A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting Bettie Sharpe when she and her husband drove through Austin on their way to Dallas for a family reunion.
It is always an interesting experience meeting an author in person. I'm a huge fan of Bettie's, who writes spectacularly badass heroines before whom the likes of us lesser mortals could only cower in fearful admiration--and sometimes just plain fear. If I'd only ever read Bettie's fiction, my impression of her would be "awesome and badass." But I'd also been reading her blog, so while the awesome part remained, the badass part has been, bit by bit, revised.
Well, she arrived in a cute little minivan--which held, among other things, a darling floral parasol and a large-brimmed straw hat pretty enough for the Ascot--and brought with her a polka-dot valise. And badass-ery is deader than Caesar, after Brutus was through with him.
(His Hawtness, looking over what I was writing, said, "Bettie? Badass? But she's such a lady!") :-)
So that made me think. I'll be meeting people at RWA. RT is going to do a video interview with me in SF. And I'll be meeting even more people when I go on the Levy/Meijer authors tour. What impressions will I shatter will I show up in person?
My guess, sophistication.
I like the idea of sophistication, of being devastatingly witty, and able to charm men and women alike with my worldly charisma. You know, kinda like this woman,
She looks very, very sophisticated. She looks like she'd know what to do with a pound of Beluga caviar when she flies on a Gulfstream G550 to Davos. Not sure that she necessarily looks like an author, but if someone tells me that she is one, I'd believe it.
But I don't know that I'd buy a book from this woman.
In fact, you'd have a hard time convincing me I haven't seen that girl waiting for the school bus. She looks like she still needs to finish her trig homework before she can sneak out to meet her boyfriend.
On top of not looking very sophisticated, I'm afraid I don't sound very sophisticated either. Bettie Sharpe had this idea that I had an "expat-in-a-smoky-Parisian-cafe" voice, until she heard my voice on the phone for the first time. Then she turned to her husband and said that she'd bet I probably got whatever I wanted from people.
That was such an intriguing opinion that after she left I taped myself saying "Hi, my name is Sherry Thomas. I write historical romance." Perfectly serious, harmless words, right? When I played back the tape, I sounded like an adolescent Minnie Mouse propositioning her sugar daddy.
So...you have been warned. Partially, that is. You must still throw in some general silliness and empty-headedness and a bit of occasional lewdness. And that would finally begin to approximate what I'm like in person.
And it's like people say, don't judge a book by its author. :-)