On Book Signings and Meeting Readers

Posted by on Jun 12, 2016 in My Writing Journey | 0 comments

On Book Signings and Meeting Readers

I met my second fan at a book signing yesterday (see the dedication in The Healer’s Rune to discover why second and not first). His first name is Phillip; his last name I withhold to maintain his privacy.

I was running late (my GPS had originally marked my destination as an empty field), and I was distracted by setting up my books while signing them (I have Lupus, and the exertion of carrying in and setting up my table and books left me winded). Fanning myself with a few of my bookmarks, I saw him standing off to the side, a copy of my book in his hands. Still a titch breathless, I politely remarked that he could purchase my book from me because it was not stocked by the bookstore. Phillip just as politely told me he had already bought the book and enjoyed it.

That’s when I realized he was not there to buy the book but to meet me. He had already read my story and enjoyed it so much that, when he learned I was coming to a bookstore near him, he was motivated to come and connect with me.

The moment suddenly became profound, and I did my best to honor it as such. Still fanning myself, still slightly breathless, I engaged Phillip in a conversation about the only common ground we had: my book. Imagining how I would feel to see Tad Williams or Neil Gaiman, or any of the other authors I admire (had I the access and the courage), I talked with Phillip unill I ran out of ideas and then asked if I could sign his copy of the book.

He said yes. With sweat beading down my neck, I wrote a personal note on the title page in purple Sharpie, signed it, and thanked Phillip for coming.

As I reflected upon this event last night, I realized that I should have asked him to take a picture with me, and I wished I had found a way to make the moment longer, to honor it more for what it was.

My debut novel is not quite six months old, yet it has touched someone deeply enough that he came to meet me. It is, for a writer, a moment of remarkable profundity. It is why I write–to give back to one of the most influential forces in my life by touching readers the way other authors have touched me.

Thank you, Phillip, for coming to see me yesterday. If you don’t mind, will you please send a picture of you with my book to my email address at Lauricia.Matuska@gmail.com? I’ll put it with this post.

To the rest of you who have enjoyed / are enjoying The Healer’s Rune, I hope to meet you someday, as well. Remind me to take a picture!

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