If your favorite author was walking down the road, would you recognize him or her? I’m not sure I would. Maybe Stephen King, but even then I doubt I’d be sure enough to walk up to him and ask. So, a great many authors are household names, on the NYT Best Seller list, etc. but most of us have no idea what they look like. You don’t see them in tabloid magazines (for the most part), nor do they really come up on those celebrity gossip shows like TMZ. So are they really celebrities? I certainly think so. It’s just a different kind of celebrity. A quiet kind.
To me, authors are my rock stars. To talk with them on Twitter and whatnot gives me that fan girl kind of thrill, but personally, I’m not a crazed obsessed kind of fan over anyone; author, actor, musician, etc. I think the internet, with Twitter and message boards and author webpages, etc., lets the readers and fans get to better know their favorite authors. They get to interact with them and learn some of the more mundane things that people seem to want to know about celebrities: favorite colors, what kind of music they like, if they’re married with families, etc. Who knows what will come of it. I have seen some fan obsession on different forums already (aren’t we all glad panties can’t be thrown at us through the internet? ^_^).
Maybe sometime soon, well known authors will be getting more recognition in the streets. I’m a pretty private person, but I have to admit that I would definitely get some kind of thrill from being recognized in the mall by a random fan. I would never want it to become some crushing mob of screaming fans though (and I don’t really foresee that happening for authors), nor do I want someone standing outside my house snapping pictures of me haul out garbage in my pjs. That’s just scary folks and not in any way news worthy.
One thing I noticed lately that could be keeping authors from finding celebrity (besides those that are self publishing and not editing first…) is that e-books seem to lack a picture of the author! There might be the little blurb about who they are and what their background is, but there’s no accompanying image anymore. While I kind of hate pictures of myself, I decided I’m still going to add one with my book bios. Maybe some super fan will memorize my mug and corner me on the street for an autograph someday! I think I’d like that.