When Borders suggested I do a book signing at their Coventry store I was petrified.
Big Fella convinced me it would be a great idea, a way of getting myself out there, and although I knew all of this, it still kinda felt like I was waiting to go to the dentist. I was as organised as I could be, Big fella hand picked 10 pink roses from a florist near to where he works, and had 12 black and pink helium filled balloons at the ready. Everything was cool and we were ready to go...
Despite a typical Roderick start (droopy pink roses when I got up this morning, and 12 deflated balloons in the car), we managed to recover well. The kids were picked up by granddad, I finally got dressed, picked up some more roses and ordered more balloons, we were not going to be defeated.
It was freezing, but in true Karen Roderick stylie I wore flip flops, which were commented on, after my silver polished toe nails had been admired (wink). We met Francis, the incredibly helpful and accommodating store manager, who kindly showed us where I'd be sitting for my signing. It all got a bit real, and I wondered whether I was going to get through it. Big Fella made jokes of me and him sitting alone at the table like a National Lampoon's Christmas party with him half heartedly blowing a balloon and me sipping my sherry, hum, didn't do much for my waining confidence, but it did make me laugh.
By the time the lovely staff arrived with our tea, and I'd set up my table for the next 2 hours, I was starting to feel a little better, and actually quite excited. For the first time in 20 plus years of writing, my work was actually out there for people to read and hopefully enjoy, as well as see the woman who wrote it, which I found out absolutely makes a difference.
I was surprised how quickly people started coming over to "browse", and at 11.30 on the dot, I had my first lovely customer (!)
It felt kinda weird to be signing MY book. It's always been my world; my secret place with my secret friends, and now, hooray. they're out there for everyone to enjoy and love, and the more I signed, the more I really started to think I could do this thing and be a "proper" author. The staff at Borders were lovely, really friendly and helpful, and one lovely lady from one of the other departments drifted by on a number of occasions before finally being able to come over for a signed copy as she was supposed to be working, bless.
I had a surreal moment when Big Fella went off for the coffee's and an American guy came over and asked "Are you Karen Roderick?", obviously I said yes. He said I was the first kinda celebrity he'd met and wanted to come over and say hi. I shook his hand and he wondered off. I watched with a pleased grin reeling back in the Diva, wondering if he'd had thought me a "celebrity" had he seen me screaming at the kids in my PJ's this morning.
It was dead nice anyway, and I won't complain, and now that I've done the book signing, I wonder why I was so worried. Francis says I can come back again when I want, which I thought was so lovely, and I have every intention of doing so, see, I'm kinda on a roll now, like my first gig is over, and I'm looking for super stardom (sort of), but it was so great to meet the readers and just say hi, and see their reaction when I signed my name in their book. Some amazing people even bought the book without even knowing what it was about, who says you can't judge a book by it's cover (or author) - hope the gamble pays off for them.
The 2 hours flew by, and in all honesty, I could have stayed another 2, I was just getting my act together when it was time to close shop, but I have plans for the New Year...
Anyway, I could not sit in the Cookery section for 2 hours and not leave with a little something...
Oh thank Christmas it's Nigella X
BIG BIG thank you to my lovely husband, Big Fella, for whom really and honestly, as cliche as this sounds, I could not have done this without him XXX