Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fake It 'till You Make It

Writing books is time consuming, sometimes stressful, and very often an ongoing fight against self-doubt. Is there any voice harsher than the internal critic? I am learning to combat it with humor and bravado. Fake it 'till you make it, I guess.

Marketing books is stressful, stressful, and stressful. I'm tweeting and facebooking, goodreading and linking in, doing author interviews and takes a lot of time and more than a little self confidence. Neither of which do I have in abundance.  But i'ts becoming another exercise in fake it 'till you make it. You have to be visible; you have to pique people's curiosity. I'm still figuring out the best ways to do that. I wish I could just post pictures of my would be so much easier than trying to be actually engaging. Unfortunately, I  am not photogenic. In any respect. Ha!

We're getting a nice little following. I get kind and enthusiastic emails and am being invited to more book clubs. I have people who come to events to see me. It's exciting but more than that, it's friggin' encouraging.  I know that, in theory, I should be writing for myself...but I'm not.

I'm writing so that someone will read it. And tell me they liked it. And tell me they were entertained. And tell me they will be reading another book.

That's why I'm writing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everything Went Better Than Expected

Back in November, I had been invited to Princeton to be interviewed by zombies on the show Zombie Etiquette. I'm game, you know? Not big on the pre-judging. I had a bit of trepidation, but not a whole ton. And I love Princeton, so any chance to visit is a good thing. So, we went (the Husband and I).
The studio was in an old school a few blocks off Nassau. We met the host--Lawrence Greenberg--right away; he was 'in makeup' when we wandered in. A very personable, good-looking man, he was transformed into a ghoul as he and I sat and talked (mainly about "The Devil Stood Up"--to my great joy, he had really LOVED the book). Lawrence and I had a good connection and I was glad because I was very nervous. Not like, throwing up on myself scared, but more trepidatious (this isn't officially a word...I'm making it one). He put me at ease and I think it shows in the interview. I am normally quite the stutterer and stammerer. We also met Marti Davis, the producer and her adorable daughter, Leila Jean (who was also quickly transformed into a gruesomely undead child--check out her page on IMDB) and the rest of the crew that helps them out. What a great bunch of people. If you ever have the privilege of being invited to be interviewed by zombies, I highly recommend it. The link to the interview is below:

P.S. I have to add this because, well, I guess I am a chronic complainer. I was sick all last week and it really sucked. I don't know why my body is turning on me like this, but it better come to its senses before drastic measures are taken.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monster Mania

First things first, lets get the complaining out of the way: I am exhausted.
There, all done with the complaining! That wasn't so bad, was it?

Monster Mania was phenomenal. Check this stuff out:

The one thing the Husband was extra concerned with was the Star Wars poster he was bringing to get signed by David Prowse (Darth Vader) and when we got there Friday to set up, guess who was slated for the table next to us? Yup! David Prowse. The Husband was stripping his gears in excitement that he'd be sitting next to his hero for three days. Unlimited gawker opportunity...crazy, right? Well, hold on because it gets even crazier. I was unpacking boxes when I felt a presence behind me. I glance up and there is a man standing there, leaning on a cane, kind of checking us out. I smile quickly and then go back to unpacking (I'm a spaz, okay? I like to get things set up as quickly as possible; so shoot me) and a split second later, it filters into my brain: that was Goddamned Darth Vader standing there checking out our booth. Are you kidding me? So I leave the books and introduce myself, shake his hand, and he starts talking about his book and publishing and book signings...and I realize I am chatting with Goddamned Darth Freaking Vader. Holy crap, I'm thinking, the Husband is going to have a cow! I turn to look for him and he is standing ten feet away, books hanging forgotten in his hands, mouth agape. I wave him over and he drops everything and stumbles across the room trailing nonsense words. Meeting David Prowse literally blew his mind! Needless to say, that alone made the weekend for the Husband. He could not have been happier.

