Friday, November 12, 2010

Meeting Characters in Real Life

My name is Liz Johnson. And I'm addicted to books. And stories in general. Pretty much the written word in form.
Like me, I bet most of you love disappearing into the an imagined world, filled with characters that become as real as your best friends. But what happens when those imagined characters pop up in real life?

The first time I saw a character in real life, I was on the treadmill at the YMCA. I think it should be noted that I wasn't moving very fast when I looked to the treadmill next to me and saw Morris, the 12-year-old boy from Allison Pittman's Stealing Home. The speed of the belt had nothing to do with me nearly falling flat on face. I was staring at exactly the face that I'd imagined in the spirited, baseball-loving boy from Missouri.

That was very cool. But I couldn't help but hope to come face to face with one of my own characters some day. But my chances of meeting the likes of Debra Messing (Kenzie Thorn from my first book) aren't good. Even living in Nashville. So I was resigned to never getting to meet one of my heroes or heroines.

Until this week.

This week I met Brandon Heath, who in my mind was always the face of Nate Andersen, the hero of Vanishing Act. I met him at a concert at the Bluebird, a little tiny venue in Nashville, and he was so gracious, listening to my story of how he came to the real-life counterpart of my FBI hero. I left him with a signed copy of the book. And then he signed my book back to me.

I'm still walking on cloud nine.

It was beyond cool to meet Brandon--like looking into the face of a page of my book. Have you ever seen someone who could be a character in the book you're reading or writing?


Ramona Richards said...

Liz, that's just too cool! (And I love The Bluebird; just don't get to go enough). I've never met any of my heroes, although I met a kid at The Listening Room yesterday that I want to put in a book. Too sweet!

Liz Johnson said...

Thanks, Ramona! :) I bet that kid is a cutie! I'd love to put one of my nieces or nephews in one of my books, but that's a little too close to home. :)