#LetsDiscuss2023 #4 – Meeting Authors – #DiscussionSunday

Have you ever met an author whose books you admire?

Discussion Sunday 2023


These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

As my regular readers know, this past July I spent a week in Ireland with authors Heather Webb (I’ve read ALL her books) and Eliza Knight (only read one of hers, so far). Well, I’ve just signed up for another Ireland writing seminar run by none other than the amazing Claire Keegan, author of “Foster” and “Small Things Like These.” That’s when I thought of this topic!

My Thoughts…

So, who are the authors I’ve met?

The first time I actually met an author I admired was in 2009. I was visiting London because I needed to take some of my vacation days before I left my job of 22 years (it was either that, or lose getting paid for those days when I got my severance package). Wandering around the Brent Cross area, I passed by a little local library and saw a sign on the door for a reading by author Marina Lewycka, who was promoting her third novel “We are all Made of Glue” (I’d already read her “A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian” and “Two Caravans“). Well, as I was on my own, and on a tight budget, I decided to go to this free event. Sadly, it wasn’t very well attended (maybe 30 people were there), but the advantage to that was that I was able to ask her a question, and afterwards speak to her a bit! I found that to be very cool, indeed, and enjoyed myself very much. She was very nice, too, and didn’t seem to mind my criticism of her using a dog as a narrator in her second book.

A few years later, I was contacted by Mary Glickman, author of “Marching to Zion” and “An Undisturbed Peace,” who was coming to Israel to research her next book. I’d given good reviews of those two books, and when she emailed me, she seemed lovely. So, I invited her over for dinner at my home when she and her husband were in Jerusalem! We had a really lovely visit, and needless to say, she is welcome back anytime she’s here!

I also got to meet up with Roz Morris in London, not long after I’d read and reviewed her memoir “Not Quite Lost: Travels Without a Sense of Direction.” That was the first of two meetings, and hopefully not the last! I will always try to hook up with her when I visit London, which I do at least once a year!

Obviously, having a whole week with Heather Webb and Eliza Knight meant that I got to know both of them quite well. I only wish I had read Knight’s “The Mayfair Bookshop” before that week, but it only arrived in the mail a day before I left! But I have since, and now I can honestly say that I truly admire both of these authors, and now consider both of them to be friends!

Obviously, any or all of these meetings could have backfired if they weren’t such really lovely people. I mean, you don’t want to meet your heroes and then find out they’re mean, creepy, or annoying, right? That’s the only drawback to meeting authors you admire, that I can think of. But my track record has been marvelous so far… (And there’s one author I keep trying to meet up with in London, but have yet to be there when she’s around… Yes, I’m talking about YOU Jane Davis!)

Maybe that’s why I’m now totally hyped about the upcoming September writing workshop in Wexford, Ireland with Keegan, since she blew me away with both of her books that I’ve read. Also I’m hoping these days with her and her colleagues will inspire me to work more on my own novel, which is actually a collection of novellas, and Keegan’s two works I read are both novellas!

I should mention that I’ve met several other authors, as well. However, I’m not including ones that I only met for a second or two when they dropped off their works for me to read. I’m also not including my personal friends who published books. But overall, I think that if you get a chance to meet an author you admire, and maybe get a chance to speak with them and get to know them a little, you might be pleasantly surprised!

So, what about you?

Have you ever succeeded in meeting an author you admire? If so, did you get a chance to talk to them, and get to know them? What were they like?

This post is my 4th entry in the 2023 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!


19 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2023 #4 – Meeting Authors – #DiscussionSunday

  1. I’ve met Denise Levertov, John Gardner, Margaret Atwood, and John Scalzi, among others. They were all lovely and gracious about signing their books and speaking to me for a minute. Levertov was at my college for a semester and I took a poetry-writing class from her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Back in the mid-90s, I was on an internet newsgroup for writers, and John Scalzi was one of our members. It has been lovely to watch his career blossom to where he doesn’t remember the people who “knew him when…”!


