The World Of All Souls Tour Recap
Deborah Harkness, author of the brilliant All Souls trilogy, concluded her The World Of All Souls Tour on May 17, 2018 by returning home to Philadelphia. As a fellow Philadelphian and fan of the All Souls trilogy, I was ecstatic to learn that my local independent bookstore, Towne Book Center & Café, was hosting the tour’s last stop. Actually, it was more like I ascended into book heaven; having the opportunity to meet Deborah Harkness in the comfort of my favorite bookstore is what I would consider a win-win.
On the day of the event, Towne Book Center & Café was alive with activity and anticipation. The bookstore’s typical tranquil atmosphere had literally transformed into an overcrowded environment of excitement and enthusiasm all in the span of a night. The audience, comprised of passionate and dedicated All Souls fans, had all congregated to the bookstore for one purpose, to meet the brilliant mind behind their favorite world. The eagerness and overall joy was palpable the minute you stepped through the store’s threshold; the smiles on people’s faces, the stacks of well-loved books waiting to be signed, and the profound conversations taking place between strangers. This accepting and comforting environment is just one of the many powers storytelling has; bringing people together. I commented to one of the booksellers about the impressive turnout and learned that some patrons had even been camping out since early in the afternoon. The lengths we bookish nerds go to for our favorite books is truly inspiring!
As Deborah Harkness steps onto the makeshift stage, the audience erupts into applause. Everyone is excited, even Deborah Harkness herself as she smiles to her loving fans. After the initial rounds of gratitude, Harkness delves into the story of how she developed the story behind A Discover Of Witches. Some of the more notable key factors of the tale’s development include her background in history and her unwavering ability to go off on tangents. She mentions that her complex world building is all thanks to her round-a-bout thinking; while expanding on one aspect, she finds herself questioning a whole other aspect. Harkness also discusses the upcoming television show. While she cannot go into specifics (for legal reasons), she does give her praise for the entire cast. In her opinion, the cast does an excellent job bringing these characters to life. Their portrayals will make every fan proud. Furthermore, she recalls when Matthew Goode auditioned for the role of Matthew Clairmont. In her perspective, Matthew Goode is the perfect person for the role of Matthew Clairmont; not only does he flawlessly embody the soul of the character, but he also is a phenomenal actor. Hearing her undeniable faith in the show is a relief since I was initially skeptical. If she believes in the show, then so do I.
Following the television discussion, Deborah Harkness graced the enthralled audience with a reading of the first chapter of her newest novel, Time’s Convert. For the subsequent fifteen minutes, I was transported into the story, experiencing the struggles of a romance between a human and a vampire. When the chapter was over, I immediately went through withdrawal. How am I supposed to be satisfied with just that one (amazing) chapter? It is going to be a long three months until I can read more. As the night settled down, Deborah Harkness lead a quick Q&A session. There were a variety of great questions; some about the audiobook and some about the publishing process. However, my favorite question was from a little boy who asked if Walt Disney was a daemon or not. Spoiler alert, Walt Disney is not a daemon!
Once the panel’s festivities had concluded, the autographing portion of the night commenced. As the proud holder of ticket #5, I was able to get my books signed relatively early. When it was my turn to approach her table, I was initially in shock (think deer in headlights). Deborah Harkness probably recognized this (and is probably used to this reaction) and graciously broke the ice by asking simple questions, like “how are you” and “did you enjoy the panel”. Once I gained control of my senses, I was able to ask her some questions of my own. For instance, I asked if she would be back in Philadelphia for her Time’s Convert tour. Luckily, she said there is a good chance of her returning to her hometown for a visit! With my signed books in hand and a smile on my face, I said farewell to Deborah Harkness by expressing my gratitude for her time and reiterating my undying appreciation for her brilliant work.
Overall, The World Of All Souls tour was phenomenal. It was an incredible experience that made my bookish heart sing in delight. The reassurance of the televisions show’s authenticity, the short glimpse into the story of Time’s Convert, and meeting Deborah Harkness herself made this event truly unforgettable.