Today was a thrilling new experience for me: 5 minutes to introduce myself and Mad Miss Mimic at the Indigo Books Penguin Random House Spring Preview. A room stuffed with booksellers and buying reps (and I mean 50 people stuffed!) all waiting for me to tell them why they should look twice at my book let alone recommend it to customers.
Waiting in the lobby beforehand I was
a little nervous quaking in my boots. But I could hear lots of laughter coming from inside the room, and that got me thinking about why all these folks were gathered. I thought, a) they’re here because they’re all readers, all born-and-bred book nuts, b) they’re here to get the scoop on what’ll be coming into their stores over the next few months, c) they’re here for a change of pace, to chat with friends and colleagues, to be wined and dined a little, to collect some free books, to hear from a few authors firsthand what went into the writing…in other words, they’re in no way sitting behind those doors waiting to judge or dismiss me and my newborn book.
This helped immensely with the nerves. Also it helped immensely that I had just the day before received my first copy of the actual printed book! I took it out of my purse and went into that room book-first. I started my little spiel by talking about the cover image: how happy I am about those flowers because they’re so pretty and mysterious but also because they’re opium poppies, and the story involves a drug plot with doctors seeking more potent derivatives of morphine to sell to their patients…
I may have rambled a bit. I almost certainly took more than 5 minutes. But the faces looked interested, I got a few laughs (e.g., “a Victorian London version of Breaking Bad“), and the questions afterwards were great.
Thank you, Sally Sparrow, for snapping (and tweeting) the pic from the back of the room. Nice to have a memento!