Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Confessions of a Stalker Fan Girl

  In the last few years, I’ve been fortunate to meet many famous authors, and no matter how much I’ve enjoyed their work I’ve never had a problem speaking to them. They’re only people, after all. But that all changed when I read HOT HEAD by Damon Suede.
    Suddenly, I became Stalker Fan Girl.

How this happened.

    My totally irrational condition began several years ago when Mr. Suede entered the manuscript in a contest of which I was one of the preliminary judges. I was fortunate to get to read the first twenty-five pages of HOT HEAD before it was published. Those few pages simply blew me away.
    I told everyone I knew that this book would be something special then eagerly awaited the day it would be available to the public. I had no idea who the author was (that’s the way contests work), so armed with only the title (hoping it wouldn’t be changed), I stalked Amazon (praying some intelligent editor would see what I saw and buy the manuscript.)
    Then…one day the heavens opened and there it was. The book I had waited nearly a year to read. 
    I bought it. 
    I read it.
    I became Stalker Fan Girl.

The manifestation of Stalker tendencies.

    I am so in awe of his talent that I couldn’t muster the nerve to introduce myself earlier this year when I attended a conference he was speaking at. I was afraid, coming face-to-face with my idol, I wouldn’t be able to force words past my lips. So, I worshiped from afar. Until last week.
    The entire story is too long to write about here, so I’ll cut to the chase, or the stalking, as the case may be.
    Sitting next to the fabulous Jade Lee during the eBookExpo/Booksigning, we watched fan after fan approach the super-awesome Damon Suede who was three rows over, directly in front of us. Knowing Jade and Damon are friends, I mentioned my reluctance to meet the man. Well, that was like waving a green flag in front of Jade. She sprung into action, dragging me out of my seat and across the crowded room. There I stood, mouth agape, staring like a crazed stalker at Damon while Jade introduced us.

At last, we meet.

    “I’ve heard about you,” Damon said, suspicion in his voice. (This is the part of the story I skipped over earlier. Clearly my stalker status preceded me).
    I hastened to explain. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I mentioned the contest, that I had asked the contest coordinator to forward my contact information to the author…. Yes, I gushed, I rambled, I babbled.
    I said the magic words (I guess), and suddenly, he understood!
    Long story short—he remembered the comments I made on his contest entry, and no, he never received my message.
    “That was you?” he asked.
    “That was me,” I squeaked, relief flooding through me. I had poured so much of myself into critiquing those few pages, not to mention gushing and bowing to genius when it was warranted. And he remembered!

Giving credit where credit is due.

     I don’t begin to believe I had any part in the success of HOT HEAD. The manuscript was beyond special when I first saw it, and the completed book, spectacular. Every author has help, critique partners, editors, and beta readers who influence the final version of their book, but first there must be talent and a unique voice.
    Damon Suede has talent and a unique voice.
    I want to write like Damon Suede when I grow up.
    I’m still a bit intimidated by Damon’s talent, but I’m no longer intimidated by the man himself. He was nothing but gracious and understanding with his Stalker Fan Girl, and just in case he sees this post—I’m going to slink quietly back into stalkerdom now so it's safe to go out in public. :-)

The evidence.

    Thanks to Jade Lee, there is a photographic record of my initial meeting with Damon. 

    Yeah, that’s the face of a totally besotted stalker. J

Your chance to confess.

Who brings out the stalker in you? Each comment below will enter you to win an awesome package of SWAG from authors who attended the RT Booklovers Convention last week in Kansas City. I'll even part with some Damon Suede SWAG!

And here’s the review I posted  on Goodreads and Amazon last year.

    We all know where we were on the morning of September 11th, 2001 when the world as we know it altered beyond comprehension. I was three thousand miles away, watching the live news coverage, horrified as the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. Less than a year earlier, I sat on a bench in the plaza at WTC with my youngest daughter, eating hot dogs from a street vendor and marveling at the energy vibrating through the air.
    Two months post 9/11 I was back in the city, this time with my oldest daughter. By then, much work had been done at the WTC site, but no amount of debris clearing could erase the overwhelming sense of sadness that had settled over the city. Healing had begun, but the wound was still raw, and far from being scabbed over. We visited the site to pay our respects to those who’d lost their lives there, and where once I had been moved by the energy of commerce surrounding me, I felt as if a black hole had opened up and swallowed everything good that had once occupied the space.
    Hot Heads takes place ten years post 9/11, but Griff Muir, a New York City firefighter, is still dealing with the emotional trauma of that day. Through Griff’s eyes, we experience the horror of the event, and the day-to-day struggle to deal with the emotional upheaval so many brave first responders went through.
    It’s human nature, following a tragic event, to reassess what’s important in our lives. Brave enough to risk his life amid collapsing skyscrapers, Griff struggles with a personal truth that threatens to bring down everything he holds dear, and he’d rather run into a burning building than admit he’s in love with Dante, his best friend and a fellow firefighter.
    Griff can only stand by and watch as Dante digs himself deeper and deeper into financial trouble. When Dante finally admits he needs Griff’s help, the solution he’s come up with is Griff’s private dream and a public nightmare that might destroy them both if Griff can’t find a way out.
    Extremely well written, the emotions will tug at your heart, and you’ll want to keep a fire extinguisher handy because the sex scenes are guaranteed to light your fire.
    Damon Suede takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster and reminds us that bravery and heroism aren’t allocated according to sexual orientation, and that sometimes, loving might be the bravest thing of all.
    I was simply blown away by this book. I give it 5 Stars


