Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA - Author Interaction

Today's Armchair BEA topic is Author Interaction. Book authors are like rock stars to me, and I am a total fangirl when it comes to meeting them or interacting with them!

The first thought that came to mind when I read this topic was my recent experience. I just started a new Twitter account for this book blog recently, and one of my first Tweets was a quote that I love from Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick ("I am practicing being kind rather than right"). Soon after, Matthew Quick favorited my Tweet - I was so excited! My first week of Tweeting about books, and Matthew Quick himself responded! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. So, yeah, that's how excited I get about interacting with authors.

I have had the pleasure of attending several book signings and/or talks by favorite authors, and every time, I was bowled over by how fun, funny, and intelligent they were.

My first encounter with an author was talking my sons to see Brian Jacques at our local Borders back in 2007. My oldest son was a HUGE fan of Jacques' books, especially the Redwall series, and I'd read about the author appearance in the newspaper that morning. So, it was a last-minute kind of thing, but we all enjoyed it immensely. This blog post has more details of his appearance, and some pictures of him, including this one where he shared a laugh with my sons.

Brian Jacques laughing with my sons

Our county library system does an All-County Reads program, and always invites the author of the chosen book to talk. I have been fortunate enough to attend two of those talks so far. The first was Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a novel that I had loved. I expected Ford to be interesting, but he also had a great sense of humor, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak.

Last year, our All-County Reads book was March, and the libraries brought Geraldine Brooks in to speak. I have read every one of Brooks' novels and loved every one of them. She is one of my favorite authors, so I was very excited to hear her speak. As with Jamie Ford, Brooks was interesting, personable, and had a great sense of humor. I didn't have the stamina to stand in line to get a book signed, but I did snap a photo.

This year, just last month, Silver Linings Playbook was our county's chosen book, and Matthew Quick came to talk. I had plans to go but wasn't feeling well enough and had to cancel at the last minute. I was so disappointed! So, you can see why I got so excited when a couple of weeks later, he favorited my Tweet.

How about you? What have been your favorite author interactions?

16 comments:

  1. I love your author interactions here! Twitter has opened up a whole world of author interaction I never dreamed about. When I was young, and before the rise of Twitter, I was in the habit of emailing my favorite authors if their work really touched me. Anita Diamant was the first who ever responded to me, and WOW, that was a rush!

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    1. Same here! It's been amazing joining Twitter and being able to interact with my favorite authors.

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  2. Aww! So sorry you weren't able to make the one with Matthew Quick! I really wish my Library did things like that. I can walk to my library! It's a block from my house.

    I get kinda dorky fangirl too, even with just online interactions. I cannot imagine what would happen in person!

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

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    1. I am lucky, Lisa. Our state and county library systems are great and always planning cool things. The All-County Reads book & author talk happen twice a year, and they are almost always big names!

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  3. Great list of author moments. I always enjoy attending signings or events where a favorite author is featured.

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    1. Me, too, Vikk - I need to try to go to more of them!

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  4. Hi Sue! LOVE seeing that Borders poster. I used to work for Borders as an event manager and hosted Brian Jacques several times--what a great guy! One of my favorite author events was the first time I met Emma Donoghue in 2010. I'd never heard of her and wasn't interested in ROOM (I don't usually like books narrated by a child), but it was just short-listed for the Booker, so I thought I'd stick around and hear what she had to say. So glad I did because she was delightful and I loved how she talked about the book and her inspiration for it. I bought the book and read it that night in one sitting (which is rare for me). Since then I'm more apt to go to an author event of someone I never heard about before. You never know what you'll discover!

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    1. Wow, that sounds like a really cool job, Chris! I so miss our old Borders :(

      I would LOVE to hear Emma Donohue speak - like you, I was captivated by Room.

      That's a great idea to go to author events when you haven;t tried the author yet!

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  5. Oh to live in an area where authors came to visit regularly. Sounds like a great moment for your kids! My kids are big readers too so they would enjoy meeting some of their faves - Rick Riordan for one!

    Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

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    1. Holly - I actually had a very cool interaction with Rick Riordan before he became famous. I was just reminding my sons of it (they are now 16 and 19) and they were still impressed!

      I reviewed The Lightning Thief for Family Fun magazine back when it was first released. Rick saw my review and he and his wife e-mailed me. It turned out he had two sons the same ages as my sons and was "just" a middle-school teacher at the time - I'm sure he had no idea what was in store for him with his first book just released! We exchanged a few nice notes. I've been happy to watch his meteoric rise because he seems like a nice guy (and a good dad!).

      Sue

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  6. You have a great collection of author experiences. Here's mine: Emerald City Book Review

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  7. Great moments. It is nice that your sons take an interest, leading you to your first event. All of my kids grew up reading too and still love it.

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    1. Yes, Stephanie, I have always loved sharing books with my sons. One is an avid reader. The other claims not to like reading now, but I am hoping those early experiences made an impression and he will come back to it at some point.

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  8. Geraldine gets around - that's 3 of us who've had some time with her :-)

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    1. Very cool! She is one of my favorites and was so entertaining in person!

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  9. I wish my library did things like that. They seem to be just catching on to social media and group reading. Thankfully, there are some community groups in my area that host author events.

    Twitter has definitely changed my interactions with authors since I became a blogger. I never really felt comfortable sending an email to an author with a general question or just to say hello. I can do that now with Twitter.

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