My own brush with greatness came the next day. My sister and I were sitting at the booth, discussing cats (because, man, we are both freakin' obsessed with cats) when suddenly, Taylor Negron is standing at the table. Are you kidding me? Taylor Freaking Negron is standing there, talking to me, as though he were a person and I were a person and as though that's what people if he wasn't, you know, Taylor...Freaking...Negron? And he was so kind and so sweet and he was asking me about the books and we started talking about the concept  of the reluctant psychic in Born Lucky and we were talking about awareness and psychic this and that but then he got wrangled back to his booth because his line for signatures was practically out the door. Awesome enough, right? But it gets even better! Keep reading!

The celebrity signers all have someone with them to help out (just like the Husband brought me 'coffee and' throughout the three days). So, the man helping Taylor Negron stops by and asks me about the Born Lucky book! Okay, now, I am not going to mention his name because, listen, he might not want his stuff all over the internet, right? I'll just call him "Awesome" because he was awesome. So, Awesome comes over and asks about the book and he and I start discussing psychics and consciousness and creativity and...everything, really...just everything! The world and society and patterns and...well. I could go on and on. But I won't. Sometimes the most affecting things are the hardest to explain--they end up sounding trivial. Eventually, Taylor Negron and Awesome were both at my table and we were all talking together and the craziest part was how normal and natural it seemed. Especially for an intorvert like me. Suffice to say that it made my weekend.

The weekend was also fun because we had good people helping us out. Our friend Karen came Friday night and she is always good for an ascerbic comment or two. Or fifty. My sister sat with me on Saturday. She brings the boys to the yard! She was hit on constantly but she takes it all very graciously. The Husband's step dad Jim ran all over handing out our business card. And my Husband's mom, Anne, let the dog out and generally reassured the kids (cats) that we hadn't died.

Overall, book sales wise, the weekend was a bit of a bummer. There was profit, but not much. I don't think it was a reading crowd. Quite a few people even felt compelled to tell me that they don't read. Ever. For an avid reader like me, that's hard to hear. Sales-wise, I think that we'd have been better off in the vendor room instead of the celebrity room (we didn't pick the space, it is assigned). But meeting David Prowse, Taylor Negron and Awesome was so great, it's hard to quantify...I think that ultimately I am better off, even with less money in my pocket.

It's kind of nice to figure out that I am happier with revelation than profit. One of the things Awesome espoused was that ethics will begin to take the place of greed in the collective human consciousness and maybe I am at the tip of that iceberg? Ethics, isn't that, awesome, Awesome?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Complaint Dept.

I am fundamentally a cheerful person. So, it's hard to understand the case of blues I've had in the past week. Winter is a very real drag on my feelings this year; I want heat and sun and I want it sooner rather than later. My fingers are consistently cold and I also feel Vitamin D deprived. And I want a damn tomato!*

My health is bringing me down to a degree, too. The migraines, of course, are an ongoing problem, but this week I also had eye! How weird is that? I remember having a real bad case of pink eye when I was a kid. My dad brought me a terrarium as a get well present and I remember that it looked so odd...all wavery and soft, probably because of the drops in my eyes. There was a tiny little fake turtle on a tiny little fake rock. It was so beautiful; a self-contained world!

So, just two things, really, right? Not so bad, now that I see it written out. And I am very much looking forward to the weekend coming up. We haven't done an event since November and I think Monster Mania should be a lot of fun. I am thankful for the people who are going to be helping us out. My sister Susan, our Aunt Rosemary, my husband's step dad Jim and our good friend Karen are going to be there at different times. It wouldn't be as much fun to contemplate if they weren't going to be there.

Anyway, maybe that means this week will be better. It's good to be looking forward to something. It takes my mind off the lack of tomatoes, at least.

*If you are from Jersey, you'll get the tomato reference. If not, you need to get your hands on a Jersey Tomato at some point. Definitely something for the Bucket List.