Monday, April 2, 2007
My First Signing
I had my first reading and book signing last Tuesday. A cool if slightly surreal experience.

I showed up at the Barnes and Noble in Madison about ten minutes before the signing was supposed to start. There were about a half-dozen of my friends hanging around, and my grampa was sitting in the front row. That was about it. Ten people tops, and that was including me.

Honestly, I was kinda relieved. With less than ten people the potential for looking stupid is greatly reduced. And since everyone was either a friend or a relative, I could trust that they'd already seen me humiliate myself on a far grander scale than anything I was likely to achieve tonight.

But I was pretty disappointed. You want a little fanfair for your maiden voyage, and in terms of the beginning of my writing career, a turnout of less than ten people is not a good omen.

But soon the place started to fill up. We put out more chairs and they filled up too. Eventually we ended up with about two hundred people. A crowd. Perhaps even a throng.

I read some of the book out loud, which was a new experience for me. We also did some Q & A, which I very much enjoyed, as I love talking about writing. I got a few laughs and avoided walking around with my fly undone, so, as a whole, the experience was a positive one.

Then came the signing. I was a little nervous because of certain penmanship and spelling issues I posses. However, the B & N organizer had everyone sign a little post-it and put it on their book, so when they got to the front of the line, I could personalize the books without having to ask the spelling of names.

I made my way through about 40 or 50 people without any trouble. I'm chatting with people, shaking hands, having a good time. I feel just a little bit like a rockstar. And that, of course, is when I let my guard down.

A woman gets to the front of the line and hands me her book. "Could you inscribe this 'to Helen?' " she asks.

"No problem," I say. I take the post-it off the book and stick it on the table where I can look at it: H-e-l-e-n.

Because I'm feeling pretty good, I try to chat with the woman while I'm signing. As a result, I misspell the name.

I laugh it off and move her book over to the side, replacing it with the book I brought with me to read from. I stop talking and focus my considerable intellect at the task at hand. Using my full concentration, massive brain, and over eleven years of higher education, I'm able to successfully transcribe a five-letter name... the second time around.

So now I'm left with this: a memento of my first signing.

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Yeah. That's all me. Totally rockstar.


pat

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14 Comments:

Blogger resurrectedwarrior said...

*cracks up and falls over*

"To Hell"--That's awesome!

This was at a Barnes and Noble? How big was their reading area? The one where I live might be able to fit 75 people max in the place where they usually have readings.

And congrats on a great first signing. Sounds like it went really, really well.

April 2, 2007 6:42 AM  
Blogger Darkson said...

Great story. Hopefully you'll run into Hell somewhere on your tour so they can have their signed copy. I'm 200 pages into the story and loving it.

April 2, 2007 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Steven Ford said...

Place that book in a hand basket, quick!

April 2, 2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Resurrectedwarrior: This was a pretty big Barnes and Noble, but even so, there were a bunch of people standing in the back, there weren't enough chairs for everyone.

April 2, 2007 12:09 PM  
Anonymous duderoony said...

ha! That's amazing. I got a message that said you had written a book, so I went to your website and checked it out. It looks awesome. I like the UK cover. It seems the most intriguing to me.

April 2, 2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger Sean T. M. Stiennon said...

Well, once I was signing a copy of my small-press short story collection. Only after the guy had walked off did I realize that I had written a dedication and a little note, but hadn't actually signed my name....

Thankfully I was able to catch up with him and rectify my mistake ;).

April 2, 2007 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

Wow, 200! Brilliant!

...I cracked up over "To Hell". Haha!

April 5, 2007 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Stefie said...

I want that book! If you decide not to keep it send it to me. You can FedEx it receipent paid.
(I'm a big fan of typos and fudge ups) don't ask me why I just am.

April 8, 2007 5:33 PM  
Blogger pyewacket41 said...

I just want that book. I've been there before and will surely end up there again at some point....possibly even frequently.

Is it for sale?

April 10, 2007 10:01 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Heh. I've actually had a lot of people try to buy the book since I mentioned it. But I'm holding onto it for now. With all the good reviews I've been getting lately, I need something like that to keep me humble.

April 11, 2007 12:25 AM  
Blogger Seraphim said...

I would like to hug you and kick you at the same time. When I got close to the end of the book, I realized I wasn't even near the middle of the story. ARRRGGGHHH!

I love Kvothe and hope you publish again and again. You have a new dedicated fan.

I'shalom

Seraphim

April 12, 2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Seraphim said...

oh, title and publish date of book 2?

April 12, 2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

July 4th....just heard of Trilogy from a German friend ..
Stuck in Ohio unable to find book let alone get signed!!!

July 4, 2007 6:04 AM  
Blogger Caligonis said...

When I saw the picture of the book... well, I was at the work reading your post... and when I laughed out loudly (it was a reception in a Hospital), all the patients looked very strange at me. "grin"

But I think, was smiling the whole time while reading your Interwievs.

I am very happy for you and I think your really deserve it!

February 22, 2009 8:34 AM  

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