I had an interesting experience a couple of weeks ago. I encountered my first – and more than likely my last – awestruck fan. He was twelve. Which is especially interesting given that my target audience is women over eighteen. After this recent experience I may need to rethink that.
I had been invited to attend a backyard barbeque – as the guest of honour, no less. A man I had met at church a couple of times decided to buy up a bunch of copies of The Watcher, and give one to every neighbour on his street. He and his wife then invited them to a barbeque to “meet the author.” In this relaxed and informal setting, I spoke for a few minutes on my writing and spiritual journeys (not necessarily two different things) and read a chapter of my book, then we did a little Q and A.
It was a great experience and a lot of fun, made a lot more fun by the twelve-year-old boy that came in with a copy of my book, which he was half-done reading at the time, tucked under his arm, and a look of wide-eyed wonder on his face. His parents said he was a voracious reader and had been dying to meet a real live author in person. Seriously, I kept looking around for someone famous, or at least more worthy of such adulation, but it turned out he really was excited about meeting me.
He had some great questions too, including that most-often asked, and much dreaded one, “where do you get your ideas from?” I really didn’t know what to tell him. I mean, I honestly believe that my stories come from God, that creative source outside of and unspeakably greater than myself. Other than that, no idea.
I have often been frustrated at the fact that the question stymies me every time. Until I started reading Stephen King’s book On Writing this week. One of the first things he talks about is how he and a bunch of other writers, including Dave Barry, Robert Fulgham and Barbara Kingsolver, formed a band in the early ’90’s. They loved to hang out together because, as Mr. King put it, “we are writers, and we never ask one another where we get our ideas; we know we don’t know.”
Whew. I may not be the biggest fan of the genre Stephen King typically writes in, but I really do think the man is a genius, so if I can at least attain the same level as him at something in life, even if it is stymieness, I guess I won’t complain.
And I think I was able to give enough answers to other questions to satisfy every member of my fan club, so that was good. (Okay, there is only one member of my fan club. And he’s twelve. But still …)
Press on, my friends. Press on,