But it wasn't like that at all. We all had our displays set out, ready for us, and the best part of it all was seeing my hardcover books for the FIRST TIME! Hats off to Lee, Donna, Heather, and Katie at Arbordale Publishing who went above and beyond to make sure that Andrea (Gabriel, author and illustrator of Wandering Woolly, also from Arbordale) and I had our books for the event. They made it with just a couple of hours to spare!
They told us there was food and wine available to enjoy but a) I didn't find out until it was too late to get any, and b) I was so nervous, I couldn't really eat anyway. What do you do at an event like this? Do people just come up to you and talk to you? Do they actually buy your book?
What if I sit there the whole night, having driven three hours to get there, to be followed by a three-hour drive back home, and no one wants my book? It's daunting. It's frightening. And it's exhilarating!
Just before the evening began, I got a sign everything was going to be ok. Jeff (The Drake) Heckel showed up, the first of THREE former students who came to see me and buy my book. What an honor it was to sign the very first copy of Fibonacci Zoo for Jeff and his kids. And then another Jeff (Wood) showed up with his wife. And then it was Bethany and Garrett with their kids and all of a sudden, I felt like a bit of a rock star.
I got my two minutes to speak, working through the presentation I had practiced, about 28 times while driving over (see earlier reference to three-hour drives...) and while the time slipped away before I could fully finish my story, I was able to close with my key line 'Remember, you can COUNT on Fibonacci!'
It got a few chuckles, and we moved on. The night was long, but then out of the blue, the lady sitting right in front, closest to me, won a trivia question and went to select her prize from the collection of books we had donated. She picked mine! Wow. I mean, I knew my friends would buy my book, but here was a lady I had never met who wanted, out of all the books she could choose from, mine! Later, when she came to have me sign it, I might have been beaming from ear to ear.
|The view from my corner.|
Truth be told, afterwards, I was exhausted, emotionally spent. It didn't help that I had taught all day, then driven (how many hours was it?) across the passes to get there. But I was light as air, not wanting the night to end. I said my thank yous, grabbed some M&Ms for the road, and left, wondering when my next event would be, and how popular my book really was going to be. For one night, however, everything felt right.