When I was a kid, I thought meeting a real live published author would be the ultimate experience in the universe. I have met real live published authors now and even had the privelage to work with them I discovered that they’re just normal people like the rest of us. They are a lot of fun, but they aren’t these perfect, all-powerful beings who get everything right the first try. Which is very encouraging.
I discovered that my favorite thing about meeting real live published authors is hearing them read. I love to hear an author read in his or her own voice (especially if singing is involved—I still occasionally break into rendentions of “Delaware” as sung by M.T. Anderson). Then, when I pick up that author’s book, I can hear the words in his or her own voice. I could hear Kathi Appelt’s sing-song voice as I read The Underneath. When I read Strange, Sweet Song, I got chills hearing Adi Rule’s eerie pauses and lyrical tone as she read almost like a ghost story (though I have never heard her read from Strange, Sweet Song).
So if you get the chance to hear an author read his or her work, I would recommend listening. Although, a fair warning, I have heard people say it annoys them to hear someone else’s voice because they would rather hear their own inner reader. 😀