Waterstones are (well, they were yesterday) flogging the possibility that you might get a ticket to stand in a very long queue at some unknown London venue to ‘meet’ Tom Hanks, as he signs his new book. In November. Possibly partly outside, in whatever weather. For hours, as it’s a first come first served queue. I.e. a normal queue for a big name, except you need to ‘win’ a ticket to stand in it.
After investigating their ‘offer’ briefly, I knew it was not for me. I don’t queue well.
And that led me to ponder who I would be willing to do this for. I mean, I like Tom Hanks as much as the next witch, and it’d be interesting to ‘meet’ him. But it would need to be under more comfortable circumstances, and with fewer restrictions. He won’t sign your name. He most likely won’t talk to you. But someone will be on hand to take a photo just as he signs ‘your’ book. No posing, obviously.
Luckily my most favourite people write really good books, but are not such superstars that their queues will last hours. When I thought a little more, I came to the conclusion I’ve not stood – remained – in a long queue. Not for anyone.
Not for Terry Pratchett, nor for Neil Gaiman. After those two I can’t come up with any real queue-magnets. A few stars have been managed by starting in the right spot, and/or running really fast in a well organised way. Daughter once queued for Jacqueline Wilson, where the bookshop sold timed tickets, so you’d at least know which hour was your hour. They also sold photos taken of you with Jacqueline (that really delayed proceedings), which was fine until the camera ran out of memory…