I attended one of Jim Butcher's signings yesterday, twas a bit of a drive, but well worth it. I love meeting other authors, and he's incredibly friendly/likeable/geeky. So, fantastic. Not only was it great as a fan, but it was also an interesting experience for me as an author.
Jim was very charismatic and sociable, he handled the crowd very well and answered questions easily. Sure, he's seasoned, but I hope I'd have an eighth of his cool in a similar situation, with even a fraction of the folks that showed up (and it was a lot). Sine and I lucked out by getting there early enough that we had seats in the front, (having seats at all was luck) and book-signing tickets close to the front so we could get home at a reasonable hour, as Sine dear had to work today.
I think it's important for authors to go to events like this, especially inexperienced ones, so that they can see ways of handling that sort of situation. You don't have to be a social animal as an author, but you do have to be social. The day of the hermit writer seems to be passing. Fans want to know who we are, what we do and why we do those things. It's important that we present ourselves as honestly as possible.
Sure, as a debut author and relative unknown, any bit of fame/recognition can go to my head, but I hope to stay grounded. Seeing how pessimistically optimistic I am, I'm not too worried.
Any who, it was lots of fun, and incredibly worth the drive. That, and Ghost Story (finished it today) was Amazing (capitalization intended). Jim was kind enough to sign the book for Missouri! which could be taken (per his words) as a dedication or a civil war battle cry.