As I've mentioned before M is a big fan of the written, spoken and dramatised word. He is also a big music fan with a huge range in taste- a bit like his mum really. He was pretty disappointed to discover that New Zealand was in a bit of a concert lull when we were there in July. He was, however, to read that Guillermo del Toro, currently living in Wellington while he films 'The Hobbit', was going to be at a book signing just down the road from where we were staying in Wellington. We staked the shop layout early in the day and returned about an hour and a half before he was due to arrive. There were only a handful in the queue at first but it soon grew around the bookshelves and out the door into a wet and biting Wellington evening. Right on time the man of the hour took his seat and began at the beginning of the line laughing, joking and chatting comfortably with each and every book clutching fan. Many had DVDs of Pans Labyrinth and Hellboy as well as copies of 'The Hobbit' and 'The Strain' for signing. There were about 20 or 30 ahead of M and we watched as del Toro made a personal connection with each one.
He asked M whether he had read 'The Strain', the first of a vampire trilogy he co-authored with Chuck Hogan who also wrote 'The Standoff' and 'Prince of Thieves'. M admitted he hadn't yet as he'd just picked it up in Singapore on the way to New Zealand.
Del Toro looked up.
'Where do you live?', he asked.
'Cambodia', replied M 'but I am a kiwi.'
Guillermo looked more than a little surprised and a bit amused as he asked, 'And do you like it there?'