How to Do a Book Signing
By: Someone so Famous I Almost Can’t Stand It
1. Find out about book signing months in advance. Feel a warm glow of anticipation. Like looking forward to Christmas. Or when the next Star Wars movie comes out.
2. Time passes. Realize you have one week until you leave. Start scheduling the freaking out to occur with regularity from hereon.
3. Arrange childcare, pack, make meals because they will all starve and die without you, pack some more, freak out on regular intervals. Wake up at 2 am a lot and then freak out about freaking out. YOU ARE SO NEUROTIC STOP IT.
4. Drive to airport. Get lost a little, right NEXT to the airport. You can see the planes. You just. Can’t. Get to the planes. Start muttering “da plane! da plane!” in a weird Fantasy Island moment, while gripping onto the steering wheel and what’s left of your sanity. Get a grip and finally force yourself to take on google maps. OH HOLY ADULTS, YOU ARE SO GROWN UP.
5. Get through the metal detector thing without losing your pants. Make weird eye contact with guy while putting belt back on pants. Awkward.
6. Someone on plane is wearing your high school boyfriend’s cologne which is confusing. You suddenly want to listen to Spandau Ballet.
7. Turbulence on plane makes everyone in your row start up impromptu bible study. You start humming, “I’ll Fly Away” and “Nearer My God to Thee” as comedic relief. Jesus humor is not well received.
8. Get to hotel. Twelve year old model checks you in. You want to offer her a granola bar and ask her why she’s out so late. She upgrades your room. You love her!
9. Get to room on the 27th floor. You can’t figure out how to use the keyless key thing. You are smarter than this. You nearly dismantle the keyless thingie until you realize, while holding the plastic thingie in your TEETH as you are searching, Lord, help please, PLEASE I am finally HERE just let me in the damn door, that you just need to hold it in FRONT of the keyless thingie. There is no swiping. You feel like a complete idiot and know that somewhere, someone in the concierge office is laughing his arse off. You don’t care because
10. HOLY COW YOUR ROOM IS BIGGER THAN YOUR FIRST FLOOR OF YOUR HOUSE AND YOU HAVE TWO BATHROOMS. TO YOURSELF. ALL TO YOURSELF. TWO BATHROOMS. I REPEAT. TWO. but
11. You can’t figure out how to turn on the lights. Everything is chic and automated. Therefore, it is hard. You start to wonder if you should just go home. But, there’s two bathrooms. You can’t leave them.
12. WOW. Bam! You found button for lights and blinds! You got this! You can see now! The button says, “Welcome!” and when you push it the whole room just comes to life! All for you! It might be possible your ego cannot handle this hotel room.
13. The view from the room almost makes you burst into tears.
14. The television says, “Welcome Dana Bowman, author.” You almost, ALMOST burst into tears.
15. You watch Real Housewives until two am because your brain is going to freak out anyway, so you frost it over with blonde highlights, drama, and boobs that smoosh upwards in clothing. You wrap yourself in the big, white, fluffy robe that the hotel provided, and realize, you can so relate to all those women. They are fraught, fraught, I tell you, with the struggle. Except to the boob part. You can’t really relate to that part.
16. You wake up at 5 am. The coffee is sublime. You dress in your “Ima author! Here is my all grownup book signing” outfit and wait for your Cali friends to show up. You feel like it’s your first day of school.
17. Friends show up. They take you on BART and amidst the Gay Pride parade which is kinda, well, overwhelming. Evidently it is rather a big deal. It just makes you very, very distracted. It is just too early for all that leather.
18. You end up by the water, and slurp down the best latte you have ever had in your entire life. It almost makes you burst into tears.
19. Sweet friends walk you to conference center, give you a kiss, and send you off. Your editor takes you to your booth.
20. You see your book, a stack of them actually, waiting for you to sign.
21. And finally. Finally. You burst into tears.
Postscript: Your editor hands you a tissue and exclaims, “There is NO crying! There’s no crying at book signings! Our authors do NOT cry! Hold it together, woman!”
And, later, you met the author of Lemony Snicket! Squee!!