While book signings always sound like fun, they actually scare the living hell out of me! Fortunately, I recently found out that one of the authors who appeared with me in San Francisco also gets terrible stage fright. Whew! It’s not just me.
So I rose my tired arse out of bed last Friday at 4am, showered and then left by 4:20am for the airport. The driver from the lot where I parked wasn’t particularly perky, so that worked out perfectly! Nobody wants a perky picker-upper at 5am. Pshaw.
Mind you, I hadn’t eaten since Thursday night and I figured I’d grab something at the airport. That just didn’t happen and Southwest doesn’t offer meals, plus my layover in Denver was too brief to risk stopping for a nibble. Drat! So, three hours to Denver and then another three hours to San Francisco, but I did make it! And you know what? It rained. It bloody rained!
The shuttle was packed with a number of nurses passing a can of pistachios back and forth of which I was teased and denied entry to. The pistachios, not the nurses. They were of the female kind. Now, if they’d been a couple of male nurses… Exactly. Nothing would have happened. I made Pookie a playful little bet that I wouldn’t get lucky in San Francisco. He bet me I was right. I’m still trying to figure out who won.
The B&B I booked, Willow’s Inn, was quite lovely. The price was right and the room was quite comfortable, which may have been the turning point since I was considering hauling my bum back to the airport and going home so I would no longer have to be scared about the signing. Silly thoughts, right?
Well, less than 10 minutes walking around outside after checking in at the B&B, I stop and am waiting for the light to change when another guy walks up next to me. He lets out a very, very, very long, exaggerated sigh, so I look over at him. It was an odd sound it really went on too long not to acknowledge. The guy looked at me, wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and said “There’s more where that came from.”
That $hit could only happen to me, right?
What did I do? I looked at him and retorted “Quality, not quantity,” and continued walking.
I checked out the bookstore to get an idea of what was in store for us that night. They were going to put us towards the back so that we wouldn’t hear as much noise coming from Castro. Solid idea and I love that it would be VERY near the $2 DVD porn bin. Nooo, not because I was going to buy any. We might be able to snare a few extra folks into our audience.
Someone at the store also kindly recommended a good place to eat across the street. Sushi!!!! Oh, how I was missing home, so I went across and ended up sitting next to a young man and his Asian boyfriend. I ate my two rolls and listened to the white guy say something only to be rebuked by his companion. Then his companion would say something, the white guy would attempt a rebuke and then be shot down for daring to rebuke the Asian companion. Yes, this was JUST like home!
I returned to the B&B, napped for a couple of hours, then hiked a mile and a half to a restaurant to meet up with G.A. Hauser (Amanda), one of the authors I was signing with. Who is the masochist that built the city in the middle of all those f*****g hills??? And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I discovered that I’d Googled the wrong location of the restaurant. There were two and I hadn’t written down the correct streets, so I had to hike back up and down those same f*****g hills to a place that was 5 minutes away from where I’d been previously napping. My f*****g legs STILL hurt today!
Amanda, her friend Michael and I shared something to drink (ice tea for me, thank you) before the signing, then headed over to the store where we met up with Alan Chin, the third member of our author team that night. Unfortunately, the store only had copies of Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell in, but they said they’d be getting a couple copies of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation and Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins for anybody who attended wanted them at a later date.
As fate would have it, every seat in the place was filled, plus one. Alan gave up his chair so that someone who came in a little late could sit down, which was very chivalrous. Amanda kicked off the evening discussing a number of her books and series, then Alan discussed his three novels and did a short reading, then I delved into my books and did a short reading. The audience was delightfully interactive and gave us feedback that the three of us had really wonderful chemistry together, which was lovely to hear. Some authors don’t play well together, but we meshed pretty darn well and the store was happy with the book sales for the evening.
I also had the chance to meet a wonderful Facebook friend who I’d been chatting with for over a year now.
So despite the stage fight, food deprivation, screamingly sore legs and short duration of the trip, the signing turned out to be a wonderful boost and I’m really quite looking forward to the upcoming signings this week in Atlanta and Chicago. I’m hoping there’s also going to be sushi involved, plus Pookie is going to meet me in Chicago where he can rebuke me until his little heart is content. Ah, love even after 15 years. It never gets old.
More later. In the meantime, it’s time for a Tylenol snack.