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The 2022 Fiction, Fans & Ballgowns Signing Event - Presented by Hudson Indie Ink Publishing

You know that feeling when you’ve been looking forward to something for so long it almost seems like it’ll never happen? Then, as the weeks, and in this case, years (cheers Covid) pass until the day is finally upon you. The anxiety kicks in and you hope and pray that all the madness and organised chaos, the sleepless nights, the headaches will be worth it? You know that feeling, right? Suddenly, the event is on. The day is here. You’re ready to take on the world and face whatever the day may bring because THIS IS IT!

You enter the venue and all is quiet… just for a second. The tables dressed in their white linen are positioned and ready for their literary adornments. The coloured light streaming in from the great stained glass windows sprinkles rainbows on the flagstone floor and you can see it all in your mind’s eye- banners, books, authors, readers, smiles, laughter and book chatter. Your stomach churns in anticipation as people trickle in and begin to display their wares.

The buzz begins to build, the noise escalates, the atmosphere is palpable. The clock is ticking and it’s mere minutes until the doors open and the gigantic queue of excited readers flood the hall and make a beeline for their favourite authors.

Two years in the planning… tick… tick…

The doors are open, here they come. Get your game face on everyone!

(Oh, the beautiful, manic chaos of a big book signing! If I could bottle the essence of it and sell it, I’d be a millionaire. There’s really no feeling like it.)

Nervous excitement permeates the hearts of every person in attendance. You watch the fans congregating around tables, eager to collect their precious tomes with that coveted signature inside, gather up fancy swag, and grab a cheeky selfie with their unicorns. Things begin to settle into a natural rhythm and you relax, satisfied that everything is as it should be. You are doing the thing you do best amongst the people who love you for it and it feels GREAT! These are your people, your tribe of bookies, your friends old and new. You share a connection that only bookies understand, and together, you revel in the celebration of the stories and worlds that you adore. Book trolleys and suitcases are overflowing with signed pretties but there’s always room for one more… maybe two. You end the day exhausted but happy with the evening’s glitzy ball to look forward to.

It’s time to don your fancy pants and make like Cinderella to the masquerade ball! Lights, camera action! Smiles and champagne flow as fast and as easy as the conversation does because you have made new friends and they ‘get you’. The cocktail reception is filled with ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ at the plethora of costumes and admiration for the effort people have made with the theme- horns, masks, tiara’s, face jewels, corsets, kilts and tartan trews! You realise that this is a book event like no other and it is a privilege to be part of it. The vaulted cloisters of the monastery feed into the ballroom that wows you with its purple lighting and gothic ambience. You make your way through the throng between the decadently dressed tables with their bespoke gothic centrepieces and you cannot believe how magical it all looks. The evening passes with no lull in conversation, no pause within the laughter and with a growing sense of togetherness. Your heart is full and your soul is singing and you are grateful to be back in the world again, with like-minded people, after two long years of the pandemic. Book events are back and the Fiction Fans & Ballgowns event started the season off with a resounding BANG! See you at the next one ;)

Written by Author C.L. Monaghan

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