Just A Readerby Patty Andersen
Last year, when Kaye asked me to contribute to her blog, I took on the topic of “not fitting in” with many in my peer group. Now, this year I need to come up with a new topic. And, to add to the pressure she has me posting immediately behind one of my all-time favorite authors, Craig Johnson. Sheesh, talk about making things tough on a non-writer!
Because I am following a favorite author it got me thinking about what it means to be a fan (or author groupie). I’ve been reading since I was four or so and have had “favorite” authors at all the stages of my reading life (okay, getting close to 50 years). Until I started interacting with various authors I would always have referred to myself as “just a reader”, which I now understand boggles the authors mind. JUST a reader they say, no one is more important. I never in my life thought I would be chatting online with my heroes, let alone actually meeting any of them! I’ve not met many in person and the two that stand out both live close to me (by South Dakota and Wyoming standards), the aforementioned Craig Johnson and Kathleen Taylor. I invited Kathi to be a speaker at one of our SD Library Association meetings and she kindly agreed, thus I met her as professional to professional. We now share weather from the middle of the state, where she lives, to the western edge, where I live. My meeting with Craig was different, I entered a contest to try and win a t-shirt. I won (and still own) a shirt that proclaims me Sheriff, Absaroka County, Wyoming. Not long after that Craig was going to be speaking at a small library about 50 miles from my home and I decided to attend, of course wearing my t-shirt. I forgot about the season in western SD – construction – so was a few minutes late. As I walked in the door he turned and interrupted his talk to say “nice shirt”. The crowd loved it and it put me instantly at ease and made me even more of a fan.
With all that, I still hold authors in high regard. I still consider myself just a reader, and it boggles my mind that they consider people like me so important. The brave new world of the Internet has bridged many gaps but I think the bridges that authors are making with their fans through social networking are the most impressive. I haven’t and probably never will meet Stephen King or Nora Roberts, but the authors who I read the most, those who are newly published, the mid-listers or those just above that have become “real people” to me and I’m loving’ it.
Many thanks, Kaye, for allowing those of us who read to share your playground with those who write. It is a great place to get to know each other.
and now - Patty's Pups!
and now - Patty's Pups!
|Browser, miniature Schnauzer, rescue dog|
|Kirby, Pembroke Welsh Corgi (our "troll")|
|Mocha, Havanese (King of the house at 9.3 lbs)|
|Orbit, standard Schnauzer, rescue dog|
Spice, Pembroke Welsh Corgi mix (Spice Girl is busy, busy, busy), rescue dog
Trooper, standard Schnauzer, Cindy's Hearing Dog, (the family "boss" although Spice is trying to challenge him for the title)