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!