After two months of polite refusals, I recently accepted an invitation to appear and sign books at a local Borders. Don’t misunderstand. I’m very flattered, but I’m also scared to death. For me, book signings were never part of my author’s
rock-and-roll dream. That fantasy always ends with me walking into a major bookstore and seeing my novel shelved across the store. As I approach the display, a beautiful woman (Say Christie Brinkley – Give me a break; I’ve had
this fantasy a long time.) removes my novel from the shelf, gently slides her finger down the spine and over my name, wets a finger with her tongue, and lays the pages bare when I, as if magically summoned, appear before her. She, recognizing me from my photo on the jacket, is instantly smitten. There’s more, but unlike my novels, I try to keep my blog rated PG-13-ish. (For a similar version of the fantasy, see David Duchovny as author, Hank Moody, in season 1 of the Showtime series: Californication. Oh, to be Hank Moody just for one day.)
Anyway, back to reality. I think the notion of ever doing an in-store appearance and signing seemed so outlandish and the probability of it happening was so low that I never allowed myself even to imagine it. Nearly three months after publication of So Shelly, I still find signing copies of her really weird. I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that anyone other than a loan agent, car dealer, or a student needing a pass to the library wants my signature on anything. I’m more-than-happy to do it, and I really enjoy visiting, but I feel so darn pretentious and unworthy. I feel like I should personalize each copy that I sign, but time and space is usually limited. As a result, the appreciation I feel is inadequately expressed in a simple salutation and signature, and I feel as if this wonderful person who bought my book will be disappointed.
My real terror, however, is derived from imagining myself sitting at a table behind a stack of my books as one customer after another passes me by on their way to picking up the latest work of literary genius from one of the Jersey Shore kids as they wonder who the loser is sitting all by himself at a table in the middle of bookstore. God knows that I never wanted to be that guy. Now, I just may be that guy. Unless – you save me by coming out to Borders in the Sandusky Mall, this Saturday, April 30, from 1 – 3.