A horde of eager fans flocked to Waterstones Piccadilly and waited in line from dawn to twilight for a chance to meet bestselling author Stephenie Meyer. Out of the hundreds of people who willingly sat in one of London’s busiest pavement, 23 year-old Sinead Tobin Belmont claimed the place at the top end of the line.
Faithful fan, Sinead, arrived outside Europe’s biggest bookstore way before it was even open, sat at the foot of the door and patiently waited for the event to start. She said: “I arrived at 5:30 am and was waiting for twelve and a half hours before the event started at 6pm.” Now, that’s what I call dedication! Thankfully, for her, the day turned out to be England’s rare, dry and even sunny kind of day.
The bestselling author of the Twilight novels attracted fans from all over the UK to London for her book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly on March 5th, which was part of the publicity tour for the movie adaptation of The Host (another of her bestsellers). The science fiction and romance novel penned by Meyer in 2008 sold millions of copies worldwide and will soon be released on the big screen in March 29, 2013. This is Stephenie Meyer’s first event in the UK after her last visit in 2007. Hence, it is not surprising that the throng of excited aficionados took this chance to meet their idol.
The Dubliner who now lives in London said: “I’ve been a fan since February 2008.” The first three Twilight books were all released in Ireland in late December 2007 but according to her she didn’t grabbed them off the shelf immediately. “I picked them up and looked at them a few times before buying them in February. I had them read within a week despite working full time and I’ve been a fan ever since.”
Being one of the earliest fans of the novels (even months before the Twilight movie hype) and proving her loyalty by being the first person in this long queue, it is not difficult to stick her to the stereotypes of the Twilight fan base at once. Sinead herself describes the fans to be a tad mental. “CRAZY! That is the one word I can use to describe Stephenie’s fans.” The waiting crowd were sharing stories and saying hello to passers-by to pass the time. A particular fan came with a sign saying ‘Honk if you’re happy’ and held it up to the passing cars while others screamed and cheered at the sound of the car horns.
However, Sinead is far from the typical ‘screaming teenager’ portrayal of Meyer’s fans. Instead, the housewife and full-time carer of her husband who is currently battling cancer said: “I’m more of a quiet fan. I don’t go to conventions and I’m not on any fan sites”. Nonetheless, she cannot put forward a better argument and proof that the title ‘biggest fan’ belongs to her. She did endure almost 13 hours while London rushed and rattled around her and even came there with her husband. When asked why she did it, she said: “I just really wanted to be first. I was first in the queue to buy Breaking Dawn and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner when they came out, so I wanted to carry on my own little tradition of being first and knowing that despite what anyone may say about themselves, I am the biggest fan.”
She confirmed that the hours of wait were worth it. “It made a real difference to be first, as I was able to actually speak to her like I had wanted. I don’t think the experience would have been the same if I had just shown up an hour beforehand and had a hundred crying hysterical girls in front of me.” She added: “I didn’t need to tell her that I love her or her work as I think being there at 5:30 am probably said that for me, so that allowed me to skip over that awkwardness.”
Sinead described the author to be really friendly and lovely. “She said hello to me first and started a conversation with me before I had the chance. It really makes a difference to meet someone who you look up to and consider your idol and for them to be as genuinely nice as Stephenie was. She was the one who said it was nice to meet me.” Unfortunately, the limited time didn’t allow Sinead to take photographs with her idol when she chose to spend her moment to chat with her. “I have memories instead, which are just as good,” she said. Sinead couldn’t asked for a better (albeit short) meeting.
Stephenie Meyer made such huge impact in Sinead’s life. And being able to interact and converse with the author is obviously a big deal for her. “It was an amazing experience, one I’ll never forget, and I feel so grateful to Stephenie and to Waterstones for making one of my dreams come true.” It’s guaranteed that she wasn’t the only one whose dream came true that day. More or less 200 other people went home with the very same pleased and gratifying feeling. That’s for sure!