Before & After #5: Meeting Authors + Myths I Had About Them

So you guys. Since early 2012 I’ve been working on this post I wanted to do about the differences between myself as a reader before I was a blogger and after I became a blogger because my habits have changed SO MUCH. I kept putting it off because of wedding plans. I wanted to make this cute graphic that was a list but, when I finally started to work on it this year, it was just looking TOO crowded with about 30 different things and overwhelming and not AT ALL what I had in mind. Then I decided…why not make it a series? The more I thought about it — it would lend to a better discussion if I just give you one at a time. I’m kind of glad my original idea didn’t work out because I’m liking this better. Check the end of the post for previous Before & After’s.

book-blog

 I never met or talked to an author. I thought they just lived somewhere in the clouds above — inaccessible and they wouldn’t give two craps if I wanted to talk to them about their books. I had never ever gone to any sort of bookish event or signing — I don’t think I knew they really existed.  Truthfully, I thought all published authors (not self pubbed) were rich and famous. I mean, you WROTE A BOOK…surely you had to be rich?? haha. And I was WAY to intimidated to send a fan letter THROUGH THE MAIL or by email.

YA-book-blogger

Because I’ve been able to find out about book events, I have met so many authors — some of my favorites, debut authors and even really extremely well established authors. I’ve met or listened to authors I read as a kid or a teen — people who made impacts on my life and made me the reader I am today. I interact on a daily basis, through Twitter, with authors. It’s UNREAL just how accessible they are for me. I would have never thought I would interact/meet authors in this way before I was a blogger. I love that I can tell an author on Twitter just HOW much their book impacted me or realize that my favorite author and I have a favorite band in common. I’ve learned that authors are REAL people and not some aloof mystical being way up there in the clouds too famous to need to hear my words of love for their book. It’s really enhanced my reading experience in some ways to be able to speak with an author about their book and how it made me feel and to get to know them and hear their story. Sometimes the accessibility to authors CAN be a bad thing but I’ve really only had extremely positive experiences.  I think the only negative is that if I know they follow me and I’m not enjoying their book. I hate that they will have to see that. I don’t tweet them or alert them to it but I can’t help if they see it. It makes me feel self conscious/bad though.

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — had you met authors prior to blogging? Did you interact with them before you were a blogger? Has the accessibility of social media made you ever feel self conscious about an author being able to easily see that you didn’t like their book?  If you aren’t a blogger — have you met authors and gone to signings? Do you talk to them on social media?  For everyone — Tell me about your experience meeting/talking to authors! Has it been positive? Did anyone else have any of the same myths that I did about authors — that they were inaccessible,that they were rich and famous, etc. Has being able to chat with authors easily about your book enhanced your reading experience?

Previous Before & After’s:

The Time In Between Two Books – 2/27
Being Up On New Releases — 3/6
Book Real Estate — 3/15
Re-reading — 3/20

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. Sometimes I tweet authors and they’ll reply, but I’m always super intimidated by it :P Favourite author interaction was when I went to Ally Carter’s book signing and she asked me how I braided my hair. I tweeted her a link for fishtail braids and she replied back and we had a mini conversation XD I’m still star struck by authors, but mostly because I think they’re so incredibly talented and motivated to write such amazing stories!

  2. I know exactly what you mean! Before I started blogging, authors, in my mind, were mystical beings who had bigger concerns than us mere mortals. (I did somehow find the courage to send an email to a favorite author when I was in middle school, though, and she sent back the most thoughtful response.) When I started blogging/tweeting, it was the coolest and most surprising thing to find that these uber-talented people were just that, people. One author I loved favorited one of my tweets and it was so exciting that an *author* cared about what I had to say! haha

  3. I love meeting authors and I’m lucky to have an indie right down the road from me who gets a lot of authors to visit. That being said, I’m lucky, I’ve only had one author who was actually very cruel to me, the rest have been so nice and so thrilled that someone cares about their book! And when they tweet me back? Totally fangirl, I can’t help myself, again lucky that most of them are super nice and enjoy a good public fangirl moment. But I’m still totally star struck by them, because what if I open mouth and insert foot? Either in person or on twitter/email, it’s actually a big fear of mine. And I know I’ve done it. Which makes it worse.

    Of course these feels occur with certain big name book bloggers. Like why do they care about little old me?

    And once again you got the personal from me Jamie. Whoops.

  4. I haven’t met a single author before I started blogging. I had similar illusional thoughts just like you:)
    Actually, this is what I love most about blogging – the interaction with authors. I’m still squealing when I talk some of them on twitter, or if an author come to my blog and comments on my review. It’s incredibly amazing and truly one of the best things that happened to me after I started blogging. Before, I would have never ever contacted them now, I feel like they are real people and just love to talk to us as much as we love talking to them!

