TTT: Starstruck Author Groupie

Earlier this year, at the Cape Town Book Fair, I met Robin Malan. Malan is a South African author and editor and one of my idols. He edited most of the English Alives in which I have published, and he was co-editor of Yes, I am! Writing by South African Gay Men

So anways, I admire him and I was at the the stall of Junkets Publishers (which he owns) when I saw him. In the flesh. And, so excited that I didn’t realise I was nervous, I  said hi and started gushing about his work and English Alive. When the poor man finally got a word in sideways he smiled and asked, “So what is your name?” Mortifying. Who speaks to an author (or anyone for that matter) without introducing themselves? Oops.

Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl recently wrote about being star struck as well. And this week, The Broke and the Bookish asks about those bookish people we would like to meet. I’ve chosen to restrict this list to people who are alive.

1. Robin Malan – again. Properly this time. And I want to introduce him to my high school English teacher and debating coach, who is as much of a fan. I want to talk about poetry and South Africa and society and everything. It would be lovely.

2. John Boyne – he is best known for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but I most loved The House of Special Purpose. I don’t know much about him, but it sounds like we have a mutual love of history.

3. Rosamund Kendal – she commented on my review of her book, The Angina Monologues. Score! And she’s a South African female doctor who seems to care about more than simply being a clinician.

4. Athol Fugard – he wrote the play that influenced my life most, and because of that I visited the Owl House in Niew Bethesda in Grade 11 which again influenced my life. He spoke at my university last year and I was so upset at not being able to attend and meet him. Hospital duty interfered.

5. Quentin Blake – together with Roald Dahl, he shaped my childhood reading. It would have been ideal to meet both Blake and Dahl together – I am certain they made a formidable team.

6. John van de Ruit – I finally read the final installment of Spud, and I really want my books to be signed by the author! I have a soft spot for young John “Spud” Milton and I wish I knew what happens afterwards. Also, I could not attend the author events in Cape Town as again, hospital interfered.

7. Christine from Bookishly Boisterous – She’s a teacher who almost studied medicine. I’m a medical student who almost studied teaching. I think it could be fun meeting.

8. Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl – I want to visit the bookshop y’all! And see all the crazy/sweet/hilarious customers. And the cats! And talk books. And stuff.

9. John Green – Nerdfighters for the win, guys! He’s books are awesome, and his Vlog is awesome, and… yeah. I’d probably be all dumbstruck again so maybe meeting him at the same time as a bunch of other starstruck readers would be best.

10. Jonny Steinberg – okay yeah, I have only read one of his books, but it was an excellent book about scientific and political matter but written such that I could actually understand what was going on. I am infamously averse to scientific jargon.

There are many others I would love to put on this list – Judy Blume, Khaled Hosseini, Antjie Krog… but you know, rules are rules 😉


  1. readerbuzz says:

    Perfect header for this post! They were giving away a t-shirt at the last librarian conference with this motto, but I was too late to the show. Maybe next year!

    Here’s my Top Ten Bookish People I Want to Meet. I hope you will stop by!

    1. I saw a T-shirt like that on Pinterest, and I’m thinking I’ll just have these awesome kinds of T-shirts printed myself 😀 sounds like a cool holiday project, no?

  2. Colin says:

    Quentin Blake!! Another person I’d love to meet. His illustrations for GRIMBLE were/are the best. After seeing him draw on television (BBC’s “Jackanory” for those who remember), I became interested in any book he illustrated. His distinctive style was a magnet to me, and I probably picked up a number of books I would otherwise have passed over simply because he illustrated them. Great choice! 🙂

    1. I’ve only ever seen his Dahl and Grimble illustrations – but he was also part of the reason I picked up Grimble. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great list. I met John Green at BEA and just stood there smiling. I can’t believe I didn’t say anything.

    1. I can empathise! Great that you met him though 😀

  4. I met Neil Gaiman last year and he was absolutely wonderful! Everything I’d imagined, really.
    There’s a fair number of people on my list, and a few of them are, alas, dead.

    You probably already know, but Kalk Bay Books often has authors come in a do readings. I *just* missed Andre Brink the other day. Martinique Stilwell, Tim Cohen, and Graham Cooke will be doing things there soon..and Tim Butcher in November.

    1. No, no, I did not actually know that… but now I do! I will certainly join their mailing list. Kalk Bay is such a lovely place to visit in any case. What a bummer that you missed Andre Brink (and, apparently, so did I) – would have loved such an opportunity too!
      Thanks for visiting 🙂

  5. Feel honoured to be on your list, among such erudite company! Would love to meet you as well, so I’ll let you know next time I’m doing a book event in CT. Sounds like we have a fair amount in common…

    1. The honour would be all mine! P.S. Just found Karma Suture at the local library… guess who’s reading pre-call 😀

  6. Bloody hell, I feel properly honoured to be up there alongside such talented writers! Thank you, a case of the warm ‘n’ fuzzies are just what I need this rainy cold day… 🙂

    Oooh, now, I wonder who would be on my list? J.K. Rowling definitely – a cliche perhaps, but she seems such a genuine, warm and relatable woman. Neil Gaiman, just because he’s so funny and clever, like, ALL THE TIME. Also, his library is beautiful and I want to live there a little bit. Ummmm… maybe Joe Dunthorne, because Jen Campbell’s interview with him was hilarious and he’d probably be great pub company! Plus all my bloggy friends, of course, who make me so excited and nervous when they visit that I get all flustered and chatter away like a crazy person! 😛

    1. I like crazy people, generally. Unless they become properly psychotic, but I don’t think that getting flustered and chattery counts as psychotic 😉
      Glad I could assist in providing some warm ‘n’ fuzzies – you did introduce me to the world of bookish challenges!
      As for Rowling, I think I’d be properly intimidated if I ever met her… I always imagine her as a sort of younger version of Professor McGonagall!

    Okay. Sorry. But I can empathise/co-celebrate 😀 😀 😀

    I think I’d really like to meet JK Rowling (HP junkie heehhhh) and Derek Landy – Irish author of the series “Skuldugger Pleasant”, which are zany and insanely awesome 🙂

    Aaand hahaha I know how you feel about Ms Kendal: Mary Hoffman, author of one of my favourite fantasy series (Stravaganza, I think you would like it cos it’s different and semi-dystopian) replied to a review I gave one of the books in the series 😀 I quote: “Score!” XD

    Love reading your blog posts, I’m glad you make time for them 🙂

    1. Iknowright! x_X
      Never heard of Stravaganza, but I’ll look it up for sure. And I’ve heard a lot about Skullduggery but never got around to reading any of it.

  8. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always helpful to read articles from other writers and use something from their sites.

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