An Ode to Fan-Girls

One of the most amazing things about being a writer is to connect with readers.

As a life-long reader (especially of romance) I’ve always admired authors and have a slew of fan-girl faves. I auto buy their books, I read their interviews and peek at their websites on a regular basis. There are so many authors I’ve been following for decades, more that I’ve fallen in fan-love with in recent years. So it became a lovely by-product of my writing journey that I was able to meet so many of the authors whose books I loved.DSCN0047

Actually, that was one of the reasons I started writing for Blaze—many, many of my favorite authors wrote for the line. I was giddy when I got my first two cover quotes from two of my faves, Vicki Lewis Thompson and Julie Leto. But I’ve got to say the most OMG fan girl moment was at the Harlequin Party a few summers back.   The Harlequin Party is known for a few great things… It’s open bar, it’s wild dancing and the fact that Nora Roberts hits the dance floor each year. Nora Roberts is my hands down, absolute favorite, yes I’d worship her if she’d have me, author. And probably the only person in the world I get star struck over (well, Johnny Depp, but that’s more lust than anything else). That night I was seriously toasted (did I mention the open bar) and was heading for the cooler air with one of my fave peeps, Virna DePaul, when Nora walked by. My friend, much braver than I, Virna called Nora over. I got to meet her. I got to babble truly idiotic things to her, and I got my picture taken with her. Seriously, this was one of the highlights of my reading life. It would be a highlight of my writing life, too, if she forgets what I said.HQ Party

So, Nora and my big mouth aside, to me meeting authors has always been a fun and exciting thing. I mean, clearly I have this fan-girl thing down pat, right? But when the shoe flipped to the other foot? Wow!!! That got wild! Even when I began my writing journey, I never imagined having reading fans. It just wasn’t in my head. So every time I meet one, every note or email I get or random comment I see on Facebook about loving my books? It’s surreal. These are people who read and like my books in the same way I read and like my fan-girl authors’! This is what writing is all about. The fans, the readers. And there are so many levels of fans. The ones who read the books. The ones who read and email or write to share their thoughts. The ones who review and blog about the stories. And then there are the amazing ones –the ones who create entire communities to support the authors.RWA 13 lit signing with Heidi Ulrich copy

And that, dear Bandita Buddies, is you. Whether you’re a reader of mine or whether you’re here because you’re a major fan girl of one of the other amazing Romance Bandits, you’re what it’s all about. We are so grateful to all of you! Because, believe me, it wouldn’t be the same if nobody was reading our books!

Tell me about your favorite fan girl moment. It could be meeting an author or actor or anyone you admired, or it could be a fan meeting you. I’d love to hear about it!

And as a thank you for being awesome Bandita Buddies, I’m offering a Sexy SEAL three-pack to one lucky commenter. The winner will get autographed print copies of three of my early Sexy SEAL stories.

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Comments

32 Comments

  • Amy Conley says:

    Is he mine again? Must buy more chocolate tomorrow.

  • Mary Preston says:

    I’ve had many a fan moment, but from afar.

    I stalk in bookstores & libraries & online.

    I can get very excited, so best I keep my distance I think.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      ROFL Mary 🙂

      Well it definitely pays to know yourself and your comfortable limits *g*

      And I’m sure the bookstores, libraries and internet appreciate your stalking stealth 😉

  • Amy Conley says:

    As for authors, it had to be Cathy Maxwell. I had just finished her Sinclar trilogy when. I met her the first time, along with Elizabeth Boyle and Lorraine Heath. These three women had me totally and completely overwhelmed. All our favs of mine, but not just because of their books, but because of the women they are.

    As far as fans of famous people, when the show Greatezt Home Makeovers was on they did a home not far from here. Hubby was our Town Board President at that time and he told me I would NEVER get near Ty Pennington. Little did hubby know his wife. My daughter went to see the house they were redoing, before they git started, and guess who was standing outside on his cell phone? He walked into the building, daughter and I pulled into the parking lot since if he went in, he had to come out. And we were waiting, in our pjs no less. I got a pic with him and sent it to hubby with the message,” I won’t get within how many feet of him?” And better yet we met all the cast, we got special jobs, and we partied with them all week long.

    The moral of this story is “never say never”. Be it an actor (btw Johnny Depp is from a town in Ky, not even 30 miles away), because you just never know.

