Published on October 31, 2011
As soon as the news broke out that Nicholas Sparks was coming to Manila, the geek in me wished and endlessly prayed that I’d get this once in a lifetime chance to meet him. I remember buying A Walk to Remember 11 years ago after saving off my allowance. And after reading Message in a Bottle and The Notebook, I told myself that it’s about time that I stop reading Sweet Valley High. So it is an understatement to say that Nicholas Sparks turned me into a full blown bookworm.
Aubrey can claim all she wants that she is also a fan but she can’t deny the fact that I was the culprit who turned her into one. She was one of the very first people who I encouraged to read A Walk to Remember. This was way before Mandy Moore. So the perfect person to be my partner in this experience is none other than a fellow Nicholas Sparks fan.
Imagine our dismay a couple of weeks ago when we found out that his only stop was at The Podium and it happened to be on a Friday afternoon. We couldn’t risk skipping work knowing that there is only a 50% chance that we’d get the signed book. You may think that it’s an exaggeration but Aubrey and I were both depressed, thinking endlessly how we could find a way to be in two places at the same time.
Now here is the irony. I read from the Facebook fan page of Powerbooks that Nicholas Sparks was having another book signing at Powerbooks in Greenbelt 4 on October 29 at 11 am. I thought that it’s nearer in my office but it still means that I need to take a leave from work. I didn’t realize that it was a Saturday until Aubrey tweeted me. It was definitely an answered prayer.
After waiting outside the store for more than three hours, we got a glimpse of the venue. I keep on telling Aubrey that I wouldn’t be doing what I just did for any actor, not even for Derek Ramsay! I endured falling in line only for Nicholas Sparks. She couldn’t agree more.
The seats were very limited and people were continuously pouring. But I needed to go to the restroom so I asked Aubrey to save our seats. We were lucky to be seated on the third row!
We waited for another hour. And then, the moment has finally arrived. The crowd went wild when the host announced the arrival of Nicholas Sparks. I got quite emotional as I felt a tear fall from my eye. I’m serious! I was ecstatic knowing that I am only a few minutes away from meeting the author who made me fall in love with books, the author who inspired me to write.
Nicholas Sparks was very funny, making the audience laugh countless of times. He was wearing a shirt with a Philippine map. He was very pleasant and there wasn’t an indication that he was tired after signing almost a thousand books the day before.
Powerbooks initially announced that Nicholas Sparks would only be signing 200 books. I think we were 62nd on the line but my book would be the 104th that he’d sign which means that other people bought more than one book. Some of the early birds were also present in the book signing at The Podium. I felt really sorry for the other people who were also there but could not be accommodated. Then, the host announced that Mr. Sparks graciously agreed to sign 400 books! Yey!
The earliest bird who came at 3 a.m. said that she has been a fan since 2002. Then Aubrey said, “Nauna tayo sa kanya!” That’s actually true. She may have woken up earlier than us that day but we have been a fan since 2000! Yehhh!!! \m/
I waited for more than five hours but my close encounter with Nicholas Sparks lasted for less than a minute. Hihi! I didn’t realize that he was saying "Hi" to me because the people from Powerbooks kept on instructing me to look at the camera. But then again, I think I was starstruck! I set my DLSR camera and tested the settings countless of times so I was really disappointed when I saw that our pictures were blurry. Boooo!!! But who cares?! I was five inches away from Nicholas Sparks!!! Woot woot!!!
Meeting Nicholas Sparks wasn’t just a dream that came true. Meeting him made me cross out wish #13. :)
Nicholas Sparks talked about his books, his fans and upcoming movie adaptations. He gave us a glimpse of what it’s like to be THE Nicholas Sparks. I personally loved when he said that he usually spends 7 minutes typing in full speed and spends the remaining 53 minutes evaluating and editing the 7 minutes he just wrote. I could relate to what he said. I thought that I was the only one in this world who writes like that which made me doubt my writing skills. A bestseller author saying that gave me the assurance that I am on the right track.
I didn’t know that my husband was taking these videos. Sorry for the poor quality though. Know more about Nicholas Sparks in these video clips. :)
Patterson, Brown, Cabot, Ahern, Myers, Albom and Coelho, you must thank Nicholas Sparks. You won’t gain another follower if not for this man who turned me into a bookworm. ^_^