  5. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I went to an author signing before I was a blogger and enjoyed it. Granted I had no idea what to expect… but it really wasn’t until I got into blogging that I discovered book events and festivals. I still have fangirl moments when I meet an author who’s work I adore. In fact, I am meeting Rainbow Rowell in a few weeks & since she wrote one of my most favorite books that I read last year (Attachments), I have a feeling there will be some serious fangirlness happening.

    We won’t mention the moment I met Jenny Han two years ago, haha. I was so nervous! She was so fun and sincerely nice & great about it though :) In my world, authors are rock stars!

  6. I love that you’re doing this series of posts. I work for a book publisher so I would say my opinion of authors (a lot of the time negative) comes mostly from that part of my life. But, as I’ve gotten into following authors on Twitter and interacting with them I’ve been so impressed by so many authors who seem so lovely and happy to interact with readers and followers.

  7. I agree with you. Before I started blogging I thought authors were like movie stars. Totally untouchable!

    My best author interaction has been with CJ Duggan. She wrote The Boys of Summer. She was my first interaction as well. :) I emailed her and asked when her book would be available, and she totally emailed me back and sent me a ARC of the book. I fell in love with the book and in my review professed that we were going to be best friends or that I was going to become a stalker. Seriously we are on the best friend level.

    This interaction has given me such confidence and I have since contacted several authors and talked to them. I try to contact an author when I love their book. It is amazing to have such interaction with them.

    Oh, and I love this series… maybe I need to try something similar! :) Love your blog Jamie! Seriously you are one of the reasons I started blogging! :) Adriane

  8. This, right here, has been one of the best things about book blogging and something I NEVER would have expected. It never ceases to amaze me, this connection with authors. I love it with all my heart. :)

  9. I felt the same way before I started working in publishing. Now it’s like “yay, authors are just people! they can be my friends!” combined with “oh, authors are just people (sadface).” But overall it’s good. Also, speaking of authors who see me not liking their books–I have a long story about that. If I don’t like a book we publish I NEVER say so online ever. But I worked on a book at Harper that I loved–like crazy, I pushed this book on everyone, did tons of stuff for it I didn’t have to loved–and then the author published a book with another house. I read it a while later (because I was saving it) and didn’t love it. But in my goodreads review I made sure to say that I still loved the author, would read anything he ever wrote, etc. A few weeks later I got a four page handwritten letter from him about how sad reading my goodreads review had made him.

    To make things even more awkward, I had casually mentioned in my review that I had a little bit of a crush on him when I worked on his book, and in this letter he said he used to have a crush on me too.

    AWKWARD. I never wrote back.

  10. I always held authors on a higher pedestal too and I don’t think I ever really got away from that thinking until I went to BEA. I saw so many authors just walking around, standing in line…they weren’t running around with security and PR reps like I assumed.

    Now that I’m a blogger I like getting to know the author outside of their book, I think it helps me understand their novel more.

  11. I’ve only been a blogger for a few months, but it wasn’t until I went to Y’ALL FEST in Charleston, SC last November that I really felt I could reach out to authors and join the book blogging world. I would interact with them, but feel very timid about doing so. Meeting so many wonderful and talented authors last year really allowed me to connect with them and feel more confident about reaching out to them. I feel like blogging and twitter has really allowed me to connect with authors and other bloggers that I never would have connected with other wise.

  12. I totally agree with your before! I think I only met Kate DiCamillo before I was a blogger which was like, exciting but not really because everyone was a teacher who met her before and I was a bb. I still haven’t met that many authors because I live in places people don’t want to visit. I LOVE who I’ve met though. Morgan Matson is the nicest and I hope to meet her again soon. I’m lucky that my 2 main author meetings (lol) have been significant one-on-one time. If I do go to BEA, I’m sure my list of authors met will be expanded.

  13. I’d never met any authors before I blogged, because I didn’t really read THAT many different authors – blogging has really, really opened up my reading world and exposed me to SO many different sub-genres, and authors. I think like you, Jamie, I basically thought all authors rode around in limos all day because DUH, they were rich. Now I can tell that’s really not true, and they’re all a lot more like us – just people, down-to-earth.

    I LOVE being able to tweet authors. I have one I’ve even developed a nice online friendship with, and several others that I chat with on a semi-regular basis. I’ve only been to one signing so far, but I’m hoping to go to another one in April, and then I’ll be able to say I’ve met other authors, too!

  14. I’m pretty sure I always thought that authors were those “untouchables” — just like movie stars — but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how down to earth they are. I haven’t met a lot, but of all the ones I’ve met, they’ve been friendly and accessible. And I love how easy it is to chat with my favourite authors on Twitter! I think it’s helped me discover MORE books.

