One of the weirdest things about this business is once you're published, you suddenly occupy the role of "colleague" in conjunction with some of your own greatest idols. Being on a panel with Sharon Shinn? Did it. Attended a con as a guest where Lois McMaster Bujold was the Guest of Honor? Did it.
And today, I got an email advising me that Charles de Lint is featuring my book in his SF and fantasy column. My first response was, nuh uh, you've got to be kidding me. How could he possibly know who I am? Let alone like my books. It was a total Wayne and Garth "I'm not worthy" moment. Like Sharon Shinn, I've been reading Mr. de Lint for many years. His prose is lovely, ethereal, and delicately shaded, like a watercolor.
So today I'm riding quite a high. Most of the people I read in college have been astonishingly kind to me, if I've encountered them. That said, I am certainly never one to go up to someone I admire and introduce myself. I always assume they have something better to do than to meet me, even if I have been buying their books faithfully for twenty years. I guess I just don't see myself as that interesting; I put all my fascinating and/or disturbing ideas in my books. Which leaves me gazing wide-eyed at the authors to whose level of greatness I could only aspire. I still feel starry-eyed like that when I'm at a con.
How do you guys react when you meet someone whose work you've really loved?