Mr Grumpy in Hong Kong!!!

March 15, 2010 at 13:42 (1)

Flew to Hong Kong on Saturday. Had a day off on Sunday. Spent it sightseeing — walked round the Soho area, then caught the ferry over to Kowloon. I’ve been to Hong Kong before, but didn’t get a chance to see a lot of it, so it was nice to wander a bit. Today I started in on my events, and while the events themselves were all enjoyable successes, behind the scenes it’s been a real topsy turvy day!!! First, I wasn’t able to get into my first venue when I arrived — I was left standing outside, twiddling my thumbs. When I finally got in, there was apparently nowhere in the building where I could rest up ahead of my event!!! So I took off in a grumpy mood, went for a walk, then returned and went straight into action. I did two school events, and both were a lot of fun — by the end, all had been forgotten and forgiven.

Then, after a nice break, I was taken to the venue for my public event. Now, when I travel, the public events are always the most important thing on the agenda as far as I’m concerned. School events are a great way to introduce myself to new fans, but public events and signings are my way of rewarding my existing fans, a chance to meet up with them, chat, answer their questions, sign their books. While I’m always looking to bring new Shansters into the fold, taking care of those already on board is my first priority. On this tour, I had hoped to do two public events, to maximise my time here, but the organisers of the festival decided to only do one public event with me. I was disappointed about that, but figured it would be one big event, and hopefully all of my fans in Hong Kong would hear about it and turn up if they could.

Nuh-uh!!!!

The organisers had different plans. They had booked me into a room which held a grand total of 70 people. Yep — seventy!!! Now, I don’t want to blow my own horn, but I’m a pretty big draw in the world of children’s books. Sure, I sometimes still turn up to events and there’s 70 people or less — but it doesn’t happen too often these days. In most cases, I get crowds of 150, 200 or lots more. I like big events — they’re exciting, both for me and the audience — it feels more special for the fans when they’re part of a large crowd. I always like to perform in venues where lots of fans can turn out — if they don’t, so be it, but as long as the capacity is there, I’m happy. Today it wasn’t. I did my usual event, and I think everyone enjoyed it, and it was great to meet some hardcore fans (including one who brought entire sets of ALL my books, in both English and Chinese — over 40 books in total!!!). But I should have been in a much bigger venue. More fans should have been given the chance to meet me. The last time I came to Hong Kong, I met with LOADS of fans, and I thought I would have the chance to do the same this time. When I realised I was to be denied that chance, I lost my cool and got very snappy with the organisers. I didn’t let it affect my performance, but before and after the show, I was raging!!!! It was a pity, especially having travelled so far. I know that I have a large fan base in Hong Kong, and today I was denied the chance of connecting with most of them. Oh well — I guess I’ll just have to come back again sooner rather than later — only this time through a different set of organisers!!!!

Anyway, looking on the positive side, the school events were very enjoyable, and hopefully Tuesday’s will be too. And I’m really enjoying being in Hong Kong — it’s a fab city. And those lucky 70 fans who turned up got treated to a nice, intimate performance. Still, I just feel like… like I’ve turned up to run a marathon, and been stuck in a 3 legged race instead. If that makes sense….

5 Comments

  1. Hinson Lam said,

    Hi, Darren. I never meet you. It is because I am not in HK when you are there. I am the cousin of the hardcore fans in HK you mentioned above. =P
    I do hope that you will come to Hong Kong again very soon!!! I do wanna meet you and talk to you.
    I am a big fans of your Darren Shan saga. I even went to see the first shown movie on the first day when it’s released. It’s a bit sad that the movie wasn’t released in HK.
    Hopefully you can come to Swansea, UK one day, or Cardiff by any chance.

    With Love =)

  2. Jasmine said,

    Hi,
    I am that hardcore fan who brought all the books. haha! My back is fine. I agreeed that the organisers this time is not as good as last time. I remembered there were three public events three years ago, one of it had over 200 audiences! So there should be more public events so that every Hong Kong fan can enjoy. I start looking forward to your next visit to Hong Kong. I hope this time me and my cousin can participate!

    Cheers

  3. BSC said,

    Can’t wait for the new books to come out

  4. Sophie Z. said,

    Still, I envy the people who got to go…. meanwhile I’m still stuck at home day waiting for the rain to let up. There’s nothing to do…. Happy birthday to me…

  5. Miley said,

    I still wish I was there… but at least I got to go to the 2009 Norwegian literature festival-that was awesome!

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