  15. I just tweeted by an author the other day and she tweeted me back and I became instead fan girl :) I think Authors are amazing and super sweet. Even when I get book reviews from them I am honored they asked me (I know they ask a lot of people) but wow they asked me. Then they seem so honored you excepted the request. Its so funny to me I always think of them as Famous people. :) I have never meet an Author yet (before and after blogging). There aren’t many book signing by me but after being tweeted and becoming a fan girl. I’m worried I wont be able to breath and pass out LOL.

  16. When I was in middle school I met Brian Jacques (of Redwall fame, obvs). IT WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY YOUNG LIFE, even though I almost had a breakdown when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get a book signed or shake his hand. Even though I’ve been in such close proximity to such an amazing author, I still have this little twinge in my stomach every time I think about them, like I’m still not worthy to speak to them–maybe because I was SO star-struck by Jacques?

    Seriously though, I thought I was going to die of joy when my twelve-year-old self got to yell EULALIA with a bunch of other nerds in the back of a Learning Post.

  17. I love posts like this! My sister has been a blogger for years, and she’s the one who got me into YA altogether. I started going to book signings with her and eventually I started reading a lot of the books. I think that one of the reasons I started blogging last year was because I saw how accessible authors are! I already regularly read several authors’ blogs, and followed them on twitter, so I wanted to get more involved in the community. It’s just so much fun! :)

  18. Reading Angel says:

    Authors are my rockstars, but before blogging I think they were more like greek gods. ;)
    Before blogging I was really active in a shelfari group.
    When Jeanine Frost’s first two books cane out and we did a group read she actually came on and did a discussion with us.
    I thought that was the most amazing thing ever! I had no clue authors would take time to do things like that!

    *sorry if this is full of typos – I suck at typing on my phone.

  19. The only authors I had interacted with prior to blogging were John Green and Maureen Johnson. I corresponded with Maureen for a charity event, and then met John Green. I’m pretty I treated both of them like gods because I was so in awe that they were REAL. Like, when I met John Green I was basically speechless and so nervous that I would say the wrong thing. Now, I interact with authors online all the time. It might be silly, but I used to think authors were completely untouchable people that I’d never get to see or speak with. Twitter has made me realize that they’re normal people just like the rest of us, and they’re some of the sweetest most awesome people I know. I still look up to them like they’re celebrities, but I’ve realized that there’s no reason to be nervous around them or anything because they’re just people like you or me.

  20. I love how normal they are too! I had never really been to a bookish event before i started blogging. Once I did though I was astounded by how star struck I was. I mean I live in the same neighborhood as very famous people, I have lunch next to celebrities weekly and it is normal for me. When I meet an author though, I am a blubbering smiling sometimes shaking mess. Yet, they are always SO NICE and funny and NORMAL!

  21. I love that you are talking about this. I am an author and I could say that many of us think readers are mystical beings who live in the clouds too. :) Seriously, I did want to address one thing you said: “I think the only negative is that if I know they follow me and I’m not enjoying their book.”

    Any author who’s been in the business awhile knows that not everyone can enjoy her book. Even bestselling authors have readers who don’t like their book. I’ve never met a book blogger who was intentionally cruel. So, be honest with how you feel. Sometimes the author may even learn from your comments and make the next book even better.

  22. I think the only negative is that if I know they follow me and I’m not enjoying their book. I hate that they will have to see that. I don’t tweet them or alert them to it but I can’t help if they see it. It makes me feel self conscious/bad though.

    THIS!

    And, I’d met a few before blogging, but not many. I did got to the National Festival in DC one year with friends to see beloved authors, but I’ve always been a book nerd. I know about more things now that I blog…plus, more disposable income now.

  23. In my head, authors have celebrity status. Before 2010, before I discovered the book blogger world, before I moved the US of A, authors were just magical people who put pen to paper and came out with some of my favorite books in the universe. I knew they existed and that they were real, but it never occurred to me to try to reach out to them and contact them.

    Thank goodness it is now 2013 and social media/internet exists! I am happily able to gush and fangirl and chat with some of the authors who I only admired from afar – and they respond back. I think the communication between authors and their fans is so much simpler and quicker now, and it’s also in real time so it feels like they’re really friends. I still get really awkward and all fangirl when I meet authors in person (because to me it is such a HUGE deal), but overall, I’ve realized that they’re a nice, wonderful, helpful bunch who write AWESOME BOOKS.

    Best experience so far? Meeting J.K. Rowling. I only said two words to her, but it was enough to have her smile at me and say thank you.

  24. This post and these comments were so fun to read :) I also write as Fiona Paul so I’ve gotten to meet a lot of readers online and off and it always tickles me to hear them talk about their author-myths.

