Killing a couple of birds with this one (hmmm, sounds like a metaphor created by my cat!): taking care of My Town Monday and hint, hint my book-signing tomorrow when it's supposed to get cold and rainy/snowy. Grrr. On Wednesday it's supposed to be back sunny and in the 50s! Not that I take weather personally, or anything. :-)
Anyhow, back to Tattered Cover, one of the best independent book stores in the country. TC (as we friends of the store call it) has 3 locations. The store I'll be signing at is the LoDo (Lower Downtown) store.
The other day I was at a meeting and someone commented that after I do my signing at TC, my life would change. Getting published and doing signings is great and all, but...I've done 3 signings at TC already. It doesn't exactly change your life.
I actually worked at TC for about 2 1/2 years. I used to (very lovingly!) call it the home for the vocationally challenged. I know I was when I worked there. It's a good place to go when you need to lick your wounds or dial down the stress in your life. You'll never meet a bunch of kinder, smarter, more interesting people anywhere. I worked with a former judge, a former ER nurse, a former nun, a former monk, and a lot of good writers. Many of my coworkers had more than one advanced degree. It was hard not to laugh in the face of people who wanted to apply for a job when they tried to impress me with their BA, JD or MFA. I used to think, "Yeah, get in line." (Not that I was hiring, but sometimes people would ask me for an application and take the opportunity to point out just how cool they were and how lucky the store would be to have them.)
I started about a year after my first book, Walk Tall, had been published. I actually had the opportunity a couple of times to sell my own book. Once a customer approached me and asked if I knew where she could find it. I thought a coworker had put her up to it. But no. Just right place right time. Another time, a man was buying it along with a stack of others. As I rang up the book, I turned it over to reveal my photo on the back. We both had a good laugh, but I always wondered if those customers left thinking, "Book must not be any good or would she be working in a book store?"
Which leads me back to my point: in terms of fame and fortune, for many, many, many of us writers being successfully published means about as much as any other job I've had. You could fill the Grand Canyon with writers who've published multiple books and been reviewed in newspapers across the country and yet they're not household names, they don't get on Oprah, they don't have a million dollars, nobody recognizes them in the grocery store.
Having said all that, being a published author is much cooler than any other job I've ever had! And for all you out there working on your first novels I hope you get to find out just how cool it is. I'll be posting pictures from the launch party sometime later this week. I've got relatives and friends coming in from 4 cities for a few days of celebrating (I'm taking 7 of them to Idaho Springs on Wednesday). I'll be back to the blog when the champagne wears off!