed copy of The Bands of Mourning will forever be one of my most prized possessions. Do you have an experience like this one? We definitely want to hear about it so that we can geek out about it with you! Let us know in the comments below!
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