Last night, I had my FIRST BOOK SIGNING EVER. EV-ER.
To say I was nervous is the understatement of the century. And, if I’d allow my BFF to describe me last night as I panicked into the phone on the drive there, well, let’s just say she’s a good friend. And, I highly suggest that you go and find a friend that says to you, “Listen. If no one shows up, you can make ANYTHING up about who actually came. You tell them Tina Fey stopped by. The mayor. Michelle Obama. Lie. Lie. Lie. And make people feel they missed the event of the century. And, I have photoshop. We can make that happen”.
Like I said: she’s good people. And she’s even better people because she promised to work photoshop magic to add Mother Theresa to my event if no one showed up. Because bad Photoshop is the BEST Photoshop
When I arrived at our local library branch, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Would there be a green room? Would I be greeted by a “handler”? Did they meet my request for only red M &Ms, Diet Dr. Pepper and the current issue of People magazine to peruse as I waited for the masses to be seated?
Uh, not quite. By kind of a lot.
When I arrived, a lovely woman at the circulation desk informed me that the basement had been cleared out and that my signing would be in the bowels of the building. Why didn’t they let me set up in the pretty parlor room on the main floor you ask? Because a group of stodgy, no joke, “we only read serious books” ladies and their book club refused to be displaced for an author with the word “Douchebag” in the title of her essay. Okey dokie. Show me the basement, bitches!
It really was the basement. And my table was in the corner.
All “Baby In The Corner” jokes aside, I set my wares up and tried to keep the panic at bay which was hard because there was no cell reception down there in case I choked on something and needed help. I couldn’t even nervous text my BFF. Which, come to think of it, was probably a good thing because she needed to focus on her Photoshop project. This was my view as I sat down there. By myself. Praying that I wouldn’t see a mouse. Please note: the curtain on the left had scary things back there. I believe that’s where Amelia Earhart’s plane actually might be….just sayin’.
Please also note that THIS is what my BFF created to make it look like the Book Signing Of The Century. It’s quite possibly the greatest achievement in Photoshop EVUUR:
As I nervously restocked my books and adjusted my perfect rows of business cards, I tried very hard not to focus on the fact that a ton of people had emailed me earlier in the day with cancellations. I just kept telling myself that mice and crickets like to be read to also and that they wouldn’t be able to tell me if my reading sucked. So, I waited. And adjusted my business cards. Four more times.
And then I heard thumping down the steps towards me.
And there was squealing. And SQUUUEEEEEing. And silly compliments. And merry making.
And that was just when my first friend got there.
People came. They actually came. And I now I have to listen to a litany of “I told you sos” from Hubby and BFF. So, here’s me, admitting THEY WERE RIGHT. Ahem.
So many familiar faces clumped down the scary dark stairs to laugh with me (and AT me, I know who you bitches are….), support me, pay me (cash only!) and listen to me stutter through a blog reading. And they admired my shoes. Because everyone knows it’s not about the writing. It’s always about the shoes. Always. Remember my mammogram?
I even had a friend show up with picket style signs with images of my book she had made from giant fly swatters. Giant dollar store fly swatters. Just in case she and Hubby needed to go stand outside and direct people (read: harass complete strangers) down to the dungeon where they could pay homage to me and my writing. When she and Hubby decided it was time to improve attendance, they DID go outside with those fly swatters. And one of Hubby’s colleagues drove by as he was picketing. I won’t hold it against his colleague for not stopping in and I give him huge credit for not hitting a tree from laughing so hard at him.
I owe Hubby big time.
And, note to any and all picketers: Dollar Tree fly swatters really do get your message to the masses.
After all was said and done, we packed up my books, business cards and piles of cash and two girlfriends and I headed out for some celebratory cocktails. Because one of them is a high performing saleswoman, she was on a mission to continue moving product. So, she brought those picket signs along with the announcement board she’d made right on into the bar with us. She propped that sign up on our table and told everyone in that bar that I was fresh off a signing. She even walked over to a table, picket sign in hand, and started doing table to table sales. Until the manager came over. And not so politely asked her to stop harassing their patrons.
That’s her, on the right, working her magic as I hid behind the other picket sign and prayed we wouldn’t be kicked out. Note: we did not try to sell a book to the gentleman on the left. But, he’s always there. So we’ll get him on the next go around.
Overall, for all the worrying, stressing, panicking and generalized self doubt, my first signing EVER was a resounding success. Not because I had thousands of people in attendance. Not because I had a handler and red M & Ms. Not because I had a limo waiting outside to whisk me to my next engagement. It was a success because being in a basement with people who love and support you with giant fly swatters means you’ve really arrived in life. And, let’s be honest: that basement is where it all started and I can’t wait to tell Jimmy Fallon all about the time a group of Grumpy Old Ladies wouldn’t give me the time of day.
And to the Grumpy Old Ladies Book Club: When I come to your book club to speak, take a number and head to the basement, bitches. That’s how I roll.
Come join me on May 6, 2015 for my I Still Just Want To Pee Alone Book Signing Event at The Memorial Library of Nazareth! And I won’t be in the basement this time!!