When I began writing my first book, I had one vision that was persistent: I saw myself at Barnes and Noble signing books for adoring fans who waited in line to buy my newest bestseller. I’d wield my pen like a pro, confidently adding an inscription and putting my signature on the first page of my newest novel.
I believe most writers share this fantasy. We dream of being discovered by an adoring public and following in the large footsteps of J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Stephen King, or You-Name-The-Author. Some of us hope to be revered as literary giants, in the company of Faulkner, Hemingway, or You-Name-Another-Author. Some hope to fire the flame of those who sit by the fire, romance novel in hand, breathing deeply the scent of the larger-than-life hero wooing the capable-but-dreamy heroine on a ranch in Wyoming before the first snow of winter.
When Bruce and the Road to Courage came off the press in August of 2011, I celebrated (actually, I still celebrate the fact that I wrote a novel after so many years of trying and getting nowhere . . . it’s tougher than it looks, at least at first.) I thought the road to getting a book signing would be a simple matter of calling up Barnes and Noble and saying, “Hi, I’m an author, and I’d like to sign books in your store.” Well . . . no, it’s not as simple as that.
I won’t go into the gory details, but one of the reasons I became a publisher as well as an author (check out Two Cats Press, if you haven’t yet) was to have a publishing presence that would allow me to apply to Barnes and Noble (our only remaining large bookstore in the United States) to carry my books and, once I was accepted by the powers-that-be in the New York office and my books were ordered for their shelves, THEN I could contact my local store for a signing.
It’s taken me a bit more than two years and lots of wrong turns and dead ends along the way before arriving at this destination, but I’m finally here: My first book signing at my local Barnes and Noble store in Surprise next Saturday, December 14th, from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM.
I don’t expect a lot of people to be there — certainly not droves of fans, other than the shoppers who are looking for Christmas gifts anyway. I may be able to “suggest” some of my books into their hands before it’s over. But it will be a dream realized, one way or another.
Of course, along the way to getting here, I’ve realized that it’s not the big store or the multitude of fans that really matters. Sure, I’d love to have every girl and boy want to read my book and, better yet, like it after it was done. But I’ve learned that not much can compare to having a ten-year-old boy say to me, “This is the best day ever!” after he bought a copy of my books, following a visit to his school, or to have the mother of one of the children there say, “You inspired my daughter to want to read.” I come away from those events filled to overflowing with gratitude and joy that the children enjoy my writing and that I am making a difference in their lives.
Bruce’s journey continues (I’m working on another Bruce novel even now, in sync with the first book in a new series I hope to publish later), as does mine. If you can join me to commemorate a dream come true next Saturday, I’d love that. If not, I feel your good wishes with me as I write. You’ve been the inspiration, the cheering section, spurring me on to “The End” all along.
I’ll hopefully have some pictures to post and will let you know how it goes.