Thursday evening I rushed my husband through dinner so that I could attend a book signing at Borders Books and Music in Dearborn. I'm a firm believing in supporting my writing community. I attend book signings and writing programs whenever I can. Beverly Jenkins and Elaine Overton were signing copies of their new anthology, Rhythms of Love. I expected to pick up a book, have the ladies sign it, talk with them for a bit, and be on my way.
Well, the evening didn't work out the way I expected. At the bookstore, I turned the corner to find Beverly and Elaine entertaining an eager group of readers. Surprised, I stared at the group of twenty-five to thirty men and women. Beverly introduced me as a fellow published author. When she mentioned my name, several people in the group muttered words of recognition and compliments. Stunned, I felt pleased and proud that they knew my name and work.
Beverly suggested I grab a chair and join them. I hesitated for a moment because I felt this was their event, not mine. After some encouragement from both authors and the audience, I joined them at the author's table and field questions about the writing process and my books. Both ladies were gracious and welcoming and I had a wonderful time. For once, I was prepared and had business cards with me. I handed them out while we talked and had a chance to mention that Borders carried my books.
At one point an eleven-year-old girl spoke and told me that her mother had read my book, I Can Make You Love Me. She said that her mother went into her room and shut the door and wouldn't allow her in while she read the book. It was a cute story. I really enjoyed the whole event.
To be perfectly honest, when I left home to attend the event, I never expected to be in the spotlight. The incident made me think about how many opportunities I've let pass because I was unprepared. Sometimes, I forgot to carry my business cards or information about my books and writing. There were times that I didn't have a pencil or pen.
My recommendation to you is be prepared. Embrace the opportunities presented to you. Carry the tools of your trade with you at all times and be ready to discuss your work.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the link below.
Remember, don't be a stranger.