Thursday, 11 October 2007

Booking through Thursday - Live and in person


I said in August, when we talked about fan mail, that I planned on expanding that to live meetings when the time was right. Well, that time is now!

  • Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Gotten their autograph?
  • How about an author you felt only so-so about, but got their autograph anyway? Like, say, at a book-signing a friend dragged you to?
  • How about stumbling across a book signing or reading and being so captivated, you bought the book?
Hmm, interesting! I have been known to say that I am diffident about meeting favourite authors, in case they are a disappointment. More truthfully, it's in case I say something really dumb and have to live ever after with the knowledge that I made a complete idiot of myself in front of someone whose opinion I would value. I remember with mortification a dinner spent next to a rather well-known philosopher (and prolific writer) - he was a rather quiet man and, by the end of the evening, I was wittering mindlessly. About retribution, for anyone who's interested. Not a subject to be undertaken lightly.

I've met quite a few authors through my job, which occasionally involves organising readings. I'm not very interested in autographs for themselves - wouldn't ask for one for the sake of it - but I have a small number of books with that I treasure because they contain personal messages from authors I grew to like during the brief time I knew them. I often find that listening to an author talk about their work, even if I hadn't been particularly interested at the outset, makes me curious to read the book, so I've got a few signed copies of books I didn't mean to buy. I'm definitely not a subscriber to Death of the Author theories - I like authors to be/have been living, breathing human beings and to still be present, at least to some extent, in their writing. In fact, I've just realised that the only biographies I read are of authors.

8 comments:

BooksPlease said...

I'm with you on this. I once met John Mortimer, in the course of my work, and just couldn't talk to him about his books (that's not what I was there for) and I still found myself chattering away. There was no way I'd have asked for his autograph!

Hannah Velten said...

Always difficult to talk to an author - even if you know their work really well, you know that they know their work intimately and therefore may realise that you haven't read it that closely or have misinterpreted it! Oh whittering on - sorry....
I left a comment on my blog in reply to your comment - I'll always do that...

Hannah Velten said...

Meant to say both blogs....forget my head (and all that)!

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts said...

I love to hear authors talk, too, about their work or their lives. It adds dimension to reading their books, but I juts like it anyway because I feel I've gotten to know them to some degree through their books and like getting to know them as themselves a little more.

If I had opportunity to be around one for long I'd either get real quiet, or chatter, depending on which form my nervousness took at the moment. :-)

GeraniumCat said...

Booksplease: yes, that's it exactly. I'm a quiet person, normally.

Hannah, I'm not even going to mention cows to you, obviously...thanks for your replies.

Barbara: the internet is great because some authors I like blog too! And sooner or later, with very few exceptions, their pets turn up on the blog. Very illuminating.

gautami tripathy said...

I agree. I am not interested in any author unless it is what he wrote about. I can't go to book readingsif I don't like the author. Though I was dragged to one such event by a friend of mine.

Melody said...

I'll be very nervous if I do have the chance to meet my favourite authors (even though I wanted to do so badly! LOL.)

cj said...

There is always that danger, is there, of making a complete twit out of yourself by going on and on. But, I think most authors know how and why that happens. At least I hope they do!

Thanks for dropping by my place.

cjh