Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA: Author Interaction

One of my favorite things about book blogging is the author interaction that has come with it. Back in the day we had a blogger party and invited authors. Newbie author James Dashner showed up! And look at him now! Also back in the day, sort of newbie author Ally Condie came to the library and then  joined my book club as we discussed her book in a back room. And look at her now! Yes, this author interaction thing is so fun!

But before I go on, here are the Armchair BEA questions of the day on this subject:

Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger.

Before I started blogging I'd rarely gone to an author signing. Now, seven years later, the amount I've gone to is too many to count. The signed books and connections made and money spent on brand new books are endless! This author stalking I've done has been so much fun!

As for my favorite author fan moment? Hmmm... really? Are you sure you want to ask this question? I'm sure my regular readers are SICK to death of my recounting these fan moments, but assuming there are some new readers this Armchair BEA week who haven't heard about my fangirling, here goes...

Remember that one time I wrote a letter to Markus Zusak? He tweeted me back:

And while I never have received a letter from him, I did get this postcard:

And I've had several other tweets from him too. When I first fell in love with this author, he was no where to be found. No online anything! And now he tweets back to everyone, he does Ted talks, he Facebooks and Tumblrs pictures of his dogs and his scribbled notes, and not only that, he's had a movie made! It's so awesome! But the best thing ever was when  he came to my city and made fun of me for having so many of his books that I wanted him to sign.

The coolest thing about author interaction these days is Twitter. So  many authors use it to connect to fans and it's awesome when they respond. Or even if they just pay attention to you when you tweet about them. And then you go to a signing and say, "Hi, I'm Suey." And they say, "Oh, Suey from Twitter?" Yeah. I love it when that happens. (This is where having a weird nickname comes in really handy. People remember it!)

That being said, sometimes I feel there's an exclusive author club that only the cool bloggers can infiltrate. Or the bloggers turned authors. I get frustrated with this sometimes as I'll never be one of the cool ones, and as for turning an author, I can't imagine that day either. Or sometimes authors are all nice and cozy when they are newbies and just starting out, but when they get published a few times, they have joined the exclusive club and forget about the little people. Sigh. Am I taking a sudden negative turn here? I just have felt this a bit lately and thought I'd throw it out there for you to chew on and see what you think.

But mostly, it's all good and fun and games and I love the connection!

My most recent author interaction, Dan Wells signing Ruins.

I don't have many, but the few tips I came up with for author interaction are as follows:

* be yourself and hopefully they will be themselves back
* don't expect interaction.
* don't be overly fan girly, that's just scary!
* do be brave and not shy
* do make time to go to signings
* do put your money where your mouth is and buy their books and support them

Seriously. It's one of the best things about book blogging and I'm jealous of all the bloggers at BEA this week who are doing this very thing! Give 'em hugs for us all!


  1. Suey! This topic is perfect for you. It seems like you are always meeting authors! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

  2. I like your tips! I'm sure they would rather not have people hyperventilating in your face if you're an author, haha!

  3. Love this post! I wish I'd collected some of my most "squee" worthy moments today, but I chose one big squeee....when I met Neil Gaiman last year. :)

  4. That is awesome. Some of the local authors in my area laugh at me because I'll be anywhere from 2-4 copies of their books for them to sign so I have gifts. And I agree with all of your advice.

  5. Aww Marcus Zusak seems like such a great guy.

  6. That is so nice! I think if I were a famous author I'd spend as much time as I could doing things like that for fans. You've got to imagine Markus Zuask has a lot of fans to respond to so it must be a real honor that he took the time to write to you!

  7. Really great post and tips! Have a great #ArmchairBEA

  8. Omg, I think I might freak out on your behalf all over again! You actually have a postcard from Markus Zusak? That is absolutely amazing! I love how blogging has made me realize that authors are also just people who love hearing that what they do matters to people!
    Great answer, hopefully I'll see you at the Twitter party later!

    My Author Interaction post

    Juli @ Universe in Words

  9. You might not be going to BEA but I know that you've had lots and lots and lots of great exposure to authors in your neck of the woods! And so cool about Markus Zusak. I bet you about died when you got it!

  10. Terrific tips for controlling the nerves around authors. How wonderful the relationship you developed with Markus Zusak! I've been using Twitter to connect with authors. The main thing I've found is they are very welcoming and genuinely happy to hear from readers.

  11. What a great blogger/author interaction with Markus Zusak. It's the little things that matter the most. I love the little notes that he sent you.

  12. I love that you actually took the time to answer the questions, lol. I just posted some of the fun things I've done. I was in a hurry, lol.

  13. I was looking at those photos of mailings and notes from authors, and kept going, "awwww that's so sweet!" Authors like that make it so easy to be an even bigger fan...not just of the works, but of the creator behind them. Yay!

  14. I wonder if some of the author distance has to do with volume. When they are first starting out, I would imagine you are so grateful for any support or encouragement. Once you've had some success, it must seem like you have a lot of fans to please!

  15. Great advice! Your interaction with Zusak is so cool :)

  16. Why am I not surprised that you mentioned Zusak here?!? BTW, did I mention that during one of the Twitter parties, an author tweeted me?!? Completely made my night!!



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