The Fun of Doing Signings with Social Anxiety

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So a lot of people know I do as many local author signings as I possibly can, but at the same time I’ve been super resistant to doing signings abroad up until this year. Not a lot of people know why so let’s blow the lid off of this thing, shall we?

I can’t people.

Like I really, really, can’t people.

My pre-signing ritual usually goes as follows:

Show up to the venue before anyone else and get my shit set up in record time. Do I have to rush? No. Why do I rush? Because just setting foot into the venue, knowing this is going to happen, my heart is pounding so hard it feels like it’s going to crack ribs. It doesn’t stop either, my heart rate has been known to be at anywhere from 100 beats per minute on up… that’s what it’s supposed to be when you’re running, not when you’re sitting behind a table with a smile plastered to your face pulling off a total Oscar worthy performance of ‘I’m fine! I’m cool, I’m totally awesome and HI! It’s so good to meet you!’

Yeah, it’s all bullshit. I’m fucking terrified the whole event, sweating my ass off and wondering, if it’s a venue that serves alcohol and whether it’s a socially acceptable hour to start drinking yet. It isn’t? Well crap. Oh wait! I’m an MC romance author – get me a drink STAT and fuck the rules, after all, my guys do it all the time, right?

At the events where I drink, I am a cross between hysterically funny, and probably really super obnoxious, but I don’t care because it is literally anything I can do to get through the day.

You’ve probably noticed by now, that I have people behind my table with me. Like my fiance, or a couple of friends – these are my people as in people I know and it is literally their sole job to block me in behind my table and keep me there. They keep me from running away and crawling under the table to hide.

You should thank these people. 

Of course, this is before the doors have even opened. At around the hour until readers mark, to a half hour before readers mark, I usually have to pee and make a beeline for the bathroom. This is code for, I’m so nervous I’m going to hurl. Then gum, breath mints and god damn it now I’m hungry since my stomach doesn’t have anything in it anymore. This is why I don’t typically eat breakfast the day of a signing. Coffee only.

When it gets kind of slow, I’m glued to my phone checking and rechecking emails, Facebook, messages, just anything that will break me out of the zone of OMFG people I don’t know! I’m not trying to get you away from my table by rushing you, I’m not trying to ignore you, I’m very sure you’re a nice person, but I don’t usually meet a lot of nice people and it takes me forever to warm up to people and the 5-10 minutes it takes me to sign your book or ring you up or talk to you about whatever is not enough time for me to thaw out from my frozen terror at having met you.

Doesn’t matter if I talk to you on Facebook daily.

Doesn’t matter if I have talked to you on the phone.

You’re standing right in front of me now and I am so far from home all I want to do is go home and hug my cat.

If I’m having a good day, you would never know any of this. If I’m having a good day, I have my game face on and let me tell you, I can act with the best of ’em and can be the life of the fuckin’ party.

Again: I will do whatever it takes to get through the day.

Now you can ask my fiance about this one, it’s not uncommon for us to get home from the event and I’m a raging bitch, or worn out, or just immediately curled up in bed and passed out for like fourteen hours straight. That’s if, I’m not bawling my eyes out on the ride home.

I’ve had other authors tell me “I wish I were as put together as you,” and my first thought is usually always, “Jackpot! The ruse is working,” because let’s face it honey. The only person more afraid of being a room of kickass authors you admire is the kickass author you admire absolutely freaking out about meeting her readers.

You guys are the fucking rockstars. Not me. I just wrote a book.


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