I Am The Beetletoed Jackneedle

Thursday reached the end of my countdown – ROAD TRIP!

So, I left work 15 minutes early and hit the open road bound for Raleigh. It was even more open than usual, since they completed the bypass around Goldsboro. Since I was the only one in the car, I listened to NPR the whole way. For some reason, the whole “driver picks the music/station” thing never applies while I’m driving.

I arrived at Quail Ridge Books around 5:30 – enough time to browse an independent bookstore I’d never been in, feed my addiction , and get a good seat. I didn’t want to seem too eager, so I sat three rows back.

Believe it or not, I wasn’t the first one there. I was second. After an hour of talking books, current events, and pizza, we were ready for the main event: John Scalzi!

Scalzi Trip 2017 15

This photo courtesy John Scalzi, who asked us to wave and say “Hi, Twitter!”

Scalzi Trip 2017 14He read from his work-in-progress, Head On, a sequel to Lock In. If you haven’t read Lock In, you should; and then, get excited for Head On! We swore ourselves to secrecy, so I can’t say much of anything beyond “it’s going to be really, really good” based on the section we heard.

Scalzi then read some other material, took questions, and then it was time for the signing line! I was in Line B, but didn’t have to wait long before I stood before the man himself. When I handed him my book, he looked at the note and said

OK, I’m going to need some context here.

When I reminded him about the great “Twitter Insults” of 2015, he replied

Oh, yeah! I remember that; I thought this looked like something I’d write!

And he actually laughed out loud! All right, maybe it was more like a chuckle. Still it was nice.

Jay, you Beetletoed Jackneedle! Get outta here! 

In all my excitement, I forgot to get a promotional button (that’s what’s in the tin bucket on the table). Ah well. Who needs buttons when you have a personalized book from one of your favorite authors?

Scalzi Trip 2017 16

This photo also courtesy John Scalzi, because hey, I forgot mine, remember?

Here’s hoping he comes back near me on his next book tour!

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