I was thrilled to be invited to participate in The Novel Connection’s launch and I’m so excited to see where it goes. Kudos to Stacy and Helen for putting this together!
Helen and Stacy asked us to share a story of our interaction with an author. And, here’s the thing…I haven’t really met very many authors! I have young children at home, so I don’t make it to many (actually, any) author events. With the exception of Book Expo America 2015, most of my interaction with authors has been online (mostly via Twitter). Except…
Best / Most Embarrassing Face-to-Face Author Meeting
I read and loved Rick Bragg’s memoir All Over But the Shoutin’ years before I started blogging. So I was thrilled to find that he had a new essay collection (My Southern Journey) coming out in Fall 2015 and was going to be doing a signing at BEA that May. I waited in his autograph line and was bowled over at how nice and down-to-earth he seemed (I’m not sure why I was so surprised…he is deeply Southern after all!). I told him how much I loved All Over But the Shoutin’.
Then I got nervous and started sputtering…it went something like this.
Me: “Well, I’ve read all your memoirs, but All Over But the Shoutin’ was my favorite. [Wait, is he going to think I didn’t like his other books?!] But, I actually liked all of them….” More sputtering.
Mr. Bragg: “Thank you” (smiles and nods)
Me (apparently I CANNOT stop sputtering!): “I’m from the South too and I liked all the young boy hijinks in All Over But the Shoutin’ and I’m used to that because I grew up with brothers.”
Mr. Bragg: says something nice to humor me about family and it being hard to write about family, but I can’t remember the exact words.
Then, I watch him kindly sign my book “To Sarah. Someone who gets it.” Which I loved, especially after all my nervous babbling.
Less Embarrassing Twitter Interaction
In 2014, I loved Christopher J. Yates’ debut novel, Black Chalk, which has since become one of my most frequently recommended books. Immediately upon finishing the book, Mr. Yates and I had this Twitter exchange:
@SarahsShelves I have both yes and no answers. I’ll write a little post for you if you’d like. And so glad you enjoyed.
— Christopher J Yates (@CJ_Yates) April 2, 2014
Incidentally, Yates is one of my favorite authors to engage with on Twitter. He’s funny, open, and willing to banter with bloggers. Last I heard, he is working on a second, standalone book.
My First Author Event
Finally, I will be attending my first author event in February and I couldn’t be more thrilled that this particular event will be my first one. That’s because one of my friends from college, Georgia Hunter, is publishing her debut novel (We Were the Lucky Ones) on February 14, 2017 (out from Viking). And, one of the events tentatively on her promotion schedule is near me!
We are incredibly thankful that Sarah agreed to write for The Novel Connection. After initially responding to our call out for blogs saying she wasn’t sure she had the type of story we were looking for, with a little nudge, Sarah came through with these fabulous interactions. Of course, it’s okay to be nervous when coming face-to-face with a favorite author. To a reader, that is the equivalent of meeting a favorite actor or athlete.
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