A fun thread over at I Love Books about coming face-to-face with authors. The most interesting one:
Richard Powers was at the University of Illinois when I was there (he might still be down there, not sure) and he subbed in for a couple of my creative writing classes one year, and came to speak to a film class I was taking that dealt with artificial intelligence- talked about Galatea 2.1, and kept grinning about being a character in his own book. Completely normal, down to earth guy, friendly, etc., but obviously smarter than anyone you’ve ever met. I had to read one of my stories for the creative class at one point, and the thing was just horrible. I couldn’t even read the story out loud for the class, it was so bad; I had a friend read it for me. And Powers was great- very generous, and somehow acknowledged the fact that the story “needed work” without being condescending or making me feel bad about it.