Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The total fangirl experience

I think I've only ever squee'd once--the day I meet the person who shall remain un-named because I know she has, and uses Google Alerts. I jumped up and down, got this huge, shit-eating grin and totally burbled. I wish I'd taken pictures, I don't think she'd have minded pictures, and even though--in the end she rejected me, the experience of meeting her overrode everything else. I think I'm probably the only person I know who wanted to meet that person, not to pitch, but just to shake her hand.

The other day, as I was flying out of Nationals--waiting in the lobby of the Mosser, because, yeah--I figured I didn't want to do the early up thing again, I was typing on my synopsis and this woman sits down across from me and starts to cough. I'm a germaphobe, and after I finished cringing, I said, "would you like a cough drop?" Because uhm...I carry Riccola. Maybe I'm that kind of person y'know? The kind who carries Riccola and has a purse organized with baggies inside of baggies?

As we got to talking she asked if I was pubbed, and I hemmed and hawed, because after days of talking to people with boxes of actual paper books to their names, I was starting to feel pretty damned small, but she was really nice, and I thought--okay, this is another epubbed author, and she understands. We had a lot in common, and time passed while we argued locations, and places, time periods and category lines. And she said, "well, I do small regencies".

I've talked to Signet authors before. The fan base is small, and they aren't as popular as they used to be. But...of all the regencies, I love Signets the most. All the mainstream regency historical authors I like came out of the Signet line. So I asked her who she was, and she said, Karen Harbaugh,

I almost fell over.

I love Karen Harbaugh. In the same way the other person I wanted to meet was the founder of the romantic suspense movement, Karen Harbaugh started the whole regency paranormal movement. Her book, The Devil's Bargain, and her Cupid series were ground breakers. And Night Fires--I could do a whole post on the Harbaugh influences in the later Sherrilyn Kenyon books, beginning with the French Revolution, Sins of the Night.

I think most authors get a little "I love your book", with everybody they meet--I mean, it's the polite thing to do, but I can recite titles and plots. The Reluctant Cavalier is one of my top five romance favorites. I'm a sucker for geeks who are really hidden alphas.

Right now she's working on Japanese dragons, and when I listened to her describe her story, I was thrilled. I'm also a sucker for Asian mythology as long as it's done right, and isn't just some hot Asian woman who meets a handsome blond/caucasian so they can have lots of graphic sex which takes up ninety-five percent of the story, and ends with them finding a couple of demons/angels or gods to spend their HEA with.

I hope she leans a little to the side, and starts writing in the fantasy field. Lots of romance writers do the side-step.


Unhinged said...

Well, that's GOT to be exciting. I've never met a published writer face-to-face. Nope, never. Traded emails and read blog posts, but that's it. I'm sure I'll almost fall over the first time I meet someone I really want to meet, too.

I've never heard of Karen Harbaugh, but I think I'll have to check her out. You made her work seem intriguing...and I really need to fall in love with a new story character now. (I have it bad for a 17-year-old vampire...yeesh.)

Kaige said...

As if my tbb and tbr lists aren't big enough. How very cool though.

Alice Audrey said...

I don't know Karen Harbaugh at all, but it sounds like you had a wonderful experience.

jodi said...

lol, because back when she was writing Signets, I simply liked her work. Then she did Devils Bargain and I loved her work.

Alice, it was squee-worthy. You know how you creep past some people because you don't want to look too anxious, and you'd really rather just get their book rather than find out the actual person isn't as cool? I kind of sidled past her at the autographing and eyeballed her book, and then by the time I figured out who she was--I already thought she was cool. Kind of a really neat reverse experience.

*sigh, it was great*

Jeanna said...

I felt that way when I talked to Lily Tomlin.
You should have your own fanzine.
I often don't know what you're talking about, but love your enthusiasm and inside knowledge.
I love the idea of an alpha geek.