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Not a Glitch in Our Stars

Outside the BEA with free pizza.  Looks like I ate the whole pizza!

Outside the BEA with free pizza. Looks like I ate the whole pizza!

Yesterday while perusing the Journal Sentinel I found an article on John Green, author of the phenomenally popular YA novel The Fault in Our Stars, that included a description of the reception he received at the Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City last week.

Evidently, when Green showed up for his autograph slot, he was greeted by hundreds of screaming fans, as delirious for his attention and giddy with excitement as they would be for One Dimension or Beyonce.

Well, I was at the BEA last week too. And we had some similar authorial experiences, John Green and I.  I too had screaming fans, well, I had one screaming fan. That was my wife. And she was screaming all right. “Wipe that pizza sauce off your face, now!  My god!  You can’t go in there looking like that!”  Having a fan so concerned is unique and very endearing, not to mention motivating.

The thing with being an author of an immensely popular book is that this clamoring for your attention by fans doesn’t stop.  My fan for example was screaming at me the night before too!  This time we were heading out to a couple Indie book awards banquets in NYC.  She was screaming for my attention: “Are you really wearing that shirt! That’s it?  You didn’t bring a tie!”  Now how many authors get that kind of fan support?

The attention is almost overwhelming.  Fans of John Green probably want to touch him too, maybe even get a lock of his hair or something.  I totally empathize.  My fan can’t get a lock of my hair because I don’t have any, but she did scream out in delirium (or horror, I’m not sure which), “My god!  I could braid those eyebrows! You want me to braid those eyebrows?  Jesus, Mr. Author, look at your ears!  Are those spider webs in there!”

It is really wonderful to be so close to your fans.  I’m sure that not one of John’s fans felt so at ease with him that he or she could suggest that he trim his ear and nose hair.

You see, guys like John Green don’t get all the attention.  Oh yeah, sure, he had a time slotted at the BEA for autographing and a stage all to himself.  Okay. That’s just slightly more than I had.  I only paid to get in the door, went in as an Educator (because it was cheaper than to go in as an author, plus, I am one when not being besieged with attention from my fan), and went around to all the industry booths telling people I was on break from my own booth and in the meantime, I have a book I’m promoting. Now, that is some industry recognition.

As for the books themselves, sure John Green’s is moving and touching and heart wrenching and being made into what will undoubtedly be a blockbuster movie, but my book, Badlands, which also has been hailed as a Young Adult phenom (runner up for Young Adult literature in the Midwest Independent Publisher Book Awards) has all kinds of wholesome drug use and mild swearing of all types. And it also has some great lines about stars.

So there you have it.  Two fine books.  One which received incredible attention and has become an industry in itself, called The Fault in our Stars, and the other, Badlands, with the undying support of the best fan, who will keep the author’s eyebrow and ear hair under control—and the pizza sauce off his face!




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