    • Helen says:

      Amy
      Isn’t Cathy lovely I have met her as well her at a romance reader convention and had dinner with her and Hope Starr big fan girl moment

      Have Fun
      Helen

    • Tawny Weber says:

      You have the best fan girl moments, Amy 😀

      What a GREAT Ty story!!! And may I say, yummmmmmmmmmm 😉

      Thats so funny that your husband said ‘no, no, no’ and you said ‘watch this, baby’. Love it!! It sounds like you had the best time, too 🙂

  • Helen says:

    Tawny

    It is my greatest wish that one day I will meet all of The Bandits and have a fan girl moment I have of course met Anna C and Christina and I must say I have been very lucky because of ARRA and met lots of authors Naluni Singh Julia Quinn Eloisa James Cindy Gerard and in a few weeks I will get to meet Sylvia Day Kelley Armstrong and Victoria Dahl and so many awesome Aussie authors and I am with you on the fan girl moment I will always remember the first time I met Anna and Christina woohoo 🙂 🙂

    I love your stories they are always so good 🙂

    Thank you all for writing them for us readers

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Helen, I’m pretty sure meeting you is on all of our lists, too 🙂 You’re an amazing fan girl!

      Your convention is going to be so fun! I envy you getting to hang out with Christine and Anna, and I know you’ll love meeting the other authors. I’ve met Sylvla a few times (she’s besties with a good friend of mine) and she is so lovely.

      Have a GREAT time!!!

      and thank you again 🙂

  • Minna says:

    I’ve never come face to face with anyone I admired. I’ve passed some famous Finnish people on the streets when I’ve been visiting Helsinki, but well, you walk the streets there long enough and the chances are that sooner or later you see someone with a familiar face.

    I must admit though, that even though I’m not really a fan, it was still a bit of a jolt to see George Baker or his lookalike in a supermarket in Savonlinna (the guy who played a cop called Wexford in a series based on Ruth Rendall’s books). I guess he was there because of the Opera Festival.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      That is so cool, Minna.

      I’d imagine that’s how it would be cruising someplace like Rodeo Drive. Sooner or later, someone famous passes by.

      I’d imagine it was extra fun seeing someone you admired buying groceries 😀

  • Shannon says:

    I had one of my fan moments when I meet Donna, Caren, and Jeanne. I have a peacock feather! How cool is that?

    My other fan moment was one of those awkward, awkward moments so I’ll omit names. Let’s jest say I liked a certain series, there was a con, and I got in line for an authorgraphed photo. The line was long and three women and I got chatting not only about the series and the actors but about life, current events, and books. The poor actor had to break us up because we were having such fun.

    One of the women and I went out to talk some more. I was to pick up yellow ribbons for a Welcome Home the Troops parade on Sunday because our town 2 hours away had run out of yellow ribbon. The woman handed me me $20 for ribbon, bless her heart. The actor apparently saw this and asked if I had sold the picture. I assured him that this wasn’t the case, that she had donated to my “cause.” He pulled out $20 as well. We flirted, chatted, and flirted some more. I thought about it, and I suspect he thought about IT. And I left and bought all the yellow ribbon at a craft store and got up at some ungodly hour in the morning to hang yellow ribbons along the parade route.

    • Hugs on the fan mention. It was a thrill for me as well.

      And super-extra hugs on the yellow ribbon for the troops! You rock, girl!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      LOL Shannon! Meeting Donna, Jeanne and Caren had to be so fun. They are great.

      Wow -I’d be a lifelong fan of that actor for his donation. And go you, thank you so much for your wonderful support of the troops. You rock!

  • jcp says:

    I’ve never met an author of anything I’ve read.

  • catslady says:

    I’ve never been able to make a signing or any of the large events but not for lack of wanting to. Thank goodness for the internet and blogs and now FB. It’s the closest a lot of us will get but it at least seems like we get to know you 🙂 And us fans are forever grateful that you share and talk with us!!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      You’re so sweet 🙂

      The internet has made such huge changes in how we meet people and who we get to know, hasn’t it?. I’m so grateful for it because we’ve gotten to meet great readers like you.

      I do hope you get to one of those big signings or events some time, though 🙂

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    I have always been an avid reader, but it had never occurred to me that the writers I loved really cared what I thought beyond buying their books. I didn’t think they were harsh about it but I thought it was more of a business: they write, I read, they sell, I buy. Then through the miracles of social media – liking an author on FB because the link was on her book cover – I found blogs! I had always known there were fan clubs but didn’t think there was a way to actually connect with all these authors (I guess I spent too much time working or something, must have been living in a cave lol).

    Anyway, my favorite fan girl moments were subtle. The first time an author replied to a comment I made and said something that made me think they kind of recognized me I almost swooned. When I went to a book signing and the author said “oh yeah, I know you, you always . . . ” I was in heaven. And the best one was when I was at Bouchercon. I had introduced myself to one of my favorite authors and chatted a little when she did a panel. The last day of the conference when people were milling around (without name tags!) she passed by and said hello, and then later sent me an email and we have been corresponding since.

