Friday, August 29, 2014

Hicklebee's Author Signing & Meeting My Favorite Author


I had my very first official Author Signing at Hicklebee's Bookstores last weekend, and boy was it nerve-wracking. But that is no surprise. (I saw my favorite author, Brent Weeks last night for his #BrokenEyeTour and was so nervous, I was sweating through my shirt.) Right. So…I've come to accept that many things make me anxious. Even other peoples book signings. To my credit, it was a little like meeting a celebrity, got to shake his hand, and take a photo with him and everything, so I was quite nervous the whole time. Anyhow, my natural high-anxiety is why I'm much more comfortable at home, relaxing to a movie, a book, and snuggled in with my boyfriend and cat, rather than being out and about at social events.

I organize events for a living, that's my job to put it simply. And that's more than enough socializing for me. I work with University students, helping them get connected to Tech Startups to hopefully land them a job opportunity. It's so much fun! And it is incredibly emotionally draining. You see, nobody believes me when I say that I'm an introvert. Yep, I can already see your eyes narrowing with doubt. Because I am a cheerful, energetic little busy bee, always smiling, giggling, and getting work done. That's me. So how, you ask? How can I be an introvert and not keel over and die from the stress and anxiety of pretending to be an extrovert?

I recently switched jobs and took a new role at a different company knowing I'd have to be on the phone with different people all the time--talking more than I ever have since I was in high school (remember those days when you'd be on the phone for hours with your BFF talking about…everything and nothing?). The answer to the question above is that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to keep growing and keep challenging myself. And that's exactly what's happened. I'm able to put myself out there one small measure at a time because one experience after another makes it a little less scary.

It doesn't come without a cost. And what a price that is...I am run ragged. All the time. No energy what-so-ever for after-work evening social events, unless it involves a heavy amount of wine, and even then my gaze will avert to my watch knowing instinctively when it's 9pm and that it's officially late. And that one minute more and I will never get enough quiet time and sleep to recharge my introvert batteries.

Well…there's that. Suffice to say that it took me a whole day and night to recover after the Author Signing, spending most of it in solitude so I could gear up for a whole week of my endlessly talking and socializing job. :) It's fun. I swear.

The Author Signing at Hicklebee's was amazing. I was last on the roster (out of six authors) to give a ten minute speech about myself and the book. Talk about sweating bullets. I started off with a firm, "So…let me say that I'm definitely a writer and not a public speaker." To which the audience smiled and chuckled, and the rest is sort of a mystery because my mind went into self-preservation mode and sort of just forgot the whole traumatic event. It went well, so I was told. It was worth the discomfort for all the books that were purchased and all the wonderful people I met. I was most warmed by the mom's and young teenage girls who were inspired by the character Aeva and the story of how she came to be.

Sort of a like a dream come true. :)

I don't really want to willingly do that again in the future. But one does what one must in order to fulfill their dreams.

Here are a few photos of me at the event!

Can you see the fear in my eyes? 

And the rest of the speech went pretty smoothly. I'd recommend folks print out or write notecards to help them with their speeches! It certainly helped me. 

I got to meet so many people who got a copy of Violet Storm!


This is right before I started speaking. A friend told me that the best thing to do is just smile. Keep smiling and the rest will follow. 

Here's a photo of me and author, Brent Weeks last night at Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco. It was such a pleasure. He's written the wildly successful Night Angel Trilogy and the Lightbringer Series. 

18 comments:

  1. Good for you for trying to expand yourself! I know I could use some help being social. Your book signing looks like fun! hope it all went well.

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    1. Thanks Sara! :) The book signing was incredibly fun and overall it went really well! I'm just thankful that I now know what to expect in the future.

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  2. Yay, Anna! You did it and you survived! =) And you did it looking gorgeous as well. Loved those polka dots. So proud of you! I know we've never met, but I can still be proud of you, right? ;) And Brent Weeks is new to me, I'll have to check out his books.

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    1. LOL! Thank you, Leandra!! I love that polka dot shirt. Yep, Brent's books are epic fantasy novels. Typically not my cup of tea, but he writes so well, it's so engaging and I've been a fan ever since. Definitely check him out. He's helped me draw on so many new ideas and again, his writing style is something to envy.

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  3. I'm so glad your signing went well! You look great, and I imagine it was awesome getting to connect with so many readers. I can also totally understand your introvert status. Lecturing and interacting with students all day wears me down to a level that makes me crazy some days. I manage it, but often need the evenings and weekend to myself to recharge. I wish more people understood how hard it can be!

