Friday, March 10, 2006

On the Other Hand, You Have More Fingers

All you bookies out there will know what I'm talking about when I say book signings are an excellent opportunity to observe the beautiful frailty of the human ego. You have behind a podium a person who overcame tremendous odds and published a book of their genius, facing a rapt audience of readers and fans, a-twitter at their brush with fame.

The author speaks, hopefully on the book's topic, and opens the floor for questions. Timid hands are raised, and questions are breathlessly asked, usually either fawning compliments or completely random mintuae. No matter what the answer, everyone smiles, laughs, or clucks or "awwww"s in empathy. The busybody book shop coordinator barks into a decrepit microphone, giving the signees their lining-up orders.

Most bring their dog-eared copy of the book from home to be signed, but some clever bunnies buy extra copies to be signed and then given out as gifts. Would-be authors are usually in attendance, their good-natured introduction and handshake of literary-greatness solidarity all worked-out and rehearsed in advance. Suburban housefraus eye each other suspiciously, wondering what that woman thinks she's doing at my favorite author's book signing. There is subtle jostling for position in the line, crocodile smiles abound.

I've had the pleasure of being on both sides of the podium. Tonight I was a passive bystander, accompanying a friend so he didn't feel weird and stalker-ish (not that any sane person would judge him thusly). Because I am quite a retard, I'd never heard of this book, nor its author. Mr. Grogan was absolutely captivating, and showed none of the irritation or fatigue I would expect of someone with his schedule and pressures. He was funny, kind, and approachable. A model of an author at book signing, really. The author was super nice and chummy with my friend, with whom he shares an editor and publishing house. Yeah, that's right, I was in the company of heavily-caffeinated Greatness.

My only complaint, and really, this is just me being petty, is this: during the Q&A session, I raised my hand (I was standing directly in front of the author) and no one else did. He looked at me, then around the room. I waved my hand a little, to get his attention. He looked at me again, then asked someone off to the side if they had a question. I looked at my friend. Supressing laughter, he shrugged.

See what happens when you look like Trouble?

Anyway, get this book and read it, if you haven't already.


Blogger LisaBinDaCity said...

Why the heck did he ignore you? Maybe you look like his wife or mistress or something?

Or maybe he's just a first class asshole.

10:34 AM  

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