With the launch of The Delightful Undoing of Patricia Enid Guppy, I am back on the book signing trail. The first signing took place yesterday at Waterstone's in Bath - my favourite Waterstone's store (it used to be my local one). It was also the official launch day for the newly refurbished store, so it was quite an exciting day all round.
A few newbies to this whole writing business have said to me that they find the idea of book signings to be a bit frightening (ok, more than a bit... a huge lot). The thing is, these public events are the only time you actually get to meet your existing and potential readers. People tell you about what they're reading, what they like, what they don't like, that they're sick of vampires and so on... they ask questions and raise points that get you thinking. You don't get this sort of intel and feedback when you're sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end, engulfed in an imaginary environment and cut off from the outside world.
The hardest part for me? No, it's not talking to complete strangers when you're a complete introvert, or sitting in one spot for hours on end until you get cramp in your bum. It's getting up at half past six in the morning. Being someone who is used to really coming alive at about midnight, which is around the time I get my best ideas and want to write too, adjusting to a new schedule for the weekend after spending the week staying up until five o'clock in the morning can be a tad difficult.
Anyway, despite having to confront the morning... shudder and cringe... I had a great time at yesterday's signing. There's a very vibrant atmosphere at the Bath store and I met some very interesting people. I also came away with a big pile of books to read, which is always a nice way to end any day.
Anyway, this is me below... practising my signing grin... wearing my new Guppy uniform. Pat Guppy's mug shot, which adorns the front of my new t-shirt, received many an admiring glance... as it should, as she is quite the beauty. The second photo is of my little helper, also proudly sporting his new gear as he handed out bookmarks and charmed the pants off unsuspecting book shoppers.
Causes Gina Collia-Suzuki Supports
The World Wildlife Fund
Cancer Research UK