<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Thursday, April 27, 2006
In Which I Ramble About a Signing

So this past weekend I attended another signing. I was one of a good list of authors in attendance at Forster's Book Garden in Bolton for their celebration of Independent Booksellers Day. The big names in attendance were people like Kelley Armstrong and YA fantasy author J. Fitzgerald McCurdy and local 5-Minute Mysteries celeb Ken Weber, but there were many other authors in attendance, including authors of biographies and golfing books and yoga books and a small press publisher and more.

And, you know, me.

It was a long event, but definitely worthwhile attending. There were lots of great people to chat with, authors and readers alike, and I had quite a few fantastic conversations over the course of the afternoon. Plus, I think I managed to sell something like 15 copies of Mythspring, which I have to say adds up to a good stack of books and is quite enough to make me happy. Truthfully, I would have been happy so long as I sold something, but people were really interested by the concept of the anthology when they stopped to talk with me (or else were being very kind and willing to shell out $23 for their kindness), which pleased me no end.

My favourite conversation of the afternoon, though, was with a young author. She was interested in writing herself -- fantasy, actually -- though she said that she was too young to try to get published and seemed rather sad about this fact. I told her a little bit about my background -- how I decided to be a writer when I was 13, started submitting to magazines just after my 15th birthday, and sold my first short story when I was 17. I told her how very much rejection sucks, and that there will be a lot of it, and a bit about some online resources and that authors get paid to be published, not the other way around. And when her mother came by and said, "Too bad she's too young to be published," I told her the same thing.

"Of course it's possible!" I said. "It's hard -- sometimes really hard -- but if it's what you love, it's worth it." The change in her expression as we talked ... that's the highlight for me. It was like I'd opened a window to the outside and her face was suddenly bright with sunlight.

I don't know ... people talk about giving back to new authors. And I think of all the advice and help I've received from authors farther along from me. I'm hardly old and not even close to being established, and yet I think I get it. Because for that moment, I felt like I'd actually done something worthwhile. Better than selling books, better than signing books, better even that seeing my name in print.

Ah, well. Anyway, people said that by the end I was looking pretty tired. I'm sure that this was true. However, the full truth is that in addition to being tired from all the talking and interaction required of an author at a four-hour event (and an introverted author at that), I was getting very sick, and had no cold medication, and had about worn away all my energy making sure I didn't look sick at all, not even a little. Sick? Who, me? Surely you must be thinking of someone else. I was just worn out from all that chatting and looking pretty in my green skirt, not spreading illness, oh no.

And if no one knows that the first thing I did upon getting to my parents house was swallow a handful of Advil and sinus medication, then so much the better.

Okay, so this is the bit where I have to apologize. To my two former high school classmates with whom I chatted and ate donuts and drank tea after the signing, but whom I shall not name here for fear of being weird and creepy in a public online space: I am sorry if I made you sick. I did not mean to, truly. Also, by "sick" I mean "sick with a cold," not "repulsed by my presence." While the first I will apologize for quite sincerely, I'd rather not know about the latter.

Actually, it was great to see two people that I'd spent so many of my school years with -- and even better to get a chance to just sit down and talk without worrying about high school politics and who's friends with whom or any of that nonsense, just chat and be people and drink tea. Definitely good times. Thank you both for coming and saying hi to me, and no, I won't mention that you bought all the new Kelley Armstrong books before I'd gotten a chance to get over there. Nope, nope, you won't hear me saying that at all.

And now, because of the aforementioned sickness (which has had me home from work two days this week), I'm stumbling back to bed.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 11:15 PM


I hope you feel better soon!! Drink lots of tea and let me know if you need backup on your life reclamation project. [rummages for ninchucks]


By Blogger Beth Adele, at 11:12 AM  

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