Today I had the opportunity to take part in an Author and Blogger Meet and Greet held at a nearby college. This came on the heels of an author meet and book signing held in another neighboring town last night, which was my first opportunity to interact face to face with potential readers and present my work.
I have to admit, I was terrified. First off, I tend to be a bit reclusive. I prefer the woods and animals to people and can be a bit shy in social situations. Actually signing up to take part took a bit of soul searching, but knowing that I would be with members of my writing group helped a great deal. Secondly, I live in a very rural Midwestern area and I wasn’t sure how folks would react to a book of my genre and subject matter. I lost a bit of sleep just trying to psych myself up to sitting at a table and hoping folks wouldn’t walks on past and ignore me or worse, stop to preach at me.
Fortunately, none of those things happened.
Several folks at each event took the business cards or book marks I had at my table with information on how to purchase Guitars and Cages and several others actually sat and talked with me about my novel and my blog as well as taking cards for both. I found myself laughing and chatting easily with the people I met and making a few new connections as well. In fact, I even came home with a new book to read and review later in the week.
In addition to Guitars and Cages I’d also taken along a few copies of the self-printed poetry and digital art book I’d made up last year for the artistry show we hold town each year. It was awesome to see how many people stopped to speak with me about my poetry and digital art as well and even enquired about where they might find prints. It was kind of odd to have three different business cards at first, until I realized how wonderful it was to have something that appealed to almost everyone who stopped by.
With so many other authors and bloggers around me, I found that I felt right at home. My confidence grew and I didn’t feel as shy by the end as I did when I first realized that my table was set up far from the other members of my group.
It was wonderful to see the diversity among the different tables. There were 15 authors and bloggers set up, ranging from cooking blogs, to mystery novelists, history writers to those who’d written about their life experiences. I found myself leaving that library looking forward to returning next year. I know that crawling out of my shell is going to take time and that I might never fully leave it behind for long, but this afternoon showed me that I can manage just fine holding my head up high and not tripping over my words, and that is a very important first step for me.