I have a confession to make. I’m kind of a fangirl when it comes to my favorite books and authors. Not like the obsessive, camp-out for midnight book releases kind of fangirl (though, I will admit, I did go to the midnight release for Breaking Dawn). I don’t go to book signings or preorder entire series or send random gift packages to my favorite authors. I’m more of the closeted fangirl who worships from afar.
I began my love affair with YA books as many did, with Stephenie Meyer and Twilight. I was a little late to the scene; I read Twilight in September 2007, after Eclipse had recently been released. Evidence below:
I was searching for my first job out of college at the time, and after all the required reading of high school and an English degree, it seemed like a nice break to read something fun and commercial (that my mom, of all people, recommended). As soon as I finished the first book, I went to the bookstore to purchase the next two. And it was a long wait until Breaking Dawn came out. And then, of course, I followed the production process of all of the movies. There were several sites I visited on the daily. I ate up all the pictures, cast announcements, behind-the-scenes looks. And of course, the midnight premieres…
(me and my sister at the midnight premiere for New Moon…
that’s supposed to be me biting her neck)
In February 2013, I was able to get tickets to go to a special promotional event for the impending release of The Host movie. It was a small group of people, many representatives of various fan sites, who got to meet with Stephenie Meyer and one of the stars of the movie. I was so starstruck and nervous when the formal panel ended and Stephenie made her way through the room to greet people. If it hadn’t have been for my friend there with me, I would have never had a chance to meet her. And by meet her, I mean take a picture with her, nervously say, “I love your books,” and that is all. My friend literally pushed her way through the other people and shoved me next to Stephenie; otherwise, I would have been frozen in place.
When it was over, my friend was like, “Are you upset about something? Are you mad at me?” And I explained to her that I was just scared to death and afraid to make a fool out of myself.
(Side story: when we first moved to LA, I had a ridiculous fangirl moment with Rico Rodriguez, the kid who plays “Manny” on Modern Family. We were in a Target elevator with him and his mom, and I basically melted down and gushed, “You’re the guy….from the show. We love your show!” and he, the 11-year-old kid, kind of smiled and nodded and I felt like an idiot.)
I’ve seen several celebrities since that experience, though my interaction with them has been extremely limited. My new approach seems to be a feigned disinterest and reluctance to engage.
Now, more than ever, that I am looking to get my novel published, I have thrown myself into social media in hopes to network and make connections with authors, agents, and publishers. Since joining Twitter, I’ve been overwhelmed by the unique way it allows fangirls like me to interact with authors and their agents. I’ve had squeal-worthy moments when three of my favorite authors liked, retweeted, or responded to something I said about their books. I try to convince myself it was actually the authors and not their representatives, but it was still SO cool.
Also, I’m going to attend a book festival at the end of the month. It’s called YallWest and it will feature a ton of my favorite YA authors in panels and book signings and all that jazz. I’m super stoked about it, but I’m also really nervous. Just reading the list of participating authors makes me anxious. I know they are just “normal people,” but these normal people are my heroes and mentors and created some of the coolest worlds and characters. And I want to be just like them some day.