Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another thing I didn't get right on the first try

On Friday I got a handful of Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) for Making Waves.

Once I stopped dancing around squealing and kissing the cover, I realized I had a job to do. I needed to sign my first copy.

This is for the blog contest we held in March where readers helped pick a title. My editor, Deb Werksman, selected blog reader Allie Sanders to receive a signed ARC of the book. Though we never actually specified who’d be doing the signing, I suspected it was me.

I sat down at my desk and stared at the book long and hard.

Once I finished giggling over “long and hard,” I went to my bookshelf and inspected the signed ones lurking there. I had no idea where I was supposed to sign my own book, but a quick survey of my collection suggested the title page was a good place to start.

A smart author would have taken a moment to practice what she wanted to write and assess the allotted space.

I spent ten minutes hunting for my penis pen.

Then I summoned one of my twenty-something male housemates.

“Can I get you to take a picture of something for me?” I asked.

He looked uncertain, but took the camera like a trooper. “What’s that on your pen?”

“Exactly what you think it is.” I held it up for him to inspect.

“Do all romance authors get those?”

“Yes. They hand them out in romance author school, along with our feather boas and slutty stilettos.”

We both looked down at my feet. I was wearing leopard-print Dansko clogs.

“The slutty stilettos are at the drycleaners,” I assured him.

“OK.”

I sat down at my desk and picked up the pen. “I just need a photo of me signing my first book. It seems like one of those milestone moments I should capture.”

“Do you want to move that big pile of papers or the dental floss or that silver thing that looks like you bought it at that special party you just hosted?”

“It’s a neck massager.”

“Sure.”

So I moved the neck massager and the rest of the clutter and my housemate picked up the camera again.

I grabbed my pen and hesitated. “I’m not sure what to write.”

“Aren’t you a writer?”

“That’s pretty much how it works.”

In the end, I got the book signed and got a few pictures in the process. None of it is perfect. My writing is a little cramped and squiggly, and the photo makes me look inebriated.

But hey, it’s a starting point. There’s always room for improvement, which is pretty much like writing itself.

28 comments :

TheLabRat said...

I don't even like a lot of romance fiction that much (with some notable exceptions) but your blog makes me laugh so hard I'm totally going to end up reading every book you ever publish just because of it. Your poor housemates.

Shakespeare said...

The whole idea of a penis pen is cute until I imagine my son finding it and sticking it in his mouth.

*cringe*

Annette said...

Where can I get one of those pens? We don't get any kind of cool stuff like that in mystery author school. *pouting*

Sarah W said...

One down, Tawna, and several hundred to go! :)

Annette, if you're writing a mystery that necessitates a penis pen, I want to read that mystery.

Project Savior said...

Super Cool.
Congratulations and all.

Annette said...

Sarah, it doesn't necessitate a penis pen. I just WANT one. Then I might be inspired to write a mystery that needs such a thing. :-)

Linda G. said...

LOL! That is the PERFECT pen for signing your books. Hope you're boning up (heh) on writer's cramp remedies, because I predict you'll be signing a lot of them.

Peaches said...

Funny. It must be nice to have a penis pen to sign your own book. Congratulations. Take look at my blog, still a work in progress. Folow if you wish too. Thanks. Peaches

Danica Avet said...

LOL Awesome! So going to have to get one of those pens for my book party this summer...I'm almost positive my sister-in-law's mother would find it funny. Maybe?

And I feel horrible for those whose books I've signed. I've got handwriting that would shame a doctor and a chicken.

Patty Blount said...

Every time you mention your housemate, I get this image of the boy telling his mother all the cool things he's learning NOT at school, but at home.

Anyhow, *high fives*!

Sarah Pearson said...

Patty, not just his mother but all his friends too :)

Congratulations Tawna, the book looks awesome and well done Allie for the first signed copy!

Becky Taylor said...

How fun! Congratulations. The pics are great and the cover is awesome.

Laura Maylene said...

I love this exchange so much:

“Aren’t you a writer?”
“That’s pretty much how it works.”

That's so perfect. Congrats!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

hahaha! I love your pen :) Congratulations on signing your first book!!!

Michelle Wolfson said...

Ok, normally I pay no attention whatsoever to details, but for some reason my eye was caught by that newspaper headline in the middle photo. Then I was like--where is that paper??? I think it's maybe in the garbage can under your desk?? But I think it says, "Don't Try This At Home" which somehow seems perfect for your blog.

Jen Stayrook said...

YOUR NAME IN PRINT!

I felt that needed to be shouted. This is awesome, Tawna, and hilarious, as usual. Of course, if it had been me, I would have had to write a little "To be continued..." with an -> to the next page after sorely miscalculating the space I needed.

Allie Sanders said...

There was some sqeeing & dancing around on my end when it arrived (very dangerous since my mailbox is on the stairs but I survived).

Never fear, the signature part of your signature is very pretty, I'm sure you'll get the hang of it. Now excuse me while I go blow off all of my obligations today to read...

(My penis pen is blue & I tell everyone it's an alligator.)

Heather M. Gardner said...

What a perfect moment. Congrats!

trainee writer said...

LOL never a quiet moment in your house.Congratulations

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

Dammit if I'd known about the boa and the stilletos I would have worked harder at getting published!

Love the pen and love how you bring us along for everything!

It must be cool to have gullible 20 yo boy toys for roomates.

Stephanie said...

I know exactly how you feel!! It is so hard to do!!! For friends and family, it's a bit easier, but people I don't know...tough!

Love the penis pen! I used to help plan bachelorette parties and we had penis everything!

Katt said...

Hey, I just saw your name in print in the "RT Book Reviews"...
Page 111 as one of the publishers previews... congrats!

Jen Daiker said...

You my darling are fabulous and as always your posts have me giggling! I love seeing you sign in fun colors!!

I hope to one day get the chance to meet you in this big world!!!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Great pen, great blog, great you. Love always & can't wait to read MAKING WAVES!!!

jill said...

So, are you bringing the penis pen with you to signings in the Portland area?

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You bring so much of yourself to everything you do. A penis pen, eh? How appropriate, but it might not be a great idea to use it for your public signings at Barnes & Noble ...

Claire Dawn said...

So I thought twenty-something male housemate= twenty-something males lived in your house! lol

London Mabel said...

Congrats! What a great moment!