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Meeting Authors

January 7, 2014

It has been my privilege to meet many authors in the last few years at book signings, conventions and personal venues. My first opportunities came as a book blogger and then as a book cover designer. I still get butterflies walking into conventions. I adore introducing myself to authors I have worked for but never met in person. The relationships I have created in the publishing industry are priceless. The readers, authors, editors, bloggers and other designers I have met have, in many ways, become an extended family.

So why do I feel so awkward at these meetings!? It could certainly be my inner fan girl hyperventilating. Particularity when an author is just as excited to me me as I am to meet them. I always say, "I am just the designer." Without the author writing the book where would I be. I have had authors mutter about, "Not believing I am there... their cover designer is real." I have had an author stand up on stage talk about their book and then introduce me proudly as their designer to the audience. I have had an author tribute their success to me and confess their undying love. Which all should no doubt do *winks*. Complete strangers recognize my name. How surreal is that?

Though these times warm my heart and thrill me like nothing else, I fear I come off as dismissive or distant. Perhaps flaky or cold. None of which I am. I am snarky, easy-going, loyal, honest, and humble. If I spend a half an hour talking with someone I will relax and be all these things. But in those first minutes of an introduction I am a bumbling fool and too bewildered to even act intelligent. Thoughts run through my head like a freight train.... what book did they write (OMG I READ IT LAST NIGHT), who else do I design for, my feet hurt, it's AN AUTHOR etc. I had an author whom I chat with several times a week tell me I was not as outgoing as they expected. Well, it is a lot easier to be funny and crazy online when no one is looking than face-to-face. Thankfully by the end of the meeting we were joking and more ourselves. Hopefully when we meet again I can more easily be me.

If you ever meet me please do not be offended if I look lost, distracted, or awed. The first two will most likely pass. I will always be in awe of authors, whom have been my heroes from grade school and are my inspiration today. I need not have worked with them or read their books, I will still be awe struck. It is not even crucial that I have heard of them, I will still be honored speak with them. I have the same feelings for bloggers and designers as well. I love meeting people with the same passion as I do. I am just not all that good at it. Perhaps over time I will get better... more articulate, sophisticated and smooth. Perhaps I will start wearing a suit instead of a tank top (not likely). There is one certainly though, I am and forever will be thankful for every moment spent with those who love books as much as I do.

See you at the next convention!

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