Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hello my name is Lani and I’m a book addict. My husband has half-joked that I need a twelve-step program to help with my addiction. But the first step would be to admit that I have a problem, and I don’t. After all, a book addiction isn’t a bad thing. Right? :)

As part of my book obsession, I love to meet authors. I would rather meet an author than any other type of celebrity. I love being able to listen to their inspiration, to hear their take on their characters and to talk about how their books made me feel.

Some of the experiences weren’t that fabulousnot because of any flaw on the author’s partbut because my carefully crafted façade of cool was knocked down by my inner dork. I talked too fast or got way too enthusiastic. The writers are always gracious about it, but sometimes I’m grateful to get lost and forgotten in the crowd of other fans.

My meeting with Bree Despain is a perfect example. I love and adore her book, but when I opened my mouth to wax poetic on all its beauty, all I said was, “I really liked your book, it was neat!

Let’s all pause for a moment of silence.

It’s sad but true that I managed to write an eighty-odd-thousand-word book full of descriptions and yet the best way I could describe the wonder of The Dark Divine was the word “neat.” Sigh. To this day I hang my head in shame. I cringed as soon as the word left my mouth. I certainly don’t think I impressed her with my vocabulary and I’m sort of hoping she forgot that moment (and by sort of hoping I mean really really REALLY hoping).

I did much better when I got to meet Janette Rallison. I love her books! If I’m sad, they always make me feel better. Some of her characters have Lucile Ball moments and I’ve been known to snort with laughter while reading. Yes, I just admitted to that. In fact, I admitted it to Janette Rallison. I’m not exactly sure how she felt about being told that I snort with laughter when I read her books, but really, I meant it as the highest form of praise.

When I found out Libba Bray was coming to Arizona (only five hours away), my friend Cherie and I made the road trip. We got in the car on the spur of the moment, drove five hours, listened to her amazing Q&A, and met her. She was just as cool as her blog had led me to believe. After dinner we turned around and headed home. It was a short trip but a necessary one. (A Great and Terrible Beauty is the reason that I started reading for pleasure again. College had burned me out on reading, but her books brought me back and fed my creative desire strongly enough that I finished writing Intrinsical.)

I was a little overcome by meeting Kelley Armstrong. Okay, I was overcome just by being in the same room as Kelley Armstrong! I’ve been waiting years to tell her how amazing she is. When I finally got a chance to talk to her in person I veered close to having another fan-girl moment… I think I talked more to her than with her. She listened patiently to my endless praise and handled it with good humor. (In my defense, I had years worth of enthusiasm and fangirl-ness built up and I had only about 5 minutes to share it with her. That means talking fast!)

Rachel Vincent might have been a little overwhelmed with the depth of my fangirl-ness for her Soul Screamer books. I talked to her for a really long time about the depth of my love and how concerned I was about several of her characters. I have witnesses to prove that what I will now claim actually did happen: she told me I made her night. Joy! I was so excited I had adrenaline running through my veins. It was like getting a dose of my addiction in its purest form, straight from the source.

And it wasn't very long ago I went to Rachel Caine's signing and had my two page, typed list of questions for her to answer. In my defense I wasn't going to pull out the list. I was just going to have me and my two friends ask them one at time. My friend Melonie thought it's be easier to just give Rachel the list and ratted me out for having it. It's not my fault her Morganville Vampire books are so addicting.

Probably the time where I went the most fangirl though was when I helped throw three parties for Stephenie Meyer. I threw an “I love Edward” party, helped plan the Eclipse Prom, and I was the co-host of the Prom’s after-party (which was an “I Love Jacob” party). All three of those experiences were amazing, especially since Stephenie came to all three. Aside from partying with Jonny Depp (and by partying I mean waiting in a line all day to see him at the Pirates 2 premier), that was my most awesome celebrity moment. I really went all out for these parties. Stephenie called me an Alice when it came to party planningcan anyone get better praise than that? Stephenie is very kind hearted and good to her fans.

I've met other authors and I have a fun story for each of those signings too, but that would make this post way too long. I know the characters in books aren’t real, but while I’m reading a good book they feel as though they are. The adventures in stories get carried with me into my dreams where my subconscious tries to fix whatever peril they are in. I love books and every time I read, the stories, plot and characters become a part of me, some more than others. Anytime I read a book I love and I have thoughts about it, I simply have to email the author. That’s why being able to ask them my questions in person is a hundred times better! I love being able to talk with the people who created the worlds that have become part of me. I hope my fangirl emails give them half the joy that reading their books has given me.


DJ's Life in Fiction said...

I get the same way when meeting authors. I think of all these cool things to say and when I get up to them I stumble all over my words, haha. It's embarassing, but I have yet to meet an author who hasn't been kind, so it's all good. :-D Just be prepared for some gushing about Intrinsical when we meet.

Jamie - I'm a guy, btw said...

You're like a female version of me! I have a MAJOR book addiction (and I agree - it's the best kind of addiction to have!) and I would much rather meet an author than any other celebrity. This post was so much fun to read, and I'm so jealous that you got to have so many encounters with Stephenie Meyer! (Twilight is the reason I started writing again)

Lesley said...

I didn't know you met so many authors, that's so cool! Sounds like all of them were a blast too, even meeting Bree ;)
Stephenie went to your parties how cool is that? Wow!
Love this post, too awesome!

Anonymous said...

Jeal.OUS! Seriously. So lucky to have met all those wonderful authors!
Oh, and BTW? If we ever get to meet? Yeah, it'll totally be a fangirl moment for me, for reals. But then I'd be cool & show you around Anne land. :P

Kristie Cook said...

Lani, I think your book is neat!

Okay, I thought if I got that out of my system now, when I actually meet you, I'll be able to talk coherently. The curse of the writer, at least for me and others I know, is that I can put together a string of words into the most beautiful, meaningful message...when those words come out of my fingers. Not so much when they come out of my mouth.

I'm jealous that you've met so many! And now you have RT coming up, too. Double-jealous.

Kaiden Blake said...

This was wonderful to read; it's always a pleasure seeing someone in this industry so down to Earth and humble. I'm sure - if not already - there will be fans lining up to snap photos with you, too. On a side note, the photo taken with you and Bree makes it look like the two of you could be sisters. So fun when that happens!

Lani Woodland said...

DJ- I'm glad I'm not the only one who has their words fail them. :)

Jamie- It sounds like we could be good friends. :) I met Stephenie way back in the day. Before she was so famous she was able to interact more with her fans. It's nice to have someone understand my book obsession. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Lesley- Thanks for the post compliment. Having Stephanie come was pretty awesome. I'm still proud of my goody bag creations. :) All of the signings really were fun even when I embarrassed myself. :)

Colleen- It's hard to image anyone having a fan moment meeting me. LOL I'm looking forward to my trip to see you. It's going to rock. I"m glad I'll have a local to show me around.

Kristie that made me laugh so hard! I'll be just as nervous to meet you. Let's not judge each other by what comes out of mouths, okay? :)

Kaiden-Thank you very much. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my post.