    Most of us authors work other jobs, harbor author crushes of our own (I <3 you, Libba Bray!), and get so excited when someone tweets to say they like our book that it can make up for a bad trade review or a missed deadline or even help quell the gnawing jealous insecure doubting beasts we all carry around in our messenger bags. Temporarily, of course. Keep those tweets and emails coming. We <3 you for it!

    Paula AKA Fiona

  25. I’m not a book blogger, just a regular blogger. But I’ve been going to book signings for years. I’m married to an author, that’s how much of a fangirl I am. :)

    I do talk to authors on social media, and I’m lucky enough to be friends with authors. As an aspiring author myself, it’s cool to be able to network and hang out.

    My favorite experiences? Meeting Laurie Halse Anderson for the first time in 2007, and she recognized me from Live Journal and gave me a huge hug. Then meeting Sarah Dessen a few years later, and having HER recognize me because I engage(d) with her on her blog/Live Journal as well.

    Because my husband is an author, I get to go to lots of author events I probably wouldn’t be able to get to normally. It’s really cool because being around them is super inspiring. :)

    And by the way, your blog design is adorable! :)

  26. Same! I totally didn’t really know much about authors at all. I had no idea you could get advance or free copies from them, and I also thought that they were all inaccessible and rich. There are so many things I was totally wrong or clueless about before I was a blogger. Becoming one has taught me so many things! Really love these posts because I thought I was the only one whose life became totally different upon becoming a blogger. I love being able to talk with authors now, find out the latest about upcoming books, and really knowing more about the people who write the things I love so much!

  27. I’ve been able to meet a few of my favorite authors, and I’ve been to dinner with Peter S. Beagle (he wrote The Last Unicorn) and Seanan McGuire (she writes the Toby Daye series, InCryptid, and she writes horror as Mira Grant). Not at the same time, though. I’ve also been to an event and signing with Charles de Lint and Charles Vess, and I’ve been to signings by Charlaine Harris and Tamora Pierce.

    Every author I’ve had a chance to chat with has been beyond my expectations. Peter Beagle is like that awesome uncle whose every word you hang off. Even his boring stories are fascinating. He and I have talked about writing, cats, baseball, politics, and day jobs. The last time we had dinner, he overheard a fan gushing about his books, so he went over to introduce himself. She was so excited, she burst into tears. He gave her a hug and spoke warmly with her for a while.

    Seanan McGuire is my age (precisely 42 days older, in fact), so it was a different experience, but not in a bad way. I’d been commenting on her blog, so she recognized the name on my badge and lurched forward to hug me, only to stop and frown at the table that was in the way. The place I picked for dinner was a bit crowded, so we wound up wrapping up pretty quickly, but then we found another place to settle down to keep talking. And talking. And talking. Every time people approached her, she made sure to introduce me and include me in the conversation, and I left feeling like I’d made a new friend.

    I actually posted on my blog about my dinners with authors, and how to make a good impression with your favorite author.

    I’ve never spoken with an author whose books I didn’t like. I have horrible foot-in-mouth syndrome, so I avoid them to keep from being a jerk.

    I definitely used to think of authors as celebrities, too inaccessible to approach. With Twitter and blogs and conventions, I’ve been able to interact with a lot more authors, and it’s sunk in that they’re human, too.

  28. Before I was a book blogger, I went to a lot of sci-fi conventions. There I had the opportunity to meet many of my favorite actors, so I feel like I had some experience before meeting my favorite authors. Of course, I hold them to a higher degree of awesome, so my nerves were still all over the place. But at the same time, as I really love reading and books, I felt I had more to talk about and less of a chance to make a complete idiot out of myself.

    I will say, however, the first time I met John Green I was sweating I was so nervous. I went to NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) annual conference with every book I owned of his (this was before The Fault in Our Stars came out) and many copies to giveaway. So that’s like 10 books all together, including some of his short stories collections. He looked at me and said, “Thank you for purchasing my entire collected works!” and I died. I just mumbled thank you all weirdly and then squeed after he was done. Not my best moment. But I saw him again later and made up for it!

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  1. [...] 2/27 Being Up On New Releases — 3/6 Book Real Estate — 3/15 Re-reading — 3/20 Meeting Authors + Myths About Them — 3/27 Number Of Books Read Per Year – [...]

  2. [...] 2/27 Being Up On New Releases — 3/6 Book Real Estate — 3/15 Re-reading — 3/20 Meeting Authors + Myths About Them — 3/27 The Number of Books Read Per Year — 4/5 Recommending Books — [...]

  3. [...] 2/27 Being Up On New Releases — 3/6 Book Real Estate — 3/15 Re-reading — 3/20 Meeting Authors + Myths About Them — 3/27 The Number of Books Read Per Year — 4/5 Recommending Books — 4/10 Chunky [...]

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