Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heroes of Art


I was intrigued by a post from a site I visit over on the sidebar, Alex Bledsoe's Down in Lucky Town, I am going to review his noir fantasy novel The Sword Edged Blonde very soon. He mentioned the idea of meeting one of his literary heroes and how the thought brought fear if he should get on the man's bad side. That made me start to wonder about how I would deal with meeting my literary heroes.

Most all the ones I can think of immediately are dead. No chance of meeting them and being intimidated. Robert E. Howard died in 1936, Hemingway in 61, Tolkien in 77, Karl Edward Wagner in 94, Hugh Nibley 2005.

And now that I think about there are still lots of my favorite authors alive, but I seem to think of the dead ones first.

I normally wouldn't think that I would be intimidated by a fellow writer, but I went to Brandon Sanderson's signing for Warbreaker to buy a copy and ask him if he might take a look at my novel for a possible back-cover quote, and I got a little nervous, everybody behind me in line looking and going "Hey,what's he talking about his own book for?" So yeah, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive, probably came off like a goon.

But he did say I could send him an ARC. No promises after that, which is to be expected, he has a lot on his plate. I like to think that if the cover art (which I will post soon) attracts his eye enough and he just opens to the first page, the first paragraph, the first sentence that I would have him. But we'll see.

I have met quite a number of other writers, probably 99% LDS but nobody else made me as nervous. I think because I was asking for a big favor in front of people and I just don't do that.

I will say right now that once I have a large prestigious name in writing that anybody reading and commenting on this post will have my support that I will at least read their work. Endorsing is another matter entirely.

Anyone else have a meet and greet with an artistic icon?

14 comments:

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

um....if you don't want to endorse my work please don't admit to anyone that you read it! LOL

Karlene said...

I've met Orson Scott Card. Looong time ago.

Karen Gowen said...

After all that, I sure hope Sanderson makes a comment for your book! I can just imagine how hard it was in that circumstance, for you to speak up and even "ask a favor!"-- but it was your chance and you had to take it. Course I have social anxiety so meeting and greeting ANYONE pretty much makes me nervous!

M. Gray said...

You have some guts, David! I'm such a wimp when it comes to speaking with icons. I think I'd hover in the corner. :)

But you have reason to speak with him. I truly hope he does endorse your book. Your concept alone is exciting to me!

David J. West said...

Tamara, don't worry about it. I hope I wasn't sounding like a jerk.

It was just weird I didn't think I would have the anxiety, but when I was right there yep I'm human.

Th. said...

.

That's what I did all weekend. But you know what? I would rather chill with peers than above-mes.

David J. West said...

Thats cool TH, I was wondering where you went all week.

Angie said...

Wow. You are brave. I think I'd be scared to death. I did eat lunch with Dave Wolverton at a workshop a couple of months ago, but only because my really brave friend sat down next to him. I hope Brandon Sanderson has nice things to say about your book.

Nichole Giles said...

Okay, first, Brandon is a pretty okay guy. But I can see why you were nervous.

Does it make you feel any better to know we're all nervous about talking to authors we admire? I'm not sure why. But I admire you for having the courage to ask. That's awesome.

Now, I'll cross my fingers for the cover quote you want!

Nichole

David J. West said...

Thanks, Nichole and Angie, like I was saying,I surprised myself at being nervous cuz I just didn't think that would appear.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

David!!! I saw your cover! wow, it looks so great! I bet you are on pins and needles. I can hardly wait! And hardcover! You go!

David J. West said...

Thanks, Tamara. I've been waiting quite awhile to beable to post it.

Melanie Goldmund said...

I met Lindsey Davis once, the author of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries. I'm incredibly shy, and don't do a lot of talking, so I found it very hard to keep up my end of the conversation. I remember asking some questions, which was good, and rambling on a bit about my own writing ambitions, which was perhaps not so good. She was probably as glad as I was when I decided I had better go check up on my kids. But at least I can say I met her, and I came away with a good impression.

I've also met Kerry Blair, Robison Wells, Emily Mah Tippetts, and Karlene Browning, but those were all completely different situations because we'd already met over the internet.

If I ever get published and get the chance to do a book signing, I might consider bringing along a sign that says something like, "Yup, I'm scared of you, too," or "I don't bite -- do you?" Something to break the ice, anyway.

David J. West said...

That's cool Melanie. Half of the time I have spoken with local authors, I had my kids in tow, so I understand your predicament very well.

Are you planning on coming back stateside?

And I like your short stories/novellas enough that I would definetly come to your signings. I hope you do put somehng together soon.