Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Signings from Both Sides of the Table

So, I hate to admit it, but I never went to book signings before I was an author. Not because I don't like books, they've always been among my most treasured possessions, and not because I don't like authors...I guess it was just one of those things I never thought to do...I didn't know people who went to book signings. My mom never took me to one. Yes, I loved to go to book stores, but I didn't know what I would say to a real life author.

And now that I am a real life author, I'm not sure what anyone would want to say to me. :) Though if you do want to say something, please stop by and do!

There is a certain beauty to book signings. People go there because they love books. The people who write the books are sitting right there, ready to personalize them. I think it's great. But, I also have a talent for making any social situation awkward.

So in preparation for Friday's desert party and book signing, I've asked some of the authors to answer two simple questions.

1. What would you like the attendees to know about you?

2. What would you like them to know about your books.

I hope some of the people who are attending will post in the comments with some things that they would like the authors to know about them!

So, here we go.

We'll begin with Candie Moonshower author of The Legend of Zoey

Hmmm . . . One thing I wish people knew about me . . . I would have to say that despite my outward show of confidence, I was the shyest child in the world. On the first day of First Grade, my teacher made me stand in the corner for TALKING! I had lived overseas, and I had not attended Kindergarten, so I had no idea yet of the rules and regulations that go along with First Grade. And it's not like I was blathering on and on--she shot me down the first time I talked out of turn! There was no nice request for me to not talk while she talked. There was, simply, "Please go stand in the corner, Candie!" That shocking command (and the humiliation of it all--I still blush) succeeded in shutting my mouth for the remainder of most of my twelve years in school--I don't think I really started conversing until I went to college!

That having been said, I do think that mean ol' Miss Goff might have done me a favor. Because I did not talk, I was always thinking--and writing. I turned everything into stories.

The one thing I'd like folks to know about THE LEGEND OF ZOEY, my middle-grade novel, is that Zoey IS me--but she's the thirteen-year-old me that would have talked had she not been so afraid to do so! Zoey often blurts and lets rip--something I would have loved to do--but it gets her into trouble sometimes. I would also like everyone to know how proud I am that this little midlist novel is still hanging in, thanks in large part to its selection as a Volunteer State Book Award nominee, and it really represents my love for my heritage, my history and my state!

Next up, Shellie Braeuner, author of The Great Dog Wash

1. So how about the thing people may not now about me is that I'm handy with power tools and paid for college by building sets and costumes for theater.


And, lets see, something about the book. Well, I just found out its up for the Missouri Building Block Award and it was named a Best Book of 2010 by Bank Street. But on a more fun side, I still have the sheet of paper I wrote the first draft on while I was making lunch for the three year old that inspired the story.

And from Clay illustrator (my kids will be so excited to know that this is a real career!) Susan Eaddy

1. One thing about me....

The underneath of every bed in my house is jammed with pizza boxes; which are filled with tiny clay fish, bears, dogs, rhinos, people & other clay critters.


About my books...

Even though the illustrations are whimsical & made with clay, I research every book exhaustively. For my First looks Books with the Smithsonian, the Aerospace & Vehicle Museum Curators at the Smithsonian had to approve every sketch & clay final for the board books!

Now for me- Bethany Griffin Author of Handcuffs

1. One thing about me. I'm an introvert? I waited tables for years when I was in college, and every single table, it was a struggle to walk up and speak to strangers. I do like talking to people, but I'm never sure what to say, and in retrospect I'm never sure if what I did say was the right thing!

2. About my book. I guess what I want people to know is that it isn't that dirty :). It is a book that deals with teenage sexuality, but that's not what it's about. It's about identity and family and being a teenager and a middle child.

Last, though I'm hoping that I get some more responses soon...and if any of the book signers did not get my email, please feel free to contact me a bdgrifin@aol.com and I'll add your answers to the post....

Erica Rodgers author of the Camp Club Girls series

1. One thing I wish people knew about me: I am an extrovert, and will remember faces at the drop of a dime. Names take me a little longer, though, and I always have to ask a couple times before they stick. :)

2. What I would share about my books: The opportunity to write these books came as a direct result of a rejected manuscript. My first ms wasn't a good fit, but the publisher liked my writing and wanted me to work on this series. It has been a great introduction to the world of publishing. I have learned a lot (mostly about what to do differently, or expect differently next time!), and am more excited than ever about writing for tweens and teens.

I want to end this post with a personal word about signed books. I told fellow blogger Amanda K Morgan recently that my own kids don't care about signed books, that they simply think everyone writes books. In the evenings that's what we do, we write our books, I send mine off to whomever, they bind theirs together with string and binder clips. But a few years ago I sat beside George Ella Lyon at a book signing and had her sign a book to each of my kids. Recently at bed time, the found those books, and did they ever prove me wrong about little kids not caring so much about signed books. My little one kept asking, this is signed to another girl named Noel, right? She couldn't believe it was signed to her.

So now, more than ever, I'm a believer in the awesomeness of signed and personalized books. And I can't wait to buy some on Friday!

I hope this post served as an icebreaker for the desert party on Friday, and I can't wait to see all of you! It's so close we can count down the hours!

ETA Just in from Tracy Barrett author of 15 books for children, including The Sherlock Files

1. What I wish people knew about me:

I'm working hard on ditching my day job and writing full time. I love writing and I love the community of writers (especially Midsouthers!) but I have some fears about quitting my regular job, not all of them money-related. I wish people would share with me their tips for avoiding isolation, for procrastinating all day when they don't have a set schedule, that kind of thing.

2. What I wish people knew about
King of Ithaka:
I feel like it's the culmination of all my other books and all the conferences I've attended. Everything I've learned about research, characterization, plotting, pace, dialogue, humor, suspense, voice, setting--it all comes into play in this book. But I hope that this is the case for everything I write, and that I'll keep building on what I know.

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