Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Sudden Outcast

I went to my first book signing last night! Tom Franklin, the author of a new book titled Smonk, was there with his wife, Beth Ann Fennelly, who was also promoting her new book, Great With Child.

The gathering was held at a jewel of literary solidarity in Montgomery, Al called The Capitol Book and News. The owners write a weekly review column for the Pulitzer Prize winning paper The Montgomery Advertizer. I arrived early and got to talk to a few people. One of the people was a man by the name of Wayne Greenhaw. He is the 2006 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished writer.

After a few minutes, I began to realize that pretty much 14 out of the fifteen people in the room had published books, were publishers, or were otherwise connected in big and important ways with the publishing industry.

I am an extrovert. I never, ever feel nervous in a room. I can enter a room full of strangers and leave 30 minutes later with phone numbers, email addresses, and names. But, this gathering was a whole different story. I felt like the youngest child sitting at the table with the adults when I knew I was supposed to be at the short table with the rest of the kids. I did, however, ask some questions during the Q&A session after the authors gave their talks. Everyone was nice and I learned a great deal by just listening to other people talk, ask questions, and give answers. It was one of the most daunting, exhilirating, and educational things I've ever been to and I can't wait to do it again!

Here's the link for their website:

You can request their free newsletter if you like. It would probably only be useful for local people, but here it is. They have actual, published authors signing books there every month and there are usually 5 or 6 more there for the talks and Q&A sessions. It's very cool!

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