It was a lot harder for Lewis and Clark. All I do is jump in my car and drive over the mountains. I'll be doing that tomorrow for a booksigning at the Hastings in Great Falls, Montana. It's not always an easy drive--the pass is often icy and there's always the possiblity of running into a deer. But the 3 hour drive is the simple part.
The hard part for me is appearing in public. First, my usual writer uniform--sweat pants--is not considered appropriate. I'll have to find something decent to wear. Once I'm in the store, the challenge really begins. Like most writers I am shy. I like people, but I'd rather be able to edit, delete and re-word what I say. I can't rely on my mouth and tongue to come up with words spontaneously. Not with strangers around. But there is no point driving 3 hours each way to sit and read a book (I have seen authors doing just that at signings).
So I have my tools. Bookmarks to hand out. A prize to give away and plenty of chocolate. These are my ice breakers. They give me something to say and something to hold so that I can fight that urge to duck under the table when someone looks my way. A little coffee for courage helps too. Fortunately this Hastings has a nice cafe.
If I'm lucky, I'll meet someone nice readers. Very likely I'll meet others who will not be interested in my books. And there always seem to be one or two who want to rant about the amount of sex in books these days. That's okay. They still get a bookmark, a chocolate and a smile. Yes. It's the life of a famous author.
Monday morning I'll be back in my real life. And my sweats.