In which I rant about the highly embarrassing story of how I almost met Sherrilyn Kenyon
Ah December. That wonderful time of year where everyone can just lounge around, with our feet propped up in front of a crackling fire, eating delicious bonbons while an even more delicious man is right there, catering to our every desire.
Unless, of course, you’re like me. For most of December, I’ve been running around screaming, “WHERE THE HECK DID 2011 GO?!?!?! IS IT HIDING UNDER MY BED? NO, BUT MY REALLY CUTE SHIRT THAT’S BEEN MISSING FOR MOST OF 2011 IS HERE, STOLEN BY THOSE DASTARDLY DUST BUNNIES. CURSE YOU DUST BUNNIES! CURSE YOU!” The worst part is there aren’t any delicious bonbons in sight or even a delicious man.
If your life has been anything like mine (a.k.a. STRESSFUL) and you need a funny story to make you feel better about your own life, then I have a treat for you. Heck, even if you’d have a peaceful, relaxing month and you want to read a funny story then I have a treat for you too. This hilarious yet highly embarrassing story is (unfortunately) a true story that happened to me way back in March. So sit back, prop up your feet and prepare to laugh.
It was a day like any other day: the sun was shining, the birds were singing, the little kids were playing at the park and I was slaving away in the library, wanting nothing more than to go home and take a nap. Time crawled by slower than a snail stuck in the frozen tundra but I finally had only 37 minutes left before I could escape and run back to my bed.
I dragged my eyes from the clock back to my cart of books that I needed to finish shelving. It took me a couple seconds to realize that there was someone else in the aisle with me. Wearing loose, ill-fitting clothes, he was about six feet tall with a boyish face covered in freckles that didn’t match his receding hairline. (Or perhaps he’d recently shaved his head because his black hair was shorter than my fingernails.) A weird bean burrito/freshly cut grass scent wafted from him making me want to wrinkle my nose in disgust or go get a bottle of Febreze and douse him in it. I barely refrained from doing either.
Just when I was about to push my cart into another aisle and head back later, I noticed the books in his arm: books by Christine Feehan, Diana Rowland, Richelle Mead, Jaye Wells, among others. So I told him what any other book lover would have said, and that was he had awesome taste in books. That, of course, led to a conversation about amazing books and our favorite authors. (We did introduce ourselves at some point; but instead of using his real name, for this rant I’m going to call him T.J.)
I don’t remember which one of us brought up Sherrilyn Kenyon but we talked about our love for her and her books. After several lengthy minutes everything we love and didn’t love so much (me, I love EVERYTHING. T.J doesn’t like her BAD series), T.J. brought up the fact that he writes fan-fiction based off of her Dark Hunter series. I’m not a huge fan of fan-fiction (I just don’t see the point of it, really) but I politely asked about it while trying to figure out the most discreet way to look at the clock and see how much time had passed. Before I could, though, T.J. said the words that changed my life forever.
He told me how he’d been submitting his fan-fiction to publishers and that the publishers of her Dark Hunter series loved one of his stories so much that they asked him to co-write the story with Sherrilyn Kenyon herself. Okay, so I do know that you can’t send authors ideas for their stories for legal purposes. But maybe it’s different if you send the idea to the publishers? At least, that’s what I told myself milliseconds before my jaw hit the floor, with my tongue rolling out like a red carpet for any little bugs crawling around on the floor (or those cursed dust bunnies) while my eyes shot out of my head. He went on to tell me what his idea was about – it had something to do with Archeron but I don’t remember what exactly because I was too busy mentally screaming at myself, “WHY THE HECK AM I NOT LIVING HIS LIFE?!?! SURE, I DON’T LIKE FAN-FICTION BUT I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO WORK WITH SHERRILYN KENYON! AAAAAA! MY LIFE IS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS! I NEED TO START WRITING FAN-FICTION AND SUBMITTING IT TO PUBLISHERS!”
I zoned back into the conversation long enough to hear him talk about how he talked on the phone with Sherrilyn Kenyon herself while they worked out plot details. I swear, I almost fainted dead away. It was all too much on my poor little heart. The jealousy, the fact that he talked to her on the phone, the longing to live his life (but, obviously, I’d smell better than him)! Egads! But that wasn’t even the best part!
“When the book finally comes out, we’re going to have the launch here!” he said gleefully, and that’s when my heart stopped beating. Sherrilyn Kenyon…coming here. Here being the town that absolutely NONE of my favorite authors ever visit. EVER. It’s not exactly a small town (there are five colleges here), but it’s small enough that no author wants to visit – or gets sent here on tour. I personally think we need to rename this town to The Place Where None of Casey’s Favorite Authors Visit. Because that is a more appropriate name.
Getting back to my story, HOLY BANANAS! SHERRILYN KENYON HERE?!?!?! AND I NOW OFFICIALLY KNOW THE GUY WHO IS WRITING THE BOOK WITH HER WHICH MEANS I KNOW SOMEONE IMPORTANT AND THEREFORE COULD GET A “BACKSTAGE PASS” AND MEET HER ON A SLIGHTLY MORE PERSONAL LEVEL!
