The line to meet Al Carraway snaked through Deseret Book, out the doors and to Gator Jack’s.
Although the event was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., Carraway arrived early and started signing copies of her newly released book, “Wildly Optimistic” before 3:30 p.m. on Friday Nov. 22.
At 6 p.m., people continued to wait in line. A Deseret Book employee said that a group of girls waited at the store all day.
Carraway made time to have a conversation with everyone in line. She signed several copies per individual as gifts. Some students in line were asked by their family to pick up signed copies.
Carraway signed copies of her books, “More than the Tattooed Mormon,” “Cheers to Eternity,” “Rooted” and “Wildly Optimistic.”
As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she writes about her experiences in her books and blog. According to her website, “Her passion is to tell everyone that happiness exists, and it comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Sarah Benton, a junior studying elementary education, heard about the book signing from her friend. Benton heard Carraway speak a few years ago back home and wanted to thank Carraway for that experience and for her inspiring books.
“I think she’s an inspiration,” Benton said. “I think her story is a testament of the true diversity of our church and really what the gospel’s about: that it’s for everybody. I think it kind of brings a realism to her story, to her book and to her words. I’m a big reader, so usually it’s easy to kind of get enthralled in the plain pages, and the words are what really reach out to you. It’s nice to put a face to all that and to what inspired me.”
The public came to see the woman that inspired them. She taught them that they are not alone.
“She’s awesome,” said Brianne Morrison, a sophomore studying special education. “She’s had a really big impact on my life, just how she talks about feeling alone and kind of excluded and misunderstood. Everybody can relate to that.”