As I mentioned last Friday, I was going to be attending my first book event on Saturday. Well, today’s Tuesday, and as you may have figured by now I survived it.
The Chapter by Chapter Book Rave was an event I was waiting most of 2014 for. (Maybe even longer than that, but I forget when I first got word about it.) With the wait came the anticipation for finally meeting many authors who I’ve socialized with for years online, many have been online friends since I started this blog. It should be noted that I don’t do crowds well and also I’m not great at meeting people…especially when that’s in a crowded room and “fangirling” is a ready reaction to meeting an author whose book I’ve enjoyed. Both of these things together means I was in for a fun experience. Luckily I had my girlfriend with me, so I didn’t have the option to chicken out fully.
Overall going to the event was a success, even though I only really talked to two authors out of…MANY. I had planned on meeting at least five. They were all authors I socialize with regularly on Facebook and Twitter, and I’d be comfortable with enough to just walk up to them and feel awkward. Sadly, one of them had to cancel last-minute. Another was there, but I somehow didn’t find her table. (We talked on Facebook an hour or so later discussing this. I’m thinking I probably even walked passed the table multiple times without noticing…I get tunnel vision sometimes and overlook things.) And yet another author was there…somewhere. I think at the time I found her table, she happened to have stepped away for a moment. She could even have been roaming around and circling the rooms without bumping into each other. This is what I have to put up with for not being a social butterfly. If I were more straightforward and all that, I’d have hunted these authors down.
Luckily, out of all the “I MUST Meet” authors, the two I especially needed to meet were there (no offense to the rest of you, really). The first was Chelsea M. Cameron. I spotted her almost immediately upon entering the “New Adult” room, and surprisingly didn’t hesitate to walk over…too much. I’ve known Chelsea since around July of 2012 when I was doing my Indie Week celebration. She did a post for that event. It’d be interesting to see if I could maybe get her to do a follow-up to that. Chelsea’s writing career has really skyrocketed in these last two years. Having two years of online experience was a bit more helpful than I expected. I’ve never met someone I only knew from the internet before. I figured it’d be like meeting the person for the first time. We don’t all act the same way behind a computer screen as we do in the real world. I know I don’t, not exactly. I was proven wrong. It felt so natural to start a conversation when I walked up to the table and it turns out Chelsea is even cooler than I thought.
Who was the other author I went up to? This should be no surprise…it was Tiffany King! If I left CBC without seeing her, I’d be disowned by no less than 50 people on the interwebs and probably would end up crying in the corner for weeks. Again, it was almost totally natural to stand there talking to the USA Today Bestseller and one of my top 5 authors, Tiffany King. BUT, I was still very star struck. I’ve known Tiffany from around the time Wishing For Someday Soon came out in March of 2012. So a little longer than Chelsea. After reading WFFS, I was hooked, but I also eventually became friends with the author…great friends. For those who don’t really know Tiffany, to sum her up nicely, she’s probably the nicest person I’ve met…ever. I already had this opinion of her before going to CBC, but in person my suspicions were confirmed. I had such a great time talking with her. What was also great was that her daughter came to the event, too. I don’t know Ash very well, but I’m going to count her as the third person I met. And she’s probably an even bigger reader than I am. I was jealous of the stack of books she had with her. Mine looked tiny (you’ll see mine in tomorrow’s post).
Was going to the Chapter by Chapter Book Rave all I thought it would be and more? Definitely! Even though, as I said, I only got the nerve to talk to two authors, it was those two interactions that have become the highlight of my bookish summer…my bookish year. I didn’t enjoy having to leave when it was over. Leaving two friends you just met and hung out with for the first time is never easy. But for being my first event, I’m happy that it was Tiffany and Chelsea that were there to be part of the experience.
I’m hoping that this event happens next year, and that I get the chance to go. This is the first event that’s been within a reasonable traveling distance for me (five minutes from my girlfriend’s apartment, though 3.5 hours from my house). It’s not an opportunity that comes around as often as I’d like. Next time I’ll have to put more effort into interacting with other authors. But there’s more to that, and I’ll try to briefly talk about that in tomorrow’s follow-up post. It’ll also include pictures of the signed books and swag that I got while I was there.
Hope you come back again tomorrow, and that I didn’t bore you with my ramblings today. I’m still trying to sort out my reaction to the event in my head. It was an overwhelming weekend.
Please, in the comments, feel free to share your experience at book events you’ve gone to. If you haven’t gone to any, are there any you would like to attend?