I admit it: I love getting authors to sign their books for me. (I once breached the curtain between the coach and first class sections of an airplane to get Tom Wolfe's autograph.) I also attend readings when I can. I find these events motivating.
Last Wednesday was one of the more inspirational I've attended in a while. Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor, were reading from their just-released book, "Traveling with Pomegranates." During the reading, mother and daughter talked about the courage it takes to write. I've heard that many times, but somehow I always felt that writing--fiction, anyway--was more about narcissism than courage. But listening to Sue talk about the leap she made from nonfiction to fiction and Ann discuss her very understandable fear of trying to become a writer in the wake of her mother's huge success... well, some writers definitely are courageous. These two most definitely are.
And, yes, I got BOTH of their autographs.