Welcome to another edition of Thoughts on Things where I post my random thoughts…on things…
This week I’ll be talking about meeting authors. Now, I know all of you have heard me shout it across the country multiple times (I can’t help it), but last Wednesday, I met and interviewed two bestselling authors. Rachel Hawkins the author of the Rebel Belle series and Victoria “V.E.” Schwab author of the Shades of Magic series agreed to meet with me and do an interview when they came to Houston for the AGOS tour. I’m a big fan of both authors so I couldn’t help but squeal in excitement. I even called my grandma to tell her the news and she told me to knock their socks off (I didn’t actually do that because that’d be rude. How would their feet stay warm? :P)
I’m no expert on the subject, but I learned a lot from looking online and from the one meeting I did. I thought it’d be a good idea, though, to give you some tips or advice for when you one day meet an author.
- Go talk to them. Number one is HUGE. If you never go talk to them, how are you ever going to tell them how much you fangirl/fanboy over their books? Don’t stand there while they look at books in a bookstore for five minutes wondering if you should call them Rachel Hawkins, Lady Hawkins, or Mrs. Hawkins (I know from personal experience). They don’t know you, so you should make the first move.
2. Talk to them like they’re regular people. You’ve gotten past the introduction part- now what? Talk to them like a coworker. I would say friend, but I talk to my friends in a way I probably shouldn’t. Show them the respect they deserve, but you should be more relaxed. If you’re tense, they get tense and won’t open up to you as much.
3. Don’t bore them with your own things. Yes, they want to talk (maybe?) but they aren’t here for you. It’s great that you made the first move, but don’t get all excited and start talking about your own writing or the problems with your editor or asking them long questions about how you get a book published. First, the author will get bored. Just like in tip #2, they’re just regular people. Second, there are most likely more than just you waiting to talk to the author and no one else wants to wait that long.
4. Make plans. This one kind of goes along with the first tip. Do you think the authors asked ME if I could interview them? No. I got up the courage to tweet them thinking the worst thing that could happen is they say no. If you want to do an interview, ask them. If you want to get coffee after a signing or something, ask them. If you want them to give you a few tips on writing fantasy or horror, ASK. THEM. There’s no trouble asking and you may be benefiting from it in the end.
5. ALWAYS THANK THEM. The author most likely has something to do whether it’s writing a book, editing a book, meeting with an agent, or picking up lunch. Thank them for their time and thank them for talking to you. You’re grateful for them anyway, though, right? They’ve added to the world’s literature! Their words make the world a better place!
Now, I’m going to list things you should NEVER say to an author:
- You look a lot different than your author photo.
- Can you write this book for me?
- Can you put in a good word for me with your publisher/editor/agent?
- How did you get your ideas for your books?
- Never touch them unless they touch you first (unless you hold out your hand to shake.) Just don’t hug them out of the blue or something.
Of course, there are exceptions to everything in this post. Maybe you’ve been talking for a while and you’re finally meeting, if they’re an Indie author and they LIKE this stuff, or maybe they’re known for giving hugs or they always answer long questions.
Most of you reading this are writers/authors yourself so you should know all of this, but in case you didn’t, you know now. I really hope you liked reading this and learned something from it! Keep writing, loves.