Everyone who writes has a dream. A dream of making it ‘big’. Of being a famous author. Of interviews on morning shows, and readings at Ivy League schools. We all want to have that Sally Field moment, and have it reflected in our bank account. It’s not just about money, but money helps.
I’ve never been to a book signing. I know people who have written books, but they aren’t famous people. They are average people who wrote cool stuff. I love them, and I love their books. But the whole ‘signing’ thing – that’s something I’ve never seen up close and personal.
The closest I have ever come to a book signing is watching “Murder She Wrote”. Jessica Fletcher (one of my all-time favorite characters) is always either coming from a book signing or heading to a book signing when she is diverted by a murder. If you watch enough episodes, you realize that Cabot Cove is NOT a good place to go for vacation. It may be picturesque, but it has a distinctly unhealthy atmosphere. A wise person would avoid anyplace Jessica was scheduled to appear, just in case.
Dreaming my own dream of improbable fame, I tried to imagine what my first book signing would be like: lines of people, hard cover in hand, waiting for me to scrawl my signature and a personal note on the fly leaf. It’s mind boggling. The closest I could come was wondering what I would wear. Mentally, I flipped through my wardrobe, rejecting the too-artistic outfit, the overdressed fashion matron suit, the jeans and band tee shirt, even the twin set and pearls. As I clawed my way out of the mental pile of rejects on my bed, I asked myself: What Would Jessica Fletcher Do? What would JB wear? What would she say?
I can picture her, sitting there with her perfect hair style, a crisp pastel suit with chic scarf, understated jewelry and sensible shoes. I put myself next to her at the table, pulling items from hangers in my closet and straightening my glad rags in my head. (I ditched the sensible shoes… I have to wear them for work, but play time is meant for awesome shoes! Beauty is pain …)
Jessica Fletcher: my flawless muse, a Lady with a capital “L”, always approachable even as she gently discourages a pushy fan, JB as the Gold Standard for every budding author.
If I ever have a first book signing, I know one thing I’m bringing to the table: a sticky note with one thing written on it – WWJFD?
Sandi Tuttle is the host of the Blog Talk Radio show “An Average Woman in a Superwoman World” (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandi-tuttle).