“Akil, I went to my first book signing today.”
“What? I didn’t know you finished the book!”
-Conversation between my brother and I on Sunday night.
Never been to a book signing before but my old friend Kat (feel free to like her Facebook page here) works with an author named Colette Freedman who had two signings in the L.A. area this past weekend to support her week-old release, The Thirteen Hallows. I forgot about Friday’s event in Pasadena but Kat was kind enough to text me on Saturday night with a reminder about Sunday afternoon’s event in Burbank. I agreed to go and then looked up Colette’s bio…
Almost had an anxiety attack five minutes later.
You see, Kat knows of my writing aspirations (she’s one of my blog subscribers) so she thought it a great idea to meet a professional author / playwright. Can you say “intimidating”?!?
I felt such resistance to following through, came up with every (un)imaginable reason to flake out. Promised Kat I was going, though. Also learned that, in this context, that thing I run from the fastest is that thing my soul needs most (thank you War of Art!). So yeah, I cranked MuteMath on the car stereo to relax and took a painful, mentally taxing drive to the bookstore.
And of course, it was worth every moment of discomfort.
I was so nervous and starstruck when I walked up to the table but Colette quickly put me at ease. She was chatting with friends when she saw me and said, “This is Kat’s friend, Sean. He’s working on his first novel.”
When I said that Kat must have given her my description, Colette replied, “Yeah… she told me a big, sexy black man was coming.”
(You rock, Kat!)
I showed up towards the end of the signing and you know what was cool? Colette let me pick her brain for at least ten minutes about any and every writing-related subject I could think of. How she got started, writing with a partner, the research required, the editing process, how long it takes for a title to reach store shelves after the editor is happy with it…
She was a great listener, too. I told her about my story and she was encouraging, offered up some great advice. Made me feel as though I was on the right track.
And the coolest part? How she signed my copy:
Wanna hear something crazy? I was thinking, “I’ll autograph your copy next time” as she was writing it in my copy!
The universe is a trip, I tell you.
It will take about two years for that to happen according to Colette’s calculation. She and her partner turned in the last edits on “Thirteen Hallows” a year ago and it released last week. I’m one chapter from completion, will need to rest the mind for a few weeks afterwards, edit out ten percent during the second draft, time it takes to find and win-over the perfect literary agent, dance with a publishing house after that…
Yeah, two years sounds about right. That’s alright, though… the good stuff always takes time.
(Note: Trying to leave the self-loathing crap behind. Ain’t easy after a life of faulty programming but I have too much work to do, and the negativity brings and keeps me down! Come too far to entertain failure, easier to keep grinding ’til it’s finished.)
Oh yeah… 88,686 words, 534 pages, 20 chapters, and bed time.