Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Squee of Fandom

Or how not to behave badly and embarrass yourself.

Actually, I don't really have any advice on this issue. It's just something I've noticed. If you're a writer, how do you, or rather, do you draw a line between your professional persona and just squeeing over your favourite authors? My instinct tells me we probably should--draw the line, that is--and yet, I don't know  if other authors are much different from me. I like when a reader squees over something I've poured my heart and soul into. Who wouldn't really? It makes me feel good. Why hold that feeling back from our fellow authors?

In my case, I'm very likely to, and have, run into my favourite authors on the various groups I frequent. Some of those authors I was friends with and became a fan, some I was a fan and have become friends with, but the distinction is most definitely there.

My friends who write so well I have to snap up everything they put out and read it immediately are friends first. I can tell them my writing woes, and sometimes, even my personal woes, commiserate or gush all over myself and not worry about how they might take it.

Authors who I've grown to love and then get to 'meet' or chat with, always have that odd disconnect between being colleagues and inspiration for me and being people. I know. They're people. But not people as in 'my people' They are always one step above being 'my people'. If that makes any sense.

I might comment on their blog, or chat with them at some group event, while inside, I'm peeing myself and wondering if they're just being kind and think I'm actually some nut case. You know: "humour the crazy person  in case they become a stalker" kind of deal. Or maybe, they're just like me, just hoping to connect with a few fans, find out what their readers like in hopes that they can deliver more of the good stuff. I like to think most writers are exactly as they seem: kind, generous people who like to talk about what they do for a living.

If you're an author, have you ever thought about this? Do you care if the person you're talking to, who's wiggling around in ecstasy at your latest offering like a little eager puppy is a fellow author or a reader who doesn't write, too? (do those even exist?)

What about from the readers' perspective? Do you like the authors you chat with to be all...author-y, or do you prefer t the down-to-earth approach?

Not that anyone's opinion is really likely to change my own mind about any of this. As a writer, I love talking to my readers. I like to hear what they've enjoyed, and it's helpful to know what they didn't. (I won't say I like that, because really, who likes it), but I will say I always encourage it and appreciate hearing the bad along with the good. How else would I get to the stuff y'all like if I'm busy writing stuff you don't, and I don't know about it? I doubt I'll ever be other than as I am when I'm talking to readers; just me.

As for the part about embarrassing myself when I'm chatting with an author I love to read, well, I can't make any promises. I try to be professional and courteous, and act my age, but hell. If I love what you've done, you just have to realize, I'm a reader, too, and you might get some squee on ya. It happens. Bring a tissue.

9 comments:

Jambrea said...

Um...well...I email...a LOT. lol I go fan girl all the time. I'm in awe of some of the people I talk to and now think of as friends. lol And I LOVE getting email from someone who likes my work. I read it and think...OMG...they are talking about ME!! heehee

C. Zampa said...

Interesting question.

As a reader, I fall into that 'sqee' category with the authors I love. I can't help it. If I like something--anything--I'm really enthusiastic about it.

I have to say, after thinking about it, that...so far...my favorite authors haven't made me feel silly for going silly over their books. They've been really good people as well as writers.

From an author's standpoint? When I am published and hopefully DO have fans, I'd like to think I'd welcome their enthusiasm.

Enjoyed your blog!

Kiyara_HotRomanceNovels said...

I'm just me and I treat people/readers like I want to be treated. Usually I have no time to chat on loops or forums, but I do like to visit blogs and see what fellow authors and readers have to say about books, movies and other things. I believe big authors are the same way. Time can make someone seem aloof when they're really not.

Anonymous said...

From a reader's point of view... I love chatting with authors and since coming online around fifteen years ago I have lost count of the number I have contacted over that time.

I find it nice to get to know the people who have the imagination and the talent to bring so many characteres and worlds to life.

I would hope that none of them think I am a total nutcase.

I can't really give a proper writer's point of view since I am unpublished and likely to remain so, but if I do find myself lucky enough to ever have a fan, I would be honoured that that person took the time to let me know that they have enjoyed something I have written.

Although my publishing efforts so far have only been in the realms of fanfiction, I thoroughly enjoy hearing from people who have read something I have put out there, especially if they have enjoyed it. I reply to everyone who leaves contact details, even those who didn't like what they have read, and in some cases those readers have become really good friends, and I value their opinions.

I would hope that if I was a proper author I would continue in the same way.

Hmm, apparently I am going to have to be anonymous since OpenID does not like my LJ account.

Louisa

M. King said...

Ooh, interesting one, Jaime!
I suppose I've never really made a distinction between "writer", "reader", and "other" (grin), because I've often known people in different contexts.

We all have things we can share with and learn from each other and, from both a reader and a writer's point of view, I find that very valuable.

Jaime Samms said...

Jambrea; I'm right with you about receiving emails and having that moment when you realize for one second, it is all about you. lol! :D

I agree, Carol. The authors I've squeed over have been very gracious about it :) And you'll get there, girl! I'll be keeping an eye out!

Jamie; It's tough to know where to draw the line, but speaking purly from the author perspective, we love hearing from our readers! Don't be shy :)

Kiyara; time's always an issue, isn't it? And you've made a good point. Treat people the way you'd like to be treated. Makes a whole lot of sense, still :)

Louisa, lots of us started out with fan fiction :) The feed back in that arena can be invaluable, and I made some good friends there, too, who have become great beta readers.

MJ, I sometimes wonder if I'm more reader or writer, but really, I don't think you can be a writer if you're not a reader, so you're bound to find authors you love. As for learning, that's how I look at it. Even if what readers have to say not all yummy goodness, there's almost always something useful to tkae away.

Janice said...

I haven't had a chance of meeting my favorite author,yet. But a funny thing as my book launch date approached; some people I've known for a long time have acted fan-ish (is that a word?), including my dentist. It made me feel odd.

As I listened to a podcast interview with Jim Butcher (author of the Dresden Files), he was asked about fans. [He said] when a fan comes over to talk to him and they start shaking. [He] wants to say don't do that. I'm just a regular person [sic].

Janice~

Janice said...

I haven't had a chance of meeting my favorite author,yet. But a funny thing as my book launch date approached; some people I've known for a long time have acted fan-ish (is that a word?), including my dentist. It made me feel odd.

As I listened to a podcast interview with Jim Butcher (author of the Dresden Files), he was asked about fans. [He said] when a fan comes over to talk to him and they start shaking. [He] wants to say don't do that. I'm just a regular person [sic].

Janice~

Jaime Samms said...

Just a regular person is right, Janice. I don`t really talk about my writing around the water cooler at work, or with my family, so I often wonder how people would react.