Here’s something that might surprise people who have met me in the flesh. For someone who comes across as being very social, the truth is this: I don’t like big parties, look-at-me celebrations, or chi-chi social schmoozes. Yes, I like people, and I’m always interested in their lives, but the more people I talk to, the faster I run out of juice. For example, at every convention I attend, there’s going to be one night (usually the Friday night), where I’ll make the mistake of easing myself down onto the mattress in the late afternoon and then that’s it–I’m out. It would take a team of huskies, and harsh person yielding a whip to rouse me. I’m in a coma, recharging my batteries.
But when you have a book debuting, people expect you to do something a trifle tadaaah! Over and over, I’ve been asked–when and where’s your book launch?
My stock answer: “I’m not having one.”
Cue the gasps of horror.
But here’s the thing–being the centre of attention like that? Ew. Having to read from my book in front of a few friends who feel obliged to be there? Double-ew. That’s just not me. I’ll read with pleasure if a group of people ever ask me to, but I’m never going to ask a group of people to listen to me.
So, my kids conspired. They could not imagine Mommy not having her moment. But knowing how well their mother would react to being thrust into the limelight, they prudently scaled it to Leigh-size.
Attempt no 1: We’ll all troop to the bookstore, buy copies of your book (thereby proving that it’s not a figment of our imaginations), and then go to lunch.
I thought about that for a moment then grimaced. What if the bookstore didn’t have my book?
Attempt no 2: We’ll all go for lunch at Mom’s favourite place. The little Asian restaurant squeezed in between Mac’s milk and the drycleaners. Sits less than 40. No tablecloths. And booths with vinyl seats.
So, here’s Raymond from my favourite place. I’m not sure if he’s part owner or he works there. But he’s always been the person to serve us and over time, he’s grown used to me and my family. He knows that we eat fast (like a cloud of locusts zooming in on a grain field), and that there will be many mock battles. And we might be a little loud as we figure out the all-you-can eat menu. (My son always figures he’s hungrier than he is). And I might say something inappropriate to Raymond. (Mom, must you?)
But Raymond looks like he’s happy. Doesn’t he?
So, next time someone asks about the event, I’ll just say that it was swell. It lasted under an hour, and was witnessed by Raymond and five other people who were totally oblivious to the fact they were attending the book launch for THE TROUBLE WITH FATE:-)