Atheryn writes: I notice there haven’t been any reports posted so far of last-nights’ book event in Wellington NZ. I was lucky enough to get a ticket – so I thought I’d share my experience.

The event started about half an hour later than planned, but there was a good turn-out – there must’ve been at least 100 people or so. It was held in the upstairs foyer of the Embassy Theatre – Dymocks booksellers had set up a stall with various books and collectibles, and a very small stage had been set up by the front wall. After about half an hour of mingling with the other guests, the event started – a spokeswoman from Harper-Collins welcomed everyone, and introduced Jane Johnson as a guest speaker. Jane spoke for several minutes about her involvement in Lord of the Rings, inparticular the release of “The Art of the Fellowship of the Ring”. She then then called on another guest – Richard Taylor! Richard spoke for a few moments about Weta and the production of the films, and then everyone mingled again. Among the crowd were a handful of designers from Weta, Richard Taylor, Alan Lee, Karl Urban (Eomer), and Jane Johnson.

Unfortunately, none of the main cast of Lord of the Rings made an appearance – EXCEPT for Sir Ian McKellan, who made a very very discreet appearance during the opening speech – as soon as the speech was over, he autographed a couple of books and made a dash for the exit – unfortunately I missed out, but seeing him in person was privilege enough. Only about 5 or 6 of us actually realised he was even there! Anyway. Throughout the course of the evening, I was lucky enough to get my copy of LOTR signed by Alan Lee, Karl Urban, Richard Taylor, Jane Johnson, and various Weta designers. I also had my photo taken with Karl Urban, which was really neat. As time went on, people started to leave, and the atmosphere became more relaxed – I was even able to have a one-on-one chat with Richard Taylor for a while – we talked about the movie, about some of the effects, and he even gave me the run-down on how to make fake blood! Shortly after that, he left with his partner, Tania Rogers. By that point in time, all of the other special guests had gone, and there were only a handful of us left behind. There was still that last shred of hope that some of the actors would show up – but alas, they didn’t. According to a Dymocks staff-member, Elijah Wood and Viggo Mortenson had hoped to make an apperance, but it seems that filming for the day had lasted longer than expected. When the Embassy staff began to clean up, I left.

It was sad that none of the main actors came to the event, afterall, although this kind of booksigning event happens a lot in other parts of the world, this event was possibly the first of it’s kind in New Zealand. But all of the autographs I was lucky enough to get, my photograph with Karl Urban, and especially my friendly chat with Richard Taylor all made up for it! I took a few other photographs of the event also –

I hope to get them developed soon – as soon as they are, I’ll have them posted here on the site.