Thursday, June 7, 2007

Even MORE Fangirl Squees!! (In which QB has her say!!)

I just need to let loose with a real quick *Fangirl Squee*

I intended to go buy Laurell Hamilton's new book, The Harlequin, but since I had already read the ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) TWICE, I figured I'd wait until I was done with my end-of-month-crunch work. But a friend told me this morning that Laurell mentions me in the Acknowledgements!! *Fangirl Squee* So off to Waldens I went and yep, there I am! *Fangirl Squee*

It's funny, back when I won that ebay auction to have my name used in the book, I expected nothing more than my very own personal thrill of being some part of Anita's world. My family was bewildered as they stood by and watched me truly shaking as the auction ended. They didn't understand it, but they were thrilled FOR me, because they knew how important it was to me. This was months before I ever even lurked on LKH's board and later joined it. In fact, it was months after joining that I even let anyone there know who I was. And I've continued to keep it fairly low key, but I eventually DID hope that some of the other LKH fans would share in the thrill with me, and I only prefaced my review on the board with the auction details to explain how I obtained an ARC.

And some of them do understand how thrilled I am and are thrilled FOR me, but of course, there are the nasty ones who've let their claws come out because it wasn't THEM or because they need to feel more important in their sad little lives. Of course these are the same people at both extremes of the LKH fandom- the ones who's only thrill in life is to denigrate LKH's books, her and her family personally (usually using facts pulled out of their asses), and anyone who enjoys her books. And the ones at the other extreme- the ones who've befriended and/or sucked up/off Laurell's joke of a bodyguard in hopes of becoming Laurell's BFF. I wonder how long it will be before someone truly wacko, instead of just pathetic, figures out that sucking up/off the skanky bodyguard allows them free access to Laurell at public events?

So, since this is MY blog, I'm going to have my say. First of all, yes, the auction WAS for a good chunk of change for the Granite City APA (animal shelter), they were going to close because of the state of their water holding tank and this money allowed them to install water and sewer lines so that they could continue their fantastic work. But I assure you that, in a year that saw the Tsunami and Katrina relief efforts, I did not contribute to animals INSTEAD of putting the money to "better" use for humans... this was in ADDITION TO what I donated to human causes. So that snark towards me and Laurell doesn't hold water. And on Laurell's end, she had to allow a little piece of Real Life to intrude into Anita's world. Since I didn't want her agonizing over offending me, I wrote her a letter and told her that I'd consider ANYTHING she did with my name to be a complete hoot- corpse, murder vic, slut puppy, whatever- I'd be thrilled no matter what!

The actual auction terms were to have my name used for a character (of Laurell's choosing) in a future ABVH book, and I would receive a signed copy of that book. That's it. And I understood those terms completely. Now, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I secretly hoped that a minor, but recurring character got my name. But soon after the auction's end, Laurell blogged that "I'd" probably be a corpse. Was I a little let down? Yep! But at RT Con 2006, she explained to me that she had talked to other authors that had some problems with winners in auctions like this. So she had been advised to make sure to kill off the winner's character because other authors had their winners hounding them and criticizing them for not giving "their" characters more "screen time" or they didn't like their placement, etc. Would I have done that? Absolutely not! But Laurell has only met me twice and doesn't know me from Adam, so how would SHE know what I'm really like?

I said above that I never expected anything more from this auction than my own personal thrill at being part of Anita's world. My name doesn't mean squat to anyone outside of my friends and family, and I don't expect it to. I guess maybe someday I might end up in a trivia question on the LKH board, but that's as close to a claim to fame as I ever intend to get.

But I did get MUCH more from the auction. First of all, I've had the opportunity to meet Laurell and her husband Jon twice. Unfortunately, the night before RT Con, Darla Cook (LKH's PA and right hand) fell at home and wasn't able to attend. So, while I have corresponded with Darla a few times, I've yet to meet her- and I was sooo hoping I could learn from observing her legendary organizational skills (she's my hero)! Although, I have to admit that, thanks to Darla's mishap, I was able to help out at that Saturday's booksigning. I considered that honor and all the fun I had talking to other LKH fans to be more than thanks enough for what little I did, but then Jon (a self admitted sci-fi/comic geek), created The Order of the Penguin- with cool medals and proclamations and everything!! Those of us that helped out at the con, and the mods from the board have been inducted into it. Okay, yeah, I know, it's sorta geeky, but it just tickles me pink. Unfortunately, some people view it as some secret, conspiratorial "troo fan" society. They just don't believe that not much ever happens in the "exclusive" Penguin section of the board. Hell, some of us can't even stand some of the others!

