And here I said that I don't post pictures of myself very often! This is two in two days!
This is myself with one of my favorite authors, Ann Aguirre (Sirantha Jax, Razorland). She is also the only one of my personal faves I've actually met in person and I was very excited! Next to her you can see Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha trilogy that I'm looking forward to, but haven't gotten into yet. This is from last Fall's Fierce Reads tour that also included Gennifer Albin and Jessica Brody. It was fantastic, they answered questions and spoke of their own writing experiences, were funny and down to earth ladies that I'm happy to have met and look forward to reading their books.
Author Interaction. It's something that up until the last couple of years, I had never thought to experience. Authors have been doing book tours/signings for a long time, but it was rare that one that I read would be doing a signing anywhere near me, hence why above you see my first one! That has all changed with the advent of social media. Now there is nothing between you and your favorite authors if they take part in Twitter or Facebook, or any number of other outlets, which several of mine do. I can't tell you how exciting it is to be in a Twitter conversation with not one, but two of your favorite authors, plus a few other authors you've heard of, but not read yet, including you just like you're all sitting around a cafe table, having lunch and talking about books! It's fantastic just to be able to say directly to them, hey, I really love your work, and to know that they, and not an assistant or department of assistants is hearing you. That is special to me, because if you really love a book, you've connected with the person who wrote it, and to be able to voice that to them directly gives me a great feeling!
I would say that most of my interaction has taken place on Twitter, a little bit on Facebook. It really depends on the author and what they enjoy using the most. Here are a few that I follow on Twitter, and with several I've had at least one "hey, you're great!", "thanks a lot!" type of interaction:
They don't all have time to reply, like us, they are real people and have lives to lead. I know I'm bad about using Twitter a lot, then not using it at all for awhile, I've seen some of them do the same. Can you even imagine how many tweets @StephenKing has directed at him all the time? So I've mentally schooled myself to not be sad if I don't get a reply, and it makes all those times that I do that much more special! Sometimes it's just fun to watch the content they put out there. Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid) posts great pictures of himself at places and with people, his expressions just crack me up! He is also very funny in general, and maintains a Twitter account for Atticus' dog Oberon @IrishOberon.
I'm really grateful that this avenue of contact is open, it has given me a real and immediate method of showing my appreciation to some people that I respect and admire but never thought I would get to interact with. So for all the drama social media makes possible, I think it has also given us this valuable connection between author and reader that was harder to come by in the past. I know it's meant a lot to me, and I really appreciate those authors that have made themselves available to their fans in this way!