Do you prefer to meet your favorite mystery author when s/he swings through on a booksigning tour, or do you prefer to go to fan conventions, or do you prefer to make friends online or what? How do you best like to approach your favorite author?
Having just moved to in sight of the Black Stump I doubt there will be many authors on book tours around, but you never know (the wineries around here are magnificent!), and fan conventions are pretty thin on the ground even in Melbourne :)
Personally I find approaching authors fraught with complications - face to face I'm constantly in danger of sounding like a blithering idiot (especially if I've loved one of their books), but realistically - online contact is the most common for me, even before I moved to the back blocks :) :) :)
As someone who lives next to Denmark´s new nature reserve (Thy - beautiful dunes & heather but NO people around) I have never ever met any authors around. So I see communities like this and the world of blogging which is still quite new to me as great opportunities to meet readers & writers of crime fiction.
Online is the easiest, but I do go to see an author if he comes to town.
Since Dallas is so litte (a village really), I do not see writers in person much anymore. When I lived in Portland, my hubby would take me as he enjoyed driving and was much better at it than .
I meet most online. When I can I go to writer's conferences, but those are rare for me. I went to Bloody Words last year in Toronto and as always had a great time. But traveling is expensive so I'm content to meet and share stories with people online.
Now that sounds good - I've already done the blithering idiot thing in front of you, so we could just open a bottle and solve the problems of the world. But next books - be still my beating heart - do you have something in the pipeline (she says hopefully).
For me, smaller conferences or signings are the best. At the big events like Bouchercon or Malice Domestic, the big-name authors are swamped with admirers, and talking with them at length seems like an imposition. Sisters in Crime chapter events, like CrimeBake in New England, offer more opportunities. And I've heard good things about Deadly Ink in New Jersey, but the date this June conflicts with my 50th high school reunion, and I'm too masochistic to pass up the latter.
One way I like to meet authors is in my home. O.K., I know that sounds odd. But Mystery Readers has been holding At Homes (literary salons) with mystery authors for over 25 years. They're fun and relaxed and a great way for authors to make new friends, fans and readers. Over the years we've hosted both local and visiting authors such as Ken Bruen, Stuart Kaminsky, Anne Perry, Rhys Bowen, Larry Block, Val McDermid and lots of others. Upcoming At Homes this February will include Peter Robinson, Gillian Roberts, Ona Russell, Leighton Gage, and Lisa Lutz. Everyone's invited. Let me know if you're coming through the San Francisco Bay Area, and perhaps we can set something up. And, if you're a fan or reader, let me know if you'd like to come--or be on our list for announcements about upcoming At Homes.