I have a new passion: going to hear authors speak and then greeting them with a line that is potentially embarrassing–usually for me, sometimes for them. Call it an unplanned pick-up line of sorts.
Two weeks ago, I posted about hearing Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the author of the heart-wrenching memoir I Shall Not Hate, speak. While he was signing my book, I greeted him in Arabic. Now the Arabic greeting is (or seems) much longer then the hi-how-are-you-I’m-fine one in English. The trouble is, now that I’ve been out of the Middle East for over a decade, I don’t remember all of it. Somewhere in my conversation with the Gaza doctor, I lost the plot. So I said, “Sorry, I’ve exhausted my Arabic.” He was gracious, even more so when I thanked him in his native language.
Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of hearing Canadian bestselling authors, Elizabeth Hay and Miriam Toews, read from their latest works. Toews is from my home province of Manitoba, so when the readings were done, I walked down to the stage and said, “I used to haul grain to Altona” (a town near where she grew up). It was a good icebreaker and we proceeded to chat until an organizer escorted her to the book signing mid-sentence.
On Saturday, I had the good fortune of meeting and having lunch with Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans, a Canadian political satire which has won two prestigious awards: The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canada Reads contest. When I was introduced to him, I said, “I read your book. I love the s*x scene, the one that you describe in parliamentary language. It was absolutely hilarious!” He too was a gentleman.
Now it’s your turn:
What author would you love to meet, and what memorable line might you open the conversation with? In other words, what would your author pick-up line be?