On Tours and Heroes

I recently listened to an episode of This American Life called "The Perils of Intimacy" in which comedian Kyle Mizono met her hero, spent a week working with him and then sent him an email (with disastrous results - her unnamed hero never emailed her back). Listen to it here, it's great (and deeply cringeworthy). 

Anyway, I listened to it at the perfect time (albeit accidentally): the next day, I found out that my book launch would be in New York City and it would be with Scott Westerfeld.

SCOTT FREAKIN' WESTERFELD, author of the Uglies series, the Midnighters series, Peeps... Basically the YA books that defined YA for me before I even knew what YA was.  

I've been stalking this man (well, stalking is maybe too strong of a word) since I was sixteen. Uglies is the book that made me want to be a writer. When I was a teenager, I checked Scott's blog religiously. I emailed him when I was seventeen and asked him some questions for a school assignment and he actually emailed me back. Almost a decade later, I emailed him again when I got my book deal and he emailed me back again. 

Me receiving a reply from Scott. 

Me receiving a reply from Scott. 

Scott Westerfeld was the first author who made me realise that authors were real people and writing books was a real job. I'm not sure I would've become a writer if I hadn't discovered his work. 

So how can I meet this person without freaking the fuck out? How are you supposed to act around a person you've never met before, but whom you know so much about? 

As Ira Glass said on the podcast, "It can be so awkward meeting one of your heroes. I swear, there should be a seperate word for the phenomenon, for the specific problem of like, what in the world do you say or talk about that is going to live up to everything you know and feel about them?" 

Kyle Mizono's initial tactic was just to...ignore him. Ignore her hero. Somehow, I don't think that's going to work for me at our joint book launch. Anyway, here's my US tour dates. COME LOOK AT ME IN PUBLIC AND STUFF. 

NEW YORK: October 5
Books of Wonder at 6:00pm
Appearing with Swarm author Scott Westerfeld
18 W. 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

CHICAGO: October 7-9
Anderson’s YA Conference at the Hilton Lisle in Naperville
3003 Corporate West Drive
Lisle, IL 60532

MINNEAPOLIS: October 11
Red Balloon Bookshop at 6:30pm
891 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105

ST. LOUIS: October 12
Main Street Books at 7:00pm
307 S Main St
St Charles, MO 63301

DENVER: October 14-15
Colorado Teen Book Con at Littleton High School
199 E Littleton Blvd
Littleton, CO 80121