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    1. Thanks Meradeth!! :D I can only imagine what it must feel like to stand in front of a group of students and lecture. (Here's me blanching). Seriously, I would probably have a heart attack on the way to work, just thinking about the amount of anxiety. It sounds infinitely harder than what I'm trying to do. Hahaha! I'm sure that's because I've never practiced (except of course when I was seven years old and playing teacher to my dolls). Anyhow, I completely understand, and well done for squashing the anxiety and pushing through it. :)

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS!! The first signing is such a huge milestone - and it looks like you HAD people there, which is a huge plus (I can't tell you how many writers say they've had no one come to signings...ugh...so scary). This made me laugh: "Anyhow, my natural high-anxiety is why I'm much more comfortable at home, relaxing to a movie, a book, and snuggled in with my boyfriend and cat, rather than being out and about at social events." - not because it's silly, but because it sounds like almost every writer I know, myself included!! We're all so much better at home, which is why we WRITE :) I can really identify with you, though - I'm a fairly outgoing person, but I'm an introvert at heart. People don't believe me when I say that; they think introverts MUST be shy and quiet, which isn't true at all. I think the difference is that introverts get energy from being alone. And that's me, too - and so my job is also exhausting. Hang in there. Give yourself a break whenever you can!

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    1. Hi Liz!! I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one. It's one thing to know and be certain that I'm not alone in my feelings and experiences, but it's another to hear it directly from peers and friends. As for the signing, yes, I was so relieved to have people come! I think it was incredibly helpful that there were a group of writers who could pull from their own networks. I'd love to take advantage of that again in the future so I can reach new readers. And speaking of breaks, I just took a six day vacation (over the Labor Day weekend) and I feel so much more rested. Got a bit of writing in, but I wasn't too worried over that either. :)

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  5. You're adorable! I need to try that someday. "I'm an author not a public speaker." I get SO nervous at these things. And it seems every author I talk to says the same thing. They do say it gets easier, though, the more you do it. I don't know if I'll ever do it enough for it to get easier!

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    1. Aww thank you Stephanie! :D I too am not certain that it will ever get easier. The only thing I know that's helped is a feeling of preparedness. I keep rehearsing as much as I can and then go from there!

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  6. Wahoo! You remind me of my dad in some ways who was a doctor. He worked with people all day and by the time he got home, he didn't want to do anything social or go anywhere. Totally understandable. Still, what a great opportunity and I'm sure you rocked it. Way to go!

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    1. Crystal, thank you for the kind words! It was definitely a great opportunity. Though now the memory is a bit of a blur. Thank goodness my boyfriend took so many pictures. It helps me relive the moment a bit. :)

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  7. Meeting your favorite author is an awesome experience. So glad you got to! And look at you, signing books like a boss! You were in good company that day, it looks like. :)

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    1. David, yes! LOL on signing like a boss. I just kept a smile on my face and hoped I looked approachable. I know what it's like to be on the other side and it can be a bit intimating for both parties. Hah! And yes, definitely in good company!

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  8. Anna, I love your pictures! Congrats on your author signing. Book signings are actually more nerve racking to me than school author visits. For some reason, I always have a fear that no one will show, lol. And for some reason, it's easier for me to speak in front of larger audiences and assemblies rather than smaller venues like book signings. Weird, eh?
    I have to grab a copy of your book and add it to my ever growing TBR list=)

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    1. Thank you Gina! :D I'm still dreaming of your recent vacation. Hah! I need something like that soon. Let me know what you think of VS when you get to it! And as for your ability to speak in front of larger audiences, my goodness, that's a blessing! I don't know yet whether I'd be better at both. I do a bit of public speaking to college students for my full time job and that feels just as dangerously close to a heart attack...

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  9. Anna, you are one brave soul for speaking in front of college students! One of my dreams is to still become a college English professor. Maybe someday when I can retire from my writing and teach in my free time=)
    Miss you around the blogosphere! I hope you are doing something epic and creative!

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    1. Aww that's so kind of you! :) It's busy season at work and with the Violet Storm Blog Tour going on, I have so little time for my introvert battery to recharge. LOL I wish I was doing something epic! In fact your words made me consider picking up my journal later tonight and writing a few scenes. So THANK YOU for the encouragement. :) Hope things are going well in your world. I must admit I was looking at pics of Cozumel and Riveria Maya the other day, longing for a vacation.

      And as for your dream of becoming a college English Professor, I can definitely see you doing just that. I'd like to retire from my current professional work and write. Hah! :)

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