The unflappable Flossie, wearing a pretty orange scarf about a foot longer than she is, introduced me to 25 or so people standing around, waiting for something to happen. Turns out they were waiting for me. Well, that was nice of them!
I wanted my first signing to be in Knoxville, the closest thing I have to a hometown. I went to university there, and my parents still live in the area. In fact, they showed up at the signing with a cake decorated to look like my book’s jacket–and a good story about how Mom got it.
The people at the cake decorating place said they couldn’t do the cover design, because it was copyrighted. My mother pointed out that it was my house on the cover, and my book it was covering, but this cut no cake–er, mustard–with the Food City team. She then suggested that all the evidence would be eaten before the copyright police could be called, it being a Saturday and them not working weekends and all. The cake decorators thought this over, then agreed they could reproduce the design IF my name was in a different color than on the book.
Whew. Glad Mom dodged jail time on that one.
So with cake, Flossie guiding the proceedings, Jack reading the “lost Chunky” story from the book, and me telling in my own words the “lonely cop prologue” story, a little Q&A and a whole lot of laughs, my first book signing went down a treat. Piece of cake, really.
Among the attendees were five ex-pat Big Stone Gappers, who’d read about the signing in the (very nice) articles that ran in the Daily Times and the Knoxville News Sentinel. We held “is it still there” conversations before the event started. Also attending was my honors program adviser from the nearby university, Dr. Wheeler. (I apologized to him for letting down the scholarship program that had given me a free four-year ride, by becoming a writer and academic. I know Dr. W had better hopes for his proteges.)
And it was lovely to have three friends show up: Carolyn, Ginger, and Maria, with friends of theirs towed in their wake. They, along with the very pleasant strangers and Gap-ois, made a well-rounded audience who asked great questions and took care of the copyrighted cake quite nicely.
So it is now safe to say that my first book signing was a piece of cake.