I have so many author crushes. An author crush, defined by moi, is someone who is so epic and brilliant in their writerly ways that I get all giddy with little doves circling around in my stomach as I think about the possibility of meeting them....and talking to them... in person!
Last week, I met one of my author crushes- Joyce Carol Oates. She was giving a talk at Kepler's in Menlo Park to promote her new book, THE ACCURSED. I've been reading her stuff since I was in college. She was giving her talk on a weeknight. To make it to the talk on time, I had to skip out on dinner. So as soon as my wonderful husband got home to take over the childcare, I shoved a handful of spinach crackers into my mouth and took off.
I arrived at Kepler's a few minutes before the talk began and picked up a couple of her books. While I was waiting in line to pay…
…Spotted: Joyce Carol Oates strolling into the bookstore looking very elegant in a black hat and a matching long coat. She spoke quietly to one of the staffers and disappeared into another room before her talk began…
During the talk, I was relieved that other audience members were taking pictures of Joyce with their phones because it made me feel less uncomfortable about whipping out my own phone to get a few shots.
After hearing the stimulating talk, I waited in line to have my books signed. When I met Joyce, I told her I really liked I'LL TAKE YOU THERE- it’s her novel about a girl, academically inclined and somewhat naive, attending college in the 1970s. In an interview, Joyce had once revealed that the book was her most autobiographical work of fiction, so I thought it was a fair question to ask if writing the book gave her closure for certain challenges she'd faced when she was younger. Joyce said it did. I told Joyce that her book helped me think about my own college experience. She asked me where I went to college, and I told her. Before I took off, Joyce said something to the effect-so please don't quote me on this- that in writing I'LL TAKE YOU THERE, she learned to look back at herself in the past with forgiveness instead of irritation.
I thought about what she said while I drove home.
Back at home, I found that I had spinach in my teeth from the crackers I'd eaten earlier. So now I can tell people I met Joyce Carol Oates...with spinach in my teeth.
Who are your author crushes? Have you ever met an author crush?