On The Bench

Stumbling across a famous person and the fangirl moment.

Let’s face it, we’ve all had that fan girl or fan boy moment. Who is the famous person (literary figure or other) that you were excited to finally meet in person, and how did it go for you?
  • Terry Ambrose:

    I’ve never really met a hugely famous author ‘in person’. I have interviewed several of them over the phone (pre-Zoom days). In all of those cases, the author was friendly and open.

  • Nancy J. Cohen:

    I can’t say I’ve met anyone awesomely famous who’s wowed me. The closest would be Star Trek cast members at a science fiction convention years ago. That was a thrill. In those days, you didn’t have to pay for autographed photos. The stars gave them out to fans for free.

  • Debra H. Goldstein:

    As a cozy reader, I idolized Carolyn Hart. In 2013, when as a new writer I attended Malice Domestic, Carolyn was the Amelia honoree. On the first night at the hotel, I got into an elevator that already had a passenger –Carolyn. The elevator and the pitch of my voice rose as I squeaked out, “Ms. Hart, I love your books.” She thanked me. I bobbed my head. The elevator stopped. She said, “I think this is your floor.” I almost fell tripping over my own feet backing out of the elevator. A later exchange at the SinC breakfast and hearing her give a shout-out for a new author during her Amelia interview, she humanized. At the end of the conference, when we were again in an elevator, only this time packed, I called her by name while saying good-bye.

  • Cheryl Hollon:

    My favorite fan-girl moment was meeting Peter Lovesey in the lobby of The Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas, at Bouchercon 2019. His Sergeant Cribb mysteries were a mainstay for me when I discovered them in high school. He was kind and gracious and posed for a selfie. I was over the moon.

  • Diane A.S. Stuckart:

    I’ve managed not to stumble across many so-called famous people in my lifetime, though as a kid I was thrilled to get Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller’s autograph at an event in Dallas. As an adult just starting out writing historical romance, I was excited to meet the brilliant Roberta Gellis at a Romance Writers of America conference one year. Somehow, thanks to a friend, I even ended up at the same table with her at dinner. She was a very kind and classy person in addition to being a fabulous author. 

  • Maggie Toussaint:

    As an adult reader with two little ones, I didn’t have time to try out new-to-me authors. If a book wasn’t in the checkout line, I didn’t have a chance of seeing it. For my first conference, the Washington Romance Writers retreat, we had a book discussion on Absolutely, Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz. From that point on, I’ve read every book she’s written and gone back to read her earlier books as well. At one RWA conference, I went to a panel where she was speaking, and I got a front row seat. It was so thrilling to sit so close. Then when it was over, I popped up out of my seat and asked her to sign my conference bag. I still have The Bag!

  • Lois Winston

    I discovered decades ago that a person’s public persona is often nothing like the person is in real life. I won’t name names, but several people I’ve really admired from afar have turned out to be incredibly unlikable individuals in person.

Have you ever brushed shoulders with a celebrity? We're eager to hear your story! Share your encounters with the famous in the comments below!


9 thoughts on “Stumbling across a famous person and the fangirl moment.

  1. I get a thrill just having a chat with someone famous online. I have met James Storm in person twice and he is lovely to his fans. He is also nice online and often starts the conversations. His wife too. I recently had surgery and they sent me a card and an autographed picture. So sweet of them. I’ve been a fan of his since I was in the 6th grade.

    1. I have not met anyone famous. I was thanked for a comment/joke I made during a virtual book club with Charlie Donlea. That was fun – to make an author whose books I love so much laugh.

  2. I was at an event in Manhattan a few years ago with Dru. I had just finished talked to an author at her table and was turning to my right to let the next person speak to this author. I bumped into a rather tall woman and when I looked up into the face of Sheila Connolly at which point she looked down at me and asked. Can I get a HUG? My gasted was definitely flabbered. Shortly after that she returned to her home in Ireland and we know that rest.

  3. I haven’t met anyone famous. But, I have met some very special people in my life that I would consider honored to have met.

  4. As at now, I haven’t met anyone famous yet..In most authors’ book signing events, the venues chosen often time are far away from my place, and I just don’t have such honor to meet the authors in person.

  5. My fangirl moment happened at Malice as well. I happened to be alone in a hotel hallway, when walking toward me is none other than Louse Penny. (I gushed harder than a Texas oil well) My first book was coming out, and I was so proud of my cover, babbling away, showing her my book. She couldn’t have been lovelier!

  6. I have had a few encounters with famous people that have been memorable. I was working at a Book and Paper Show in Houston and lo and behold, Larry McMurtry was there with his own tables full of books from his bookstore in Texas. He was very nice. I bought a book from which he signed (there went my wages for working that day). Another dealer had a first edition copy of Lonesome Dove. I could not buy it as it was over $100+ (I would have now). Larry went over and bought it, signed it and put it on his table for four times the amount. A favorite was meeting Jimmy Stewart at a book signing in Dallas and having my photo taken with him. Another was going to a Night with Gene Kelly at SMU with a very limited audience. They showed film clips and then he sat and answered questions. Afterwards, he went in the lobby and each one of us got to sit down at his table and talk to him a bit and he held my hand. I told him my father managed theatres in my hometown growing up. Went backstage at the play “Love Letters” in Dallas at the Majestic with Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers. I got to talk to him and have my photo taken with his arm around me. I went backstage at a Kris Kristoffersen concert and got my photo taken with him and told him that I was also born in Brownsville, Texas. There are more, but I have taken too much time up. The most interesting was seeing Peter O’Toole and his aide waiting at DFW to get his own luggage. I was picking up my husband and he said go inside and see who is there. So, I did.

  7. I consider authors to be rockstars and have met a couple. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend a book con one day and do some major fangirling. LOL

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