Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Backstage at a Rock Concert

No, of course I didn't go backstage at a rock concert. I went backstage at the Sydney Writers' Festival Primary School event in Penrith while volunteering. More or less the same thing. The second I arrived at the Performance Centre where the event was being held I had a conversation with Morris Gleitzman the children's author without realising he was Morris Gleitzman the children's author until he mentioned that he would be signing his books.

My job was to usher primary schools into the venue along with another volunteer, and then write children's names on post-it notes so that the authors (Morris Gleitzman and Deborah Abela) would be able to spell their names correctly when signing autographs. This was mostly easy (Sophie, Sam) but then other times confusing (Mikhayla, Kyprian, the fact that nearly every Australian boy is called Lachlan.)

I was then officially allowed to leave, but I found out that Garth Nix was on next with another author called Sean Williams with whom he co-wrote a book. I hung around outside the stage door like a groupie until they came out, then said 'Garth Nix?' at both of them, not sure which was which. Then I got Garth Nix's autograph for April (I seem to remember her being a big fan of his books, it would be a bit awkward now if I was confusing her with someone else.) He gave me a couple of free signed bookmarks, then we had a conversation about the St. Albans Waterstones and the fact that nearly every Australian boy is called Lachlan.

Tragically, my stalkerdom meant that rather than leaving I was asked to do post-its for all the kids wanting their copies of Sabriel signed, but I didn't really mind, even when I had to run to the mall to buy extra post-it notes and even though I spent the entire day wearing a bright orange t-shirt. I hope whatever shift I am doing tomorrow involves being backstage with authors, although I hope I don't make an idiot of myself in front of Markus Zusak.


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