Prepping for an Appearance, or AAAARGH!
Tom Monteleone once chastised me and another writer on a message board I used to frequent when I expressed nerves about my first public reading. This was sometime in 2003/2004 and essentially, his advice was: “You are in control. Not the audience, you.”
Since then, I did a reading in September 2005 where the only people who attended were my parents and my friend, and one of the women running the event. There were other writers doing things throughout the library and we’d pretty much had a monsoon all morning. I did a joint signing with the awesome Christopher Golden in 2007, to promote Catalysts. I had my books up for auction earlier this year, but since I wasn’t the draw there was no pressure. I’m pretty sure that’s it. Well, I did my two radio appearances, but those are different.
So when I go to the Southworth Library in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, tonight to be a part of Author’s Night!! with Lynn Kiele Bonasia and Raffi Yessayan, I know one thing for a fact: I’m goan be a-scared!
I can’t help it. I can have pretty bad social anxiety and something like this, even though I know some of the people who will be attending, has me nervous. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to it. I mean, how often do we writers get to talk about ourselves and people don’t mind? How often do we get to meet with past and potential readers? I know that some writers do this more than others, but, for me, it’s still a thrilling and terrifying thing.
Even though the gig is at six tonight, I’m sitting here at 11:30, showered and shaved. I need to iron my shirt, get some change together for prospective buyers, and decide which shoes to wear (I’m thinking of my brown boots–they make me feel badass). If I have the opportunity to read, what will it be? I think I know, but I’m not telling. No food before the gig. I don’t want to have gas, which I get when I’m nervous (I’m about to go chew on some Tums when I finish this). Maybe today is the day to begin meditating.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to going tonight and see what’s what. It seems to be a pretty loose format so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, as I’m preparing my goods and myself, I think I’ll pop in a Springsteen concert DVD, either Live in Barcelona or Live in New York City (I just watched London Calling: Live in Hyde Park a few weeks back). Or maybe I’ll pop in the Harlan Ellison documentary Dreams with Sharp Teeth (which I’m kinda/sorta in) or listen to one of the On the Road with Ellison CDs I’ve downloaded to my iTunes. Those DVDs and CDs can provide much-needed inspiration tonight.
All right. I’ll be seeing ya.