Before I could demand he trade lives with me, or at least, he become my new best friend in the entire world, his aunt (at least, I think it was his aunt) showed up and told him it was time to go. We said our goodbyes and I told him to come back to the library to keep me updated. Then I was alone and once again forced to do my job – although this time I was practically singing giddily.I still wanted to leave, but now I had to share my story with someone and it is against the rules to scream/yell/talk loudly in the library, so telling my co-workers was out.
Time didn’t just drag on after that, every time I looked at the clock I swore it had jumped back another 15 minutes. So it was almost another six freaking hours before I was finally free. I muttered a goodbye to my co-workers as I tried not to run out the door (there is a rule against running in the library, otherwise I would have, you know, run away). After I got in my car, though, all bets were off. It’s a good thing I wasn’t pulled over by a cop because I would have said something along the lines of, “Speed limit? What’s a speed limit? If I’m not driving faster than the speed of light then I’m going too slow!”
I made it to my parents’ house without any cops stopping me, or getting into any accidents with people who didn’t realize that I was trying to drive at the speed of light. (I mean, really. Is it so hard to move out of the way? I’m not like those other jerks on the road, I was simply trying to get to my parents’ house and share my good news with someone. Totally a good reason to speed…and curse everyone not driving at the speed of light either.)
I flew out of my car and to the front door, my feet barely touching the sidewalk, before I burst through the front door and started screaming and jumping, letting out all my excitement/jealousy. Obviously thinking that the house was being invaded and/or robbed by a screaming banshee, my mom called out, “Casey, is that you?”
Unable to speak words, I rushed into the living room and screamed some more. She got the gist of my story and was appropriately excited for me. That is, until she started asking questions any normal, sane person would have asked. Like, “How long has he been writing?” “What name does he write under?” “Does he post anything online, so you could see what else he has writing?” “Do you have a way to talk to him, apart from any chance meetings at the library?” and here’s the big one, “Are you sure he’s telling you the truth?”
Since I hadn’t been exactly sane when I talked to T.J., I knew absolutely none of the answers. Resolutely I replied to that last question with, “But why would he lie to me? He’s obviously gay, so he’s not trying to pick me up or anything like that.” To which my wise mother responded with, “Maybe he’s just a pathological liar.” I had no response for that, so I shoved the idea out of my mind and started jumping up and down and screaming joyfully again.
It just so happened that my best friend was coming over to borrow some of my books. (Mainly Dark Hunters books because I had recently introduced her to the amazingness that is Sherrilyn Kenyon.) Someone else to share my exuberance! (And not tell me he’s only a liar.) Our conversation went something like this:
- Me [practically bouncing off the wals like Flubber]: OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODGUESSWHAT!
- BFF [not really surprised by my actions]: What?!
- Me [screaming and jumping]: IMETAGUYWHOISGOINGTOWRITEABOOKWITHSERRILYNKENYON!! EEEEEEE!!!
- BFF [screaming and jumping with me]: Holy crap that is totally AWESOME!
- Me [still screaming while running around in circles and jumping up and down]: IKNOW,RIGHT?HE’SGOINGTOBEMYNEWBFFSOICANIMEETSHERRILYNKENYON!OHMYGODI’MGOINGTOMEETSHERRILYNKENYON!!!
- BFF [starting to calm down]: I totally understand. But I have to meet her too!
- Me [not calming down at all]: OFCOURSE!OHMYGODTHISISTHEBESTDAYOFMYLIFEEXCEPTNOTBECAUSETHEBESTDAYWILLBETHEDAYIACTUALLYMEETSHERRILYNKENYON!
- BFF [thinking like my mom]: Um, are you sure he was telling you the truth?
- Me [flopping onto my bed and groaning]: UGH!WHYISEVERYONETRYINGTORUIINMYHAPPINESS?
Okay, so. I’ve had a couple of other encounters with T.J. since that first epic meeting and I’ve come to the conclusion that my mom and best friend were right and he is just a BIG FAT LIAR. No, I won’t go into the details (more embarrassing stories that I’ll save for another day) but let’s just say that even though every time I’ve seen him I always thought to myself, “WHY AM I NOT LIVING HIS LIFE?!” I’m pretty sure everything he says to me is a BIG FAT LIE. SO DEPRESSING! Because now I’m not going to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon. I mean, I might meet her one day but it’s so not going to be the same because now I won’t know someone who is writing a book with her. Sigh.
But, you know, if he was telling the truth and I just spilled the beans before the offical annoucement…then oops. I am nothing if not eternally optimistic.
That’s my story. I know it’s not as good as being fed bonbons, but hopefully it made you laugh. And now, when you’re beyond stressed out then you can think back on this story and say to yourself, “Ha, I’m not as gullible as Casey. Man, my life is good!” Don’t you feel better already? You should.