Thursday, December 4, 2014

Signed Books

Don't meet your heroes. That's what they say, right? Well, I think they're a bunch of idiots. Here's why.

There are three possible outcomes of meeting your heroes.

One, they turn out to completely suck. This is the scenario the adage above warns against. If you idolize someone, and then you meet them, and find out that they're a terrible person in some way, it is not a good feeling. But I say it's for the best. Would you rather go around unaware, idolizing some jerk just because you aren't aware they they're a jerk? I wouldn't.

Scenario two, they turn out to be good. Not amazing, not fantastic, just... good. And that's pretty good. You might be underwhelmed by them and no longer idolize them, which is fine. You'll still like them. But idolatry is a little over-rated.

And the third possibility is that they are amazing. Either you didn't expect them to be that great and they are, or they somehow manage to live up to every over-the-top expectation you had for them because they're your hero and you love every second of that.

Let's put it this way. Cassy and I have had quite the whirlwind of celebrity meetings this year. They've all ranged from good to amazing. You could say we've just been lucky, but I think that for the most part (and this is a generalization, I know not all of them are like this) the kind of celebrities - especially authors - who do signings and meet-and-greets and photo ops are the kind of celebrities who enjoy meeting their fans, or are at least good at pretending to.

Which brings us back to this week's giveaway. I didn't have the experience of meeting Neal Shusterman... that was Cassy. She got me a signed book because I have the most awesome co-blogger in the world, and I think it's amazing. But I treasure it all the more after hearing Cassy tell me about how cool he is: funny and nice and just an all-around great guy. If she had been like, "Yeah he was okay" and had nothing more to say about it, I'd be like, "Neat, a signed book. If I'm ever destitute, I could sell it for a little more than the book without the signature in it." But as it is, I have this really cool token of an amazing interaction with an author who cares about his fans. For goodness' sake, guys, he retweeted us! US!

Me and my friends Chris and Beth meeting Bryan Lee O'Malley (right), author of the Scott Pilgrim series.
Waited two hours in line, but he met probably over 100? 200? people before us. Still smiling.
Still very nice. Still complimented Beth's boots. Clearly one of those great guys I'm talking about.

So meet your heroes, if you get the chance. If they turn out to suck, I'm really sorry, but you'll find new, better heroes more deserving of your love. In the far more likely event that they're awesome, get something signed, or ask nicely to take a photo with them, and you'll have a lovely memento of that amazing time you met someone who really was all they were cracked up to be.

And in the meantime, get your own token of someone else's awesome interaction with a great author - who I hear is also a great guy in general - and enter to win a signed copy of Neal Shusterman's Unwind!

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