Feral Friday - Meeting authors & book events

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about meeting authors and attending book events:

Kristy’s say:

I think authors are rock stars - so meeting an author is a terribly exciting thing for me! After all, I have invested myself and my time with an author; in their characters and their story - so to meet an author is truly an amazing experience. I also find that meeting an author gives you so much more insight into that author, and their story - much more than can be found on the internet :) Sometimes you get a little information about how the story came to life, or how a character forced itself into the storyline, or how a character or story developed far beyond the original intent. Sometimes you find out things about the author as well - their funny little stories about how their real life reflects the story or characters, what drives them to write a particular genre or on their personal process for writing a book. I find all of these things extremely fascinating, and more importantly, I love the realisation, that at the end of the day, and author is a person just like me or you (although they certainly have much more creativity and writing ability than I do).

I am extremely grateful to every author that does an author event (especially international authors - I know I shouldn’t play favourites, it is just that it is so much harder for international author events to happen). After all, these are people who are willing to travel (away from their friends and family), put themselves out in the public eye, possibly expose themselves to uncomfortable situations (they could have a fear of public speaking, be asked personal questions etc), and they do so to enable fans to ask them some questions and get their books signed. I am thankful that they are taking time out of their “normal life” to do these events, and for allowing us fans to get just a little bit of their time. That “little bit” of time might have just made someone’s dream come true.

I have not yet been able to meet my favourite author (but I still hold onto hope that it will happen), but I have been fortunate enough to be with a friend when she met her absolute-all-time-favourite-author. And while for her it was a nerve-racking experience, for both of us it was an awesome event that will only ever happen once in a lifetime. To meet (well, for me to witness) your favourite author is something that a book nerds dream is made of - you get to talk to the author that created your favourite story and characters, to get their insight into this amazing world, and to discuss aspects of the story that you can only really discuss with the person who created this world that you love so much. I hope for all of you that you get to meet your favourite author one day! And if that ever happens - don’t be scared… remember, this author is probably happy to meet such a devoted fan (even if you do seem a little fan-girlish), as they create stories in hope that people will connect to it just as you have.

I am also thankful for these opportunities are made available to us fans, as I understand how much work goes into organising such events - it involves a lot of things such as scheduling availability with an author, sourcing venues, making appropriate travel arrangements, marketing, budgeting - and that is just the beginning of it! So, thank you publicists for all the work you do!

I recommend that you attend as many author events as you can! I am not saying that you should go and buy every book an author has written to get signed, but if you enjoyed one of their books (or know someone who did), let them know! Every author would love to hear that people have connected to their books. Remember, author events will only continue to happen if they continue to be successful! If you support as many author events as you can, you will be contributing to the continuation of events - and who knows, it might be your favourite author next!

Melissa’s say:

I am a pretty awkward person by nature. With strangers at least…. I mean, my friends already accept and love me for being weird, but when I meet people I really admire, like authors – I just tend to turn into a bit of a goober. Traditionally you wouldn’t find me attending many events or author signings, unless it’s one of my all time favourites (or international authors), I’ll definitely go (with full understanding that the author is going to think I am a goober).

The only author event I have been to was June this year, and it was a night with Gayle Forman, Myke Bartlett and Vikki Wakefield, and I had an amazing time at that event. I learnt so much about each of these authors and got to have a chat with each of them afterwards, and have my books signed. For me, it was incredible being able to meet Gayle Forman who is one of my all time favourite authors.

So after this experience I feel like I will definitely attend more of these types of things in the future without a doubt. I just find with these things it’s hard for me to say anything to the author without coming across as extremely simple minded “Ummm…. I love your book” or a crazy fan girl “So… I love you.” My mind tends to go blank and I tend to state the obvious. The best word for this is star struck. I see authors as celebrities in a way. It’s all very awkward.

But this being said, I am committing myself to attending more of these types of events – forgetting my awkwardness, I really enjoy them and love hearing authors talk about their books and answering questions. Plus, it’s a nice experience when you meet an author you love so much and they turn out to be even nicer than you thought they would be.

Do you attend author signings & events? Who have you met, and do you also get starstruck and tongue-tied when you meet authors? Let us know in your comments below!

What do you think?

  • So fitting you chose this topic since this past week was my first ever author event! I will be writing about it next week, but wow what an experience. I think it’s easy to be shy and feel silly, but it really was so interesting learning about the author’s thoughts behind the book (even though in this case, I hadn’t read any of his books!) and it really helps you gain an appreciation for the author (and for me made me want to read his book)! And, even better, my favorite ever author was actually in the audience for this event and I happened to have his book on me so I got that signed as well when I went up and awkwardly met him! So yes yes yes. I definitely think if anyone can go to an author event, they should. Even if it’s not for an author you are familiar with, it’s good because you might find out you’re quite interested in their work (or see your favorite author in the crowd)!

    • Kristy says:

      Asti, that is an AMAZING story! I am so happy that your first author event was great - but wow, your favourite author was in the audience? That is beyond fantastic! I am so happy for you!
      (and yes, you have a very valid point about going to an event as you may find you are interested in that authors books)
      I look forward to your post regarding your first ever (and enviable) author event :)
      Kristy recently posted…Feral Friday - Meeting authors & book eventsMy Profile

    • Melissa says:

      That is SO true! I haven’t read any books by the other two authors from the event I went to, but the way they spoke of the story REALLY intrigued me to want to read their books!!

      I cannot believe how lucky you are to have met your favourite author in the audience! That is incredible! :D That would have made the night even more special!
      Melissa recently posted…Feral Friday - Meeting authors & book eventsMy Profile

  • Julie S. says:

    I love going to author events. I go when I can because it is always a good time meeting the authors, hearing about their great projects, and adding more signed books to the collection :) I do get a little star struck sometimes :)

  • Carolyn says:

    I have been fortunate enough to go to several author events (probably 9 or 10) over the past couple of years, sadly though only a few have been here in Perth with most involving me flying to Melbourne for them. However I have had the opportunity to meet some really great friends as a result of attending these signings and it means I get to have a holiday as well.

    I was lucky enough that a blogger friend asked me to come to an informal lunch with her when Sarah Alderson was taking time out from her holidays here in Perth to meet with WA bloggers. I hadn’t read Hunting Lila at that time but bought it to get signed and absolutely loved it.

    I also attended another signing here and was recognised by the publicist who remembered me from another author’s event in Melbourne.

    I will always support author events where I possibly can for both local and international authors. With international I think that if we support them, then they will not only come back to Australia but also tell their other author friends to come as well. Win win situation.

  • […] asks authors what the future will hold. - Kristy and Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews talk about meeting authors and book events. - Alexia Casale and Kelley @ Another Novel Read discuss their different perspectives when it comes […]

  • Gabriella says:

    I recently met one of my favorite authors, and I got so tounge tied and probably ended up appearing as a one dimensional person. Now this weekend I am going to an event where I will get to meet a few of my admired authors and hopefully my all time favorite person/author. And I am freaking out, because I have no idea what to say for those thirty seconds while I get to meet them when they sign my books. Do I ask them a question, say how much I love their books, stay silent and smile? Help!!

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