That’s Me—Writer Groupie!

My name is Laura Best and I am a writer groupie.

I never knew this before, but apparently there IS a word for what’s ailing me( if you call it ailing) —- “writer groupie.” And doesn’t that sound totally lame? I mean anything with the word groupie attached to it. Makes you sound so…so… I don’t know…desperate.

I discovered this tidbit over at Fitch Happens. Sheree wrote that even though she’s a writer, she’s a reader first. She spoke about how precious her signed copies of books are. She openly admitted to sniffing the ink on the page. She was not ashamed.

Let me be straight about this: I have NEVER sniffed ink.(Not that I believe that ink sniffing is wrong , mind you, or even beneath me. If you’re an ink-sniffer that’s perfectly fine by me.) I’m not even sure that ink gives off an odor, not from your regular run-of-the-mill ballpoint at any rate, but who am I to argue?

The truth is, the thought never crossed my mind….. I’m just not a sniffer by nature unless it’s something that is sniffable– flowers, skin products, perfume, spices—you get my drift. My daughter is a sniffer. Whenever she opens a gift she smells it regardless of what it is. Got it from her grandmother on her father’s side. It’s a family joke or, quite possibly, a tradition. We sit around and watch each Christmas, and yes, she does it every time. Does this mean we’re strange?

Nope. I’m definitely not an ink sniffer….Yet now the thought is there, isn’t it? I do have signed books, you know.

I could deny the word— writer groupie, and yet I think the signs are there…..I show up at book signing, have my picture snapped with various authors all in hopes of creating this scrapbook for Miss Charlotte. I love meeting other authors and chatting with them. I flock to where authors are hanging out. AND I have photos to go along with my signed books from: Syr Ruus, Jan Coates, JoAnn Yhard, Helene Boudreau, Margaret Atwood, Budge Wilson, Steve Vernon, Jill MacLean, Sheree Fitch, Star Dobson, … I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting at the moment of writing this, and there will be more in the future.

I remember when I was off signing copies of my novel. A few people came prepared to get photos so I guess I’m not the only one. It was actually kind of cool to think that someone wanted their photo snapped with me. I mean me, really. I wonder at this moment how Margaret Atwood feels, she’s probably in more scrapbooks and photo albums than any other Canadian writer.

Still, there are worse things in life I suspect. I won’t bother naming them at the moment.. I’ll just curl up on the sofa with my photos and books and resists the urge to sniff ink.

Be honest, are you a writer groupie? Do you have signed copies of books from authors that you would never part with? Have you ever sniffed the ink on a page?

Book Bash

On Saturday evening local children’s authors and illustrators writers of children’s book from the area got together at the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia to present the books they published in 2009. There was a long list of authors and illustrators presenting their books that evening.

Talk about author overload….I mean that in a very good way.

I’ve been a member of this organization for many years but this is the first time I’d been to the Federation office and the first time I’d met most of these talented writers. When you live out in rural areas it’s not so easy to participate in many of the events offered. It’s not just a matter of jumping into the car and off you go. A two hour drive often makes you think twice, especially during a working week. And to be honest, until Saturday night, I’d never given it much thought. Sometimes situations are the way they are and you just don’t question them.

Earlier that day I’d met Jill MacLean at the book launch for Unlocked. Jill is the author of The Nine Lives of Travis Keating and most recently The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy, two wonderful books for young people. The Nine Lives of Travis Keating won the Ann Conner Brimer Award and The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy has been nominated this year for the same award…Yay Jill!! Imagine my delight when Jill bought a copy of my book that evening for me to sign.

No photos of Noreen Smiley, who is our CANSCAIP rep for Eastern Canada. I introduced myself to Noreen earlier in the day at the book launch, another wonderfully supportive author. I chatted a bit with Kate Inglis (author of The Dread Crew, Nimbus Publishing). Again, no photo. I’ll have to speak to my photographer.!

I’m not ashamed to say, I was like an excited child when Budge Wilson sat beside me. Budge is also an award winning author and another truly talented writer in our area. Of all the writers for children’s book that I ever hope to meet, Budge is up there at the top of my list. She’s simply amazing and the sweetest, most down to earth person you’d ever want to meet.

I’d met Steve Vernon at Word on the Street back in September. Steve’s a great support to local writers and a fellow Nimbus author. Steve has turned his talents from writing ghost stories to include writing for kids with his Maritime Monsters book, proving his versatility as a writer. Way to go, Steve!

The evening was a wonderful celebration, a time for me to meet other authors which is not something I get to do very often. What a great group of people. My only regret was that we had to leave earlier than I would have liked to. That long drive home, you know.

So that was my weekend. Pretty frigging awesome I’d say. I’ll take author overload any day.

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