Tag Archive | book signing

The Deer in the Headlights

I recently had a book signing that didn’t go so well.  It was at a craft show and I arrived thinking that this was going to be my best moment of sales yet.  Thousands of people were expected to be at the event and I’d have the biggest opportunity for book exposure this year.  I bought extra author copies to sell at the show, and even though it was an outdoor event, I made sure I wore dress clothes and high heels to look extra professional.

But when the show came and passed, I found that it was the worst show I ever had.

It was a rainy weekend, which meant the humidity was high and my books looked like they came out of a flooded basement.

It was really hot, so people crowded around the ice cream and drink tents instead of the craft ones.

I nearly died in a port-a-potty (well, I’m only slightly exaggerating that claim.  I went in, got my heel stuck in the floor, and went flying forward towards the end you don’t want to be in.  It’s a wonder the thing didn’t knock down and things really got messy!)

I only made one sale.

That’s right.  Out of all the hard work and money paid out to renting a booth and travelling across the state, I made one sale.  That alone was worthy of sending me to spend the night in front of the TV watching Lord of the Rings and pigging out on a gallon of chocolate ice cream.

As a writer and artist, it’s discouraging to see your work go ignored.  Sure, it was bad weather, and sure, other artists didn’t sell much either, but when it happens to you, you can’t help but feel a little down that things didn’t go better.

About a week after the show, my stepdad’s birthday came along and my mom and I went out to Dairy Queen to pick up an ice cream cake.  While out on the road, I decided to tell her about my discouragement on the show not going as well as I thought it should.  She mentioned not being down about the bad show, that sometimes life won’t go as expected, and we can’t let setbacks discourage us.  We need to keep our eyes on the road of life, to the destination we know we’re headed towards, and we can’t let things like a setback keep us from getting there.

Suddenly, in the middle of our conversation, a deer decided to jump right in front of our moving vehicle.

Now I don’t know about you, but ever since moving to the suburbs after growing up in the city, I’m still not used to seeing giant wildlife going out into the road to say hello.  I’d rather wave to them while they are far away from my car where we both are safe and sound.

My mom slammed on the brakes and we waited until the deer pranced over back into the field, happy like nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

After a moment of awkward shock (and realizing we were all still alive and in one piece), my mom decided to continue her lesson.

Just like the deer, unexpected setbacks come into our lives.  We didn’t see the deer jump out in front of us until it was on the road, staring back at us with the “deer in the headlights” look.  It was the same with the bad show.  I didn’t see the bad weather, lack of sales, and port-a-potty death trap coming.  But just like the deer, it soon pranced back into the field and became a thing of the past.  We didn’t stop and turn around to forget getting our ice cream cake.  We kept on driving down the road, bound and determined to get that cake for my stepdad’s birthday!

Bad days and bad breaks will always be around.  As writers and artists, there will be times when we’re on top of the world and there will be times when we wonder if we really should keep doing what we’re doing.  And while there’s a time to know when to give up, there’s also a time to keep going.  If I let one bad book signing determine my future, I may never see all the good that’s ahead.  There are more books to write.  There are more stories to tell.  There are more people to encourage and help.  Sure, there’s a chance I’ll have more unpleasant shows, but if I stop moving forward, I’ll never have a chance to see my dreams come true, either.

I hope this week is finding you all well.  I have some good news to share before the holiday this weekend.

> Book Three of “The Ripple Affair” series is written and done!  I’m currently getting the cover designed and it has went through the first round of edits.  It’s on track to be released later this summer, so be on the lookout for more announcements regarding “When Dreams Break”.

> “Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator”, a new series about 18th century pirates, is available now on Amazon and Kindle.  It’s the first book in this series, and if you enjoy reading it, don’t forget to leave a review if you’d like to!  🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a safe, fun Fourth of July weekend.

Hospital Food, Broken Washer, and a Book Signing

It’s been a hectic month.

It started off with a phone call from my aunt and uncle.  A family friend of ours (my uncle’s mother) had died.  A few days later, I had to have an endoscopy.  A few days after that, I got a phone call in the middle of the night that my grandfather had a heart attack.  We were in the hospital for a week.  Then, after my grandfather came home, we had another emergency in the middle of the night last night.  Our washing machine decided to flood part of the basement, the laundry room, two closets, and part of the kitchen.  Not only that, but a large shipment of books I ordered for today’s book signing got delayed in the northeast because of all the snow that hit New York.

And worst of all, I RAN OUT OF MAKEUP BEFORE MY BOOK SIGNING.

I can’t tell you how horrific that is for me.  I didn’t even have time to stop at the grocery store to pick up more…(*cries*).

All of this within a week and a half.

Needless to say there was not enough caffeine in the universe to keep me wide awake and alert.  Between funeral preparations, caregiving for both my grandfather and grandmother, cleaning up the mess my washer made, searching high and low for any extra copies of “The Ripple Affair” I could get my hands on, and praying to the good Lord to find a pinch of foundation and cover stick to hide my zits, it seemed like fate was out to get me and I was having a stroke of bad luck.

It was frustrating to say the least.  I was tired, cranky, impatient, and feeling terrible.  I didn’t understand why so many bad things happened all at once.  Was this supposed to be some sort of sign that I shouldn’t have wrote a book?  Was this fate’s way of telling me taking a chance on being a writer was a terrible decision that I should’ve never made?

I arrived at my book signing this afternoon dreading it.  I was waiting for some other emergency to happen.  Books would probably fall in the snow puddles outside and be ruined.  The chocolate cake we ordered would probably be dropped and smushed.  Guests would undoubtedly skip the party and enjoy the first “warm” day we’ve had in days (it was above freezing today-that’s tropical weather where I’m at.)

I didn’t expect it to be a good party.  After so much bad, why would something good finally happen?

After the first guests started to arrive, though, I noticed that the party wasn’t going as bad as I thought.  We had enough books for the guests.  The cake and food were a hit with some guests going up for seconds.  And people showed up!  Friends and family arrived and had a great time socializing, discussing writing, and meeting new people.

By the end of the party, I found it to be one of the best get-together’s I’ve ever been to.  Any discouragement I had before was removed by the love and support of my family, friends, and guests who took time out of their day to spend a few hours supporting my dream.  I was so thankful for the people who were there and I will never forget the wonderful time I had with them today.  They made it so special!  I also got to meet some wonderful new people who were so kind to offer their support for “The Ripple Affair”.

Today taught me a valuable lesson; not about writing, but about life.  So many times we come across bumps in the roller coaster that’s life and we get bombarded with bad things.  A poor diagnosis.  A lost job.  The loss of someone we love.  Not getting a break.  Sometimes these events happen so close together that’s it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged, thinking that somehow we’re cursed or have bad luck and it’s never going to get better.

But life is like a roller coaster.  Just like how we can fall on our knees, we can also rise back up again.

After the night comes the day.  After winter comes spring.  After a storm comes a rainbow.  We all go through difficulties and hard times, but no matter what we go through, the bad times don’t last forever.  It may take a lot of prayer, patience, and chocolate, but the good moments in life will always step in to overtake the bad.

Also, a special note!

I’m now on Goodreads (under Erin Cruey).  Feel free to review my book or find me in the group chats and say hello.  🙂