How I became a fangirl

via Telegraph.co.uk

This is my own little social media FTW story.

I’m rather partial to books.  I collect them.  All over the house, it appears.  Mostly, I don’t remember authors.  Of course, if I fnd an author I like, I read everything they have ever written. Preferably in order, if I can manage it. And if I find something I like, I share.  With my coven, my bookclub, my friends…and now with Twitter.

Standard bibliophile behaviour, I think.

Earlier this year I tweeted that I’d just found a cracking book; Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World.  To my astonishment, Nick Harkaway replied to say ta.

I think I shrieked like a girl.  The author.  Of that book.  Replied to *me*.

I promptly stalked him on every known social networking channel and he was gracious enough to reciprocate.  That alone impressed me enormously.  I cranked the fangirl recommendations up a notch, told the story whenever I did, and left a lot of people with a brain hook with Nick’s book hanging off it.

I thought that was the end of it.

Fast forward a couple of months.  I was sitting in Athens airport with a *very* long wait for my next flight.   Bored and frustrated, I was frootling around on the interwebs, poking people with sticks, hoping they’d play with me.  I sent Mr Harkaway a tweet implying that if I had his next book, I would have something which which to occupy myself .

And then a little personal magic happened.  Nick replied asking me choose five words at random and he’d see what he could do.  I gave him handbag, carrot, daisy, flagellation and hairnet.  For the next 4 hours he live tweeted and blogged a writing process to turn five words into a starter piece for a story.

The results, in three posts, are here…

I think it’s safe to say I was completely blown away.

The point of this little Twitter tale?  I will read every book Nick Harkaway ever writes.  Even if they are shite.  I will tell every book reader (and then some) to read The Gone-Away World.  (Which is, incidentally, very, very good).  I will be a Harkaway fan for life.

The fact that he’s a fan of our own Lauren Beukes is just a bonus.

This is the power of the social age.

This moment when acknowledgement and connection turns an ordinary and largely commercial relationship into something more.  That moment of warm fuzziness when a muggins like me feels like a contributor and co-conspirator to something more than just bond repayments.  Feels special.   Its the holy grail.

Marketing theory calls this the ‘surprise and delight’ factor.  And there are millions of every day moments on the social web to delight people.  Millions of opportunities to create connection.

My final thought on the matter?  Read Nick Harkaway’s book.  It’s freakin’ awesome.

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5 Responses to “How I became a fangirl”


  1. 1 Sue in the City August 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Amazon order placed. Any man who takes the time (and initiative) to ‘tweet-play’ has me clicking my ‘Like’ button!

    Thanks for the heads up, Katey-pie! (Love your blog)

  2. 2 katewolters August 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I *KNOW*. Although the poor guy was a bit surprised at my fluffy bouncy glee. I think he thought I might turn into one of *those* stalkers. Fine line between fangirl and stalkfiend.

  3. 3 Micatyro March 26, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Love books almost as much as you, but obviously not quite as much – i.e. the ‘read in order’ part. Quite a few years back I got seriously into Iain Banks (sans M) and started in the middle somewhere, then timelined backwards and forwards at random… Now I have been birthday Kindled, and have KindleJoy! So, immediately going to check if Mr Harkaway’s book is downloadable and will fetch!


  1. 1 Bumbling along | Nosh4Noah Trackback on October 27, 2010 at 11:07 am
  2. 2 A case for leaping about « Trackback on January 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

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