Thursday 10 July 2014

Thursday Thoughts (8)


Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

This weeks topic is:

Talking to authors the hows and whys

Have you ever met an author in real life? How did it go? I don't know about anyone else but the first time I spoke to one of my favourite authors there was a lot of 'erms' and 'oh my gosh' and awkward stuttering and the inability to form a coherent sentence. I basically turned into a bumbling idiot. BUt why is that? 
To us, these are the people who have created the worlds we love and the characters we relate to. They are the masters of the pen and page. They have done something many of us can only dream of doing. But I'm going to shock you here and reveal something. 
They are actually pretty normal people and once you get over the awe, they are really cool to talk to. Of course we will always admire them but talk to them like you would anyone else and you will get on fine.
I have met a lot of authors now over the years, I have been very lucky in that respect, and I have found first hand that they appreciate you telling them how much you loved their book, but most of the time they then just want a normal conversation. I talked about working in a library with Malorie Blackman, discussed cake recipes with Steve Cole, and martial arts techniques with Derek Landy (to be fair I was wearing a t-shirt with a ninja on it). 
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put the authors down or make it seem like they are less impressive or admirable. Trust me I still have moments where I am like "OMG I'm about to meet..." but I am saying that you are more likely to get a conversation back if you talk to them normally. 

Imagine: (italics - internal thoughts)
Me: Hi author, oh my...
Author: Hi, what's your name?
Me: he wants to know my name!!! ahhhh, erm what's my name... awkward pause. Becky 
Author: How are you today Becky
Me: he's asking me a question, omg, what do i do. He's waiting for an answer, give him an answer! Fine thanks. 
Author: Good *signs book
Me: He's signing my book that is so cool, he's got a weird signature, but it's for me *stares at author 
Author: Thanks  *looks at you nervously, why is she staring at me like that? 
*After some nervous shuffling as you try to think of something clever to say, you notice you are being pushed out of the way. You leave realizing you just met someone that awesome and all you could do was look like a goldfish! 

Whereas Imagine this: 
Me: Hi author, oh my...
Author: Hi, what's your name? 
Me: Becky, it's great to meet you deep breaths, stay calm
Author: Thanks, you too. How are you today?
Me: I'm great thanks, I read your book and really enjoyed it so was psyched to meet you
Author: Glad to hear it.
Me: Are you working on anything else right now?
Author: There may be a few projects in the background.
Me: Great, I can't wait to read more from you. I did a promotion for your book at the library last week. I work in a public library you see or told a friend about your book, something like that.
Author: Oh really, that's cool. 
Me: Yeah, as you can tell I love books. *maybe chat for a few more minutes about random stuff.
Me: Well I better not take up too much of your time, I hope you have a good day. If you ever want a promotion - I have a book blog.  

Staying calm and acting like a sane human being will more often than not result in you having an actual conversation. Sure there are times that authors are on a short time frame and won't have time to chat to everyone, but they are more likely to stop and talk to you if you have a sensible questions ready to ask and you stay calm. The hysterical people will be brushed past. So take this advice, deep breaths before it gets to your turn and keep calm. You can totally fangirl and go crazy after you have met them.

I will be implementing my own advice this weekend as I attend YALC in London and meet loads of my favourite authors. I will post about it all afterwards so look out for that. 

Have you ever met any authors? How did it go, did you get to talk?
As you can probably tell, I have experienced both.   

And for a bonus thought - if you could meet any author in the world, who would it be and why?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I haven't met any authors yet. BUT I am going to YALLFest this year, and that has a lot of authors. You have good tips for interacting with anyone you look up to! (The author I would definitely want to meet is either Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett)