Monday, April 15, 2013

On being a groupie

By Pamela

I've never been a People magazine subscriber. I'm not a fan of celebrity interviews, per se. Nor do I stalk follow many people on Facebook or Twitter I don't personally know, unless they have something interesting to say.

Pinewood Book Club members meet Julie Kibler!
To that end, I will admit that authors tend to draw me in, and I try to not pass up an opportunity to attend a book signing or talk by someone whose work I admire. This month, we in the Dallas area have been fortunate to have several authors stop through on tours.

Of course, Julie has been back in town, making the rounds to local stores. She was even gracious enough to spend a couple hours with my book club friends at my nearby retirement community. They read (or listened to) Calling Me Home this month and seemed to be delighted to have Julie discuss her story with them. The fact that Susan came, too, made it even more special.

Cheryl Strayed signs Joan's copy of Tiny Beautiful Things.

Last Tuesday Susan, Joan and I met at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) for an evening with Cheryl Strayed. I've read both Tiny Beautiful Things and Wild, so it was wonderful to hear Cheryl speak about her creative process.

Tonight, most of us from What Women Write will be back at the DMA to spend the evening with Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, author of several books including Olive Kitteridge and her newly-released The Burgess Boys.

Even if you're not close to a big city where authors frequently stop, you can enjoy virtual tours via Facebook or their websites. Also, Oprah's OWN featured her interview with Cheryl Strayed yesterday. My mother, who lives several states away, was able to watch Cheryl's interview, giving us something to share over the miles--a treat for us both.

We'll keep posting about authors as they cross our paths and would love to hear about your experiences, too. As for me, I've dedicated a special section of my bookshelf for my autographed books. Not only did I treasure the stories they told, but each also holds a memory of the time I met the author--typically while in the company of my dear friends.
Me with Susan and Joan at the Cheryl Strayed event. 


  1. Elizabeth Strout was a joy to listen to! Funny, smart, charming - down to earth. I cannot wait to dig in to The Burgess boys. Really enjoyed the evening with you ladies!

    1. She was, wasn't she? I loved hearing her talk about her creative process and know Elizabeth could relate to the fact that she writes longhand--which sounds exhausting to me! Another great WWW outing!

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  3. Like yourself, I reserve my squealy fan face for authors. I've been very lucky to travel to some author events and as a blogger I have an online relationship with many, so when we meet in person, it's very nice. This past weekend was a local book festival, I met several authors and had a couple of meals out with them, time to really chat books, mentors, politics, how we all loathe 50 get the picture.
    I think there is something magical about those people who create story and weave it into the books I love.

    1. Anita, I envy your one-on-one interactions. Joan and I watched Cheryl Strayed walk through the parking garage with her 'handler' and I said, "That's the job to have." There is something magical about meeting someone whose stories you've spent so much time with. If you get a chance to hear Cheryl or Elizabeth Strout, you must be sure to go.

  4. It's true: I WAS excited to hear she writes in longhand! And I loved her "three hours or three pages" idea--much less daunting than the 2K words Stephen King advocates (which is great, but I've tried and failed). That's my new mantra; we'll see how it goes.


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