Armchair BEA 2014 – Author Interaction & More Than Just Words
Today’s Armchair BEA post looks at the topics of Author Interaction and More Than Just Words, creative mediums that feature more than words to enhance a story. For the first topic, we are going to let our human, Cameron, share some of her experiences interacting with authors both in a professional and fan capacity, since she’s had more opportunities to meet authors than we felines have. After that, we’ll talk with you about some of our favorite forms of storytelling that move beyond the printed word. So sit back, relax, and enjoy, murr! =^.^=
Let’s talk about author interaction. Over the three years that I’ve been involved in book blogging and publishing, I’ve had several opportunities to interact with authors both in person and through social media, and it’s safe to say that my approach towards interacting with them has changed dramatically as I’ve gone from a casual book reader to professional. When I first started interacting with authors, I was a total Fan Girl. I would get overly excited, ramble like an idiot, and generally come back feeling like a fool afterwards. Okay, to be honest there are times I still do this, much to my chagrin.
My first author meeting was also my worst Fan Girl moment. I got to meet Jacqueline Carey, author of the Kushiel series, at San Diego Comic Con for the first time and I was so excited, I not only began to ramble, but I was shaking from head to toe and I think I even blacked out at one point. To this day I still don’t remember what I said or if any of it made any sense, but I do remember that Jacqueline was very easy going about the whole thing. Suffice it to say, I learned a lot from that first author interaction. The biggest lesson learned was that authors are no different than us readers. In fact most authors are readers themselves and fans of other authors. As a result, when I used to meet authors as a blogger, I would often try to connect with them as both a fan and reader.
Now as a professional in the publishing industry, I’ve learned to handle author interactions differently. While I still try to connect with them as both a fan and reader, I also like to connect with them as a peer. My questions have changed from general to more specific and often range more towards the industry and less on their book. I like learning about an author’s experience in the industry, their writing habits, etc, and while I still have Fan Girl moments, I try to keep my excitement to a minimum and refrain from rambling. I’ve gone from meeting authors as a means to quell my curiosity and share my appreciation of their books, to meeting them in the hopes of forming professional connections. While it’s true I’ve still got a lot to learn when meeting authors, I’ve enjoyed all my author interactions and am looking forward to more in the future.
More Than Just Words
On the subject of storytelling through alternate mediums, we felines will have to admit that nothing can compare to the feeling of a good book between the paws. However, we do enjoy a good audiobook, graphic novel, and multimedia novel every now and then.
If we can’t get our paws on an actual copy of a book, we will happily settle for listening to the audio version of one. Being able to hear a story can be an enjoyable experience, and as long as you’re able to stay focused on the actual audio, you’ll find that there are a number of great books to be discovered through this medium. Some of our personal favorite audiobooks include the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix and read by Tim Curry, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin and read by Roy Dortrice, and Kushiel’s Legacy by Jacqueline Carey and read by Anne Flosnik.
To be honest when it comes to this form of storytelling, we much prefer Japanese Manga than graphic novels and standard comics. Not saying that we don’t not enjoy these forms of reading material, but we just like the art work used in nanga more than in American comics. Call us picky, we are okay with that. Some of our favorite manga are Fruits Baskets by Natsuki Takaya, Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi, XXX Holic by Clamp, and Neon Genesis Evangelion by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
This is a new form of storytelling for us, and as such we are not overly familiar with this concept. The only book we know of which fits this category is Level 26: Dark Origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski. Written by the man who created CSI, one of our favorite crime shows, this book allows to readers to not only experience the story via the pages, but also their computer and cell phone. It’s actually rather creepy, which is one of the reasons we enjoyed it so much, murr!
Do you have a favorite form of storytelling? Do you prefer physical/ebooks or do you like audio, graphic, or multimedia? What about author interactions? Do you have a favorite or embarrassing meet up you’d like to share? Tells us in the comments below! =^.^=