No matter who you are, there’s always that one (or two, or three…) author that you know you will completely panic about meeting. You try desperately to act ‘normal’ around them…. but you fail.
I’ve met a far few authors in the last couple of years. Thanks to working in a bookshop and events like YALC, it’s become a regular thing. So you would have thought that I would have been used to it- I mean, these people… they are just people, who happen to be really good with words (mostly).
But, yeah, my brain doesnt listen to logic like that (thankfully, authors themselves are just as bad, and fangirl over each other too) which means that I’ve embarrassed myself or been an idiot in my excitement more than once.
My most memorable one was actually the best day of my life as well, though I still internally cringe at myself for it, despite it actually being like, two years later.
I had won a competition to have afternoon tea with Sarah J Maas in London. The comp was as follows- all you had to do was be a bookseller, and email Bloomsbury with reasons why you and not someone else, should meet our Dear Queen of Fantasy.
My email read like this:
1) It’s because of Sarah and the utterly amazing character that is Celaena that I started doing archery and found something I loved
2) she had given me many sleepless nights because of the amount I read Throne of Glass, and has stolen enough of my tears to make another ocean, and she ought to have a chance to redeem herself (Or not, I mean, I am half dreading reading Queen of Shadows at the end of the year because of the TORTURE to my emotions.)
3) She is my favourite author and if it was acceptable to chase strangers down the road screaming ‘READ THESE BOOKS’ at them, I would, and I think she should know that.
4) I was on my hands and knees begging Bloomsbury for a proof copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses, and it became an instant favourite when I was on the first page (I then read it twice and almost cried when I had to give it to my colleague so she could read it)
5)I would trade anything for a chance to meet Sarah. My soul, my first born child (on pre-order) and maybe even my plans for world domination (reading. Taking over the world by reading.) Of course, what I won’t trade is Sarah’s books.
Now, what they failed to say to me before I met Sarah and her Bloomsbury Rep was that they found the email so entertaining (since most other people just wrote things like ‘I sell a lot of her books’) that the entire department of Bloomsbury had read it.
So when a comment came up about it (mainly, where was Sarah’s promised child)… well I’m never going to forget it.
On the actual day, though, I was so excited that when I saw Sarah walking into the place we were eating in, I stood up, held out my hand and just squeaked “You’re Sarah J Maas” as if, somehow, this bestselling author would really forget her name. I didn’t even introduce myself.
I think I was in a sheer state of bliss (mixed with lots of champagne since it was free) that day I kinda just constantly made a fool of myself. Thankfully, at Sarah’s real event that evening, she walked into the room, spotted me and went ‘Look! These people are already my friends!’ so my idiotic didn’t seem to make that much of an impact.
Between then and july last year, there were many other author meetings, including Leigh Bardugo, but the other main one that sticks in my head is that of Non Pratt, at YALC last year.
Now, for those of you that don’t know, once a year in july, the YA book lovers of the world attempt to converge on London, to a floor above comic con that month. Along with them go many many authors, publishers, agents and anyone attempting to be bookish.
Last year, Non Pratt was among those authors. Each day she dressed as different characters (I think one of which was Kaz from Six of Crows and it was amazing). One day, she was dressed as Harry Potter, and I, dressed as Draco (from AVPM) was dared to go up to the first Potter I saw and reenact the ‘Moonshoes Potter’ scene from it.
Guess who the first Potter was I saw? Guess who also had never seen AVPM, and thus ended up looking like the most terrified author in the world? You’ve got it, the wonderful Non Pratt.
Yeah, well, I’m never showing my face around them again. Ever. Forget secondhand embarrassment, every time I remember it, it’s like I’m back there, just slowly drowning in a pool of humiliation.
It’s a good thing I gave up with dignity years ago, isn’t it?
So I may love authors and love meeting them, but it seems to go hand in hand with making a fool of yourself.
Have you ever met an author- have you ever said something to them you instantly regretted?