Laurell is a fascinating woman. I've mentioned before that I could sit and happily be mesmerized for hours listening to her talk. Her husband, Jon, has never met a stranger. And it's weird, but before meeting them, they were Laurell Hamilton and, oh, she has a husband, Jon. But within minutes of meeting them, they become LaurellandJon. It's impossible to think of one without the other. I've talked to other fans that say they had exactly that same reaction to them. Laurell and Jon seem to always be aware of where the other is and what they're doing/saying, like they are touchstones for each other. Jon is very gregarious yet you sense his protectiveness towards Laurell. You can sense Laurell's fierce intelligence burning through, yet at the same time, she seems ethereal and that brought out my own mama hen protectiveness towards her. And they really seem to appreciate their fans. Months after meeting them at Rt Con, I happened to be in Las Vegas at the same time she was doing a Danse Macabre signing there. Even though they'd met hundreds (thousands?) of fans during the book tour, they immediately recognized me- even called on me for the first question of the evening! And I hear from other fans, that it's typical of Laurell and Jon to remember people from signing to signing. That just boggles my mind that they care enough to do that.

Now, lest I continue to be lumped in with the pathetic bodyguard suck-ups, let me just say that, even though I just wrote all that lovefest, I have never had delusions of being Laurell's pal or part of the "inner circle". I could never be so presumptuous that I felt her knowing my name gave me the right to intrude in her life! I'm a fan of her work. I admire and like Laurell, Darla, and Jon personally, from what little I know of them. I hope to someday meet them again. Period. So trust me when I say that I consider it an infuriating insult when someone sees no difference between me and that group of no-life Eddie Haskell hanger-ons.

I've also received far more tangible benefits from the auction. I assumed I would be receiving just the hard cover release of that future ABVH book. A couple months ago, I received an email from Darla asking me if I wanted my ARC personalized. I had no idea I was even in The Harlequin AND it never occurred to me that I would be ARCworthy! And now, Laurell has placed me in the Acknowledgements! Reader Heaven, I tell ya, Reader Heaven!!

But, let me tell you a secret that neither Laurell or Anita are aware of. In The Harlequin, instead of being sucked dry by one of the nummy male vamps in Anita's world, Laurell has me killed by a female vamp. But here's what REALLY happens-

That female vamp used her vamp mojo on me so I switched teams before she killed me. But I died with a big ol' smile on my face!! Three days later I arose as a newly made baby vamp and am happily living at the Circus right now. Of course, my unlife would be far more fun if my master, Jean Claude, would let me have a little sip of that swoonworthy Ulfric, or the nummy Nimar-Raj, or even that bad boy new Rex! Of course, he WAS nice enough to give me gainful employment. I'm now the wardrobe mistress at Guilty Pleasures where it's my job to make sure I personally fit and adjust each of my boy's stripper costumes. Hey, it's tough work, but someone's got to do it!

Wh-a-a-a-at??!! No, I said before that I was born without a creative writing gene- I NEVER said I was born without a FANTASY gene!!!


Ann(ie) said...

That's really cool. Congrats!

QB said...

Thank you!! (she says while still doing her fangirl happy dance)

Rhian / Crowwoman said...

QB baby - that is so freaking cool for you!!! Congrats and when i get the book i'll have to special mark the passage and acknowledgement.
smooches, hugs and all the mushy stuff that rightly belongs in this special moment!

okay - backing off slowly now - i'm getting too mushy for even me to handle.

QB said...

Nah! I luvs me some mushy stuff. Annie has reformed me! LOL!!

(grabs Rhian and makes her join in the fangirl happy dance)