Monday, August 20, 2007

My Personal Mecca...Or 'On First Meeting An Author Whose Books You Love'

Many years ago, I picked up a book at the book store and it turned out to be an incredible story that was well recieved. And...the author was from Texas. We were definitely firing on all cylinders! The book was The Element of Fire by Martha Wells, I read it a few times and relegated it to its position of honor on my bookshelf.

The years went by and I got more involved in collecting books and I attended my first Con in Dallas. Lo and behold, Ms. Wells was also in attendance! I was like a kid preaparing for his first kiss. This was so exciting! She actually was going to read from her upcoming new book (which turned out to be Ships of Air). She was going to m ingle with the common folk...and even better....that included me! I was giggly with anticipation.

The day arrived! I went to Ms. Wells reading and it was wondrous! Afterward, she just talked to us mere mortals. And, guess what? She had feet of clay. She wasn't this ethereal intelligence. She was personable despite being almost painfully shy. She was neater than sneakers and oh-so-normal. I was so disappointed...

.. And absolutely elated! Gosh, these author folks were just like me. Not only that, but they were giggly with excitement that I really enjoyed their books. Ms. Wells signed my first edition (which now truly is one of the pearls of my collection. I dare ya, find a signed first edition of 'The Element of Fire'). And we went our seperate but satisfied ways.

Since then I have had conversations with authors, both established and hopeful, publishers, editors, and critics (more nicely referred to as reviewers). But all of those subsequent conversations have been flavored by that first experience. I now expect that we start from common ground and, so far, that's held true.

I jusy hope they never find out I have feet of clay...

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