  1. I know another author who also has talent and a unique voice. And I'm not saying that because I was privileged enough to get to read some of her works before they were ever published. Or because I have known her for over 30 yrs. Or because I have claimed the #1 Fan spot of her writings.
    It is because she has a individual style and imagination beyond your wildest dreams. And her stories are vivid, vibrant, and sexy and keep you enthralled to the next page.
    That author's name is Roz Lee....

    1. Ahh!!! That's why I love you so much! Thanks so much, Karen. Watch your mail. Something awesome is coming your way.

  2. I am totally in awe of many authors. To be able to put down on paper words that just draw the reader into the story and hand on to them just amazes me. I did this same stalker girl thing with Kiernan Kelly. Loved her Riding Heartbreak Road.

    1. Whew! I'm so glad I'm not the only one out there!! Thanks for stopping by, Chris.

  3. Roz, I think any writer would be happy to have you as their stalker! I don't want to take your swag, but I'll admit to having my own stalker-ish moments at the SoCalRWA conference meeting Jill Shalvis. :)

    1. I'm pretty sure Damon thought I was a nut case! LOL I could perhaps stalk Jill, too. Good choice, Samanthe!

  4. I was once in a bookstore in Brentwood and Neil Simon walked in. I almost collapsed on the floor. I snuck over to my boyfriend and pointed him out and we both went into we are not worthy worshipful poses -- and then we preceded to follow him around the store. He wasn't there for a book signing. He was just browsing before a movie -- just like us -- and every time he left an area where he'd been looking at a pile of books -- we'd scamper over and look at the title hoping that it held the secrets to being Neil Simon. Didn't happen. We never approached him or told him that we knew who he was. It was more delicious that way. Author crushes are so fabulous!

    1. OMG I can just see you lurking in the stacks! :-) All the time I lived in SoCal, and I never once saw a star of any kind! I think I just wasn't really looking for them because they were everywhere, even in our little valley. But then, I didn't get out much, either. It's hard to be star stalker when you've got your nose pressed to a computer screen!

  5. What a great FanGirl story, Roz! As an author, I'm sure he was thrilled by your enthusiastic support of his talent. I know I would be!!


    1. I can only hope, Leigh! Hey, I'm a big fan of your writing, too. Some of the first erotic romance I ever read was yours, and might I say how inspiring it was? LOL

  6. I remember that review, Roz, and I almost bought Hot Head back then but my TBR pile was too high at the time. So now I'm going to buy and read it. Thanks for sharing your fan girl moment - love the joy on your face in those pics :)

    1. You won't regret it, Jenn. Awesome, awesome book.

  7. With your recommendation, and the cover - hot firefighter, what's not to love? I have added Hot Head to my sickening long Kindle queue. Thanks a lot, Roz [somewhat sarcastically].

    Love your fangirlishness.

    1. I know you will enjoy it, Beverly! Thanks for stopping by, and glad I could help with your reading selections!

  8. Can we clone you Roz so every struggling author has a thousand fan girls like you? Such a precious moment and great description of your mixed emotions in meeting someone you so admire.

    My fan girl moment happened at Vromen's Bookstore. Diana Gabaldon of the Outlander Series fame was there. I had my picture taken with gracious her and listened to her every word like a thirsty sponge. It is amazing the impact words can have on our souls.

    Thanks for sharing this new-to-me author. :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Christine! I don't know about the thousand fan girls like me. I'm pretty sure he was wondering who was going to save him for at least the first thirty seconds or so! LOL

      I can totally understand your fan girl moment for Diana Gabaldon. I could be in that fan club, too!

  9. Damon Suede is eminently stalkworthy. Hot Head is one of my favorite books, so funny, sweet, and also, hot! I think I'll use your techniques to be a better stalker of Jordan Castillo Price. I need to step my game up!

    1. Glad I could be of help! We stalkers need to stick together!