Friday, April 1, 2011

Loosely Bound: Tales of My Literary Life (3)

Books and Baseball

So, what do books and baseball have to do with one another? Nothing really except I LOVE them both! And today is the season opener and I can't wait! In celebration, my husband took this cheesy picture of me with my Minnesota Twins hat on!

Hoot! Hoot! Can't wait! And due to the fact that this is the second year for our lovely new stadium, tickets are hard to come by. I managed to get a few. My dad even managed to get a game against the Yankees, the team I love to hate!

Suck it, Jeter! (oh, wait, sorry that was inappropriate!) HA! I get a little gruff when it comes to baseball. I cuss like a sailor and swig beer like there's no tomorrow. Surprised? Most people are. It's like the red headed evil child comes out!


This month's post from my Literary Life will not be all about baseball because really, do you come here to read about that?! Doubt it.
Nope, this month's posts is about Author Events and how I love them. Call them whatever you like; Autograph signings, Book Signings, Author Tours, whatever. I tend to go back to my bookstore days of WORKING them, so I call them Author Events.

I have been to a fair amount thoughout the years and some have been inspring and some have fallen flat. You know the feeling? You gear up for meeting the person behind the wonderful words you like to read and they have the personality of a cardbox box. It's happened a few times but nothing horrible really to divulge. Just a tad bit disappointing.
For instance, I LOVE The Time Traveler's Wife and when I saw Audrey Niffennegger at a Library event some years back I was so excited. Unfortunately, she seemed a bit shy and awkward speaking in front of a crowd and it was hard to hear her most of the time. I dare say, it was a bit boring. Still love her and her books though, just not a very jazzy event.

The gems I have been able to see stick in my mind; Kate DiCamillo, Chuck Palahniuk, Jodi Picoult and most recently, last night actually, Joyce Carol Oates.

Joyce Carol Oates spoke at our Central Library in downtown Minneapolis as part of the Talk of the Stacks program. It's a library hosted program that features various acclaimed authors, reading and answering questions about their work.

Well, I rushed from my own library job to downtown thinking I had plenty of time but my friend was furiously texting me to hurry because she couldn't save seats for too long. It sold out in a matter of five minutes and the open auditorium was closed when I got there. So I had to sit in the small over flow room and watch her on a screen. Oh well! I made friends and even handed out a business card to my site.
This event apparently was the largest ever with over 600 people in attendance. AMAZING!
Go books! Go authors! I love that when it happens.

For those of you who don't know Joyce Carol Oates, she is an amazing author of over 50 novels. She was reading from her newest book, her memoir A Widow's Story.
It is the story of losing her husband of 46 years back in 2008 and the grieving process that she went through. Though I haven't read it, she was powerful in her reading of some of the chapters.
I felt her emotion, her anguish, her craziness.
As I said before, when you are a fan of an author and get to see them in person, you really hope that they speak and act in the way in which they write.
She certainly did. She had an awkward elegance that comes from living a life in your head. She was careful with her speech and the words she chose to explain an event. I could tell she was extraordinarily smart and aware. She was amazing to listen to.

These are the novels I have read by her and I am certainly going to continue to read her.
The Falls, The Gravedigger's Daughter, Man Crazy, and Foxfire.

Author Events are such an important piece of my literary life. I really try to get to them when I can. I am fortunate to live in a city that is host to wonderful literary events all year round. Luckily most of them are free and that helps. It's important to support that piece of the book business. Showing your support to an author is a strong sign to the publisher that they are loved and in demand. And it shows to the author that their craft is appreciated.

Next up, my friend Dawn and I will be seeing Lisa See,
author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

How about all of you? Have you had the chance to see your favorite author? Or just seen any great Authors in person?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Melissa said...

LOL! That's totally me except with Basketball, and college football.


PS. I hate the Yankees too

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I've NEVER been to an author event. I don't even know the first thing to seeking them out. I know...head in the sand. Where have I been?

Jenny said...

LOL, I was about to say the same thing as Melissa but I'm all GO MAGIC!!! But Melissa and I already knew that about each other LOL.

I am sooo jealous about the Joyce Carol Oates event! I can't believe to this day I've only read ONE of her books but I have collected quite a few others and I totally admire her. I would have loved to go to that. We never get events down here. Do Orlando people not read???

Tales of Whimsy said...

You are SO cute. Seriously ;)

I've been getting into college basketball.

Alexis: Me neither. I went to a Book Fair though. It was awesome!

Audra said...

I love your impassioned speech for author events! I've never been to one and never thought about going, but your statement about them being an important part of your literary life really resonates with me. I think I'll try to get to a few this spring -- I appreciate your argument about how important they are. Thank you!

Senator said...

Hahaha. Oh man, BEST. Cheesy. Photo. Ever!!!

WonderBunny said...

I have never been to a book event and I keep looking at the few that have been coming to my city but they just haven't worked well with my school needs. Rita Mae Brown is suppose to be here on April 12th but I don't think I'll make it.

Lisa said...

I'm actually surprised that more authors aren't awkward in front of an audience. These are people, after all, who spend their working hours in a room all by themselves.

Marce said...

Books and Baseball 2 thumbs up, to funny Michelle.

Great post, I'm not sure what author I would love to meet, there are many I would love to get sign my book though.

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

You are so funny! =O)

Ooooh, I would have loved to see JCO...she is awesome, IMO. Lucky you. Unfortunately, I have never been to an author event. I'm sure a big city like Nashville has them. I just need to see if there is a way for me to find out about them. Perhaps there is a website?

If you didn't see my comment on Facebook, I received the Anne Easter Smith book. It's gorgeous...thank you again!

Carol said...

I have never been to an author event.

I always think that the authors must find it quite daunting attending these events after months and months tucked away writing, then the business of promoting the book before publication date....then book signing, seeing daylight and other people :)

I have wild imagination LOL


Misha said...

I have never been to an author event. And *gasp* you saw Joyce Carol Oates!!!
I am jealous of you now :D

Marie Cloutier said...

Great post :-) I go author events often but I'm lucky to live in a major book market where there are lots of great indies and I love to go out to see them. Best experiences? Meeting Margaret Atwood, and meeting AS Byatt, but that was a long time ago!

Gina said...

LOL on the baseball least you have fun! On the author, what an experience! Haven't been to any myself, though a few have gone down in the store. Usually though, they are pretty much just in here's your ticket, here's the line, have your book ready and POOF they're done....and did I mention we usually only get political book signings around these parts? Yeah...let's just say it's nto my genre. To each their own though. Can't wait to hear about your next event. ^_^

Christine said...

I love author events, too. I've been to a bunch... mostly romance and fantasy authors. Lisa Kleypas, J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Melissa Marr and a whole bunch of others. But these four were probably my favorites.

I would love to meet Kate DiCamillo someday. Her children's books are fantastic. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is easily one of my absolute favorite books.