Horrible things to say to an author

This afternoon I met an author by accident.

I've met many, many authors. I often go out of my way to meet authors. But this afternoon, while I was attending the baptism of a family friend, I met an author by accident.

This wouldn't be a very big deal except that I completely stuck my foot in my mouth. Afterward I was like, "I'm pretty sure that a couple of things I said could be listed in a BuzzFeed article about what not to say to authors."

Here's how it went down:

Our hostess introduced me to Ann Haywood Leal, whom I had actually met earlier, because we sat next to each other during the program. Then our hostess told me that Ann is an author, and is working on a new book. "Oh!" I said, smiling, "tell me about it."

Ann began to describe the plot of her book. She only got about two or three sentences in.

For some crazy reason I felt compelled to tell her about another book I had read, with a similar-sounding plot. I felt compelled to describe this plot in pretty good detail. Good grief! I hope she knows that I wasn't trying to communicate that her idea had "already been done" or something. I wasn't. I was just saying the first thing that came to my head.

I think Ann wasn't too put off, because we kept talking.

"What are your books?" I asked her.

Ann named them: "A Finders-Keepers Place, and Also Known As Harper."

I thought for a minute, and then said, "I haven't heard of them. . . . but that's okay!" Oh my goodness.

Ann was very gracious.

She seems like a lovely person, and now I've got some good books to put on hold at the library. A Finders-Keepers Place and Also Known As Harper both look like interesting, middle-grade realistic fiction. I enjoyed Hilary McKay's Casson series, Linda Urban's A Crooked Kind of Perfect and Leslie Connor's Waiting for Normal, so I bet I'll like these ones, too.

p.s. Found a BuzzFeed article. Thankfully neither of my faux pas are on it. Phew!


  1. That's okay. When I met Dave Barry in Washington, D.C. on an 8th grade field trip, I'm pretty sure I jumped up and down, brought 20 kids to meet him, and may or may not have offered to get a group together to supply him with dinner every night if he promised to devote himself to writing middle grade literature! Your comments are fairly benign!

    1. Hahaha! I love it! Dave Barry is so much fun to read. I'd probably do the same thing. :D


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