Savidge Reads Gets Criminally Star Struck

As I mentioned on my book giveaway post this week it has been a funny old one. Some of it has been a bit rubbish for various reasons but there was one HUGE highlight. I found out quite randomly that Tess Gerritsen and SJ Watson were doing an event at Bolton Library. This is something I simply couldn’t miss, no work, no health issues, nothing would stop me from going. They were in Bolton, which I thought was miles away but is actually 20mins, to discuss their books at the library, little did I know I was going to be able to meet them after and have a natter (thanks to the lovely Alison at Transworld who I also had a lovely chat or two with). I was sooo nervous.

However it was lovely…

… Even if I did get rather star struck! It is something which very rarely happens in my day job, where I do ‘showbiz interviews’ and yet when I got the chance to meet Tess I went a bit shy and suddenly didn’t know what to say. I think it’s because Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series (which I have just noticed is one of the only series I have started since blogging) have become such favourites. I have emailed her and interviewed her via email for her Savidge Reads Grills and yet still I went really shy and quiet. She was utterly delightful, really warm and friendly, happy to sign a book for me (and one for Polly, it’s in the post, of Novel Insights who first bought me a Tess novel) and we had a lovely chat.

However it didn’t stop there as the same thing happened when I met SJ Watson. I went all nervous in part as I was a fan of his debut ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ and both he and Sarah Winman were my two first choices for the ‘debut night’ of Bookmarked Literary Salon (so imagine my joy when they both said yes) but I hadn’t taken into account I would have to meet them. I know, I know. Anyway Steve was lovely and really excited about the event and now I am quite buzzing about it all. Though now of course I am very nervous about meeting Sarah Winman… and I haven’t even begun to think about Val McDermid and Sophie Hannah coming in September. Let’s move on before the palpitations start.

It did make me wonder why meeting an author you are a big fan of can make you so nervous? We have all had a moment like this (in fact me and Novel Insights had it together last year when we met Ian McEwan and both talked gobbledygook at him, lucky man) haven’t we? Is it because there is a worry that they won’t be nice and you will never want to read a book of theirs again? Or is it simply the awe of meeting someone who has created a world, or several, that you lived and loved? What do you think? Which authors have you met and gone a bit unnecessary over?

P.S I am slightly obsessed about that first picture of Tess, Steve and me, I feel like I could be a crime writer – though I’m obviously not, but one can dream.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness, SJ Watson, Tess Gerritsen

25 responses to “Savidge Reads Gets Criminally Star Struck

  1. Great post, Simon. I really must read a Gerrison book at some point, and I’ve heard so many good things about Bolton’s book.
    I went a bit “funny” when I met Evie Wyld, remember? And the first time I got Joseph O’Connor to sign a book I didn’t know what to say! But then when I met him “properly” earlier this year and interviewed him (and even got a lift in his car!!) I wasn’t nervous at all — it was almost like we’d known each other for yonks and we were merely friends having a natter over a coffee.

    I think it’s only human to be a bit star-struck, and it also pays to remember that the authors we all meet are probably a bit nervous as well, particularly if they’ve had to stand up in front of a room of strangers to do a reading or talk about their book. (It’s the same for job interviews: I stopped getting worked up about them when I realised that often the people doing the interviewing are nervous too.)

    • Hi Kim, you must read a Gerritsen book, you dont need to read them in order but I would start with The Surgeon as it builds the relationships and things have happened to Isles and Rizzoli which hadnt then if that makes sense. I might pick up a Gerritsen this afternoon am a bit Man Bookered out. Congrats on the Giller Shadow panel by the way.

      I do remember the Evie moment. I have to say I think with Sue Johnston I am going to go stupid, thank goodness I can get it out the way when I have tea with her in the afternoon. Eek.

  2. I’m not surprised you were starstruck! I am trying to meet them too – both have been in Harrogate at the crime festival today but I couldn’t get there (was there thursday evening for the awards). I cannot wait to read Tess’s new book either!

  3. I met Paulo Coelho in Istanbul this year and that moment was beyond words. It was one of my biggest wishes and I was planning what to say but the moment I saw him across the room, I turned into this dumb girl that didn’t know how to utter a few words. I could not recognize myself but I guess it was the first time I have met someone who I really love and appreciate. Thank goodness he was that amazing person I thought he would be and I managed to start a conversation and even joke with him. I guess it inevitably happens with people we admire so much and whose work is more than familiar to us.

