The Kitschies held a Gothic Evening at Blackwells the other day, which, apart from anything else, obviously provided an excuse for dressing up, which is not something I like to miss.
Besides, there would be brilliant authors being brilliant and, completely unrelatedly, free rum.
And Tanith Lee.
I loved Tanith Lee during my teens (and badly want to catch up with her works for adults). I have a very badly abused copy of Prince on a White Horse which you should read because it is hilarious. But I had no idea until quite recently that she was 1) English and 2) living in freaking Hastings. I only found that out when I was about to move AWAY from Hastings. And now she was here in Blackwells, all small and pale with copious, artfully styled grey hair, and huge jade-green eyes which match the huge green gems on her fingers and the various greens she has painted her long nails. This is exactly what Tanith Lee ought to look like.
And so, after my flatmate Camille prodded me past my shyness in approaching her, this happened.
Sophia: Oh, wow, you're Tanith Lee, oh goodness. I'd like to fangirl you please?
TANITH LEE: THAT JAWLINE!!!
TANITH LEE: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. WHEN YOU ARE 100 YOU WILL STILL HAVE THAT BONE STRUCTURE.
Sophia: Well, this is not what I expected from this encounter, but that does not mean I'm not okay with it.
[During this, Flatmate Camille is hovering somewhere behind me. Suddenly Tanith Lee's vatic, pale green focus is upon her]
TANITH LEE: YOU.
TANITH LEE: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU MUST READ MY BOOK. THERE IS AN AFRICAN GODDESS IN IT. DO YOU HAVE AFRICAN BLOOD?
[Camille does indeed have African blood and this is fairly obvious]
Sophia: Shit, is this okay?
Camille: She's calling me pretty, it's fine.
TANITH LEE: YOU ARE LIKE A GODDESS. TURN YOUR HEAD. YES, LOOK AT YOUR NECK. YOU ARE AN ARISTOCRAT! [to me] AND YOU ARE A FRENCH BLONDE FEMME FATALE.
Camille and Sophia: This can go on as long as necessary, really.
It did in fact go on for quite a long while. We have no complaints. So yes. I copiously congratulate Anne and Jared for organising a wonderful event, but I really have nothing else to say about the Gothic or anything else. (My novelette, Not The End of the World is sort of WWII gothic, I guess, though). We got Tanith Lee'd. That dominates your memory of an evening.