Before I started blogging, I never went to author events or signings. I’m not exactly sure why. I think maybe it was a mix of being nervous and not knowing about these events. I’m so happy to say that I am now informed and excited whenever there’s a signing near me!
One of my favourite events in Toronto is the International Festival of Authors’ weekly reading (IFOA). Every Wednesday at 7:30pm, three authors read from their books and then have a short Q & A session afterwards. I love going to these events because I always find new reading material there and I get the chance to meet authors that I love! My most memorable IFOA was the one of April 30th with Miriam Toews, Ondjaki, and Evie Wyld. I had read and loved Miriam’s All My Puny Sorrows so I was extremely excited to meet her and get my book signed! When I got up to her signing table I was actually starstruck. All I could get out was “Your book was beautiful, I loved it.” and froze after that. Luckily Miriam was very friendly and thanked me for saying that. I think I floated home in a daze of excitement that night.
Besides meeting authors in person, Twitter is also a great way to interact with authors! I have been so surprised by the amount of interaction authors do online and it is seriously the best. Claire Cameron, who wrote The Bear, is incredibly friendly on social media and loves to answer questions about her book! It is through Twitter that I learned that she took seven years practicing how to write endings. I think that’s why the ending to her book is so perfect.
Other authors I have spoken to on Twitter include Terry Fallis, who recently published his new book No Relation, Heather O’Neill who recently published The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Elaine Lui, who wrote Listen to the Squawking Chicken, and Dani Atkins, a first time author with Then and Always. They have all been so friendly and personable. I would highly recommend checking their pages out!
Do you have a favourite way to interact with authors (in person, on social media, etc)? What was your favourite author interaction? Do you have any tips for me re: how to get over being so starstruck when I meet authors in person? Let me know!