Thursday, June 5, 2008

Besides The No Talent Thing

Why I Could Never Be A Writer, Reason #76: My memory is like a sieve when it comes to names and faces.

In fact I'm really horrible about it. I'm the sort of person that when you introduce yourself to me, I'm asking you 15 minutes later, "What's your name again?" Honestly, it's not that you aren't an interesting, wonderful, vibrant human being. I'm just a dumb ass. It's sad really. I can remember the vague plot outline of a romance I read and didn't like five years ago, but I can't remember the name of the person I met at a dinner party last night. Alcohol being involved has nothing to do with it. I'm this much of a dumb ass totally sober.

I would say the vast majority of authors I've met are really quite good at this. It's especially impressive in the Internet age. Because honestly, how much of "personal interaction" is Internet-only these days? Dang, I know I get a ton of e-mail - and I'm sure authors get even more! Names only, no faces. Imagine trying to keep all that straight!

When I go to conferences my name badge tends to read Wendy MyLastName, My Cool Job Title, My Place of Employment. It does not say "Super Librarian," and I really don't advertise it. Why? For one thing, I just don't think I'm all that and a bag of chips. Yes, I've been blogging a long time, but I wouldn't say the traffic on this site is off the charts. And that's just dandy by me. I didn't start blogging for the "traffic" and don't keep it up for the "traffic." I blog because I like it. Oh, and I'm a dork.

I'm also, bless my soul, a bit of a "fan." Even for authors I don't read, have never read, and might never read. Period. One such star-struck moment happened last year at RWA when I saw Judith McNaught. Judith McNaught people! I've never read one of her books. I'll be honest, the desire ain't there for me. But still - Judith McNaught! As The Boyfriend would say, "Cripes you're such a book dork." (Me, petulantly, "Yeah, well you're a book dork lover!")

Which brings us to the memorable moments at BEA. I stood in line to see Susan Wiggs, who was autographing ARCs of her upcoming contemporary, Just Breathe. Wiggs is one of my favorite historical writers, and many years ago (geez, at least 7 or 8 now), I corresponded with her via e-mail. A small book group I was hosting at the former job was reading "Michigan" books and I convinced them all to read The Hostage (which starts in Chicago, but the bulk of the story takes place on an island in Lake Superior). Wiggs sent me some giveaways, I sent her our discussion questions. End of story. So imagine my surprise when I see her at BEA and the first words out of her mouth are "OMGosh Wendy! How are you?" I haven't seen this woman, spoken to her, or even e-mailed her in years. And she remembered me. Sharp as a tack that one is.

And for those of you who care (yeah, I asked) she is interested in writing more historicals, but there's the small matter of finding the time. Her contemporaries are really keeping her busy. This came as no surprise to me, because I've seen her library circulation numbers steadily increase with each new Lakeshore Chronicles book. I'm thinking if her library stats are that good, her sales numbers must be quite healthy.

Then we get to moment where I was floored. Julia Quinn. I've never met Julia Quinn before. Never e-mailed her. Nothing. She was there signing copies of The Lost Duke of Wyndham. I get to the front of the line and say, "You can make it out to Wendy," to which she says, "Are you the Super Librarian?" Um, yeah. Then she asks if she can make the book out to "Wendy The Super Librarian." At this point I'm thinking she can make it out to Zulu The Wonder Dog because all that's going through my mind is "OMG - Julia Quinn knows who I am!"

Honestly, it takes so little blow my mind. I still get a giddy thrill knowing that Nora Roberts occasionally reads my blog. Hell, I was floored when I found out Margaret Moore gets a kick of my rantings about the Tigers. Who knew?

Which I guess goes to show that you never know who is reading your blog and not commenting. Hey we all do it. I read a slew of blogs that I never comment on. I think we all need to get in touch with our inner-lurker and give them a big old hug.

Which concludes my gushing fangirl post for today. Honestly, I promise not to make a habit out of it. The Bat Cave will return to our regularly scheduled program with the next blog post. Promise.


sybil said...

How could people NOT know who TEH SUPER LIBRARIAN is?

Jessica said...

Very exciting! You definitely deserved a moment to enjoy the coolness factor. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous. Not only did you get to go to BEA and meet some very cool authors, but they know who you are!

Mel Hiers said...

Had to delurk for this one.

"Honestly, it's not that you aren't an interesting, wonderful, vibrant human being. I'm just a dumb ass."

