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  1. #1
    Traci Dumpprope
    Guest

    What to expect, if anything

    The small town I live in, has finally decided to have an "Authors Night" at the local library. To me this is very exciting, however I am unsure what exactly to expect. The first featured guest is a published author that was born and raised here.
    I guess the reason I am posting this...is to hear of some, if any of your experiences with meeting a published author. I dont plan on taking my mss, thats just too forward, and probably expecting way to much. I do hope that this is just another learning experience for me, and not just some lame excuse for our library to try and get people there.
    Would love to hear your thoughts and maybe some experiences.

    Traci



  2. #2
    Norman
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    A lot depends on the crowd and what the format the library sets up. Will the authors do a book signing? Q & A? How well-known is your RBSA (rich best-selling author)? Hopefully, not as famous as ours, although given the posts, I don't see how that would be possible.

    This has been discussed in previous threads, but a polite request to ask some questions at a better time, perhaps over coffee or lunch, opens the door. Take it slow and try to establish a relationship.

    My experiences with published authors are a weekly grind (sorry Gwen and Dawn). They're absolutely horrible people. But every once in awhile, they come up with a worthwhile suggestion.

  3. #3
    Traci Dumpprope
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    Norman,
    Thank you for your words of wisdom. As you can probably tell I am new to the business of meeting RSBA's...haha. As far as I know this author is going to do some sort of talk about the business, and after the scheduled event she will then of course sign books.
    So, I will go there with an open mind, and hopefully I can set up a different time to chat with her over coffe. Will let you know how it goes.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    C. Van Vleet
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    Traci,

    Because of where I work, I've had the opportunity to meet numerous published writers. I've taken different approaches. Usually I've been polite, like Norman suggested, but once I "went on attack" (so to speak). I started talking shop practically the minute I was introduced to this person. Turns out we had a lot in common and soon were fast friends. I let HER ask about seeing some of my work, and while she didn't rush right out and offer to forward my manuscript to her editor, she's been extremely helpful. I consider her a mentor. Would this relationship have happened if I hadn't been aggressive? Probably not. Would I suggest this approach to you or others - probably not. Just thought I'd share what happend when I took a risk.

  5. #5
    Brian Malloy
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    Well, Norman, hopefully I won't fall into the horrible camp. Perhaps just unbearable?

    Since the sale of my novel, I have already received requests from friends of friends to read their works, do some critiquing and - to prove I am not as dumb as I look - or sound - or the best testing indicates - I understand they are hoping I will pass their manuscripts along to my editor at St. Martin's.

    Here is what I have done when I was without a deal or an agent but in the proximity of a published novelist. We are talking VERY recent history here.

    1. I read all her books and made notes. Fortunately for me, the writer in question is an excellent novelist and I sincerely enjoyed her stuff.

    2. When introduced I told her how much I enjoyed her work and asked questions demonstrating that I had indeed read the books.

    3. I immediately asked her some craft questions related to pacing and dialogue in her own books by way of saying I was having some difficulty with my own work in those areas. Hopefully that will elicit a couple of questions: Oh, really, what do you write? and ideally, Would you like me to take a look at your work?

    She has critiqued two of my books and I used her qoutes in my query letters. Her own agent, however, sent me a form rejection letter. Oh well.

    Just a suggestion. Let us know how it goes.

    Best,

    Brian Malloy

  6. #6
    Patricia Cooper
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    Brian has good advice.

    I would add one point. Does this library intend to run a "Writer in Residence" session with this author? If it is not scheduled, maybe you could put it forward as a suggestion to the Library board.

    I certainly wouldn't approach the RBSA about my own work. If she has a Q&A session, keep the questions generic, just as Brian suggested. If you ask the right question, she will cotton on that you are a writer. If she is interested, she will ask you.

    patC

  7. #7
    Mary M.
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    I've attended a number of sessions in book stores or libraries when authors have read their work and signed their books; some have taken questions. I have occasionally asked questions and always been impressed with the patience of the author. I have not stayed behind the departing crowd to get one-on-one time with the author.

    Reynolds Price was pehaps the most inspiring writer I've met and heard read and discuss his books.

    Nicholas Sparks was the least inspiring. He's all PR!!!

  8. #8
    Steve
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    Mary, I would say that Nicholas Sparks is all BS

    Traci,
    What might be valuable to you ultimately than meeting the featured author at this event is to meet the other writers who go to her her. Don't forget about that when you're trying to meet the Name. Though support from a well-known author certainly wouldn't hurt! My problem is that even though I know lots of published authors through work who are well-known, even-bestselling, none of them are in fields even vaguely related to fiction and their connections aren't much help to me. Oh well.

  9. #9
    Patricia Cooper
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    My impression of book signings at local bookstores is that they are a totally different concept to an author's 'reading' at a local library.

    At a book signing, there is just one long lineup and the author is there specifically for one purpose -- to promote and sell her book (and make a profit for both author and bookstore) and it is not a forum for questions and chitchat.

    A reading that is set up by a local library is primarily to meet and hear an author read. Usually, equal time is spent in Q & A from the floor and then some socialising over coffee when the author mingles with an audience. Then you might get a chance to talk one-on-one.

    The audience is probably made up of 75% readers, 25% writers and the writers are usually representative of the same genre as the featured book. And the author knows this and can usually pick 'em out! Intuition will usually tell you if she is willing to talk about YOUR writing or HIS.

    patC

  10. #10
    Marie
    Guest

    Re: What to expect, if anything

    Mary,

    You mentioned N.Sparks. I met him when he signed his book in Savannah. He had just flown in from S.C. and was about to fly out to do another city. I have to say he was very polite and answered all my writing questions. I found him to be charming and funny. He took a lot of time with me even though there were over 100 people waiting. Marie

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