It was a long, long trip for me in Dallas with some definite highs and lows to it. The highs were really high, though, which made for a fantastic event. I loved meeting everyone and am really looking forward to getting into the groove of doing these kinds of events more often; anxiety be damned.
I do feel the need to address a couple of the lows of this event in a bit more detail and one of those lows that I found particularly upsetting was that the signing was seemingly cut short. I don’t know what happened there. No explanation was given, but what I thought was to run until 6pm, only went until 4 which meant that VIP got three hours with authors while General Admission peeps only got two. That was distressing to me, seeing as there were a line or two that it took two hours for readers to get through to see some of their favorite authors.
I am so sorry that happened to you. I wish there was something I could do to make it up to you, but I can’t. If I had any idea that the signing was only going to run three hours, I would have chosen a signing that would have allowed for more time with my readers while in Texas. It may be a while before I can get back down there, but believe me, come hell or high water, I will.
Another thing that happened, resulted in a somewhat angry Facebook post out of me mid-signing – and I am still angry about it; leaves me feeling the need to give a very public shout out and apology to Elizabeth Soger. She was the beautiful, patient, kind, and all around wonderful reader who was speaking with me and having her books signed when one of the photographers at the event walked up to us and interrupted her mid-sentence to drop an image and a business card on my hands as I was signing her book, with the vulgar and distasteful words ‘This is our menu.’
I’m sorry, but Elizabeth deserved better than that from you, I deserved better than that from you, and the men depicted in that image are men. Not food, not livestock, but living, breathing, human beings that deserve to both be treated and represented with more respect and decorum than you gave them.
As I said in my Facebook post that day. You should be grateful that I am keeping your name out of this. I hope you learn a lesson from this, and let this serve as notice to any and all professionals in book world – I don’t care about swearing, I don’t care about the jokes and the mild objectification that goes along with what we do – but goddammit, you had better show some respect and respect boundaries that are clearly established in my presence or I will publicly rip you a new one from this day forward.
If I am with a reader, that is that reader’s time with me. You don’t get to interrupt that moment. You get to have some respect for them and wait your turn. When it’s your turn, you will get my full attention – just as they did for theirs.
Do I make myself crystal clear?
At no point during this, or any other event I will be at in the future, was I, or will I, hide myself. I gladly gave out my room number. I posted every chance I got where I was going and what I was doing and at all times there was an open invitation for anyone and everyone to join me in and at those activities.
The one and only time I hold my time sacred for one on one is when I am seated at that signing table. At that point it is just me and the person in front of me for as long as they would like, within reason. That is what that individual paid for, and by god, they are going to get it.
You had no right to do what you did, and I sincerely hope your models know how it is you are representing them. You might want to change your tactics, because you are never going to get any business from me. Period.
That being said, I met some incredibly amazing people on this trip. Cree Nations, Liberty Parker, Elizabeth Soger, Tammy Becraft, Crystal Lynn King, Marie James, Shelton Cole, Melanie Pilcher, Sapphire Knight, Anne Mercier, Bijou Hunter, Kayce Kyle, Charmarie Dotson, Daryl Banner and his mother Sue, and so, so, many more that the names escape me right this minute but all of you – every one of you – made my first out of state, romance specific signing event memorable. I learned so much on this trip to further myself as an author and am looking forward to doing the upcoming events I have in both Portland and Toledo with real excitement now, instead of dread.
I’ll make it back to Texas someday, but until then, everyone stay safe and happy, and I hope I catch some of you at some of the other upcoming events I have in the coming weeks.
Thank you everyone for making Dallas so memorable!