I need this phrase on a t-shirt or a badge or something. I can totally relate!

Cheryl St.John said...

Me thinks you are more well-known than you think.

But I know how you feel. I was once visiting someone in the hospital, and two dog therapy ladies asked if I was THE Cheryl St.John, the writer. I guess a nurse knew who I was and tipped them off.

I think my jaw dropped. It's not like I'm a household name. So I was in awe that someone thought I was a celebrity. LOL

But the bloom is off the rose real quick once people know me and know I'm a dork, too.

Cheryl St.John said...

Oh, and I once saw Emily Richards's name tag when I was in an elevator and gushed to her about The Trouble With Joe, one of my favorite books ever. I'm sure she thought she had a real fangeek on her hands.

Alie said...

I'm STILL jealous Nora Roberts knows who you are and reads your blog lol. She is my fave author and I can't fathom how amazing she is!

Stephanie Feagan said...

I'm now certain we're soulmates in book dork land. I have this thing with names, to my horror. If I ever make it big and become famous, I'll be a DumbAss who can't remember my own name, much less anyone else's. I remember sitting at a signing and when people came up to buy a book, they'd say, Make it out to (fill in here with Steve Martin reading the bathtub note in The Jerk) I'd write something nice, all the while trying to remember, WHAT WAS THE NAME??? And yeah, I was lame and asked how to spell it, and got caught out by a couple of Marys and Annas.

And you are very well known, m'dear. I knew who you were, long before Paperback Reader threw us together. I mean, you're Super. You can't hide Super.

azteclady said...

Sybil nailed it--of course they know you, Wendy!

Lemme put it this way: I knew who you are before I found the blog!

Cathy in AK said...

I could see myself getting totally tongue-tied and dorky if I ever met any of the cool people whose blogs and/or books I read.

Rosie said...

Man does this mean I should be getting your autograph or something?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Wendy you are a superstar, and I don't think you should be surprised.

Ohhh the people you are rooming with at RWA are so lucky! ;D
I will make sure to get your autograph in July.

Big Sis said...

I'm probably only 2 degrees of separation from Stephen King!
I love that if the opportunity presents I can just saunter up to some authors now and say "Hi, I enjoy your work. Oh BTW, I'm Super Librarian's sister." I'm cool by proxy now : )

Nikki said...

So are you surprised that Nikki Hilton reads your blog? I'm here every day or so. Okay, so I'm not Paris's sister and I own absolutely no part of the Hilton Hotels, but that's been my name for over 34 years now. And I also love to look at Pudge's rear end so I figure to some extent we are soul mates.

Wendy said...

Mel: T-shirts are an excellent idea!

Cheryl: I think the squeeeing ing the elevator thing happens a lot at RWA ;)

Steph: That sounds so much like something I would do it's scary.

Big Sis: That would probably only work if you met a romance author, and then it would have to be a romance author who is actively online.

Nikki Hilton?! OMG, can I borrow some money! LOL

Ahhh, and Pudge's beautiful rear-end. That, a bottle of vodka, and I can almost watch the Tigers without getting sick these days. Almost.

Ana said...

I have no idea how you are still alive - if Julia Quinn had talked to me like that I would have died on the spot. LOL.

That is freaking awesome!

Margaret Moore said...

Wait! What? Wendy the Super Librarian mentioned me by name? Wow! My day is totally made! I feel like I just got invited to the cool kids table!

I come by just about every day. I really enjoy your take on publishing and life in general.

Go Tigers!

Wendy said...

There's some irony for you - I was lumped in with the "cool kids." Oh, if my high school classmates could see me now! Ha!

And Margaret - the Tigers are on a winning streak! Two games in a row! Hardy har har.

sybil said...

the most nifty thing is Margaret Moore's icon... tis the cover of her NEXT Harlequin Historical

Just in case anyone didn't know she was returning to the line with two books (hopefully more).

Sorry... I have HH on the brain ;)

Ana said...

Just random but did you know that Margaret Moore is one of the few romance writers that get translated and published in Brazil (where I am from ?) . It is very cool to see her around here.

Margaret Moore said...

Hey, Ana, equally cool to "see" you, too! I'm delighted to know you can get my books in Brazil.

The internet really is amazing.

Cheryl St.John said...

And Sybil, we are ever so glad you have HH on the brain....