As an author, reader, and bookseller, there are few things I enjoy more than talking about books I loved. Doesn’t matter if the story is mine or someone else’s. Sharing a literary squee with likeminded people makes me happy and being so immersed in the book world gives me ample opportunity to have these squeeversations. However since becoming a writer I’ve lost count of the number of times the following has happened:
Person: (insert inquiry about when the next book is coming out or an obscure question about something in the world of the story.)
Me: Last time I talked to them they said —
Person: Wait, a minute. You know them?
Me: Well yeah. They’re a friend of mine. We had dinner last week.
Person: What?! Do you have pictures? You’re so lucky! I’d love to meet them! Can you introduce me the next time they’re in town?
The OMG reaction always throws me off. I don’t consider myself lucky to know so many amazing authors. To me it’s the result of many hours spent networking, attending events and conventions, and of being a colleague. I paid my dues and became a member of the club, so to speak. Having dinner with them, running into them in the hallway, or texting them late at night is normal. I often forget that they’re a famous author. To me they’re just Mary, Ken, Brent, Dan, Diana, Kevin… It isn’t until someone’s jaw drops that I remember they’re famous.
I probably should count myself fortunate since a lot of authors either live in or pass through the Pacific Northwest on tour there’s no shortage of opportunities to meet up. I have colleagues that live in less traveled areas that are envious of my contact list. But it’s still a hard concept to swallow because it happens so often — which probably sounds weird.
What will really be weird is the day when someone can say the same about me. I can look back and say “I knew Jon Heder (a.k.a. Napoleon Dynomite) back when.” Knowing others can say the same about me after I’ve made it big…yeah, that will blow my mind. But will make it even more awesome to be in this industry. What more can anyone ask for in life than to make a living doing the thing you love, having a reputation for doing it well, and being admired by others for it?
What can I say? I love being a writer. It’s full of awesome.