I went to a release signing on Tuesday for two members of the illustrious Team Seattle--Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson (mazel tov, ladies!) Now, those two know how to party...there were cheese fries and onion rings at the post-signing dinner.
It got me thinking about author celebrity, though, and how different (and in a good way) it is from other kinds of celebrity/notoriety. When you're an author you're intimately available to your fans in a way that actors and singers really aren't, because your fans pretty much know what you're thinking via your books. There are real dialogues between author and reader that can lead to new projects being formulated organically.
Authors are also much more exposed, emotionally, than other kinds of celebrity...we don't (often) get nude photos snapped by paparazzi but every time our books hit the shelves we suffer the complete exposure of the most naked starlet as we fret and wonder if our sales will justify our further creativity and sweat and hair-pulling over manuscripts.
I really like having readers. I like talking to them, I like hearing about how they felt about my books, I like meeting them unless they're crazy (or that one guy who tried to trip me up with science questions at my very first signing.) I enjoy being so intimate with the "public"--the people on the other end of the artist/consumer equation. I understand that it's stressful in a way that dressing up for the red carpet isn't, and vice versa, but it's also far more fulfilling. For me, anyway.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me and my tiny dog to go tanning.