“You’ve written a book, have you?” says a very kind looking, older lady, as she walks passed my little signing table.
“I’ve written two, actually!”
“Well good on you!” she says. She’s very encouraging.
Then she walks away.
I’m currently sitting at a little red table in the middle of a shopping centre. Stacks of my books surround me. I’m choosing to type this rather than sit here looking awkward because in reality I feel very awkward.
It’s profoundly humbling. If you’re not a huge marquee author people often won’t even make eye contact. It’s hard to blame them. To them I’m like one of those stalls in the middle of the walkway trying to derail them from their shopping mission.
Books are very personal. It makes me despair, actually, about anybody ever picking up my book and taking it home. If I can’t sell it and I’m actually here, what chance does it have on its lonesome?
I’m very grateful I get to do this, don’t get me wrong. But man it makes me question everything. My life. Books are profoundly vulnerable and this, sitting here smiling, feels so naked. Being actually naked would only be slightly worse (plus illegal).
Bloody hell. I just turned around and chatted with a very nice lady about her buying Lee Child and I managed to sell a Michael Connelly!! What am I doing? The pit of anguish.