Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Your idols

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?

11 comments:

Chris said...

I get really nervous and just sort of shove the book to be signed at them. :)

Congrats!! (I'm a huge de Lint fan, so I'd be a mess.)

Blodeuedd said...

I have sadly never met anyone :(
But I am sure I would be dumbstruck

Caffey said...

Hi Ann! Keep believing! I've met a couple of authors and one was Suz Brockmann. It was before I even read her books. It was when I got online and found out from other readers what I was missing and that she was going to be in my area for a book signing. So I was excited and got a couple books before and so love them and was excited to go meet her and sign her books. I had been constantly thinking about what I would say and even my hubby said he would interpret for me. I got there, and I froze! I was just totally lost for words! I thought my questions would probably be boring, something she had been asked over and over. But I was totally surprised that she knew how to communicate with me and too she asked me questions! And I loosened up!

Angie Fox said...

That's actually my favorite part about being an author - meeting the authors I've been reading for years. I don't think it'll ever get old.

Casey said...

Once upon a time, I had the honor of interviewing Elizabeth Peters for an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I love her mysteries and for weeks, I practiced being professional and cool. Until she picked up the phone, said, "hello," and I blurted out, "I love you!" She said there wasn't a better way we could have begun the interview!

azteclady said...

Well, I've met you, so you know: get stupid and dump :grin: then, talk inanely.

But, woman, you totally deserve being known by your own writing heroes. Congrats!

Angie Fox said...

Great story, Casey! Elizabeth Peters has been one of my favorites for years, ever since a librarian recommended Crocodile on the Sandbank. I won a Deeds of the Disturber t-shirt years ago and I still wear it.

You know I saw her at Malice Domestic a few years ago. I didn't get to meet her, but she did the best interview with the person who reads her books on tape. She interviewed Amelia Peabody and it was hilarious.

Angie Fox said...

So true, Azteclady. I was grinning ear to ear when Casey joined our blog.

Kimberly B. said...

Oh, Casey, I love Elizabeth Peters, so your story is great!

The first vampire series I ever fell in love with was the St. Germain Chronicles by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and once Ms. Yarbro was scheduled to do a reading and signing at the bookstore I worked at. I was even going to be the one who introduced her! So I was simultaneously overjoyed and horrified when she showed up at the store---a day early! I think I gulped like a fish and bit my nails in panic, and felt terribly guilty even though I had nothing to do with the scheduling or anything. Luckily she was very gracious and came back the next day as scheduled. It ended up being a very nice signing.

I met Charles de Lint at a book signing once, and he was so nice! He complimented me on my earrings (which I'd made myself, so the praise was doubly welcome). That's so cool that he liked your book, Ann---but it doesn't surprise me at all!

Ann Aguirre said...

What great stories!

I will have to check out Ms. Peters. Sounds like she's a great talent.

Angie, I know what you mean about Casey. I really enjoy her Pepper Martin books.

Kim, it's so cool the signing worked out well with Ms Yarbro.

I was working on Skin Game edits today, and I'm really pleased to be finished with them. So in addition to Mr. de Lint's kind opinion, I got some work done! I'm looking forward to reading more stories.

An Again said...

"And today, I got an email advising me that Charles de Lint is featuring my book in his SF and fantasy column."

I totally gasped outloud reading that. You'll have to forgive me...I'm having a squee moment for you.