Friday, 25 July 2014

Meeting an author for the first time.

By Jenny Blake

Last time I talked about a Goodreads group retreat with some writers and readers in Spokane Washington State. This time I am going to mention a couple of meetings I have been able to have with some authors both published and aspiring.

Last May when I went to America for my trip of a lifetime to meet a couple of friends for the first time and to do the Historical Highlights tour and see places like Gettysburg which were on my must see list. I also had the chance to meet with 4 Seekerville regulars, two of the seekers and 2 followers.

I had mentioned my trip and a couple said if you are in Atlanta we should meet. I had decided to stop there for a day and as it turned out I flew into Dallas then into Atlanta. I was going to Chattanooga the following day so I was able to meet 4 ladies for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. Debby Giusti and Patty Jo Moore meet me at the hotel and took me to the venue where Missy Tippens and Patty Smith Hall meet us.

Debby Giusti, Jenny Blake, Missy Tippens, Patty Smith Hall
and Patty Jo Moore.
 
It was a fun time talking about books and the Australian scene. I shared timtams with the ladies. I felt I knew most of these ladies before meeting due to Seekerville and with Patty Smith Hall from the Goodreads Love Inspired Historical group. Patty Jo I knew as Catmom from Seekerville and said to her I didn't know if I would recognise her without a cat. She is such a lovely warm lady who I am so happy I have met. The lunch for this reader was a wonderful time to get to know writers I had read and gotten to know on line and was now meeting.
 
While I was in Williamsburg I got to meet Carrie Fancett Pagels who is also a historical author. My tour had the afternoon to look round Old Williamsburg and Carrie met me there and we spent the afternoon with her showing me the area. Again this came about because of my trip and for this reader it was special.
 

 
I have had the chance to meet a couple of Australian authors this year and it has been a blessing. I am not sure if authors know how much it means to readers to meet them and how excited we can get. I met Paula Vince in my towns Christian bookshop a few years back and I was like a kid in a candy store. I was so excited, I am sure Paula can tell you how excited I got. The same reaction happened when a sales girl in Koorong found out Narelle Atkins was an author and had just found her book. I saw in her how I was when I first met Paula.
 
On Tuesday Debby Giusti will be visiting to talk about reader appreciation luncheons. Hopefully will give ideas on how to meet and appreciate readers.  
 
 
 JENNY BLAKE (aka Ausjenny) is an avid reader. When not reading she enjoys watching cricket, in fact you could call her a cricket fanatic, scrapbooking and jigsaws. She volunteers at the local Christian bookshop where she can recommend books to customers. Her book blog is where she reviews books and interview authors. Her goal is to help promote new books and encourage authors. Her blog is athttp://ausjenny.blogspot.com and is Co-Founder ofhttp://acrba.blogspot.com
 




13 comments:

  1. Good to hear how much you enjoy meeting authors, Jenny! This happened to me only yesterday at West Ryde Koorong here in Sydney. I had found what I wanted in the store but decided to look through the display of fiction before I left to check if my own novels were there when a friendly salesgirl asked me if I needed help. After I told her I was looking for my own books, she commented, with a big grin on her face, 'Oh, that's so cool!' Now that's a lovely response for an author to hear, so it works both ways, Jenny!

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  2. Thanks Jo-Anne, I bet the sales girl was excited. I can understand it working both ways which is partly why I posted this as I wanted others to know how much readers do appreciate meeting writers and the other way. Being with Narelle when the sales girl met her was such a lovely thing to see. I think I told Narelle that was me when I met Paula.

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  3. What a lovely post, Jenny. I get very excited meeting authors especially my heroes. I remember standing in a queue outside Dymocks to meet Matthew Reilly late last year. It was interesting for me to see how nervous he was about all the adulation. Here he is an author who has sold millions of books and you can see he found it all a little surreal.

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    1. Thanks Ian, I have been to Dymocks and other stores to get a cricketers book autographed. Didn't have the same reaction then although meeting cricketers and getting autographs did and does bring out different reactions.

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  4. Hi Jenny, yes, I do remember you telling me about your first meeting with Paula :) I'm meeting lots of authors for the first time at RWA this week. It's lovely to meet authors in person and have an opportunity to chat.

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    1. Thanks Narelle, I would be in awe if I was there with you. Although I have many friends there. I am interested in the fact so many authors are actually very shy and introverts and find the social side of being published so hard. I would be in that group.

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  5. Hi Jenny,
    Yes, I remember that day well. It was Christmas Eve and we were on our way back home from a holiday in Victoria, probably a bit disheveled from all the travel. It was great to meet and talk to somebody who was passionate about Christian books. I wasn't even sure the book shop would be open, but thought I'd peep in anyway. I was glad I did.
    I get excited talking, face to face, with both readers and authors. Anybody who loves Christian books.

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    1. Thanks Paula, Yes it was Christmas eve and I was cleaning the shelves. I think now with social media etc I am not as in awe as I use to be but there are still some authors I would still be tongue tied meeting.

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  6. Dear Jenny , you have written this very well. It is exciting to meet authors. We have a few friends who have written books or poems and I cherish their books. We were in the bookstore of Spurgeon's church and there side by side were the books of two of our well known Australian friends, one being Ken Ham whose family members were in our home church in Qld.

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    1. from Heather Gray

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    2. Hi Heather thanks for stopping by. Sorry its so hard to comment. Would be exciting seeing your friends book where you did.

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  7. Nothing like meeting an author face to face but I must say I've enjoyed chats online with a couple from the USA. Love how technology gives us the opportunity to do that.

    I'll never forget the first time I met a reader (a Koorong staff member) who knew the characters in my book almost as well as I did! She positively gushed over them, and asked lots of questions about what had happened to them after the story ended - it was awesome! Showed me how important author/reader connections are. It's great having places like Facebook groups and Goodreads where we can both access and be accessed.

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    1. Hi Andrea, It is cool meeting face to face and also chatting online or by Skype. I chatted with Lacy Williams on Skype and it was soooooooooo cool.

      Koorong staff members seem to be a theme here. its great they love there books. Readers love interaction, nothing beats getting a reply to an email or comment on how much we love a book.

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