Having completed three major book events and signings on the last three weekends I am now feeling like an expert on this sort of thing. Hence, comments about Bestest and Worstest!
At least best and worst for me--Author Radine Trees Nehring.
Best is meeting and interacting with the public. Being in the book promotion business turned me from a total introvert (I used to hide in my bedroom closet with a flashlight and a book during my own birthday parties) into someone who welcomes interaction with other people in almost any setting. But I welcome it most of all when I am in the game as an author. I'm not good at what a former boss used to call "playing lady." (That was going "shopping" or out to lunch with other women, gossiping, looking at clothing, household items, and so on, running clerks--in this case me--ragged, but buying nothing. Playing bridge--awful at that--quilting, or other artistic sewing action--crooked stitches and knotted thread--or just having refreshments and chatting--to me, most of it sounded like fictitious information with a yen to share thrilling gossip! So, as an adult, my introverted life consisted of my job as a sales person in a high end shop, eating out, hiking, camping, traveling with my husband, going to stage events (opera, concerts, plays) and occasional movies. Just we two. Suited us both.
Then, as mature adults my husband and I bought forested land in the Arkansas Ozarks and--impelled by my love for everything about this new experience and interaction with nature, my interest in writing was born full-grown and I quickly began to write and sell essays and articles revealing what I was learning about nature and life in the Ozarks in general. Voila! I was a writer. Still an introvert. I enjoyed my writing, felt I was pretty good at it (it did sell) and there was little need to interact with other people since my writing was going around the English speaking world, not necessarily my neighborhood.
Until--until, my Ozarks essays were collected into my first book ("Dear Earth: A Love Letter from Spring Hollow") and sold to a New York publisher. This was in the days before the explosion of the Internet, so I began slowly to experience book events, traveling quite a bit around states nearest my home area. This was a happy experience. People who came to events were there mainly because pre-event promotion by my publisher and various bookstores, libraries, etc. attracted their attention. They were interested. They bought books.
I wanted to continue writing. What next? Why not begin a series of cozy mystery stories set in the Ozarks? Why mysteries? Because that's what I loved reading.
Jump forward to today and the recent release of the eighth novel in my mystery series. A short period of frustration while finding publishers aside, the transition to fiction writer has been smooth. The transition to doing the largest percentage of promotion on line still is not smooth. I am in my office, typing words on a screen, clicking on sites, puzzling how to add my information to this location or that, being frustrated when the actions of my computer system don't follow my probably flawed instructions and balk. Where are the people? I'm back inside the introverted Radine, not hiding in a closet but hiding in my office--typing. Worstest!
So, the hours spent (mostly outside in lovely spring weather) during the past three weekends were a beautiful return to the Bestest. People, people people. Nope, certainly not all of them bought books. Some chatted with me about many things, then walked off without a book. But gee, they wanted to know about me and my work, and to tell me about themselves, what they read, and much more. Some actually marched up to me, intent on their purpose to buy the new novel written by Radine Trees Nehring, get it autographed, and march off to pay and leave. No matter, I was out of my office and away from that w-a-a-y too demanding screen and keyboard.
In a couple of weeks I'll begin weekend work (all day Fridays and Saturdays) at my table in the front of many stores in a large grocery chain in my area. Back to long chats, hearing people's problems, and, some of the time, selling them a book. Yea--the BESTEST!