Every year in November I would go to a book convention in Montreal. You could meet authors, get their autographs and there were hundreds of booths with millions (!!!) of books.
Obviously, I was in bookworm Heaven.
Two years back, Kathy Reichs was going to be there for a book signing and I was THRILLED. I mean, I've read all her books, I love her writing style and following her characters' lives. I couldn't wait to meet and, and shake her hand and hope some of her talent would rub off on me. (I hadn't decided whether I'd ever wash my hand again either... But that's for another post).
The signing was supposed to happen from 2 to 4 and when I showed up at 1, there was already a huge waiting line. So big that it circled booths everywhere. The employees started circulating with post-it notes, made us write our names and stick it on the book we were getting signed so that Kathy Reichs could sign and we could quickly move on. When she arrived (late), she sat, signed, signed, signed. No one was saying a word to her! I was thinking "Whoa, guys! This is KATHY REICHS! Say something! Anything!"
Pffft. Amateurs. When it was my turn I told her it was an honor for me to meet her and I was a huge fan. I was proud of myself because I didn't stutter or trip on my words. I was actually relaxed and I was so happy. If I hadn't actually been looking closely, I would have missed that she murmured "Thank you". She never looked up and then I was ushered out of line - next.
I was so disappointed. I know she was busy. But couldn't she have at least made eye contact and given a genuine smile?
... Then I met Louise Penny. I'd read about her in a magazine article about how she started her career as an author and she was a beautiful and charming woman. Down-to-earth, genuine. She had warm hands, a warm smile and was genuinely pleased to meet me. I'd been hooked by the first paragraph of her first novel. Everytime I open a new book of hers, I'm reminded about this kind woman and it makes her books an even better read.
Maybe Kathy Reichs could learn a thing or two from Louise Penny.
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