Last week I went to a book signing by Ann Leckie. Her new novel, Provenance, was released Tuesday, and she was at our local fabulous indie bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy, on Wednesday.
My picture didn’t turn out nearly as well as the one Mysterious Galaxy had posted, so I’m using theirs.
In the past I’d gone to a couple signings there before, but only for the author talk portion. I’d never bought the book and had them sign it. I get most of my books from the library is part of it, but I also never knew what to say to the author. That was not the case this time.
For those unfamiliar with Ms. Leckie’s history, she didn’t start writing her first novel until she in her 40s. (Sound familiar?) That novel happened to win all the science fiction awards that year. It was the first of a trilogy, all of which did exceedingly well. No sophomore slump for her.
I’d practice what I wanted to say to her because it’s me. Mainly I was afraid I’d freeze up and not be able to speak. By preparing I hoped to avoid that. As I waited in line, I rehearsed my line. Then, when I got to meet her, I choked. I messed up my first word.
I could feel my face get all hot, but I wanted to talk with her so I blurted out, “I’m just starting my writing journey” and she was instantly supportive.
“Keep submitting,” she said. “Rejection letters are a sign that you are a writer.”
Although not as composed as I wanted (especially the fan girl squeal and the Muppet arms part), the encounter was what I had wanted it to be. I told her that her career was proof it wasn’t too late for me, and she encouraged my efforts.
I got all that and a signed copy of a book I can’t wait to read.
Overall I call it a highly successful night.