Last night I enjoyed an evening out with fellow writers. We attended a reading from The Sun Magazine; The Mysterious Life Of The Heart. As with everything in my life, I looked at this as a learning experience. How long have these people been writing, what triggered them to be writers, and what do they make of their success. While many of my questions were not answered I found I learned more about myself then them.
At the end of the reading we were able to talk and have the authors sign our books. Now I know some of you are probably waiting for me to talk about the reading. I enjoyed it, but its not what became the leaning experience for me.
Genie Zeiger, who resides in Western Massachusetts, was among one of the authors. She was soft spoken and I believe could see my hesitation. I don't do large groups well; actually my palms are sweating right now from thinking about this! Genie and I talked along with the three other writers I had arrived with. But through our conversations I realized that many times I danced around the fact that I wasn't just a writer but now a published novelist. Something, I regret, I never told her.
Next we moved on to the author named, Sparrow. He was a shorter man with the mad scientist/crazy writer/overly eccentric look that had me instantly in love. He asked what I would like him to write in my book and I was at a loss. This is what Sparrow write with his left hand.(He's right handed but last night he wanted to write with his left).
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup bees Wax
1 tsp. cardoman.
He said its a recipe to nothing and that he wouldn't suggest trying it. LOL
Leaving my company with Sparrow, I move outside the room. There sitting in a folding chair is author, Krista Bremer. After listening to her I know that she's married to a man from Libya, she has children, and was raised by California surfers.
Krista told me how she wanted to write a book about her memoirs and that she was working on her proposal. I rolled my eyes and asked if she started swearing at it yet. Anyone who has written a proposal knows its a love/hate relationship. I preceded to tell her how I agonized over mine for months. Is this the right word? Should this be a semi-colon? What the heck is a semi-colon used for, anyway? I explained that I'm a contemporary romance writer for Lyrical Press and I saw Krista's welcoming expression turn to shock. Here I was looking up to her for being published and she was looking at me as if I was the one to be marveled. I've never been so happy/flattered/uncomfortable all at the same time. Yes, uncomfortable. This is all new to me. The wallflower blooming into the center piece of a glorious garden. Heck, I don't even like my picture taken!
So, this is what I learned last night:
-Before an author can start doing book signings of any kind, you need to think about what advice and encouragement you would give to other aspiring authors.
-Not all your readers will know what they want you to say to them when signing the book. Always have a few things in mind.
-Not only will an author always look up to another author, but someday you might be the author someone is looking up too. Be gracious, be understanding, and be yourself. Someone might be learning from your example.