Here’s a recap of Conestoga and meeting Jeaniene for the first time from our wonderful moderator, Erin:
I first saw Jeaniene Friday evening in the bar, sitting at a table and eating with several Fangs, Fur, & Fey authors. I didn’t want to interrupt her supper, so I looked around for some other fans or anyone I could talk to. The problem was, I was early for the social hour and no one else had arrived yet. So my options were to sit at a table by myself (boring), go back to my hotel room (cowardly), or approach the table of authors (terrifying). Finally I decided to introduce myself to Jeaniene…and I had no idea what would happen after that.
So I walked up to the table and said something extremely witty and original: “Hi.” Everyone turned to look at me, and Jeaniene (I recognized her from her photos online) returned the “Hi.” Then I said, “I’m Erin.” Jeaniene’s face lit up, and she seemed happy to see me, so that made me feel less nervous. She stood up and gave me a big hug, which made me feel even better. We started chatting about my late arrival to Tulsa, etc, and then all of a sudden she noticed the FFF fan-shirt I was wearing. “Oh my gosh!” she gasped, and she promptly pulled me to the FFF table and said, “Look at her shirt!”
All the FFF authors were really nice about it, and they wanted to take a picture of the shirt. I was the only one with a camera though, so Patrice Michelle used my camera to take a picture of me and Jeaniene. I’d like to say I was very cool and suave during this whole process, but I was actually flustered and surprised and trying really hard not to blush. Jeaniene was great about putting me at ease though. After the picture, we sat on a couch and talked for quite awhile. I felt bad for interrupting her supper with the other authors, but she brushed it off like it was no big deal. We talked about the convention and her panels and more. I wish I could remember everything she said, but I was so overwhelmed by the chance to actually talk to her that my memory retention was greatly reduced.
Soon after that, more fans/readers/watchers began to show up at the bar. Several people came to talk to Jeaniene, like Brian, Rhonda, Strohs, Emily, and others whose names I can’t remember. Jeaniene talked to all of them and was so nice and sweet. After awhile she had to go straighten out a problem with her hotel room, but she returned later to visit some more. I know she was tired by that point, but she graciously signed books and took pictures with all the Frostfans members present. At one point she was discussing Bones’ hair color with a semi-circle of fans hanging on her every word. It was great fun!
Saturday everyone was busy with panels, so we didn’t have much time to socialize. Jeaniene had to leave Sunday morning, so I made a point of seeing her one last time Saturday night. She signed my books and my shirt and told me how glad she was to have met me. Then she gave me another hug and said she hoped to meet me again.
I already knew how awesome Jeaniene was just by seeing her interact with people on her blog and her fansite. But seeing her in person raised my opinion of her even more. She was SO generous and friendly to everyone she talked to. Yet she was also very professional, and I loved listening to her panels. She’s even prettier in real life than she is in pictures, with a fabulous smile and a contagious laugh. I can’t express how amazing it was to meet her and talk to her. If you ever get a chance to see Jeaniene in person, I highly recommend it!