Buried Heart on Tour

September 22 2009

 

It’s happening!  In just a few weeks my debut novel, Buried Heart, is going to be in my hands.  I’ll be able to drop in at the book shop and see it on the shelf (unless it’s sold out, of course).  People will be able to purchase it on the internet.  My friends will read it.
 
I have a dream that I enter an airport and walk past dozens of women reading a book I wrote.  I am thrilled to see that my photo is on the back cover, and I want to go up to the strangers and point out that I am the author. 
 
This scene could happen in real life, but first I’d have to improve the odds by passing out a bunch of free books. 
 
Although I’ve been writing stories for what seems like ages, submitting them to publishers and literary agents, and then shoving the rejections to the back of a drawer, I haven’t thought much about life after a publishing contract.
 
The only part I have imagined is my author book-signing event.  I picture myself responding to questions from a worshipful, enthusiastic audience. 
 
With real-live book talks scheduled to take place soon, I have a new fear: I am so nervous at my own book-signing event that words won’t flow from my mouth. 
 
My husband states categorically that this is impossible. 
 
Pretty soon that’s where I’m going to be--standing in front of a mixed crowd seated in rows of folding chairs.  I will take a deep breath and describe how my characters grew in my head while I sat at a stoplight.  I’ll explain how I heard about an ancient Mayan codex on a trip with my husband to Mexico.  I might even embarrass my children by describing their aversion to reading love scenes penned by their mother.   
 
Book-signing Event, October 20, 7:00 p.m.:
 
My first author event will be held at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, Wisconsin, the town where my husband and I have lived since our marriage and where our three children grew up. 
 
Later that same week I’ll be the speaker at a luncheon in downtown Milwaukee.  A few years ago when I was soliciting donations for performing arts groups, I often spoke to large groups.  This time I’ll be gabbing about Buried Heart! 
 
My talk is scheduled to begin after lunch that day, which means I will have the opposite of an appetite.  My hands will drip with sweat.  I will begin to hyperventilate.  I might have to remove the especially nice jacket I have selected to wear, revealing damp blotches beneath each arm.  I may very well have a speck of green lettuce between my canine tooth and its neighbor.  It is possible that the back hem of my skirt will be tucked up into my pantyhose, if I decide to break down and actually wear pantyhose.  On the way up to the stage I could trip and fall against the podium, causing the microphone to malfunction.  The ensuing laughter might take up the time while I crawl around after my scattered notes.      
 
Hey!  This will be worth every drop of sweat and every palpitation. 
 
This is my dream come true.