Fanning the Flame

As a fan of your favorite authors, how do you act?

I have some kind of weird, deep-seated dislike of acting like a fan. I confront this dilemma very soon, for one of my absolute top favorite authors will be at the Worldcon in August. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that I’ll end up shaking her hand or asking her a question at some point.

Most fans I’ve heard of or seen would be all excited, jumping up and down. I’ve been to a few conventions, and what I’ve seen there was mostly in the ‘squee’ category. And the author or artist or actor in question would smile politely and be tolerant, very tolerant. And it would make me cringe.

Furthermore, I finally have some vague basis for thinking that someday I might be in their position: that of the author, not of the fan. Though of course one is always both.

So what is it that makes me cringe? I’ve once (only once) had the experience of being singled out as the author of a work after it was performed, and it made me horribly embarrassed. Would that effect continue, or would I get over it?

I think in large part, I just can’t stand to be ‘just another fan’. It’s not snobbishness, or not much I hope. It’s a  matter of preferring to be the author’s friend somehow, genuinely, by getting to know them–or nothing. Not this brief, just-like-everyone-else shaking of hand, grabbing of autograph, and gushing of “I’m your biggest” etcetera.

I don’t know. I’m not sure what’s going on in my head there. Anybody else feel the same way and have a better handle on why? Or want to defend gushing fen?


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