Next week–February 9th from 12:30-2:00, to be exact–I’ll be signing books, along with
Eloisa James, at Waldenbooks in Rockefeller Center in New York City. It’s my first bookstore signing, and I’m pretty psyched (and yes, I will be wearing all black. I mean, did you expect taupe and teal?).
Which led me to think about meeting authors, and what you’d say to them, or if you even like meeting authors (or musicians, or artists, or actors), or if you prefer to keep your distance. And if you did meet someone whose work you admire–an author, specifically–what would you ask?
If I could ask Jane Austen a question, it would be: ‘Can I be you?’ No. Maybe not. How about ‘Do you like people, or do you just like making fun of them?’ Or ‘Were you trying to be so obvious in naming Mr. Knightley?’
If I met the Bronte sisters, I’d have to ask just what they felt about their brother, and were they really as nutty as their writing makes them seem.
If I met Jorge Luis Borges, I’d ask him–oh, I dunno. It wouldn’t be possible to ask him how his mind works, so I think I’d just gawk (I thought of Borges because in addition to Groundhog Day, yesterday was also the date of the founding of Buenos Aires, and Borges was Argentinean).
So–do you like getting to meet creators in person? Which authors would you most like to meet, and what would you ask them? Whom have you met already?
And, if you are in NYC next week, come say hi!
How exciting, Megan. Wish I were closer to the metropolis so I could come by…
I am just getting into the blogosphere and the chatting with authors online, which is something I would have eschewed wholeheartedly in the past. I think there is part of me that thinks writers don’t really want to be bothered. No writer I’ve ever emailed has said this of course, but one wants never to cross the line between fan and fanatic…
That said, I’d love to ask Austen why poor Marianne Dashwood had to get stuck with flannel waistcoated Col. Brandon…(Love Alan Rickman, but Col. Brandon in the novel is less than moving.)
I’d also like to have talked with Georgette Heyer about her ability to shift from romance to mystery so well. It would be difficult I think, though many others have done it too…
I don’t think I could ever ask an author a question if I were to meet them, I’d be too nervous! LOL 🙂
Good luck at the booksigning, Megan! Wish I could be there to get my copy signed. 🙂
Well, I’ve met lots of romance authors. 🙂 Not Laura Kinsale, though–I think I’d be too tongue-tied if I did meet her. In non-romance, I’d love to meet Zadie Smith. Ditto the tongue-tied bit, though. And Shakespeare. If he wasn’t dead for 500 years, that is. I could ask him for his “real” life story, LOL!
As for people sending notes about my own books–I love it! It means someone besides my mother has written something I wrote, and I get very excited. Except for “prison letters”, of which I have only recieved two. And this one crazy lady who got very angry when I wouldn’t introduce her to my agent.
Ooops. I meant “read” something I wrote! Duh. That’s what I get for blogging too early on Saturday morning. 🙂
I would love to meet Laura Kinsale sometime and hope I wouldn’t make an incoherent sycophantic fool of myself.
As to dead authors, I would like to learn more about Georgette Heyer. I would have to have a few glasses of wine (or one of those mega-ritas like I had at the NJRW conference) in me to ask, but I would want to know: 1) how she feels about the continuing popularity of her work, 2) does she feel vindicated about the worth of her less “serious” works 3) whether she really resents anyone writing Regency romance, or just those who slavishly imitated her plots and/or research.
I am so glad to hear you will be at the signing next week! I plan to come down….a little gift to me! Loved your book. I picked it up at the NJRWA conference.
I enjoy chatting with authors in cyberspace and in real life. I find the creative process fascinating!
I would love to meet Mr. Borges. I used to have an anthology of his short stories that a cousin borrowed and lost! GRRR! I really miss revisiting those stories.
I would adore meeting Ms. Austin and Mr. Dumas. They are two of my favorite authors of all time.
I like to talk to fellow romance writers, because we can talk craft or shop. It’s a mixed bag with other writers I admire though, and I’ve met lots of them, when they came to read and/or speak at my husband’s bookstore (he doesn’t have signings — authors have got to stand behind their words, as it were, which I much prefer to only signing).
Katha Pollitt, the feminist columnist and poet, was the most relaxed and friendly — she gave me a big hug and said she didn’t see why everybody didn’t love going on book tours, because you got to eat in restaurants all the time and everybody was so nice to you. Samuel Delaney, the science fiction writer, was the same way. In fact, my husband introduced him to the crowd at the reading as, “the nicest titan of modern literature you’ll ever meet.”
But I’ve also learned that authors on book tours are often exhausted and fractious, that they’re rarely the people whom I thought I knew when I fell in love with their books, and they don’t know me from Adam ever though it may feel like I know them. And moreover, that my expectations are my problem and not theirs. I’ve learned instead to expend my energy in making sure they’re comfortable, whoever they may really, mysteriously be.
Oh, one other wonderful author meeting — Kazuo Ishiguru, who wrote The Remains of the Day, spent a few hours with a roomful of booksellers (and their spouses), patiently answering our questions when his latest book came out. He goes by the nickname of Ish. And he was sweet, smart, polite, reserved, and dressed in blackest black.
Have a great time at your signing, Megan.
Thanks for the good wishes, everyone, and I sure like your ideas for whom you’d like to meet–sounds like Amanda and Elena should gbet together with Laura Kinsale for tea or something.
And Santa, I remember you buying my book in NJ–I’ll see you soon!
My take is virtually the opposite of mandacoll’s! I would ask Austen why she stuck poor Col. Brandon with Marianne! I wonder if this is just me, or if it is a gender-based division…
Sorry I can’t be in NYC, but I hope the signing was good. I don’t know what taupe and teal are, exactly, but I would never, never expect them of you!
I think up clever witty things to say to authors I admire, and then when I say them, they are somehow no longer clever or witty… 🙂
Which is why when I’m a famous author (no giggling, please) I will never scoff at readers who say non-clever non-witty things to me. 🙂