West Virginia Book Festival

A word on meeting fans, from Charlaine Harris

I’ve learned over the past several years at the Book Festival that big-name authors have different attitudes when it comes to signing books for hundreds of fans at a time. Some of them really get into it and enjoy interacting with their readers. (Diana Gabaldon comes to mind; every one of the fans in the book-signing line after her session in 2010 seemed to come away with a smile on his or her — mostly her — face.)

Other authors, not so much. It’s not that they don’t want to meet people who love their books; it’s just that they’ve obviously done this dozens of times before, and it’s part of the job.

Time will tell (in just more than a week) where this year’s authors fall on that spectrum. But I’m optimistic about Charlaine Harris. Here’s what she told Charleston Gazette reporter/editor Kathryn Gregory a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s wonderful to see people who like to read in this day and age. It’s harder and harder to muster that up,” Harris said of seeing throngs of people show up for her various book-signing appearances across the globe.

“They are there because they love books, they love to buy books and they like writers,” Harris said. “That is always the most amazing part.”

Harris said it’s not uncommon to have three generations of a family in a signing line.

“They are talking to each other about issues raised in the books or actions or what they want to happen with the characters,” Harris said. “It’s great to think that my books are providing a way for families to communicate.”

You can read the rest of Kathryn’s interview with Charlaine Harris in this Sunday’s Gazette-Mail. (And please, if you’re looking to get a book signed by Harris, make sure you know how things are going to work. She may enjoy talking with fans, but she’s on a tight schedule.)