Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book signings for Never Again

Being in the spot light was never an ambition of mine, so I wasn't thrilled about doing book signings for Never Again. I'd seen authours sitting behind a table looking bored while costomers walked blindly past. The image was not encouraging. Nevertheless I dressed with care and drove to the bookstore.

I saw the table, my name on a poster and my books in a neat pile. The management was friendly, but I felt awkward. I stood by the display trying to look natural while inside I was dealing with a mass of insecurities. I smiled and tried to talk with people.

After a few minutes, a strange thing happened. The scent of newly published books perfumed the air and settled my nerves. I looked around and saw people browsing, lifting novels and reading the jacket covers. They were people just like me, people who loved to read.

In that instant everything changed. I felt like these people were my friends. I could say "hi" to them and not feel awkward. I watched and found pleasure in their enjoyment of selecting a book. Some of them smiled and came over to talk about Never Again. There was a six or seven year old girl who came rushing past with a book about sharks dangling open with complete disreguard for the spine. She was so excited that the assistant manager and I only commented on the joy of books.

There followed some very special moments. I don't know what happened to me, but my heart was filled with love for everyone. I was moved by the young couple that was celebrating their fourth anniversary. As he turned to his wife and asked her if she would like a copy of Never Again, I noticied the tender way he looked at her. It was beautiful.

I wanted to cry when a woman told me she'd suffered through a dysfunctional relationship like Megan had in Never Again. My book was only fiction. Hers was real heart ache. It made me glad that I had written Never Again. I wanted this woman to find hope and healing.

There were two adult sisters who bought a book to share. As they talked and interacted, it was apparent that they had maintained a close relationship through the years. I wrote their names on the title page of Never Again and couldn't help adding, "Sisters forever." They read the inscription and laughed.

By the end of the evening, I realized that book signings aren't about me and how insecure I feel. Instead, they're about all the wonderful people I met. Whether they bought my book or not didn't matter, because we had bonded and become friends. Never again will I look at book signings in the same way.

Happy Holidays  Katherine Adams