Armchair BEA | Author Interaction

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews Signed

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’sΒ 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. Β 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!

24 thoughts on “Armchair BEA | Author Interaction

    • kmn04books says:

      Haha yeah, I’m always so tempted to buy the books there! I still love going though; there’s something so nice about hearing an author read their own work!

  1. Emily @ Oh Magic Hour says:

    I do love going to author events; it just adds so much to the reading experience I think! Twitter is also so great for interacting with authors. I feel less stressed about it that way because I feel like they can always ignore me if they want. πŸ˜‰

    • kmn04books says:

      Haha definitely! And it’s always SUCH a surprise when they do answer you! I think that going to author events adds to the reading experience too. I’m so lucky to have met the authors that I’ve met already; I can’t wait to go to more events!

  2. Deb Nance says:

    I’ve met a million authors at conferences and festivals, but I’ve never spoken with an author on Twitter. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Hope you are enjoying Armchair BEA!

    • kmn04books says:

      Thanks Deb! I’m having fun with Armchair BEA! You should definitely talk to authors on Twitter! It’s amazing because you can do it out of the comfort of your own home πŸ˜€

  3. Athira says:

    I love using Twitter to interact with authors! It can be a really incredible feeling. I haven’t been to any signings yet – I need to attend one.

    • kmn04books says:

      Oh you should definitely go to a signing if you can! Authors are such lovely people and they’re always so friendly! Plus, you get to meet a lot of bookish people there too!

  4. Naomi says:

    You’re making me want a twitter account, even though in my old stubborn ways I have always tried to limit my social media, because I just don’t have time for it all. Maybe someday soon…

    I would be completely starstruck, too. I wouldn’t know what to say. I think you did well to spit out one sentence. πŸ™‚

    • kmn04books says:

      Naomi, Twitter is amazing! I’m pretty addicted to it… It’s always so fun chatting with authors. I forgot to mention that one of my childhood faves – Gordon Korman – retweeted my tweet that basically told him how much I loved him as a kid and I seriously jumped up and down. Authors used to be so inaccessible… now they’re just a few clicks away! It’s been great. Plus, I get to talk to my friends on there too πŸ™‚

      Haha thanks! I’m hoping to be more composed next time, so I can be just a little more eloquent! Haha

      • Naomi says:

        Being addicted to it is exactly what I’m afraid of. But you do make it sound pretty fun. πŸ™‚ Maybe someday. Right now I don’t feel like I even have enough time for my blog!

  5. joyweesemoll says:

    The International Festival of Authors sounds like a terrific group. I love the interaction I get on Twitter, too — so much fun!

  6. Ri says:

    I would /love/ to go to book signings and book events, but there’s school and I’m graduating this year, so I’m mind-bendingly busy. I missed the Laini Taylor signings and I was SO SAD. But yeah, although I’ve been blogging for about three months now, the only book event that I’ve been to was the Festival of Trees event (which I still need to write the recap of). Hopefully I’ll get to go to Word on The Street this year and also that new book convention in Toronto this year!

  7. Words for Worms says:

    I’m kind of jealous that you live in Toronto- you guys get the best authors coming through! My pal just went to see Rainbow Rowell AND she’s got tickets to see Diana Gabaldon. Nobody wants to come to my cornfield. Pout.

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