They’re going to be glad it was a free event.
They’re going to laugh but it’s going to be that nervous, awkward, “I am so embarrassed for her” kind of laughing.
I have nothing interesting to say, which would be fine, except that I am holding an event for the very purpose of saying uninteresting things into a microphone.
It is a bad book. It is a very bad book. Not that I think the people who said it was a good book are liars. I just don’t believe them.
I am working on a proposal to give a talk on Impostor Syndrome which Dan says ironic because it sounds like I have it, which would be funny, except I really am an Impostor.
I could have earned myself a Gold in the Negative Self-Talk Olympics, were there any such thing.
When I scheduled my reading of There’s No Room For Fear in a Burley Trailer at the Boulder Book Store, it seemed like a fantastic idea. That was six weeks out. A few days out, it had all the appeal of a root canal.
With less than a week before the event, I had to decide what I was going to read at the event. I read parts of the book once again. When I wrote them, I thought they were brilliant. When I read them three months, ago, on the printed page for the first time, I thought they were fabulous. Days before the reading, however, I felt sick to my stomach as I thumbed through the pages, trying to find a few stories that I could read without sounding like a self-important buffoon.
The day of the reading, the Daily Camera published a blurb about it on page 2. I was both elated and terrified when I saw it.
It would have been one thing if my publisher had told me, “We scheduled this reading. You have to be there. Try and be upbeat and sell some books.”
But I am my publisher and I scheduled it myself.
In the days leading up to the event, I annoyed everyone I talk to on a regular basis as well as people that I don’t, with the issues I’d invented for myself. To their credit, they indulged me. Dan reminded me of all the people who said the book was good, unprompted. My sister listened to me and told me I was crazy and sent me lots of nice, encouraging text messages with tons of emojis. My writing friends said being nervous was normal. My regular friends told me everything I wanted them to say when I called them to whine. Sweet Pea proved once again that she hears everything and understands more of it than I think when she climbed onto my lap and said, apropos of nothing, “Mom, I think you’re an expert.”
The reading was scheduled for 7:30. At 6:58 I walked into the book store by myself while Dan parked the car and wondered how I would make myself say the words, “Hi. I’m here for the book reading. I’m the author.”
But I did. And the book store lady didn’t laugh at me and I didn’t die. She shook my hand, told me her name was Teresa, showed me where to put my jacket and my purse, and gave me a choice between sitting at a table or standing at a podium.
By 7:30 the room was about three quarters full. At some point I looked up and there were people everywhere. Later, my dad said he counted 47 people. Forty seven people listened to me for thirty minutes and lots of them had questions (interesting questions!) to ask afterward. And I enjoyed it. Actually, I loved it. People said it was fantastic and fun and funny and it wasn’t because they felt bad for me or because they were my friends or because they have a bunch of the same DNA as me or Dan. Even Teresa said it was great, which she did not have to do.
I can’t tell you exactly how or why all my jitters and doubts disappeared once I stood behind the podium. I’ll give magic the credit for that.
You have to let magic take over once in a while, or else fear would be in charge and that would be way too boring.
6 thoughts on “No Room For Fear at a Bookstore”
I’m so glad you wrote about it! I’ve been wanting to hear details. So exciting, really!
Ah! I’m glad to hear that the reading went well, Pam! I was thinking of you on Thursday evening. I hope you felt my good vibes. Congratulations on what I hope is the first of many opportunities for you to share your work and wisdom with a live audience!
Thank you, Elena!! It was a blast.
I’m just gonna keep hiding among all these talented writers and hope no one points out I don’t belong. (I have it, too.) I’m behind, but I at least know that huge congratulations are due to you. Bravo!
Thank you so much, Carisa!!! PS YOU BELONG!!!