Okay, if there was any doubt over whether or not I can ‘stay cool’ like Ponyboy, the answer is no. I cannot. This was proven at the recent RWA conference in Denver, Colorado. So how does one know if they are a legit fan girl? I’ve narrowed it down to help you recognize the symptoms and signs. There is no cure for this, by the way. You simply have to learn to live with it and hope the subject of your fascination has their nod and smile down pat. Below are the signs I began to display, sometimes without warning, at a conference full of some of the best romance writers in the business. Have a read and see how many of the signs you have.
- You follow a well-known writer onto an elevator. Yup. I was that cool. She said, “I need to get on this elevator.” I heard: “You should totally follow me on there and continue with your awkward sentence.”
- Run into same author three more times before you manage a coherent mini conversation.
- Stand in front of several authors and tell them who they are. Because, obviously Brenda Novak doesn’t KNOW she’s Brenda Novak. Don’t worry guys, I told her. .
- When given the opportunity to stand next to Kristen Higgins in the librarian/book blogger room, be sure to announce that you are only standing there so you can stand beside her.
- Freak out enough when you see Robin Beilman that you don’t just hug her an inappropriate amount of times, focus only on her, forgetting to acknowledge the other totally cool authors standing beside her.
- Speaking of introductions, don’t introduce the people you’re with to anyone. I had this symptom on repeat, guys. I couldn’t talk to people AND introduce others. Fortunately, Christina Hovland was a pro at smoothing over my bad manners.
- Cry. Yeah. This is a wicked sign of fan girling. But because I’m extra awesome, I burst into tears in front of an agent because she’d been so kind to my daughter who is a teen writer. Two saving graces here: my daughter was not with me at the time and Sara Megibow is an absolutely wonderful person.
- Talk too much. I’ve got two speeds when I’m nervous: silent and motor mouth.
- Don’t give anyone your full name. I made myself seem pretty cool when I forgot to include my last name on my name tag. So while others were easy to recognize at a glance of their tags, I remained through the conference: Jody. Just Jody as Marie Harte would say.
- Walk by people because you’re positive it can’t be them. But of course, it is/was them so you just look like a snob.
How many of those symptoms do you have? Be honest! It may not seem like it because I spent a good portion of my time foolishly fan girling, but I had a pretty amazing time. One of the biggest and best highlights, however, was getting to know Christina and Dylann. I so wish that Renee could have joined us and hope that at some point in the not so distant future, the four of us can all be in the same room.
It was overwhelming, inspiring, daunting, incredible, and thrilling. I met people I’d followed on Twitter or Facebook for years and they were as awesome in person as they are online. I came home with an entire sports bag full of books and most of them are signed. I have more swag than I could have imagined. I laughed, cried, chatted, and connected with so many people and though I’m not sure that I’ll get to next year’s in New York, it was an awesome time.