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 became a blogger I tended to view authors as if they were mythical creatures. I had heard that they existed, in fact I had seen signs and proof to this in the form of their books and author pages, but I believed that I would never get to see one in my lifetime. Even shortly after becoming a book blogger I was pretty much convinced that authors would never be a part of my life. Sure I read and reviewed their books but they surely wouldn’t bother stopping by my little blog and commenting on my review. But then one magical day an author did come upon my blog and comment on a review I had made about one of their books. Suddenly these mythical creatures turned into something real and tangible.
Since then I have had the pleasure of talking with a number of authors, sometimes through Twitter, email, via blog comments and most recently I got to meet an author at a book signing. It seems that no matter how many authors I get to chat with in this way, or how many times I talk to a certain author, those moments always feel so special to me. Even if it’s something simple like them thanking me for taking the time to read and review their book, then I of course turn around and thank them for writing the book in the first place. Two authors I have talked with quite a bit online are Karen Amanda Hooper and Lindsay McKenna. These two are great to have little conversations with, most of which revolve around their books, but I feel so comfortable talking with them that it’s like I could chat with them about other things as well.
Now getting to chat with authors online is a great experience but getting to actually meet an author, see them with you own eyes, shake their hands, chat while they sign you book, is an even greater experience. Don’t get my wrong, I will always cherish online time with authors, but truly meeting an author is like the icing on a cake. At the beginning of this month I had the opportunity to meet Peter S. Beagle during the Canadian leg of his The Last Unicorn tour. I found out about the tour only a few days before it came to Thunder Bay and convinced my husband to get off work early that day so I could drive the almost four hours to go watch the movie and meet the author. He thought I was kind of crazy for wanting to do this, but also understood, and agreed to it. It was so great to get to hear Peter talk about how he came to write the novel, as well as some of his other works, and then of course after the movie he was there to sign books and posters and chat with those who showed up. I was so excited that I was getting to meet an author for the first time that I fell into an excited stupor when it was my turn to hand him my book and talk with him. Luckily though he was a pro at this and started chatting to me while he signed various items and quickly enough I broke out of my stupor and was able to hold an intelligent conversation with him. Hopefully the next time I meet an author like that I won’t become so tongue tied.
More Than Just Words
There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?
Last year was my first time experimenting with audio books. For the longest time I thought they were the worst idea ever. How can anyone listen to a book, I would say. It just didn’t make sense. But as part of this blog I am pushing myself beyond my original bubble of reading only certain genres and formats of books, and hence made myself listen to audio books. Now I realize that there is nothing wrong with listening to a book, in fact there are times when audio books are really the only option, such as when you are driving long distances and obviously can’t be holding a book.
Now, much like regular print books audio books can be good, bad or somewhere in between. And this is where the challenge lies in finding good audio books that do the written book justice. For me, audio books are all about the narrator. A fantastic narrator can turn even a mediocre book into something you want to listen to. However, a bad narrator can turn even the most well written and interesting book into something you just want to turn off and forget ever existed. In a way this can also relate to graphic novels, a really well written story can be essentially ruined by poor drawings. Although I don’t know if superb drawings would truly improve a lackluster story in a comic book or graphic novel. The biggest difference is in the end you still read a graphic novel or comic book, but you do not read an audio book.
One thing I have noticed in my time listening to audio books is even with a great story and a wonderful narrator I often have a harder time remembering details than when I actually read a book. This could stem from me being a visual learner or simply a case of short attention spans (I do tend to zone out sometimes when listening to people talk at length). So when listening to an audio book I need to make sure to give it my full attention and then some, because if my mind starts to wander too much I will totally loose track of what is happening in the story and then when I do pay attention to the book again a few hours later I will have absolutely no clue what is going on with the story.
I think the biggest thing to remember no matter what format of book you choose is that not everyone will enjoy a certain book, so don’t base your opinions or book choices solely on what other people say. Just because someone listens to an audio book and says it was terrible story doesn’t mean that is the case, it could be that the narrator simply didn’t bring the story to life as it should have been and therefore reading the physical book may be a great experience.