Have you ever met a good author you can’t forget? I have. As an avid reader, I’ve met some great authors: bestselling and award-winning authors who taught me a lot. Here’s what I learned about what it means to be a good author.
Meeting a NY Times bestselling author at the airport
Some years ago, I was on a holiday with my family in the United States. During the transit from Seattle to San Francisco, I walked around the Denver airport with my baby in a Babybjörn carrier, looking for a book to read.
Airport bookstore surprise
I stopped at a bookstore and grabbed a thick paperback with a blue cover. From the back cover’s blurb, the novel seemed intriguing; a story about a young Marine lieutenant during the Vietnam war. I picked up the book and ambled toward the counter when a man in front of me grabbed a handful of the same book.
He eagerly suggested to the bookshop owner that he could sign the paperback copies. I moved forward with my sleeping baby in tow when the man noticed me holding the same book. “I can sign that for you,” he offered, reaching for a pen in his jacket pocket.
At first, I paid for the book, then held it close to my baby, who slept in the Babybjörn, snuggled in my chest. Noticing my apprehension, he told me, “I wrote the book. There’s a picture of me in there.”
I skimmed toward the back of the novel, and wow! The same man was pictured in the author’s bio. Slowly handing the book over to him, I was in awe.
The good author
“What’s your name?” he asked as he started to scribble in my book.
I gave him my name and watched him finish signing my copy. Feeling starstruck, I thanked him for signing the book and shook his hand.
“Have a nice day,” he said.
He then turned to the bookshop owner, who had just given me my receipt, and she smiled while he signed more copies for her.
I watched him rush to his next flight, so I wondered.
Holding the dream
I returned to my husband in the lounge area, feeling spirited (while my baby still slept). Proudly holding the paperback in my hand, I squealed, “Guess what? I just met the author, and he signed my book!”
Our plane was boarding so we rushed with our hand luggage and hopped on board the plane. I gazed at the clear blue sky from my plane window. I will never forget the author’s kindness. He sparked an idea – to reignite my passion for writing. He was so humble and gracious that I bought his book.
The author was New York Times bestseller Karl Marlantes, and his book was “Matterhorn.”
My last words to the author were: thank you.
Revitalizing a dream
Years later, while visiting my home city, I caught up with a close college friend. She reminded me of our fun writing activities during our university years.
“Why don’t you write again?” she asked. “Maybe a romance novel?”
“I don’t know if I can do that,” I told her. Little did I know I was wrong. We sipped our wine and watched the ferries traveling up and down the Brisbane River.
After returning to Norway, I wrote for fun, picking up the pieces I had learned during my college years. I reignited the words and stories in my heart—my passion.
What did I learn from good authors?
Karl Marlantes and other authors I’ve met, especially through my publisher Black Velvet Seductions, have taught me the importance of kindness and being a professional author. They’ve achieved their successes (bestsellers and award winners) because of their powerful writing.
They also support people around them, including other writers. There is no diva behavior, there is only diplomacy and positivity. Being kind is a strength of a good author.
Thank you to the authors (including the SSWS authors) and readers who have shown me kindness.