|Just minutes before his book signing at BEA 2013. If you stare long enough you will notice that I am in the picture,|
touching Brandon Mull . . .
breathing the same air as the person who penned the Blind King into existence.
What . . .
I would paint this picture upon every ceiling I ever call home if my artistic skills went beyond shoddy stick art.
But anyway . . .
Prior to that moment I had promised myself I'd treat the celebrities of my life as people and not the images and impressions of them that we develop that so often mislead and constrain us.
Unfortunately, upon walking up to him, every atom in my body shaking quite a bit more than usual, I totally exploded inside. Somehow I managed to contain myself with words I hoped were enough. I told him simply with all the grace of a slab of dog food, "thank you."
I meant every letter. Mr. Mull, if you ever happen upon these words, know that your mind has truly been a gift to me, one I hold just inches from my heart.
Back to the past: I smiled as wide as I think I ever have on the onset and far after our bit of dialogue. Around halfway through I had to look back at my best friend, gesture to myself and say, “definition of rapt,” (kindof a reference to Macbeth at the time but not entirely) which brought a laugh out of him and by consequence almost causing me a sudden dose of unconsciousness by way of fainting.
He asked me what I'd read of his, and I told him (The Candy Shop War, Fablehaven, and Beyonders series), and he said something along the lines of “oh, you're dedicated!” And I was. He then told me about a new series he was working on and I don't think I will ever forget how fantastically human he seemed (and was) when he gazed up up, fingers to his chin, the light catching his eyes, and said “hmm” while describing the series, which was to be five books.
That moment brought him down to earth for me but damn I was still breathless.
I relayed to him I was off to London in the fall – probably forgot to mention it was for a year – and that I'd written a novel and three quarters of another, but I never really got to tell him how exactly he changed my life because I'd love to credit him with giving me my love for books or something huge, but really, it was a new pair of eyes into the depth of an adventure, how words could curl so fluidly into one another and spin a tale that seems so blindingly deep you can't help but feel dizzy.
Immediately then I caught how important it is – that magical moment when you realize someone who has changed your life isn't just books and words, but flesh and blood. And I told him “It's staggering to know you're so much more than words.” And he thanked me, and smiled that wonderfully regular-guy smile in his red flannel (I think it was a red flannel) and I moved on with my day ( a Niel Gaiman was next) as if I had been struck by lightning.
- Swordfish Horski