And it. Was. AWESOME.
I mean, I know you've all heard it before - the excited rants on the Blog, the keyboard spamming, the other posts - but it's just so shocking. It didn't seem real, but at the same time, it was so overwhelmingly real it was startling. It's a good thing my mum got video of it, though, because had she not I don't think I would believe it had actually happened.
And Derek himself was just... awesome. He was hilarious and nice and polite (most of the time). And he wasn't rushing us, despite the fact that we were there so long, he just sat there and had a conversation with us. It was so amazing, but Derek made it seem so normal. In fact, I didn't even fangirl or anything. I'm surprised at how easy it was to talk to him. He made it seem like we were old friends.
I think it's safe to assume that this will be a fairly long post.
When Amanda, my mum, and I got to Easons, we were the first ones there. We asked where Derek was going to be, and since it was about 1:20, the employee looked at us a bit oddly and told us it was at three, but showed us nonetheless. Once we had kind of settled a bit we saw two other girls standing in the same area as us, and we kind of kept glancing back at each other. Then another girl came up, me and Amanda moved over a bit to where the line would start, and then one girl looked over and went, "Val?"
I think I should've expected it to be NJ and Em. I actually had thought it was NJ when she was with her friend Megan (sorry if I spelled your name wrong!), but when Em walked over and said something I could just tell it was them. So we were the first ones there, all of us, and we stood there, talking, and we met another girl who was there early too - I'm sorry, I can't remember her name - who happens to follow NJ on Twitter. So we all talked for a while, and gradually the line got longer and longer, but that didn't matter, since we were in the front. I'm glad NJ, Em, and Megan were there, though, otherwise I think I would've lost my mind in anticipation. And the fact that I kept looking for Flame to show up kept me distracted too.
But then I looked up and saw a guy in a black coat walking past. A very, very familiar guy. And I wasn't really noticing anything happening just then except for the fact that I knew who that was and I was going to scream at him. So I shrieked "Derek!", waved my arms a whole lot, and then he saw us.
I was so excited I felt numb. And in that numbness I was very aware of the fact that Derek Landy was walking towards us, a grin on his face, and he came over and hugged me and Amanda. I just sort of said that I was excited, or something like that, and then the shock wore off and it was like I already knew him. He was super easy to talk to. I had no problem going, "Derek, I blame you for this, my hand is shaking. Yeah, see, look, the excitement is making my hand shake. This is your fault."
It's a good thing we were in front, because I don't think I'd be quite as calm had I been waiting. For all of you other people there, I am sorry I took about 20 minutes to talk to him. But hey, he started 15 minutes early, so that sort of, somehow, cancels it out, right? Anyway, as for what happened, I can't remember everything, but I will eventually.
When we started getting things signed, me and Amanda gave him the things we brought to give him. I gave him that giant birthday card I had from October - the one everyone signed, the Valkyrie-Lizard (which is friends with the Derek-Lizard), and I gave him a drawing of Derek and I riding evil unicorns and fighting ninjas. Amanda gave him a little golden alien thing that she claimed to be the Golden God, and had him sign a painting and her "Team Pleasant" shirt I made her in sixth grade or so, and she made him wear a necklace that had, er, a baby doll head on it that had Fletcher hair. We each bought a new set of books for Derek to sign, and his reaction to that was funny.
You know, actually, he was just funny in general. He was freaking hilarious. And it was awesome that I wasn't hyperventilating or anything, which I was scared would happen, because I could lead a conversation with him and be myself, you know? I even got to make funny comebacks and everything.
By the way, Thrust, Mist, friends at home - I gave Derek a note with you saying hi and stuff.
Oh, also, Derek signed the Derek-Lizard.
And sometime about halfway through us talking to Derek, NJ and Em shrieked someone's named, and we looked around an saw Flame, who looked kind of scared. Just saying, Flame. You looked ever so slightly startled. And then he walked away, and Amanda said something, and I said something along the lines of, "Fine! Run away, then. Run."
And then we went right along, chatting, and took lots of pictures. And my mum and Em video taped most of it.
Em's got hers uploaded to YouTube, by the way. LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-OnAwDbnj0
Also, I'd like to point out that just because our little group left - Amanda, me, NJ, Megan, Flame, and Em - did not mean we left. In fact, we all hung around the mall for a while, going around. I managed to trip at least twice on the escalator going down. We went down to go get food first, and while we ate we sat outside, where I also fell while trying to grab my bag of stuff. And I got food thrown at me. Thanks, guys.
Also, we bought Derek a strawberry milkshake. Because we're cool like that.
And then we wandered around Easons a bit, then left again, and me, Amanda, and Flame all wanted to ride on the little train that went around the mall, on the way to which Flame pointed out that you can see the veins in my face and I could be possessed by a Remnant. I take pride in being able to keep myself that pale. It's epic. When we got to the little train thing we were going to ride it, but the thing was full of scary little kids so I didn't want to go on it.
We did some other stuff I can't remember at the moment in between, and then we saw the line was nearly gone and we got back in it, and the look Derek gave us when he saw us again was priceless.
We got to go talk to him again, and at some point NJ asked if she was in book eight, so I asked if I was in it and Derek winked at me. At that point my voice raised about three pitches too high and I was frozen to the spot. In fact, I'm fairly certain that is the only moment I fangirled. I asked again and then he said yes officially, and I can't remember who asked it but they asked if I was just mentioned or a character, and he said a character who does stuff. And Flame asked if I punched him in it, and Derek responded with something along the lines of, "Well, you aren't the first person." So I think that means I've punched someone. Which is amazing. And then NJ, I think, said, "What if Ivy punched Val?" which was awesome. Seriously, though, what if she did? I'd have just punched myself in the face. HOW DOES THAT EVEN WORK?
Anyway. I met Derek Landy. I met Flame, NJ, Megan, and Em. I hung out with all of them. I'm meeting Derek again on Monday, after which I will post again.
Until I get back, I might not be able to get many pictures because of the weird internet situation on my phone, so I can't post them till then. But here's the ones I do have...
The lady who came along with Derek took a picture of us and put us on the HarperCollins Kids Twitter thingy, which for some reason refuses to post, so I'm just going to put a link here instead... https://twitter.com/HarperCollinsCh/status/318018867790217216/photo/1
And we all took a photo together, of course.
I'm sure it isn't THAT hard to figure it out, but in order from left to right it's me, Flame, NJ, Amanda, and Em, who was kneeling down because of limited space. (Sorry Em.)
And, OBVIOUSLY, we got a picture with Derek.