Open Wounds

Rounding Third at the BBC

Author speed dating at the Book Blogger convention (BBC). The big room is buzzing with author’s pitching and bloggers listening.

The author at my table was in the middle of her pitch. Then she hesitated as if she had a secret she was going to tell but had decided not to. “I’m not going to tell you anymore about the story,” she said, “because this is the kind of story you have to experience as the main character experiences it.”

There was one other author besides me at our table and six bloggers and I hadn’t pitched yet  and this author, even with this statement, was sharp. I was feeling: 1) humbled (because her pitch to the bloggers was so good and practiced including a back story to herself that kicked butt with references to terrorists, Baghdad, and world hunger – okay not world hunger that’s just me being jealous and annoyed at the same time – that it put my pitch to come to shame) and 2) jealous and annoyed (the two do go hand in hand) because I was feeling all competitive and I was losing without even having said a word. Pitching against other authors is hard work. Especially when, after pitching, all the bloggers around the table pull out copies of this same author’s book and ask for autographs.

Really.

They did.

Every single one of them.

“Oh, you all have copies of my book!” she said, delighted and surprised.

She individualized each of the copies. It took a while. We only had twenty minutes at each table before we rotated to another one.

And as if that triple wasn’t enough the third base coach motioned for her to head for home so when she was finished she turned to me and said, “Oh, it’s your turn now, isn’t it?”

She smiled.

I smiled.

The bloggers around the table were all gazing down at their signed copies of her book.

I did some diaphragmatic breathing – three-part breaths, and let it go. There were other tables to get to and, I hoped, that author would not be at the same table as me again.

It’s good to have experiences like that because it keeps me from having a big head.

Okay. I can’t let this go anymore. …because this is the kind of story you have to experience as the main character experiences it. Isn’t that what reading is all about anyway?

Maybe I’m missing something.

But I had to say it.

I blame it on the testosterone.

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