Monday, February 25, 2008
The Best Thing About Book Signings
I don't make a big secret of the fact that I don't love book signings. I have a pathological fear of being rejected. That's a very old wound, and I often wonder when it will ever heal. It crops up at the darndest times, like when I am preparing for a signing.
I think I'll sit there alone with a stack of books nobody wants because nobody wants to see me. I know. It's a little silly. Maybe a lot silly, but I ache with anxiety every single time.
But I can't say my signings haven't been a blessing. A sold books, and connected with readers. I think the best thing about book signings however, is the grace that God gives you just because He loves you so much.
I prayed that somebody--anybody!--would come. God answered my prayer. When I arrived at the Big Noble, to find a big poster of me on the window--horrifying--they'd set up chairs for me to do a reading. It was a little early and no one was sitting there, so I hung my coat over the chair and hoped that somebody would come in to sit in that chair.
A woman I met, of all places, on Shelfari was the first to arrive. Then came my spiritual director and her mom. My friend's mothers oddly love me. And I love them RIGHT BACK! Next was my bff and partner on the spiritual journey, my fabulous artist/mystic friend Gina. She had flowers. That's the kind of God chick she is. My neighbors came, and my babies. A lot of people I loved. That gave me plenty of confidence to read in a freakin' major book store!
So, I told a few stories, and read. I LOVE to read aloud. I do it to my friends and my real life sister Carly all the time. This would be a first at a signing for me, but honestly, it made all the difference. The audience laughed in all the right places, and when I was done said I should do the audio version. In my dreams, lovies. Truthfully, if you've ever met me face to face, I'm a big ham when you get me telling stories. My friend Terry is notorious for getting me started in a crowd. And speaking of crowd, lots of people in the store had gathered round. Apparently I make quite a spectacle of myself. I got to be Bell for real. We had a blast!
Anyway, after I read two chapters I told a few more stories and mid-sentence I stopped. I looked up and my bestest friend, Evette was in standing in back of the crowd. Evette lives in South Bend, Indiana. She never let on that she was coming. In fact, that goof made me think the opposite. It was one of the best surprises I've ever had. So this was one grace-filled evening, full of love, laughter, new connections, and dare I say friendships. God was good to me.
The publicist called the store the following day and they said they loved having me. A few employees bought books, too!
And here's my big cheap thrill. MY BOOK WAS ON THE SHELF AT THE BIG NOBLE!!!!!!!!
Lovies, it's been a long time since I've seen Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man on the shelves. it was a journey, full of twists and dark alleys, but I emerged on the other side and am happy to say Bell Brown lives!
When my book was canceled in 2006, what I grieved most is that I thought I left my great-grandmother down, who I'd named Amanda Bell Brown the character after. But like Maya Angelou said, "Like dust we rise."
Look at this, lovies! Right there above the Ted Dekker BLOCKBUSTERS! God is so kind.
And look at this. It's even better! So many people I love are in this piccha. Can you see how happy I am? Can you see that fine man, standing behind me. That's my "Jazz". He makes so much of what I do easy on me.
Thanks for thinking of this ragamuffin, lovies. You all are the best.