I first met Maggie Stiefvater at a reading she did in El Cerrito, CA when she was touring in support of LINGER. Maggie and I frequented a few of the same online venues and were on friendly terms, virtually speaking, but you know how it’s so often a different thing to meet someone in corporeal space? I was a bit insecure about introducing myself for that reason. I was also a bit insecure because I’m just insecure in general, as you probably know by now.
Still, we’d had more than one agreeable online exchange, so I felt emboldened to ask a question during the Q&A. She answered it, then surprised the bejesus out of me by saying “Are you MIKE?” I skillfully disguised my flabbergasted state and said “yes,” at which point she said “I thought that was you! I recognized the top half of your face.” Which isn’t as bizarre a statement as it sounds, since at the time I was in the habit of using avatar photos which only showed the top half of my face because I’m all bashful and stuff.
So yeah, it was nice to be treated like a regular person worth meeting, and not like a lowly worm wriggling in the unpublished muck by the side of the road. It’s easy for us neurotic writers to feel diminished by or envious of a planet-devouring career trajectory like the one Maggie’s on, but I don’t, mostly because I think well of her. She’s a good egg.