Wednesday, February 10, 2010

98% Scared and 2% Excited…Or is it the other way around?

By Rebecca Clark (Guest Blogger)

I have my first ever signing this weekend for my first ever book, BORROWED STILETTOS. Part of me is super excited, and part of me is scared to death. I feel like Oscar in the movie Armageddon: “I got that ‘excited/scared’ feeling. Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or…it could be 98% scared, 2% excited, but that's what makes it so intense.”

I was okay until I heard the signing will be a Q&A, and I’ll have to introduce myself and read a short scene from my book. Yikes!

I’m not the most out-going person by nature. I hate being in the spotlight. I hate talking about myself. So, right now as I write this, as I’m thinking about this upcoming event, I’m more like 98% scared. Luckily, I’m signing with four other authors, all veteran signers and public speakers. Most of the attention should be directed at them and I can sit there on the end in relative obscurity.

I tend to be a “worst case scenario” type of person. If I imagine the worst that can possibly happen, things rarely turn out that bad. My husband calls that negative thinking. I call it self-preservation.

And really, what’s the worst that can happen?

  • No one shows up. Then there will be nothing to be nervous about.

  • Lots of people show up but no one buys my book. Well, that won’t happen. I have a ton of friends and family coming. If they don’t buy my book they know I’ll hurt them.

  • My voice shakes when it’s my turn to speak. Is that really such a big deal? No. Have a sip of water (or tequila…).

  • I get tongue-tied and can’t put two coherent words together. Okay, this is a big fear. But again, will that be the end of the world? No. People will just think to themselves, “Man, I hope she writes better than she speaks.” I could even make a joke about it: “Obviously, I’m a writer not a speaker.”

  • Someone asks me if my book is hot (it is) and how I research my sex scenes. Why this question intimidates me, I’m not really sure. I could say, “You’ll have to ask Mr. Clark.” Or, “I research my love scenes the same way I research my murder scenes.”

  • My books won’t arrive from my publisher on time. Then I’ll bring along my author copies. Just in case.

It’s all about being prepared. I need to figure out now what I’m going to wear. I have these awesome stiletto earrings and necklace my sister got me. I’m planning to borrow same sister’s stiletto shoes so if someone asks me if I’m wearing “borrowed stilettos,” I can honestly say yes. I need to try on my outfit a day or two before, making sure I don’t have any runs in my nylons and no dog slime on my dress.

I need to prepare a short blurb on my story and write it down on an index card, in case my mind goes blank when it’s my turn to talk about my book. I should also imagine what types of questions the audience could ask, just in case any are directed my way. Having a somewhat intelligent response would be quite nice.

Hmm. Now that I’ve put my fears on *paper*, I feel so much better. Getting closer to the 98% excited.

Those of you who’ve done a signing, do you have any words of wisdom for me? Any brilliant tips?

Wish me luck!

You can learn more about Rebecca on her website and her blog for shy writers at


Rebecca J. Clark said...

Lisabet, thanks so much for having me here today!


Unknown said...

Congratulations on your debut release today Rebecca! I know the signing will go excellently! I hope your family & friends take lots of pictures for you. I really love that response: I research my love scenes the same way I research my murder scenes.
Love & Best Wishes to you & yours,

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Thanks for the positive vibes, RK. I appreciate it. The closer I get to the signing, the more excited I get. I'll still probably feel like I'm going to wet my pants up there, but I'll be wearing a black dress. What's the worst that can happen? :)

Jennifer Mathis said...

oh use the research sex scene same as murder scene lol

Estella said...

Congratulations on the release of your book!
I'm sure you will do fine at your signing.

Laurie London said...

You're going to do great!

Just remember that everyone thinks that those who write, finish, and have a book published are really cool. (I know I do.) You're a celebrity. Walk in like you own the place, demand only green M&Ms, and slap the assistant.

As a family member attending your signing, would it be okay if I heckled you?

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Jennifer--If I used that quote, it would make them think, eh?

Estella--Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Everyone, meet my sister, Laurie London. Her first book is coming out this time next year with HQN. :) Thanks for the pep talk, sis. And it's not the green M&Ms but the yellow ones. And since I don't have an assistant, I'll have to slap you. And no, you may not heckle me. I know where you live.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Rebecca,

I'm chiming in a bit late here...Really delighted to have you as my guest! I'm sure that your signing will go wonderfully, now that you're so prepared!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Hi Lisabet,
Thanks so much to have me on your blog. I really appreciate it. Was an honor to be here.


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