An odd thing has happened since I got published; I’ve begun noticing how people use the word ‘fan’. The word bothers me just slightly, but for odd reasons. I don’t hesitate in calling myself a ‘fan’ of someone else’s work. In that context, the word–to me–simply means that I enjoy that author or filmmaker. I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett, for instance.
Yet I always hesitate to refer to those who read my books as my “fans”. I’m not sure why, but when the word refers people who read MY work, it feels wrong. Presumptuous. While I think the word in general has outgrown its root of fanatic, meaning something far more broad and less crazy, when I talk about my own readers, I have trouble NOT remembering the original meaning. And that taints the word. I don’t want to imply that my readers are fanatic about my stories, as…well…they’re just stories. Good ones, I hope, but there are a lot more important things in life.
I wonder why I make the distinction that way. Is it because I am still unaccustomed to having gotten published, and therefore subconsciously don’t think I deserve the presumed elevation that having “fans” would entitle? Is it just my general peacemaker nature not wanting to risk offending someone? I’m not sure, honestly.
Anyway, those of you out there–fans, readers, or whatever you prefer to be called–who live in the Utah area might want to be reminded of my signing today. 2:00 at the Orem Barnes and Noble!
(And for the rest of you, don’t worry–my regular touring season is in the fall, and I generally hit both costs of the US with perhaps a stop or two in the middle. These local signings come from events that I’m invited to or the like, but I WILL be getting to other areas out there eventually. Look for me in Atlanta and Denver this August, for instance, in conjunction with Dragon*Con and Worldcon respectively.)