Sunday, November 20, 2016

Book Ends

I think I’m getting better at this.

I had two book signings this week for my novel Born Speaking Lies and I’m starting to get this whole author thing down.

On Wednesday I had a book launch party at the Mysterious Book Shop on Warren Street in Manhattan, where I’ve attended many readings. Now it was my turn.

For years I’ve dreamed of standing in front of a group of people and reading from my work, but when I first arrived I saw nothing but empty seats. The list of attendees wasn’t that long to begin with and I had four cancellations before I even walked through the door.

“It might be just the three of us,” I told my dear auntie and sister when they arrived.

I was trying to chalk it up to experience; this was my first book, people have busy lives, and the old standby, shit happens.

But none of that took away from the numbing sadness that had gathered around my heart.

This was going to suck.

When a UPS driver showed up to make a delivery I half-jokingly suggested we make him stay. A body is a body, after all.

My lovely sister tried to get some poor schlub browsing around the shelves to stick around—something I didn’t have the guts to do—but the guy hit the bricks.

In the Beginning...

And then slowly people started trickling in. For every cancellation it seemed there was a surprise guest. My sister had announced the event on her Facebook page and at least two folks showed up as a result.

A dear friend from my writing class, a buddy from the gym, and one of the original members of a Brooklyn blogging group all cheerfully showed up to support yours truly.

Hey, somebody untie the UPS guy!

I read a section of the book, and, to be honest, I could’ve gone slower and made more eye contact, but at least there weren’t any outrageous screw-ups like I had been experiencing during my rehearsals.

Today I did another reading at the Bookmark Shoppe on my home turf in Bay Ridge and things started off the same way with me looking morosely at a herd of empty seats.

Only this time it was a hell of a lot colder outside and I was wearing a pair of drug store spectacles after losing my regular glasses during an evening out with my family the night before.

And there were no UPS guys in sight.

But once again, the trickle in theory came into play as my writing class buddies, my sister’s friend, and two honest-to-God strangers starting filling the vacant chairs.

This time I read a little bit slower and I added more flair to the narration. I’m still working on the eye contact thing, but I’ll get there soon enough. I just want to do more of these.

It’ll be Thanksgiving in a few days but I feel like I got a jumpstart on the holiday with all the support I received at these two events.

Now I have to order a new set of eyeglasses and hope the UPS guy doesn’t freak out when I answer the door.


Ron said...

"It’ll be Thanksgiving in a few days but I feel like I got a jumpstart on the holiday with all the support I received at these two events."

*applause and cheers*

BRA-VO, Rob!I am so glad to hear that your book signings went well! I am so loving the photograph of you signing your book, and also the one of you standing there talking to your audience - you look like a PRO!

Like anything, it's a learning process. They more we do something the more comfortable we get. Like you said, "I think I’m getting better at this."

You GO!

I wish you continued success, buddy! Have a faaaablous week!

Walaka of Earth 2 said...

I am so pleased to be reading about this recent adventure... who knew that those afternoons spent channeling the Dent and Howard and Gibson in our crappy high school handwriting would pay off in this way, eh? Best of luck to you as the adventure continues. And as a spectator to Coco's various art shows and readings, I know the anxiousness you are feeling about the audiences, and I can say there will be the days that lift you up high as well. Here you go!

Rob K said...

Thanks so much, Walter, it's been quite a ride. I was so twisted and cranky this morning before the signing and now I'm floating around the living room. Heady stuff, indeed!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, great to hear from you! I have my lovely sister to thank for the photos as she was clicking away with her smart phone! Thanks for your support, buddy, it means the world to me! Happy Thanksgiving!

bonnie said...

Any more after Thanksgiving?

Bijoux said...

That is so exciting, Rob! Congrats on this new adventure!

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you so much, Bijoux! :)

Rob K said...

@Bonnie, nothing yet, but we're working on it

bonnie said...

Thanks! Last week or two got a little crazy, I'll keep an eye on your site.

SlimExpectations said...

Congrats Rob. I can imagine how exciting that would be- your own book signing :)

Rob K said...

Thank you so much for stopping by! :)