Friday, September 22, 2006

A signing and a book launch that's not mine

Oh my, I have been torn about what to post here because I want to tell you to go to my book signing tonight but my friend Maura Hanrahan is also launching her book, Domino, The Eskimo Coast Disaster, at Chapter's tonight at the exact same time and I want to tell you to go to that. She has been such a great mentor/supporter for me and really encouraged me with my writing and web design. So I will tell you this: it only takes a couple of minutes to get a book signed so you actually have time to do both. If you can't swing both, and are absolutely sure you won't be by the Village Mall to get a book signed, then I highly recommend going to Chapter's, Kenmount Road, from 7-9, for the launch of Maura's book. Onto regular blogging:

I have my first signing tonight. It is at Coles bookstore in the Village Mall from 7-9. Other writers and people in the publishing biz seem to look at me sadly when they know I have a signing, as if it will be a very hard experience. I think that is because a book signing, especially for a first-time, unknown writer, can be a lonely time. I could, quite conceivably, sit there the whole two hours without signing one book. But a couple of things make me not too nervous about this first signing: First of all, I know the truth. I am aware that I may not get to sign a whole lot of books (please, dear readers, feel free to prove me wrong and shock me--wouldn't that be fun?). I know this because, as I have said before here, I am obsessed with reading, watching and learning about writers writing. I have read books and watched Book Televsion and Arts and Minds episodes where writers told in great detail about the horror of a bad reading or signing. One series (I can't remember which) had a section called Road Diaries, I believe. Famous writers told of awful readings where no one would show up. One memorable one was from a man who sat through two hours at a bookstore without signing a book and then, as he was packing away his pen, someone breathlessly ran through the door of the bookstore, asked him if he was "author's name" and when the author replied that he was, the person said, "thank God, I drove for hours to get you to sign my book". Feeling thrilled by this, the author took out his pen and asked the man his name. "author's name", he said. "That is why I drove all the way here. I have the same name as you. Isn't that cool?"

I have also read the book Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame, a must-have for any new writer embarking on the journey of readings and signing events. In this book, writers from Margaret Atwood to Roddy Doyle tell stories that would make you cringe, stories of readings to an audience of one or less, signings where no one showed up, and horrible interviews gone wrong.

The second reason I am not too scared about this first signing is that I have the benefit of having done four public readings, a book launch and two radio interviews before this signing so, after the terror of those things, sitting at a desk with a pen in my hand and a smile on my face doesn't seem so scary. Even if I don't get to sign books, hopefully I will meet some nice people and get to talk to them. We shall see, we shall see.

2 Comments:

At 12:52 PM, Blogger TrudyJ said...

Good luck tonight!!

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Helmut said...

How nice of you.

And good luck. I'm sure you won't be lonely.

 

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