Monday, October 31, 2016
Signing books is nerve wracking. Getting the name spelled correctly is one thing, thinking up something pithy and writerly (for that's the expectation) is another thing, and making sure your handwriting is perfect -- it's nerve wracking.
Figuring out my signature was the easy part.
It's nice to have had the chance, then, to sign some books in advance of any major signings, say at a book launch or at a bookstore. I'm getting some practice in and so far, haven't flubbed. But it's a bit like using my debit card at a store -- I can't talk while I'm poking away at the debit machine so I certainly can't talk and sign a book at the same time.
It's all part of this learning experience; for years, I've read everything I can about publishing and book tours but we know it's a completely different experience to actually do it. So I pay close attention at every book event I attend and every author interview. I look like I'm hanging of the author's every word -- but not for the reason everyone else is.
For Hallowe'en today, author Ami McKay appeared on CTV's national morning show to talk about her latest book, The Witches of New York. I put off starting all work so I could watch that interview, and there I was, leaning forward, volume high, to see how she does it. No stammering! No "ums"! She knew the answer to every question and even had a lovely anecdote about meeting a witch on a plane. Ami McKay was flawless.
Now it's time for me to start practicing for interviews and to find a couple of clever anecdotes. I wonder if there is some of witch's brew that could turn me into a flawless off-the-cuff speaker? Something that will keep my brain from freezing up when I'm asked the warm-up question, "So, where did the idea for your book come from?"