Across the room, you see the author from whom you buy every book the moment it hits pre-order. Your hands get sweaty. The room gets warmer. At twenty yards, you're blushing. At ten, you're having the pre-conversation in your head. At five, three people step in front of you and grab the author's attention first. No, no; it's good, it's good. You replay the script you've been practicing and remind yourself not to mumble You check your breath. Oh, hell, it smells like gym feet. Mints. Mints, you brought mints just in case. Where'd that little tin go. Pocket? Bag? No other pock--
You're face to face with the author. There's no one in between you now. The author smiles at you. All that witty banter you'd practiced ~poof~. There is nothing but a thousand and one memes of the slow blink rolling through your head. You start to smile back...but the bad breath. Better keep your lips together. You don't want to accidentally breathe on the author and cause them to faint. You're vaguely aware that your smile feels more like a grimace. This is not going the way you'd imagined.
You could bolt. Pretend like this never happened. But this author, this author has written words that have made you cheer, laugh, cry. They've given you book boyfriends and reasons to buy new shelves. You've missed train stops and coffee dates to finish just one more chapter.
Don't run. Forget about the mints and the grimace and the sweaty palms.
I'm a fan.
My favorite book is...because
My favorite character is...because
My favorite moment is when...because
I'm excited to read the next book.
That, right there, is how you break the ice with an author. That is how you make their day.