Reading my guest-blogger's review of Mistborn the other day reminded me of the first time that I met the Mistborn author, Brandon Sanderson. It was about five years ago at a potluck mingle with a number of other children's authors. I believe this was actually before Mistborn came out and it was before Brandon had reached best-seller status, as well as before he had been pegged to finish Robert Jordan's best-selling Wheel of Time series.
I had no idea who Brandon was and he certainly had no idea who I was, but we started talking. I mentioned that I wrote picture books, but that I had also written some yet to be published middle grade and YA novels. When he found out that some of my novels were in the fantasy genre, he began to give me all sorts of advice and encouragement. He gave me some great insights into the fantasy market. He told me what editors at different publishing houses liked and what they were looking for. The whole time I was wondering how does this guy know all of this stuff? Who is this guy? But the thing that impressed me most was how genuinely nice and friendly he was. What a rare trait that is.
I doubt Brandon remembers that encounter (or me), but his kindness had a great impression on me. Since then I've seen Brandon at book signings and a number of different conferences. Even though he's reached superstar status in the book world, from what I can tell he's still as genuinely kind and helpful as ever.
What a wonderful world this would be if everyone sought to develop that art of simply being kind to not only the people we know and like, but kind to complete strangers as well.