After sending the emails, I found out she was coming to The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles, which is within driving distance of my house. I decided to go see her there and ask her my questions in person. I compiled the three emails into a word document and printed them up. I figured I could split the questions up between me and the two friends (Mel and Kamilla) who were going with me. A perfect plan right? Ha! It should have been.
We got stuck in traffic, not just the normal L.A. rush hour traffic, but the accident-on-the-freeway-during-rush-hour-in-L.A. traffic. So instead of taking two to two and a half hours it took over three hours to get to the bookstore. After a while delirium set in and we made jokes that were hilarious to us in the moment but looking back were really lame. We would have been even later but Kamilla, who lives in L.A., called and told us about the accident and gave us an alternate route. Thank you!! By the time we got there both Mel (who was driving) and I had to pee and poor Mel's leg was twitching from pressing on the brake for so long. So we got to the signing a few minutes late and I rushed off to use the restroom. Finally I sat down and put my questions under my chair. It was weird coming in late. I wasn't sure what questions had already been asked and I didn't want to make her repeat herself, so I picked my most random question and asked it. I had lots more but I decided to wait until I felt more comfortable before I asked anymore. And when Rachel asked if anyone else any other questions I held my tongue, gathering my courage to ask more. Melonie had other thoughts. She didn't want to ask the questions I had for her so she ratted me out. The Brutus! She pointed to me and said, "She does. She has a two page typed list of questions for you." My mouth dropped at her betrayal. I wasn't ashamed of my list but I was aware that it made me look more than a little obsessed.
Words can't explain that moment as every eye at the signing turned toward me. My cheeks burned, my eyes widened, my lips parted to stutter a denial and then I laughed because that's what I do when I'm nervous. I took a deep breath and dug it out from under my chair. Everything felt like it was in slow motion and the room tilted a bit like a carnival ride. It was like a high school flashback dream where everyone is looking at you and laughing, which is what they were doing (in a very kind hearted way, not mean or judging). I think Rachel was taken-aback and she asked me to show her the list. I was slightly nervous that she'd think I was crazy and my questions stupid but at the same time excited that they might be answered. She was surprised to see that I did indeed have a two page typed list of questions. She answered a lot of them and even complimented me on several of them. I was relieved when other people in the audience seemed to like them, and said they had been wondering some of the same things. :) It was fantastic. I got answers to most of my questions and some tantalizing hints about future books from others. At the end of the signing she even autographed my list.
Well, if nothing else she would know my love for her books was real, and that I did read and love them all. As she was signing them though, I realized I had to confess about the emails she would be receiving from three different accounts because it would be obvious they were from me. She laughed and said she had great fans. The bookstore made a copy of my questions and gave Rachel a copy as well. She has since let me know she'll answer all of my questions on her blog someday. :) Woo-Hoo! I left the signing giddy and happy I had gone. At any rate, Rachel can't doubt my enthusiasm about her books. :)