From trepidation to elation to exhaustion: The life cycle of a book signing

My husband snapped this photo when I wasn't looking. It's a safe bet I'm agonizing over how best to express my gratitude for having such supportive fans of Henry, Jay, and Alice.

My husband snapped this photo when I wasn’t looking. It’s a safe bet I’m agonizing over how best to express my gratitude for having such supportive fans of Henry, Jay, and Alice.

Having no idea what to expect from my first book signing, I kick-started my day with two hours of sleep, a boatload of nausea-inducing nerves, and the absolute certainty that I would manage to misspell my own name before the day was done.

A writer’s imagination is a wonderful thing, except when it’s a terrible thing. 😉

As it turned out, my lone mishap at Books-A-Million was managing to miss my mouth and dribble water down my face while trying to take a sip. I’m just super-classy like that.

Check out all those abs on display! It's a tower of manly goodness in the romance section at BAM in York, Pennsylvania.

Check out all those abs on display! It’s a tower of manly goodness in the romance section at BAM in York, Pennsylvania.

But as my nerves settled — a few solid “hello”s and non-misspellings go a long way — I got embroiled in fantastic discussions about the craft of writing and about Henry, Alice, and Jay and their friends Will and Emma. I met wonderful people who brought their insightful questions and genuine kindness.

Playing the Game (Neighborly Affection #1) did a good job looking sexy on a romance shelf with fellow Lyrical/Kensington author Rebecca Zanetti’s Shadowed and Consumed. Rebecca, by the way, is one of those wonderful, kind people, and I’m grateful to her for showing me how to navigate the book signing experience. Every first-timer should be lucky enough to have such a delightful table buddy.

Not so scary after all, says hindsight, in its infinite wisdom.

The euphoria draining away and exhaustion creeping up are putting me into a couch coma tonight. I’ll be lucky if I don’t fall asleep in the middle of this sentence. … Okay, I might have, a little bit.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the signing and talked books. You turned an imagined disaster into an amazing afternoon I won’t forget. 🙂

For those who couldn’t be there, Playing the Game trade paperbacks are available through the Lyrical High Notes line in Books-A-Million (BAM) stores (find the store nearest you) or from the retailer’s website. You might even find an autographed copy popping up at your local store.

M.Q. Barber

M.Q. Barber is the USA Today bestselling author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. She's also an inveterate, unrepentant scribbler of ideas on whatever's handy.

7 Comments:

  1. It was great to meet you in person and talk writing! Love having my signed hardcopy of PLAYING THE GAME – can’t wait to get my hands on the others.

    • Oh! And I just realized BECOMING HIS MASTER is coming out on my birthday!! Why thank you, MQ – I couldn’t ask for a better present. 😉

      • LOL! I wouldn’t say no to unwrapping Henry and Jay on my birthday, either. 😉

        I had a great time chatting with you at the signing, Cat. I love learning how the writing process works for other authors — so many idiosyncratic paths to a finished story. It’s fascinating.

  2. Mel, this is so darn exciting! I’m just tickled pink for you getting to do a signing and meeting fans and experiencing the whole writing shebang.

    Yay for you! And how cool that your husband is on board and snapping pics for your blog!

    • Thanks, Jessi! It was fantastic to be able to babble about the characters with other people who love them. Now I just need to finish writing another book, LOL.

      Yup, my husband’s a great guy and super-supportive. I’m incredibly lucky to have him. 🙂

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