Back-story: I go to a blog called The Goddess Blogs every day. The Goddess Blogs consist of ten wonderful authors who take turns blogging about whatever their little heart’s desire. I’ve gone there almost daily for a couple years. In that amount of time, if you look hard enough, you can kind of get to know people. To my surprise one of the authors from TGB sent a friend request to me on Facebook. Wow. I was shocked. I still am to this day, and now we follow each other on Instagram, as well. I think of it as a very cool cyber-friendship.
If you follow along you know I went to Atlanta last week to attend the Readers for Life Literacy Autographing. I was super excited to meet some of my favorite romance authors. Before the signing though the authors from TGB held a little meet and greet of their own.
As promised I now give you the story of how this became one of the best days of my life.
I stepped up to the door and heard many voices coming from inside the room. The latch was flipped to keep the door open a tiny bit. I hesitated and took a deep breath. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I would hate myself if I wasted it. One more deep breath and in I went. My nerves were working overtime. I was anxious yet hesitant. When I looked up and saw how many people were in the room I wanted to turn and bolt right back out the door. Then one person smiled, and another waved. I looked around the room and locked eyes with the one person I so desperately wanted to meet. My mouth was as dry as the dessert. How my body moved at all is still a wonder, but the next thing I knew I was standing right in front of my cyber-friend, and author I look up to, Barbara O’Neal.
I felt a goofy grin growing on my face. I think I even reached out a hand to shake hers as I introduced myself. (At least my brain was somewhat functioning.) I remember saying, “I’m Kelly Watson.” Miss Barbara replied with a kind smile, “I thought that was you. I love your pictures.”
Now, if I were smart I would have replied, “I love your books.” But I’m apparently not quick, I’m thick. My response was, “Thanks, yours aren’t so bad either!” I guess I'm lucky that at least a somewhat understandable sentence came out of my mouth, but I spoke the truth. I would like each and every one of her pics she puts on Instagram, but I don’t want to seem… Dorky? Stalker-ish? Nerdy? You get my meaning. We spoke for a while, the whole time I was thinking don’t say something stupid, don’t say something stupid. I tried not to let my nerves show, but I think it was about impossible not to see. We talked a little about writing, and she asked what workshops I would be attending. I think I saw a flicker of disappointment cross her eyes when I told her I regretfully had to leave the following day and could not attend any workshops. Maybe it was my own disappointment I saw reflected in her eyes. I know a beginning writer needs all the help they can get, and a few of those topics being covered I would've loved to gobble up, but right now I'm getting a business off the ground and could not be away any longer.
Time went on and I mingled with a few people. I even signed an autograph for a woman on Sabrina Jeffries street team. When I looked at the autographs of all the Goddesses I told her I couldn’t put my name on there with them. Not yet anyways. She laughed and turned it over and had me sign the back.
I met some people I see responding on TGB. I met some other authors that popped in. I talked briefly with TGB authors Madeline Hunter and Lori Austin. I think I even caught a glimpse of author Rachel Gibson. Author Claudia Dain’s personality overwhelmed me. I liked her before I met her, now I like her even more. As time dwindled away I made my way back to Miss Barbara. I had to be a total fan girl and get a picture, but we ended up in another conversation. My nervousness slipped away and I started to let the enormity of the moment hit me. This is something that I may never experience again. I tried to store away every conversation, every laugh. When it was time to go I asked the lovely and talented Christie Ridgway to take a picture of Miss Barbara and I. That even turned out to be a funny little episode. Five pictures later we finally got one that worked for Miss Barbara. I’ll show you the one that worked for me. Oh, and Goddesses wear tiaras!
|I think this was the one Miss Barbara liked!|
This is the first of two of my rants about this trip. Please come back Thursday for more about Barbara, and the actual literacy signing.
Who is one of your favorite authors? Have you ever had the chance to meet someone you look up to? Are you one who never lets their nerves show?