For those of you who don't really know me... I am a bit of a private person, on the shy side, but not so shy that I'm the little ball of flesh in the corner. Growing up, I was loud and the filter between my brain and mouth was nonexistent. Now that I'm an adult, I'm still on the loud side and sometimes that filter needs repairing. But for the most part, I'm reserved. Parts of me I keep hidden. Not that it's bad parts, but mostly, I'd rather just be home. I love my friends and family and enjoy spending time with them, but I'd still rather be home. I'm also a big chicken. I've successfully shocked my friends and family when I made the decision to publish True Connection and continue on this journey.
For a while, I kept it under wraps in my real life. Only a select few really knew what I was doing. As it got closer to pressing publish back in July, a few more people learned about it. Either my husband or another person who knew would talk about it to someone else. Word spreads like wildfire sometimes, I'm sure you're all aware of that fact.
Eventually, I was comfortable talking about my book to the people I know in real life and spent time with regularly.
One day in August, I went to a jewelry store in my city. They had some nice things, the ladies were very nice, and they even offered to clean my rings just for stopping in.
As one lady was cleaning my rings, the other lady decided to try to get to know me better. Here's where my normal hermit-self would've backed away and sat quietly on the ugly, but comfy, chairs provided. But, I had decided that I would be okay with talking to ONE person in my town that I'd never met prior to this, and tell them, "I am an author" if it came up.
She asked where I was from and when she found out I was local, she got excited and rambled questions quicker than a machine gun. I did my best to process her accent and answer everything quickly and to the best of my knowledge. She asked, "What do you do for work?" I responded, "I'm an author." Now, she's an older lady, and one who obviously hears about books and books that turn into movies. But my guess, she doesn't really read, or at least not the most popular books that get turned into movies. Mind you, this is the FIRST time I've EVER told a STRANGER that "I'm an author." Her response to this was, "You write books like Harry Potter! Harry Potter writes books!" I smile, and begin to correct her, when she tilts her head and says, "You're not British."
I stutter and scramble for something to say. But I can only think of one lame, but honest, thing to say, "I'm not British." The woman laughed a little and finally asked for my name and the title of my book and where to purchase it. I was so thrilled that she even wanted to give me a chance, I'm not Harry Potter or British, and she still wanted to know! LOL. So, I told her various websites she can pick it up, and even told her about Amazon's free Kindle app in case she needed that.
By the time we're done with this, customers walk in and she tells me to have a seat until my rings are done.
I sit and admire some pretty sapphire necklaces, and finally my rings are finished. I jump up, grab them, politely thank her, and attempt to make a quick exit to tell my husband all about my failed first "coming out," when she does something that made me freeze and instantly turn flame red.
"Bye Rachel! I'll look for your book tonight!" and to the customers, "She's an author, like Harry Potter but not British, and she's local!"
I smile, shyly. All the while wishing I could become a turtle and suck into myself to hide.
Female customer - "She's an author?!"
Male customer - "I've never seen one of those in real life before."
My only thought, I've become my city's very own three headed bearded lady, all because I opened my big mouth to a stranger.
Since then, I've managed to overcome my fear of being a local sideshow attraction and I've even done a book signing in a local bookstore. I've published another book and have become a bit more comfortable talking about my profession. I've even dealt with an argumentative drunk guy about me writing a book. He didn't believe me, or was in shock, or it was just alcohol. But needless to say, it was annoying. The guy followed me around all night, asked the same questions over and over again, and even followed myself and my family out to our car when we left, asking those same questions. "You really wrote a book?" "Can I read your book?" "Where did you go to school?" "You didn't take writing courses in college?" and various other questions. I was short with him a few times, and may have even used the phrase, "Yes, I wrote 529 pages of sh*t." But it had no affect on him. However, that comment earned me the status of "Best Salesman of the Year" from some sarcastic friends.
There is a point to this, promise.
It goes as follows...
I AM AN AUTHOR! I'm proud of myself for finally being able to say those words. I won't say it often in public...but I will say it. I'm to the point where I'm comfortable saying it. Now, me celebrating myself...that's another bag of worms for another blog post. One that will hopefully be funnier.
Hope everyone has had a wonderfully, safe, and warm holiday. And STAY WARM! Also, send some warm weather to PA...I know I've forgotten what warmth feels like...LOL.