I've been thinking about this a little bit since some comments cropped up on a book review for someone I follow - it's all about the subject of readers and writers interacting in what we might call 'the real world' (i.e. not online but face to face!).
I couldn't help thinking about an encounter I had with a moderately well-known author last year. I had the good fortune to be able go to WorldCon last August; for anyone not into SFF, WorldCon is an annual science fiction and fantasy convention, and it's held in a different place each year - in 2014 it was in London, this year it is in Spokane, Washington. Since it was in London, a mere 2 hour train journey away, and also because I knew other people who were going, I decided I couldn't miss it.
As you can imagine, there were a lot of SFF authors there, ranging from the insanely famous (George RR Martin) through to folks who only devotees of SFF would know by name, let alone sight. Through the organised signings and also via the magic of bumping into folks after panels, I had some lovely conversations with various writers whose books I have enjoyed and hope they found my few stammering words which were mostly variations on 'I love your books!' less embarrassing than I did afterwards.
However, one evening after a panel, I'd adjourned to the bar when one particular author plonked himself down next to me, since it was quite busy and there weren't many seats available. I'd literally just come from a panel he had been on, so I knew who he was and (to my horror) I'd realised he was someone whose books I didn't like very much. Anyway, he introduced himself and I spent the next 45 minutes or so ensuring that everytime the conversation might head in the direction of his books, I sent it off on a different tangent. I wonder if he ever realised what I was doing? I don't think I was all that subtle, in hindsight.
Thinking about author-reader interaction has raised its head with me again, as this weekend I'm off to a one-day event locally and guess who one of the guests of honour is? Nope, not him, but someone about whose series of books I recently wrote a quite scathing review - once again, I plan to scurry in the opposite direction if I see her coming and am also avoiding the panel she is due to be on. There's no way I'm repeating last year's performance, especially completely sober!
Anyone else got a horror story (or even something positive) they want to share?