After months of ignoring the calendar, the time for my book signings has finally arrived. I'd managed to avoid the very idea of participating by telling myself that something would happen?my car would break down, my kids would get sick?that would keep from having to show up.
Like most people, public speaking is not my thing. The last time I spoke before a group was during a job interview when I had to present a product to show that I understood the technology. My hands shook. You could easily hear the tremor in my voice. It was not fun.
So I approached these book signings with a fair amount of trepidation. Surely they would be a disaster. But guess what? So far, it's turned out to be fun. I didn't pass out, I didn't throw up, and I realized at the end of the first night that I actually enjoyed myself. I attribute that to three things: my fellow writers, the audience, and the bookstores.
Since I'm touring with three writers from my critique group, we've known each other for years. I wasn't paired with an author I'd never met who happened to have a book out at the same time as me. When we're talking, we often pitch in with extra information about someone else's books or prompt each other to remember more details. If one of us freezes up, someone else jumps in.
And the audience for each signing has been absolutely lovely. It's such a delight to meet people who are so enthusiastic about reading in general, and reading mysteries in particular. People in the audience ask great questions and seem really interested in what we have to say. It's humbling to think people chose to come listen to a group of writers talk. They could be home on their comfy couches, watching a movie and eating ice cream (at least that's what I like to do in the evenings).
And the bookstore employees and owners have been fantastic. They've clearly held book signings before and already have everything set up and ready to go when we get there. We pretty much just have to sit down and talk, and they take care of everything else. Everyone has made us feel so welcome.
Here's a picture of one of our events:
We're not done with our tour, so if you live in the Bay Area, you can still attend a signing. I've listed the remaining stops on our tour on my home page. Without an audience, we'd just be talking to each other, which we can do any old time. We'd much rather see you there!