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A Report of the Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer Event, Chapters Bookstore, Tuesday 17th February, 2009

Early indications were good that people were interested in the event: Boards.ie heard rumours early on. Neil himself mentioned it on his Twitter. John Madden said, “In what looks to be one of the coolest events in Dublin in a long time, Amanda Palmer will be performing as part of a signing event for Newbery Award winner Neil Gaiman in Chapters Bookstore, Dublin on Tuesday February 17th.. There were more mentions in all sorts of places; Neil mentioned it several times on his Journal, and Amanda Palmer mentioned it on her mailing list once with the wrong date, and then again the next day with the correct one. People started calling into the shop, and phoning, and emailing. Nobody had ever done what we were going to do, not in any bookshop anywhere in the world, to the very best of our knowledge. It seemed we might have a big event on our hands...

Come Tuesday the 17th, an early visitor was Cheryl Morgan (cherylmmorgan), who shot a piece of footage for YouTube featuring my good self (slovobooks), explaining what we were going to do with the shop, and how it all came about in the first place. By three in the afternoon there was a definite sense of people starting to congregate for the event, and of a sense of excitement and carnival levity.

And, come five o’clock – or a bit thereafter, due to Neil inadvertently forgetting to actually print out what he was going to read – it all started, and they were wonderful. There’s lots of YouTube footage:

Amanda Sings: In Between Days
Amanda Sings: Dear Old House That I Grew Up In
Amanda Sings: Fake Plastic Trees

Neil Reads: First story
Neil Reads: Second story
Neil Reads: Third and forth story

There’s also several reports on the event:
Neil wrote this in his Journal: “The Amanda Palmer & Me show at Chapters was really fun. Apologies to anyone who couldn't see or hear, or who turned up, looked at the crowds and went away again. I don't think anyone was expecting 500+ people to turn up in Dublin, not even me. I gritted my teeth and made an "only one thing per person" rule, which made the whole event only 5 hours long, if you count the time we spent faffing about with a printer before starting late. (Memo to self. If you are going to be reading something odd and unpublished, print it out ahead of time.) Amanda sang three songs, I read three or four short deadamandapalmery stories, and we signed for a lot of nice people. (Also, an extra-special thank you to the Chapters staff, who went above and beyond.)

Cheryl Morgan has a report, which includes this, “And finally, I was really impressed with the staff at Chapters, most of whom came shyly forward after all of the punters had gone, offering their own copies of Neil’s books to be signed. Most of them had worked a 12-hour day, and they went home very happy. It is a very fine shop, staffed by people who love books. Dublin is very lucky to have it.

And here we all are, at about 10pm that night, with the exception of Rob Brown, who had done so much work for the event, especially the fantastically good set dressing, but who was, ironically enough, on stage himself that evening, so had to leave early:

Group Shot

The frankly lovely CE (Catie) Murphy (mizkit) also reports enthusiastically.

And there are photographs. I set up a Flickr group called, imaginatively, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer at Chapters Bookstore, Dublin, where you can see photographs from several people, but for reasons completely beyond my comprehension, you can’t see my own photographs on it, although you can see them perfectly well on my own account, here.

And there you have it. As I find more links and reports, I’ll add them here, to try to have as full and comprehensive a record of this genuinely unique event. It was a pleasure and an honour to be able to be involved with this, and thanks go to Neil & Amanda for letting us all take part in it.

More Reports on the Event:

Aran Brew: To Bee or Not to Bee? (Added 21 February 2009)
Sense and Disability: Oxford to Dublin: An Experience in Three Acts (Act Two) (Added 21 February 2009)
Margo's Musings: In Which Mr Gaiman reads, and Miss Palmer sings. (Added 21 February 2009)
Cheryl’s Mewsings: Neil & Amanda: The Photos (Added 21 February 2009)

Video Footage from Cheryl Morgan:

Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: The Introduction
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: The Liner Notes
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: "In Between Days"
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: "The Jewel Girl"
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: "Dear Old House"
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: "The Two of Them" and "Sword"
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: "Fake Plastic Trees"
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: Q&A Part I
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: Q&A Part II
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: Q&A Part III
Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Chapters: Q&A Part IV


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Was it just a coincidence that everyone happened to be decked out in black? Or is this a normal day at Chapters? LOL -- looks like home!
Feb. 20th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
Regular staff 'uniform' is black clothing, which is good, as it's *so* slimming for the middle age male figure!
Feb. 21st, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
Thanks for the wonderful reporting and links. :) Makes it very nice for those of us who couldn't be there (either simply not in town or many miles away across the big pond).
Feb. 21st, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
Thanks. If you go look at it again, I've now re-established the links to the photographs, which had mysteriously disappeared.
Feb. 21st, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Great report! And thanks for arranging the event, too.

Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! Thanks for coming, and we're delighted you enjoyed it.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Actually, *I* expected four or five hundred or more people to show up... :)
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
The truth is, we had *no idea* how many people might show up. We knew there was a good likelihood there'd be a lot, but how many altogether, and how they'd fit into the space allowed was entirely in the lap of the gods. We were bandying about figures like 500, but what that would actually look like was, up 'til the point where they were actually there, purely theoretical.

There are definite plans to do something with sound systems for future events, and in general to learn as much as we can for the future from the event.

And I'm *really* glad you liked it, and that you got to sign things for Himself!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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