|How do you spell Rodolphus, again?|
Photo by Kristine Paulus via flickr
Sometimes--okay daily--I can't figure myself out. I'm a set of contradictions. Is everybody this way? Probably. But I'm the only one in my head so I've got it the worst.
I'm introverted, but I want to get out into the world.
I'm shy, but I talk a lot to strangers.
I'm logical, and way too emotional.
I'm rational, and believe some of the stupidest things.
I'm rather intelligent, but don't ask me any questions (especially related to history...in which I have a BA degree).
I'm driving myself nuts.
Get this. I signed up for a book-signing gig a while back. $250 for a table. I was told this was a fabulous event! A must-attend event! This guy who told me about it said it was the best thing ever.
But, come to find out, it's not a book-signing gig. It's...like, a party. It's billed as an event for readers and book lovers. Readers pay...? to meet authors...? There are parties, and panel discussions, and more parties, and schmooze parties, and parties. Did I mention that there are parties? And stuck in there, somewhere, on one of the days (my god, it's like three days of parties) is a two-hour book signing.
I don't do parties. People. I barely do the booksignings where I get to sit/stand at a table and try not to bother people who are looking at my books (as opposed to those outgoing authors who TALK to them. I'm always like, jeez, leave the peeps alone and let them browse. But apparently, yakking at people works, somehow. I think I know how. Some very important businessman said something about how you don't sell products to people--you sell stories. Stories sell the products. My story goes like this, "This wallflower walks into a party and stands there...").
OMG, all of that was a parenthetical.
Anyway. I had to contact the organizers of this popularpeople/extrovert love fest and beg them to give me my money back. I said to the lady, "This just isn't for me." And she said, "You're right. If you don't like making connections and being nice to people, it's not for you." Okay, she didn't say that. But I got the message, anyway. If you don't want to socialize, stay home.
It's not so much that I don't want to socialize as it is that socializing is awkward and draining.
I attended a one-day book-signing event on Saturday in Cocoa Beach. By mid-day I felt like crying. I wanted to go home. I can't explain that adequately to an extrovert--and the room was filled with them. Being out of the house is one thing. But then being in a room filled with people all day, all day, ALL DAY, is nearly unbearable. Going to the bathroom would be a respite except that there were always other people in there.
Anyway, the point being that I came home from that book signing wondering if I should be doing these things at all. I know I've given you the idea that I'm one of the weirdos, but I'm not. I'm not the creepy dude with hairs in his nose trying to sell you his erotica. I'm not the squeaky-voiced woman wearing clothes that don't match, with an owl on her head, screaming at you to come to her table and buy her book on an elevator serial killer. (No, don't be ridiculous, he kills people in elevators.) And I'm not the super religious couple peddling their apocalypse.
Seriously, I'm normal. That normal looking, well-dressed (If I do say so myself) woman with all those fabulous books. Too many, really. You wonder if she's got multiple personality disorder with all those pen names. You can't pin her down and that's probably why it's so hard for her to tell you a story about her book, so she just smiles and let's you look at them all...in their printed glory.
Oh, my, god, I do have a point and I'm getting to it.
So....I am booked for OASIS. It's a scifi convention in Orlando put on by OASFiS. And, despite having just told you, and myself, that I probably ought not be doing these things, anymore (I didn't really believe myself, did you?) I am excited about it. But...I thought I ought to look it up and see what to expect.
Because if there's anything an introverted, OCD, control freak needs more than medication, it's knowing what to expect.
I didn't find much. But I did find this. Now...before you watch it, I should warn you...it's sad. It's so sad. But if you are an independent author, hell even a trad author, who's endured book signings, I think you'll laugh until you cry.
So, without further ado:
I'm still laughing. Okay, okay. First...he sold ten books! Dude. That's fabulous! What are you whining about? Second, the surroundings are just as bad as I expected. But, and this is a really, really big but...this was in 2007. We're now in 2015, looking at OASIS 27. So....maybe it will be better?
Or maybe not. I don't care. It looks rockin' to me. Maybe I'll make a video, too. And if I see James Allen Starkloff with his book InterTerrestrial, I'll be sure to give him a knowing look and a sigh.