This past weekend I had the chance to meet 2 of my favorite authors. Well, I met one of them and kind of ogled the other one. Apparently there was a big Writer’s Conference taking place in Chicago that I was only mildly aware of. This is a conference i might have wanted to go to if I was ready to consider myself a writer. I mean I ‘write’, but does that make me a WRITER? Like if you sing and no one hears you can you give yourself a Grammy?
So as a consequence of this big ol’ conference there were writers everywhere, I guess, peddling their gifts. And I got to see two of them.
The first just released her first book, The Rules of Inheritance
That’s her 18 year old self on the cover taken a few months after her mother died. The book is the memoir of her experience losing both parents by the time she turned 25 and is really a coming of age story through the those waves of that loss. This has been the first book I’ve read on loss that really resonated with me. Like I’d like to hand this book out to people I care about and say, “This. This is what it’s like.”
It was a small group at her book reading up in Winnetka, IL. It seemed like a lot of friends and family, which made me feel like kind of a superfan. I even raised my hand and told her how important her book was to me. BOOK NERD ALERT. And she signed my book. And I was a little awkward and weird talking to her. She invited me to stay and drink the wine and eat the crackers, but it occurred to me, “Maybe she is inviting me b/c I’m literally the only person here she doesn’t know at this book reading and I don’t want to be that strange girl who hung out and drank too much wine that they talk about later on like ‘remember that girl…clutching the book…who never left the party?!;” so I left.
maybe I’m a little sensitive on the topic.
The second book reading was given by I think my all-time-favorite author. Pam Houston
Houston’s writing focuses a lot on women in the west. contemporary more-true-than-fiction fiction. I love it. Her book reading was also a really small gathering, and it felt kinda like just hanging out with pals (who you don’t know and everyone is just really paying attention to one person.) but still, pals. I didn’t end up actually ‘meeting’ her, because I had no book to sign. And frankly, I didn’t know what to say to the woman. I’m mean I’ve read all her books…do you just tell a person that? It felt so small and I didn’t want to feel embarrassed by how much I admire her. So I just kept it to myself. And that felt fine.
But now that I write that I hear how it sounds…you should always tell someone when you admire them! spread it around. ah well. next time.
So now I’m on a book reading roll….who will be next?