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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So This Author Walks Into a Bookstore

So far, Launch Week has been pretty good. People have been reporting from the trenches that the book is indeed in the stores -- Michelle showed me HB alive and well in Canada (eh) -- that's it, on the left -- and Heather proved that at least one store in IL bought copies too (that's this one, right). If I can believe Amazon, at one point my rank was as high as #1,908. And I've been getting prezzies, too! Richelle sent me gorgeous flowers -- purple and red somethings that look beautiful -- in a lovely vase, and Lila sent me f-me red stripper shoes (squee!). You folks all seriously rock!!!

I had the added pleasure of meeting Caitlin in person this past Monday -- what a way to ring in the New Year! ((Jackie waves)) And I'll be meeting Jacki Frank, faboo author of Jacob, tomorrow!

So, tonight was my first-ever Book Signing. Maria at Flights of Fantasy set it up and invited me to a pot-luck dinner at her house before the event. About six of us feasted on chicken wings, celery, salad, cheese, peppers...and cheesecake, brought by yours truly. We schmoozed, ate, schmoozed, ate more, and had a terrific time. Then we drove to the bookstore.

Where I saw a huge table with my books lined up on it...and rows of chairs in front of another huge table, with more of my books lined up on it, and a single, huge chair behind it.


Now, understand that I'm not a public speaker. I blush redder than Rudolph's nose during Christmas, and I have this li'l sibilant S speech impediment (which doesn't stop me from babbling incoherently when I'm nervous). What the hell was I supposed to say to a group of people?

Oh, yes: the group of people. There were already a bunch of folks -- whom I didn't know -- hanging out, waiting for the event to begin.

I seriously considered fainting. Pardon me -- I'm a romance writer. We don't faint. We swoon. Gracefully.

Instead of swooning, I helped Maria's daughter set up the food I'd brought (cupcakes, Hershey's Kisses, Juju hearts) and told myself not to vomit. That would be tacky. And smelly. And, with my luck, I'd spew all over my books. Yuck. Then one of the folks from dinner, a terrific fellow named Jan "Wombat" Finder ((Jackie waves)) talked to me for 15 minutes about different authors and books, and I sort of forgot about being nervous. Chris and Lonnie from my local RWA chapter showed up ((Jackie waves)), which was UBER cool, and I signed their copies. (SQUEE!)

And then, it was Time.

I sat down at the huge table, and Maria introduced me. I mentioned to the audience -- about 15 people -- that this was my first-ever book signing, and I was a bit nervous, so please forgive me if I have to pause to vomit on my shoes. Amazingly, they laughed. And I was less nervous. Then I read the first three pages of HB. And I flubbed some words. And it was still OK. And then I started answering questions.

And you know what? I had a terrific time. Loving Husband and the Precious Little Tax Deductions showed up about ten minutes after the reading, and I introduced them. (One of the audience members had her kids with her, so boom, instant play date! Loving Husband watched the youngins and made sure that they didn't break anything -- thanks, sweetie!) I answered questions, talked up Backspace and Absolute Write, name dropped Heather (there was a middle school reading teacher there, so you KNOW I was all about Eighth Grade Bites) and Richelle (my fellow Kensington Succubus Author--of course I talked about Succubus Blues).

After the questions, I actually signed books! All in all, about ten people had me sign their copies (SQUEE!) -- and Maria kept the remaining 15 or so, had me sign them...and then put "LOCAL AUTHOR SIGNED" stickers on them!

And...Maria told me she runs a book club, and that this month's selection is HELL'S BELLES, and can I come to their meeting at the end of the month? Um...YES!!!!!!!

THANK YOU, Maria and Flights of Fantasy! Thank you to everyone who showed up and put up with my nervous babble and asked terrific questions. And thank you for buying my book! I hope you enjoy it.

Excuse me -- now I have to go vomit.


At 3:11 AM, Blogger Richelle said...

That pic of you is adorable, but what is that "boxing week" malarkey in the left-hand picture? And I think that 30% is in metric units too...

Sidenote: that Sherrilyn Kenyon anthology is the book that was by you in my Barnes & Noble...the same one I turned spine out so I could put yours face out. :)

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Lila Dubois said...

Your first signing and it went amazingly well. WOW!

It sounds like it was FANTASTIC! Congratulations!

I'm sure this is just the first of many booksignings for you and that each of the people who came is madly in love you you and your book.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Pandora said...

Congratulations! It really sounds like it was a lot of fun. This must feel so amazing! You know, since I live in Germany and thus can't go to all my favorite author's book signings I regularly get green with envy when reading about them! Here's to many more of them!

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Devon Ellington said...

How fabulous! Love and hugs -- you deserve all these good things.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger B. K. Birch said...

Congratulations! I'm glad it went well for you. Here's to many more.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations for making it go so well! I would have been terrified too, because I'm not a good public speaker. But you've survived it, and even enjoyed it. Well done, Jackie!
Many more book signings to come! ;o)

Best Wishes,

At 12:45 PM, Blogger LA Burton said...

Everything sounds so wonderful. Congrats on a great book signing.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Jaci Burton said...

How freakin awesome is that? Great pics and it sounds like it all went well.

Congrats on your release week! May Hells Belles sell like crazy!

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Nienke said...

Congratulations Jackie! On both the launch of the book and doing your first signing!

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Martha O'Connor said...

Congratulations Jackie!!! :D

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Heather Brewer said...

A well-deserved, excellent first signing!

P.S. It was actually this side of the river, in Missouri.

P.P.S. Three more stores down. Only had to face them out in two!

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Thanks so much for all the comments, everyone!

Richelle: They do weird things in Canada, like count in tens. Odd. And thanks so much for the, cough, face time. (All apologies to Sherri...)

Lila: From your keyboard to God's eyes! And uber congrats on FORBIDDEN!

Pandora: Thanks so much! It still feels quite surreal. And slightly -- slightly -- nauseating. But I'm working on getting over that part, to make more room for the THIS IS SO COOL feeling. :-)

Devon: Thankya, thankya!

BK: Thankya, thankya again!

Pencilone: I did survive! As long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive! (Oh no, a disco moment. Help!)

LA: Thankya, thankya, in triplicate!

Jaci: Thanks muchly, babe -- and right back at you for SURVIVING DEMON ISLAND!

Nienke: Thanks so very much! (I'm going to start squeeing any moment now...)

Martha: SQUEE! (See? Told you.) Thank you!

Heather: D'OH! Well, Missouri, Illinois...it's, uh, easy to confuse them. Because...you know, they're so...um...similar.

P.P.S. Three more stores down. Only had to face them out in two!

REALLY??? ((swoons))


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