    Now instead of being star-struck by “wow, how can Stephen King write like that” I am awestruck at how you all can “write like that” and still be real people just like me who I can make happy by simply reading your books, commenting on a blog, or leaving a review. And the blogs aren’t all about your books but topics it turns out we all have something to say about. The connection is powerful and a lot of fun.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Sally, I think the internet has done wonders for bringing people closer together. I know it brought the Romance Bandits together in a way we’d never have possibly done without it.

      Its so cool that you did get to meet authors you’d first gotten to know online. And better, that they remembered you 🙂 (I, of course, am hoping Nora forgets me until I can make a good impression)

      I love your point about authors being real people. I think so often before, the only connection was through our books. Now we’re able to chat about so many things!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    I grew up regularly visiting with my godmother, who was in show business, and you never knew who would show up at her house (the Savalas brothers were regular visitors) so I have never been speechlessly star struck; in fact in some cases I’ve actively stayed away to give them some privacy out of courtesy, like seeing Katharine Hepburn sitting a few rows away at the theater. I would have loved to say hello as she is my all time idol but she had a group of friends with her and I didn’t want to intrude.

    The first time I went to World Fantasy Con I was there with a friend who was a huge Stephen King fan. We got in the elevator and there he was standing quietly in the corner. My friend got so excited she got out at the wrong floor; I stood there and told him zombie jokes.

    I think my real fangirl moment was at WFC Ottawa when Tanith Lee, another one of my idols, was guest of honor. I had done some paintings of her characters and had them in the art show there. When we got to the hotel we couldn’t figure out where registration was so we asked this lovely lady wearing a cobwebby grey lace dress and bright red lipstick where it was and she gave us directions in a lovely British accent. We were halfway across the lobby before I realized that was Tanith Lee who had given us directions! Later when i went to the book signing I got in the longest line because i figured, guest of honor, of course she would have the longest line. After a few minutes I asked someone else in line to be sure I was in the right place and she said “oh no, this is the line for Stephen King!” “Oh well, I don’t want to see him,” I said and ignoring the seismic shock wave this created I went looking for Tanith Lee. When I got there there was NOBODY in line, so I not only got my books signed I chatted with her for about half an hour over all sorts of things and had a wonderful time! She was just the nicest person and we had a lot in common. It was lovely to meet someone I admired so much and have her behave like a friend and not a celebrity!

    Hope someday I will have an opportunity to meet all you Banditas!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      What wonderful experiences. I’d have loved to see Katherine Hepburn, even from afar. She was an amazing woman, from what I know.

      I totally understand your lack of swooning fandom over actors and such. My parents owned a talent agency, so I grew up with actors, dancers, and various other showbiz types in and out all of the time. I saw too much of the reality to be star struck.

      But writers, on the other hand, I still am in awe of LOL

      Your meeting with Tanith Lee sounds so great. I’ll bet she was just as thrilled to visit with you as you were with her.

      I hope you can meet the Bandits, too 🙂 Some of us will be in New York in July at the big book signing 😉

  • LOL Tawny. I think Nora might be used to the stupid things we say – remember my “fan-girl” moment with Nora?

    I’ve met so many well-known authors that I’m not as star-struck as I once was – but I am at meeting fans! OMG! I can’t tell you what an amazing experience that is! So please, anyone reading this, if you see me somewhere, come up and say hi. I will be thrilled beyond belief. 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      LOL Donna!!! I thought of you when I wrote this post 😀 If I’m ever to meet Nora again, I’d be happy to have you right next to me *ggg*

      YES!!!! What you say about meeting fans. Its so wild! And I’m going to echo your call to readers –yes please, just say hi 😀 Its such an honor to meet people who love our work. Its really what makes it all worthwhile.

  • flchen1 says:

    Tawny!!! That is SOOOO awesome! The only author I’ve had the pleasure of fangirling over in person is… YOU! Thank you for being such a gracious author, and it’s such fun to know how many of us share the same love of stories! Fangirls, unite!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      LOLOL Fedora!!! You are so sweet 😀

      It was wonderful to meet you, too. I just wish we’d been able to visit longer.

      LOL Yes yes yes, Fangirls, unite!! (we need badges or something).

      Hugs!!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hey Tawny! Super Tawny Fan Girl here! Grins. I love your books. Grins.

    My funniest fan-girl moment, I think, was when I wrote Mercedes Lackey. She responded and I preened for days and days, realizing that a REAL AUTHOR had written me back. Grins. I still have and cherish the note. :>

  • Laurie G says:

    I met singer/songwriter Chris Speeris when he preformed with another guy, Paul Voudouris in Milwaukee at UWM.He’s really nice and down to earth.

  • Kimh says:

    No wuthors, met sports Stars in the area,
    Thanks