Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Brief & Embarrassing Encounter

Last month I had mentioned how I met Joanne Fluke and I was pretty embarrassed about how it occurred. Well, I'm ready to tell what happened.....

Joanne Fluke was scheduled to be at Poisoned Pen (which, by they way, is a pretty amazing independent bookshop. They even have gargolyes guarding the lamps on the outside of the store). That morning, I put on my Sunday best, including styling my hair and make-up. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a big hullabaloo. I guess this was because this was my first book signing.

When I got to the bookstore, I was so nervous. Again, please keep in mind that this was my first book signing and by an author whose series I really enjoyed. When I got inside, I was bouncing all over the walls. I picked up my copy of the book, oohed and aahed over the new cover, and proceeded to pay. That's when my verbal skills went kaput. I had a huge smile on my face and then told the cashier that Joanne Fluke was my favorite author. I said this while having a huge grin on my face. She looked at me like, "Oh, you're one of those...." I guess she didn't share my enthusiasm.

Fast forward........I take a seat towards the back. There were probably 12-15 other people there, tops. Finally, Joanne Fluke enters. She talked about her series, life in small towns and Minnesota, etc. I just stared at her with a smile on my face. My husband at one point whispered to me if I wanted to ask her a question. I ssshhhed him....with a smile on my face. When she starting talking about the new book, I took it out of the bag and help it up, as if to show her that I had purchased it. With a smile on my face. A couple of times I saw her eyes go in my direction. I smiled even harder. Inside, I wanted her to know I was her biggest fan. Yes, I was star-struck. Literally. I also smiled hard at the cashier, who was helping to facilitate the discussion.

I think I scared her with my smile, though.

At the end, everyone got up to get their book signed. My heart was beating so fast. I got on line. My husband stood to the side, staring at me (I think he was a bit freaked out over my freaking out. And the smile). Inside, I was practising what I was going to say to her. With a smile on my face. Finally, I'm almost there. I signal my husband to prep the camera - around 10 times. He is the only person there with a camera. Everyone in line keeps turning to look at him, then me, then him, and then back to me. It must've been because I was sweating. With a smile. So finally it's my turn. I hand her the book. She looks at me. Do you remember A Christmas Story? At one point, Ralphy is on line waiting to meet Santa. There's a weird kid behind him wearing an old-fashioned flight hat (leather, flaps on either side, really tight on his head) and goggles. He turns to Ralphy and says "I like Santa" all weird and stalkerish. I always thought that kid was weird.

I turned into that kid.

First I tell her, "I'm sooo excited to meet you". With a little bounce on "excited". (I am so embarrassed). I stare at her. With a smile on my face. She laughs a little and tell's me that's good. I stare at her. She looks at me. So then she grabs the book and gets ready to sign it. I stare at her some more. And then I say "Amelia.................................That's Me!" When I say "That's Me!", I place both hands on my chest to emphasize my point. I wanted to die. I don't know what was happening to me. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Then I tell her "You're my favorite author". Please keep in mind I sounded EXACTLY like the kid in the movie - all slow, slurry, weird, and kind of stalkerish. With a smile on my face. (Even when the words were coming out, another part of my was slowly dying). At this point, I am showing all my teeth (my husband can attest to this). The lady behind me giggles. Then my husband whispers to me to get my attention. He's waving the camera and mouthing me to ask her if I could take a picture. So I do. She's tells me okay. I run behind the table, put my hand on her shoulder, and my husband takes the shot. Everyone is staring at us. I am the only person dressed for the occasion. I am the only person freaking out. I am the only person who has her own personal photographer in the room. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had also taken a picture of me talking to her.

I skip over to my husband. The woman behind me gets to Joanne Fluke and I hear them both giggle. I skip to the front of the store. My husband is laughing. At the time, I did not even notice. When I got to the front of the store, the cashier was there with another employee. They are both staring at me. I turn to them, with a HUUUGEEE grin, I yelled, that's right, yelled, "THANKS!" As I'm leaving, I hear them giggle. When I step outside, it's as if the body snatcher has left and Amelia is back. I am mortified. I am aware of how retarded I acted. My husband is laughing sooooo hard, he's crying. I start laughing. And literally crying. I was soooooooooo embarrassed. I mean, what the heck came over me??!!!!! What??!!!! Of course, my husband tells me that he thought I was cute. I am still crying. In shock. He recounts my display of behavior from his perspective. It's much worse. Basically, I was the only person in the room who had an eerie smile on her face from start to finish. My husband finds it especially funny that I told her my name and then said "That's Me!" while pointng myself out.


I'm over it now.


Kris said...

I'm sorry - but this is a funny story. I have been to a couple of book signings and I always feel like a kid in a candy store and do smile a lot - thank goodness my Mother never has a camera with her. haha!


iliana said...

Oh Amelia that is too cute. I really needed a good laugh today - believe me, I'm laughing with you not at you. I've been "starstruck" by a couple of authors myself and have acted quite stalkerish :)

Nancy said...


I can so see myself doing something similar....LOL!

Amelia said...

Hi Kris & Iliana -

Yeah - I got a good laugh out of this, too :) :) Glad that I was able to make you laugh, Iliana ;)

Isn't it weird how you can't control your behavior when it really counts??!! I wonder what the authors themselves think when they come across star-struck fans?

Amelia said...

Aaaww - thanks for the hugs, Nancy!

You're too sweet! :) :) :)

booklogged said...

Thanks for sharing your cute retelling of meeting Joanne Fluke. Really funny. It is weird how we can be doing something and at the very same time knowing we're being weird, but can't stop ourselves. I definitely relate!

I've never read one of Fluke's books, but after hearing from her most avid fan, I think I better get with it.

Joy said...

Hi! With a click here and click there, I have found myself at your blog. I hope you don't mind me commenting, but I have to say this was hysterical. That would be hysterical in a sweet, genuine, aaawwwee kind of way. :)

Ultimately, I'm glad you got the book signed and have a wonderful story to tell about it.

Joy said...

Oops! Forgot to mention that I too have not read any of her books, but definitely will look into them. :)

Kirsten said...

Amelia - You are too funny! I just recently came across your blog and started reading your posts. This one had me laughing out loud while on my lunch break at work :) I had a similar experience meeting Janet Evanovich. A friend and I went to a signing a couple of years ago and as soon as we got up to meet her it was like we were talking gibberish. We started stumbling over our words, fumbling with our books, etc.

You know when you know you are acting like an idiot/freak, but you can't help it, and you can totally tell that the other person thinks you are acting like an idiot/freak and they get this sort of odd look on their face and then you know for sure that you have completely blown any possibility of appearing normal? And then when you think back upon the incident all you can do is cringe? Well it was definitely one of those moments. As soon as Janet gave my friend and I "the look," I knew it was over and we just shuffled away starstruck. To this day we still laugh about our ridiculous behavior :)

Literary Feline said...

I know this is an ancient post, but I recently discovered your blog and am reading through your old posts. This one made me laugh. If it makes you feel any better, every time I approach a new author (which has become an annual event for hubby and I when we attend the LA Times Festival of Books), I suddenly get really shy and make my husband do all the talking! And I can't use the "first time" excuse! Haha Maybe someday it will get easier.