On March 14th I had my first book signing event ever. I was scared stiff to read four small pages of my first book, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES. Me, facing a large audience? Ack!
Between my anxiety over this event, and the stress of having a new release out only three days before (LAWFULLY YOURS), sleep was no more obtainable than a pipe dream. Instead, I stared at my clock with its ugly red numbers staring right back at me – 4:30 AM. Only a two-by-four dropped over my head would have knocked me out.
Without any construction materials around to assist me, my mind raced all night, faster than a sprinter on steroids. Would I stumble over my words? Look back to see blank stares? Mumble so softly people would scream “What did you say?” Or worse, actually hear what I said, and still yell out the same thing.
Worse still, the fog and rain in Connecticut that night belonged to a scary movie. London, England would have been proud. I wondered who would be determined enough to come out on a night like that.
With the exception of the ominous weather, it was crazy for me to be nervous. After all, I am a lawyer. Though I handle only contracts now, I do have several jury trials under my belt. During these trials I never stammered once, nor did I feel my knees knock. So why was I so worried I couldn’t read four little pages of fiction? Because for once, the words would be personal to me.
This time my book was on trial. How would I be judged? Like a defendant, I found out that waiting for verdict is very daunting.
Signing the books at my event was stressful for me, too. I am not used to having anyone line up to speak with me – I’m not a sports star. I’m also not used to anyone asking for my autograph – I’m not a Hollywood celebrity. There is a large part of me that wanted to ask, “Umm, you really want me to sign this? Are you sure?”
I remember when I was around ten years old. Judy Blume was having a book signing in New York City. I waited on line for hours to see her. When it was finally my turn, I held up my copy of “Superfudge” and said: “I’ll never be as great a writer as you. But I want to be.” Judy Blume, bless her heart for dealing with an intimidated, star-struck kid assured me I could become an author if I wanted to be. (One day I hope to see her so I can tell her “thanks.”)
It was surreal for me to now be the one on line people were waiting to talk to. To sign my name with an authority I don’t yet feel. To read as if I was trying a case in court, my voice confident and strong.
What events have intimidated you? How did you get through it?
PART II of My First Book Signing Experience Friday (4/10/15)
Thank you, Chameleon Haircolor Cafe and Spa, North Haven, CT, for hosting me!
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES: http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Everglades-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00NFSMCYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410289138&sr=8-1&keywords=desire+in+the+everglades.