Home > Uncategorized > So today, I was a gushing fool.

So today, I was a gushing fool.

I hate getting excited. I hate waiting for an event, imagining different outcomes and anticipating what will happen. More often than not what I imagine is nothing like what happens in real life. I should really learn that.

Today I met one my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. She writes fiction. I’ve read every one of her 16 novels, except for one (the content bothered me) and I’m going to start reading her new book soon. She had a signing today at Barnes and Noble. I was excited to go because it’s extremely rare that I get to go to these types of things. Lubbock, Texas isn’t exactly at the top of the list for book tour locations.

I like Jodi’s books because the story lines and characters always are so compelling. The endings never fail to surprise me and jolt me, and on occasion, horrify me. Although they have taken on a predictable format she still manages to blow my mind each time. Normally her books are written through the eyes of five or six characters rather than one, and I admire her so much for this. She manages to take on and bring alive that many different voices and make them distinguishable to the reader. It truly is amazing. I wish I could do that. I wish I could be write like her.

I kept imagining last night what I would say to her. I wanted to say something interesting, something that would catch her attention and make her remember me later. I wanted to be different from the other people and make her realize that I truly do hold her up as a literary idol. I wanted to plan out a conversation that didn’t sound completely stupid. Half of me was terrified that I would see her and stare stupidly as she signed my two books quickly.

And then today, of course, that is basically what happened. These signings always are so rushed, and while I understand why, I still hate it. I want time. Time to ask questions and time to admire for a couple minutes.

Because the Barnes and Noble in the Prudential Center is set up weird we had to go up to where she was signing books in groups. The workers counted us out in groups of 15. I could see Jodi from far away and while I was waiting I kept thinking, again, What should I say to her? As the line kept moving my heart started beating faster. I wanted to be friends with this woman. (Guys, seriously, I’m not a creeper, I swear. I just wanted to have the chance to talk to her.) While I was in line I read her acknowledgments in the book and I was amazed at the number of people who put so much work into this book. I wanted so badly to be part of a team like that. Someday, somehow I want to be part of something that puts these types of works into reality.

I wanted to get up to the table and casually drop into the conversation the fact I’m from Texas and moved here chasing a dream. I wanted to say something that would catch her attention and make her ask me a question, instead of the other way around. I wanted her to be interested in me, to see the potential that I feel is inside me and want to talk to me. It was my dream that she would tell me to wait around, that she wanted to chat when she finished signing all those silly books. I had visions of her introducing me to her editor and demanding that she give me a job as her editor’s assistant. I wanted to hunker down in Starbucks and whisper with her, pick her brain and say, “Jodi, let’s keep in touch. I know, I just know, you and I would be great friends.” I wanted to know where she comes up with these ridiculous story lines, and if it hurts her to become so involved in these character’s lives. Because you can’t write the fiction she writes and not feel connected to those characters. It’s just not possible. A conversation with Jodi Picoult would have been amazing.

I just wanted to stand out. I wanted to beg her to give me a card, to get me in with the publishers. Something, anything. Just notice me. I’ll do anything. I’m a good, dedicated, ambitious worker.

Argh. It was silly. Just a case of my imagination run wild. It happens quite often. And when my big moment came? I said something along the lines of “I’m so excited to read your new book!” Well, Katie, that’s obvious. You wouldn’t have shelled out 2o bucks for a book you didn’t want to read, would you now? It was over before I could even process what had happened.

After I got my books signed I had to go sit and mull through what I was feeling at that moment. I should have been feeling elated that I’d just met her, but instead I felt impatient. Let down. A little sad. I want into the publishing world so badly, but I have to slow down and remember that it takes time. It takes work. It takes patience, and that is a virtue of which I am lacking. Who am I kidding? It’s not easy. Nothing’s ever that easy.

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  1. March 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Our dreams never live up to themselves. They wouldn’t be dreams if they did. I can identify with your reality Katie. I met Anne Rice once at a book signing. I was so excited and wanted to ask her loads and loads of things. In the end I asked her one: is the house in ‘The Witching Hour’ based on the haunted one on the Myrtles plantation? I got my answer – it was based on her own house! Still kicking myself about all the other questions I wanted to ask….
    Kind regards and I hope you get your dream!
    Lynda from ‘echostains’ and also ‘bookstains’

  2. James
    March 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Katie I’m always on edge for that climatic turn of events when I read your posts. Someday you will stand out and fill every expectation your audience demands. But you don’t have to be a creeper about it,,, haha.

    Does Picoult have a blog or something where you can interact with her? It seems like writers would have some way of interacting with their audiences other then a book signing.

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