  2. I had the privilege of meeting a few of my favorite authors. Patricia Cornwell, Peter Robinson, Giles Blunt, and Ian Rankin to name the most popular ones. (all spoken to briefly at author readings)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved Paul Magrs’ novels for a few years and then he published one which included a reference to my hobby of BookCrossing! I knew he taught at a particular university so I guessed his email address and sent him an email. Got a lovely reply, we ended up Facebook friends and we met him and his partner a few years ago when we were in Manchester. So that’s my main one, I suppose. I have met a few authors at book events, I have met Stuart Hillard who was on Great British Sewing Bee a couple of times, and he’s always gracious and friendly. And I used to do yoga with a woman who has written a few novels I’ve really enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Having worked in publishing, I have met many authors but two events stick in my mind. Once, I saw that a friend of my parents, Jeremiah Healy, a mystery writer was doing an event at a mystery bookstore in New York. It was pouring out and it was before there were unlimited monthly subway passes so I remember thinking about the rain and spending an unbudgeted $4 or so but I set off anyway. As it turned out, I was the only person who showed up besides the bookstore owner, author, and the sales rep for Simon & Schuster. Of course, I could not leave! I spent the next 90 minutes vivaciously entertaining the three men. The author took it well and was fun to talk to, but the bookstore owner and rep (both of whom I knew slightly) were quite embarrassed because it looked like they had not promoted the event well so made little effort to liven up the situation. I got a nice autographed book and my parents got a phone call praising me when he got home. Healy is no longer alive (a sad story) but I like to think I helped brighten an otherwise tedious evening.

    Another time when I was working at Penguin, I saw a flyer posted somewhere (pre-internet) that an author was stopping by the office and there was going to be cake and champagne to celebrate his new book. I went to the crowded room at 4 and when the author arrived, the group burst into spontaneous song, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!” Maybe that happened everywhere Mr. Rogers went but he seemed genuinely touched. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ0GNL3zUTg

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I was in college my English professor invited me to a luncheon to meet Susan Allen Toth, author of the memoir Ivy Days — it was an exciting honor for me at the time! I don’t remember much except that Toth was very kind and seemed like an ordinary and approachable person. Otherwise I’ve just met authors briefly at readings and book signings. Some of the most memorable of those were Madeleine L’Engle, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Denise Levertov, three of my literary heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been fortunate to attend many publishing and book events over the years mainly because of my blog and have met many authors, (and quite a lot of favourites), if only for a short time so I wouldn’t say I know them well but most have been so friendly. Your week with Heather and Eliza sounded amazing. I think you’re rather brave inviting one for dinner (I wouldn’t dare as my cooking is not the best!) but its great that it worked so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve met a few authors over time, probably because I like to go to any sort of reading that there is. None of the ones I met are very prominent, at least not outside Germany but it is always interesting to talk to someone who published a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve met lots of authors at various events including our small local book festival which I help organise. It might be small but we’ve had some big names in the Scottish book world such as Val McDermid, James Robertson, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Ian Rankin. I’ve met Patrick Gale a couple of times who I know you also like. I also bumped into Maggie O’Farrell fairly recently when out for a walk and went all fan girl and gushy about The Marriage Portrait 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hope this isn’t a duplicate comment…my first seemed to disappear!

    The most prominent author I’ve met is Kate Quinn. She was one of the speakers at an author event and sat at my table! Lovely person, lunch, and conversation!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! Met many authors over the years thanks to attending lots of fiction showcases in London to which I was invited because of my blog. Sometimes it would just be a brief exchange, others were more conversational. In one instance, I went to Dublin and interviewed Joseph O’Connor (we shared a pot of tea!); in another I interviewed Tim Winton, in London from Australia, to promote his novel Eyrie.

    Enjoy your time in Wexford! My mother-in-law lives there, so I know the town and county reasonably well. It will be fabulous to learn from Claire Keegan!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.