So, I haven’t done this in a while but today, probably as you read this, I will be attending a book signing HERE. These kind of events leave me with a pungent compost heap of emotions to sift through, which is probably why I haven’t done one in a while. With everything that’s being going on (the events chronicled in the Down Days ebook) I think I’ve just been avoiding them like the plague, to be honest.
On one hand, I love doing signings. It’s one of the best parts about being an author (the books are OVER HERE, if you fancy a look) and I get a real kick out of being able to not only talk to new readers and sign their books for them, but to talk to people who have already read them and to get face-to-face feedback. While Amazon reviews are greatly appreciated, there’s nothing like getting all up in someone’s grille.
Then there’s that other hand. I kind of dread these events. Over the last five/six years since Greaveburn was released (which seems like five minutes and a lifetime, simultaneously) I’ve attended more signings, conventions and exhibits than I could shake a stick at. Luckily, very few have coincided with a Down Day. But, there’s always that possibility and it has happened once or twice.
The fear of never knowing when a Down Day will come is especially heightened on the run up to days like today. I’m not generally a socially anxious person. I feel very lucky to say that. But what if I’m down? What if it’s one of those days where I can’t stand to be around people and everything grates on every nerve ending? I have a certain professionalism that I like to try and employ at signings and, even though I know it’s probably really stupid, that leads to me never sitting down behind my stall, and always engaging at the most tip-top level of awesome for absolutely every person who comes to my table. It’s exhausting. Especially on those days when I have been down already. Because then it’s extra effort, extra draining, to hide what’s really going on inside. The poor readers don’t come to these events to be bummed out by the depressive behind the books, they come to chat to an author who is expected to be articulate and friendly. I bloody struggle to be articulate on good days.
The other thing is that I have to get up on stage at this event. I’m sure you can imagine what it must be like to do a reading of your book on a Down Day, well this time I’ll be putting on a giant fake head and playing a computer game while kids shout instructions at me from across the room. That sounds like fun doesn’t it?
Fuck no, it doesn’t! But I said I’d do it, because I’m an idiot. And so the anxiety begins to rise already. My heart is in my throat just thinking about it. But, in true Me-style, they’ll probably never know because if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s hiding it. Am I right?
So, tomorrow morning I’ll get togged up, put my box of books and posters, tablecloth and everything else in my car, and set out for Eastrington. Hopefully I’ll sell some books, but that remains to be seen. I might just see some of you there. If you are out that way and decide to pop in, please do come say hello. I’d really like to meet you.
Thanks for reading.