Lovely little indie bookstore in Ridgewood, called Bookends. About 100 people downstairs for the signing: he took a few questions, mostly from people who wanted to make darn sure we all knew they surfed, and then gamely started signing copies of his book, "Force of Nature". Which is not about surfing so much as it is about his personal philosophy, and is surprisingly good: advice on exercise and eating and mind-body matters, plus oh yeah some surfing stuff too. Well written and very engaging.
As is he. Seems like a very down-to-earth guy, not full of himself or anything. Well, insofar as you can judge anybody by one of these events. He was sitting down, so didn't get to judge his height, but he certainly looked big and tall and fit enough. And the hair is fabulous.
Anyway, I'd been told that Laird's a big Doors fan, plus I had mentioned him and his wife in the acknowledgments to "Ungrateful Dead" (for inspiring me to get to the gym), so I brought copies of that and "Strange Days" to give him. When I got up to the table, I introduced myself and said I'd sign my books for him while he signed his for me, and he laughed and said that seemed fair, but did he also have to read them? I said no, no, just have them, and besides they weren't waterproof, and he allowed as to how nice it was of me and that indeed he was an admirer of my husband's work.
Then the store owner, who was standing right there, asked me if I got to keep the sword from my scene in the Doors movie. I said the only way I would have wanted to keep it was if it had been dripping with the blood of Oliver Stone, and we all had a good chuckle about that. About thirty seconds more conversation, I thanked him in Hawaiian, we shook hands and that was that. About two minutes mutual face time altogether, but that was about four times as much as everybody else got. And he wrote a lovely long inscription in the book. By then they had moved in the second shift of another 50-60 people, so he was probably signing for quite a while after. Poor guy.
There were two fans of my Keltiad there, who had brought books for me to sign, which was gratifying, so we talked a while after, and then my friends Andrew (who does the cover art for the Rennie books) and his wife Diana drove me back to their house, where we all had dinner with their lovely daughter Emma and toured the house and then Andrew drove me back to the city.
A wonderful evening indeed.
Oh, and Laird's on the Today show Thursday morning, 9:30, if anyone's awake and watching...