We writers are an insecure lot. We worry every time we are invited to a book store or book fair to do a signing. You see, we fret that no one will show up and we will be stuck sitting next to a pile of our latest book answering questions like:
“You’re an author? What do you write?”
“Where’s the bathroom?”
“Can you tell me how to make this Nook work?”
I was at an author fair over the weekend held in my childhood home town of Rocky River, Ohio. It was a cold, damp day. (That is a good thing. If it had been sunny and warm everyone would have been outside enjoying the weather.) Instead they came in a steady stream. There were toddlers to golden-agers, all enjoying being able to talk to 40 authors and illustrators. We sat by our books and discussed where our ideas come from (life) and how long we’ve been writing (since fifth grade).
I especially enjoyed the little people who were sometimes afraid to talk, but loved flipping through my books. (A few even chose my book as their purchase for the day. I was truly honored.)
The other great component to an author fair day is having been able to meet other authors from the area. We sat and discussed the ups and downs of the writing business. We encouraged each other. We commiserated over patrons who would walk right past without a word, or a look in our direction, and laughed at our own insecurities.
The good thing is that signing events keep us humble. We sit and offer a small bit of our imagination and hope for a person who will read our words and relish the journey. When we connect with one reader all that unsettling insecurity is replaced with joy.