Here in Charlottesville, authors are everywhere. Actors/authors/activists Alan Alda and Mike Farrell just passed through the lobby of the Omni Hotel where I'm blogging and attending sessions causing quite the fervor.
Most authors at festivals generally want to talk to people, even if their nature as writers is to be fairly introspective. Authors realize that they need to be available to their readers to sell books. It's a lot of work to travel from festival to convention to book signings. They get introduced countless times, and maybe they get used to the widely varying introductions they receive (not to mention the sometimes truly bizarre questions they receive).
Over the years, I've heard lovely introductions from people who are true fans to just horrible introductions from people who act like they would rather be doing just about anything else to condescending introductions from people who seem to believe it is they who should be getting introduced rather than the author.
Some examples (you decide which category they fit):
"One of the panelists is a former student of mine who has been obsessed with this subject since he was a small boy, and the other has published 13 books for whatever that is worth."
"Um, I'm horrible at pronunciations, so I'll probably get this wrong. In fact, I'll just let the author say her own name."
"We'll have a panel discussion and then we'll take questions from the audience, but hopefully, we'll be out of here in time for the Michigan game."
"I haven't actually read any of the author's books, but I've heard some people say that they are good."
"I'm sorry to those of you who have tried to reach me in the last few days. I have been finishing the book written by the author, and I just couldn't put it down."
What memorable introductions have you been privy to? We would especially love to hear from authors who no doubt have heard it all.