What is a stock signing?
A. An opportunity for author to quickly drop by a bookstore and sign all of her books.
B. The above plus a chance for the author to run around the store and find all her books.
C. Both of the above plus the chance to meet all of the booksellers in the store who have joined the Game of Find-The-Books-I-Know-We-Ordered-Extra-Because-She-Was-Coming.
D. All of the above plus drinking a large cup of complimentary coffee at each stop.
E. And using the bathroom.
F. And enjoying a store-wide celebration when the books are found.
G. Then a record-setting speed-signing because 90% of the time allotted was spent in the Game.
OR H. A common feature on a book tour which frequently causes the Author to discover each and every ligament and tendon in her right hand and wrist.
We did four stores in two and a half hours. I don’t know how many books I signed. But I got my exercise, which was good because in my fantasy version of the book tour, I was working out in the hotel gym every morning and so far that has not happened, not even once.
When the dust had settled from the stock signing frenzy I studied the schedule and realized that we were headed for an event at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. I had a bad feeling about this. A very bad feeling. Teenagers are all busy at 3:30; practice, clubs, work, homework – OK, not with homework – but half of them are still on the bus, for crying out loud. And the teachers are still stuck behind their desks working on a million things. I figured that maybe four people would turn up and they would all be pre-published writers and I could hold a writing workshop.
Or I could sign stock.
“No” screamed the Hand. “Dear God, please!”
I was wrong. 70 people, half of them teens, turned out. I do not know how this happened. I was just grateful for the opportunity to blab for an hour while I tried to massage some life into my right hand. (Thank you for coming out, Birmingham, MI!)
As we drove to Ann Arbor for the last event of the day, Ominous Signs developed. Heavy black clouds unfurled, lightning snapped, and the heavens unleashed their fury. The Hand did not care. The Hand was praying for a blizzard, a tornado, or a return of the dust bowl, anything to prevent more signing.
We arrived in Ann Arbor early enough to grab a bite to eat at a wonderful deli….. I forget the name exactly but it was something like Berry’s Bagels. I really wanted a bagel with a schmear, but I knew I was low on protein so I had a roast beef wrap stuffed with veggies.
After picking the lettuce from my teeth, it was time to enter the word of Nicola’s Books. We hurried to avoid getting struck by lightning. The children’s and teens section in Nicola’s is huge.
The thunder and lightning and torrential downpours kept the crowd smallish, but those who made it were hardy souls indeed. Many of them were English teachers, who are the hardiest of hardy souls, and good-humored to boot. We had a blast.
There were even a couple of soon-to-be English teachers who were so fired up to teach literature and find ways to help kids continue to love reading that there was actual smoke coming out of their heads. (Best of luck, David and moriath)
When everyone left, I signed more stock. The Hand was not amused. In fact, I am typing this left-handed. My left hand is aglow at all of the attention. This is the chance it has been waiting for all these years.
OK, that paragraph is out there, even for me. Time to pack and sleep.
Wake up. Airport shuttle. Plane. South. Missouri. Fetch suitcase. Car. Drive.
Morning and early afternoon – stock signings (shhh – don’t tell the Hand)
4:30 PM Signing at Piece of Mind Books
1530 Troy Rd.
Edwardsville, IL 62025
7:00PM Signing at Buder Branch – St. Louis Public Library (open to public)
4401 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109
Contact: Patty Carlton
Sponsored by Left Bank Books
399 N. Euclid
St. Louis, MO 63108