Sunday, September 7, 2014
Will I Ever Do Another Book Signing?
Man, they are a lot of work, especially at community celebrations like Layton Days, Roy Days, and the last one, Peach Days. Us crazy authors arrive early with some contraption that's supposed to be real easy to set up, hence the name: EZ-Up. Bet me. Maybe for one of my hunky heroes it would be, but when you're all of five-foot-five, it's a bit of a challenge.
Then we drag in boxes of books, and of course we need tables to display all those gorgeous books. Not to mention concrete blocks that weigh a ton to weight that simple, easy to set up contraption down in case of wind. Not to mention a rotating fan because we do live in Utah. Not to mention all those other essentials an author needs to sustain themselves during one or two full days of - work. Whew! I'm tired just hinting about it!
And then it rains because, like I said before, it is Utah. You never know what kind of weather is going to show up. The wind tests our determination. The heat tests our endurance. And remind me why the heck am I doing this?
I'll tell you a secret. It isn't for the money.
It's for the Korean War Veterans I've had the pleasure of meeting. My guys are fiction. These guys were the real thing.
It's also for that real covert operator who stopped by my booth late last night to shake my hand, that real guy who went into Afghanistan during Charlie Wilson's War. Him. Yeah. You know who you are. I so wish we could have talked more. It was totally my honor to meet you, sir. And thanks for signing up to do more of the same. You know what I mean.
It's for that special friend who came all the way to Logan to chat with me and keep me company. Man, I should hire you as my publicist, Nancy. You sold a couple books for me while you were there!
It's for that nephew of my favorite author, Stephen Templin. Wow! What are the odds that I would have that bright, young man at my booth in the middle of nowhere Utah? He asked me if I've ever read SEAL TEAM SIX. Like about a hundred times! And then he told me his uncle wrote the book, and, holy cow, peel me off the ceiling of that simple, easy to set up contraption. I forgot all about selling and signing. My day was made just meeting Sergie (I hope I've gotten his name right). What a terrific young man! Thank you for stopping to talk.
But mostly, it's for that young woman whose navy SEAL husband is away from home right now doing his duty. She was standing at my booth and I looked into her eyes and it was plain to see that she was missing him. And she's afraid. And she was shaking my hand because I'm a real author, like I'm the important one? Talk about a great big fat reality check. I'm nobody. She is the hero, and so is that hubby of hers, God bless him wherever he is. And God bless her while she waits. Yeah. I'm pretty sure I'm nobody in this equation.
So there you have it. My secret. I don't do author signings for the money. I do it 100% for the choice opportunity of face time with the best fans in the world. My fans.
And yeah. I'll be at as many author signings as I can. I'll sit in the sun and the heat. I'll set up that simple, easy to set up contraption again and again. And in the end, it will be me who is the privileged one because I got to shake their hands.
God Bless America.