Last Friday night my daughter took me to a book signing in Naperville, IL to meet John Connolly. I loved every minute of it.
He was unpretentious and enthusiastic about his work. It was easy to see that he can’t help himself, he has to write. Although we are both fans of his Charlie Parker novels, this book is about the comedians Laurel and Hardy. He brought the two men to life for us telling interesting anecdotes about them, that they were friends with Charlie Chaplain, and how Laurel continued to write comedy sketches for Oliver Hardy and himself long after Hardy’s death.
John said he had books all over his living room about these men and discovered he had a book about them that had to be written. I am so glad he did!
I must admit that I was star struck by John. I am so happy my daughter and I got to share this experience together. We found Naperville to be a really nice community that made us feel safe as though we were in a small town. The only scary thing was passing by another car. The streets are really narrow in the downtown area.
There was a feisty older woman who immediately let everyone know she was a veterinarian. She was really rather rude and just went to the front of the line and began laying out a large collection of John’s books. The lady in charge of the gathering tried to explain that she could have the book she had purchased at the store that evening and she should rotate back through the line after the rest of us were able to meet John Connolly too. She just shook her head and said, “That’s what is getting paid to do.” I just shook my head in disbelief. Such arrogance! She brought a giant elderly Great Dane as her service dog. No one bothered her about the gentle giant. He was well mannered. You can see the Dane beside his mama and his dad wearing an orange Harley motorcycle jacket.