  4. Coooool. Every book I’ve ever had signed has the first sentence written by the author above their signature; to be honest, I’m amazed that every writer I’ve asked has actually obliged me in this request. Alastair Reynolds even made a spelling error: he was so apologetic – I was actually quite chuffed; now it’s even more of an idiosyncrasy.

  5. gaskella

    While in the signing queue, I try and think of just one good thing to say, and rehearse it, and it usually comes out alright in the end, but it is nerve-wracking. Last summer I got seated next to Sophie Hannah at a literary dinner, and once we were warmed up, it was great to chat about all sorts of things – not just her books, and I think she liked that.

    • Hahaha I do exactly the same, and then say something inane like ‘Hi, could you sign it for Simon, I am a real fanof your book/s’. I am dreadful. I must get better. I am already very nervous about Sue Johnston in two days – ugh – thats not a signing though, its in conversation with, eek.

  6. I’m a bit (maybe even a lot) jealous here. I’d seen their double act was coming to Waterstones in Nottingham and meant to check it out nearer the date – till I discovered last week that the date had come and gone and I’d not noticed!
    The authors I’ve met have been teen/YA writers, generally people I’d consider ‘friends’ – if FB acquaintances count as friends. It’s hard to be star struck when you’ve discussed plumbers, dogs, kids’ secondary schools, gerbils, how lovely the garden’s looking, how dire the weather is… I probably know more about them than I do about my neighbours!

    • They were off to the Nottingham event after the one in Bolton I was at, what a shame you didnt see them. Maybe they will do it again?

      Hahahaha I know what you mean about FB, that said I left it as I was getting sucked into the small things in peoples lives which meant I was doing that instead of working. Oops.

  7. Jo

    Great post and picture! Who cares if you were star struck, I bet they weren’t because they met a genuine fan who actually likes books!

    I have not read anything by these authors, however I know from many posts that I need to be!

    We will wait your crime book, and then your dream will be complete!

    • Hahahaha, I think they were just happy to have a natter and actually it was really nice to see SJ Watson before Bookmarked too, made me slightly (only very slightly) less nervous about it.

  8. I loved meeting Tess Gerritsen at the local indie bookstore here in Florida. I actually hadn’t read any of her books until I went to that event, and then I was hooked on her stories after listening to her speak. She is so interesting!

    • She is a brilliant speaker isnt she? At this event she was talking all about chinese culture and it just made me want to dive into the book… I just have two others to read of hers first.

  9. How wonderful that you got to meet them. I’ve been meaning to read both of their books since everyone’s been going on about how amazing they are. I saw an episode of Rizzoli and Isles which I enjoyed. I got totally starstruck when I went to a David Mitchell signing and couldn’t say anything except ‘Hello’.

    • I haven’t seen any of the show yet Sakura, and even though Tess likes it – though she admitted the leads are much prettier than the characters are, I still don’t know if I could allow myself to watch it and not be disappointed, isnt that silly.

  10. Kate

    I met Tim Winton (whose books I adore) at a book signing, and after queueing and waiting and thinking of all the things I wanted to say, I just stared at him and he stared at me…….. then I said “Oh, I love all your books”. He smiled and said thanks and I couldn’t think of another word so had to move on! Best wishes for everything Simon – I love reading your blog. Kate (from Sydney)

    • Hahaha thats just the sort of thing that I say Kate. The thing with a signing is its a very quick process, thats why I always say ask a question in the audience because they will remember you and you can chat a bit more. I was lucky with this one because they met me especially after the signing for my own private chat etc, very lucky and all thanks to my blog.

  11. I have just read the Silent Girl and was RIVETED. Her bestyet
    Loved it

  12. I tend to get like this when meeting/talking to people whose work I admire, be they authors (Alan Gibbons and Jonathon Stroud), voice actors (Yuri Lowenthall, Tara Platt and Troy Baker amongst others) or bloggers (I got tongue-tied by a comment from Bellezza if that’s even possible). I suppose that for the most part it’s because you look at what they’ve done and want to live up to it. But yes, in any case I have gotten far more smiley and stuttering in similar situations.

  13. Aww thats sweet about getting that way with bloggers, though I felt slightly like that when I met Kim of Kimbofo Reading Matters and Lynn of Dovergreyreader. Now they are mates which is lovely.

    I hate getting speechless though, I don’t do it interviewing pop stars so why with authors?

    • Maybe it’s because books are obviously something you take very seriously and are important, so authors may make more of an impression thus making you more nervous?

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