Going Fan Girl at WFC

Do you know who this is? It's Elizabeth Moon, award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. I've loved her books for decades. Remnant Population captivated me, and of course there's The Speed of Dark, which won the Nebula award. I was able to have this picture snapped recently at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio, where I reminded her of the first time we'd met.

It was back in the late 1990's, and I attended a sci-fi conference down in Provo, Utah. Elizabeth was a guest of honor, and in her keynote address she talked about the inspiration for her novel, Remnant Population. (Learning to communicate with her autistic son.)The conference drew to a close, and I heard her telling someone that she had a very early flight the next morning, and was afraid she would miss it because the drive to the airport was long, and she didn't have a car. Since I lived in Salt Lake at the time, not far from the airport, I said, "I have a guest room. You're welcome to stay the night with me and I'll take you to the airport in the morning." I was thrilled when she said yes. I sneaked off to call my husband and say, "Quick! Change the sheets in the guest room and make sure there's no junk piled in there!"

On the long drive to my house she asked me what I wrote, and I bemoaned the fact that I'd had a ton of stories rejected, but couldn't manage to publish anything. She asked, "How old are you?"

"Thirty-seven," I told her.

She smiled. "You're young still. You don't have anything to write about yet. Wait a while. It'll happen."

Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I thanked her, hosted her for the night, and took her to the airport the next morning.

When I met her in San Antonio recently -- twenty years later --, I reminded her of that conversation. And then I told her, "I sold my first novel when I was 45, and my 32nd just came out a few months ago. So you were right!"

She was tickled, and we chatted a bit about books and writing and so on. Of course I was thrilled to have my picture taken with THE Elizabeth Moon, and am sure I looked like an adoring fan. But that's okay.