Sunday, July 29, 2007

LOOK DEEP INTO MY EYES

I am reflected in Baby Horse's gaze and as he watches me, I see the world through his perspective. I become him. I see who he is.
How about you?
Do you see who I really am?

6 am and 79 degrees.
Check out SUSAN WIGGS' BLOG for some yummy recipes and an even yummier book coming out (DOCKSIDE)!
Interviews. Reviews. Features. Answering questions about why I write and why I wrote LOTTERY. I wake up to my hometown paper:
THE HONOLULU ADVERTISER



I am touched and gratified but is this the person I really am? What do I look like to the outside world. Will a reader want to know me. Read what I write? Do I seem normal or larger than life?
I read about this person and it feels surreal. Do I know her? She seems familiar.
Next week at this time I will be on my way to Portland.
Fame.
Right.
CONVERSATION I HAD LAST WEEK WITH UNNAMED OFFICIAL SEMI REPRESENTATIVE OF UNNAMED BIG CHAIN BOOKSTORE:
So I thought. Gee, I can call bookstores, introduce myself and maybe arrange to sign a few copies of stock. This is what other authors recommend as a good way to make connections.

ME:"My name is Patricia Wood and my book is coming out next week. LOTTERY, Maybe you've heard of it?
(I wait for an excited OMG! "I saw you on TV or in "Redbook" or in "Good Housekeeping" and am rehearsing my humble but grateful response)

UNNAMED OFFICIAL SEMI REPRESENTATIVE OF UNNAMED GIANT BIG CHAIN BOOKSTORE: "um uh you know we can't have you do that because on POD's we can't return signed copies."

ME:(only slightly deflated) oh, but my publisher is Putnam. LOTTERY released by Putnam?

UNNAMED OFFICIAL SEMI REPRESENTATIVE OF UNNAMED GIANT HUMONGOUS BIG CHAIN BOOKSTORE: (insert sigh and probable eye rolling but of course you can't see that through the phone - consider it physical head hopping) "Hmmm...they don't usually do POD. It doesn't sound familiar. What did you say your name was again? I don't think we're ordering your book..."

ME: (voice becomes squeaky)"but...but...but...I'm an author from Hawaii!"

UNNAMED OFFICIAL SEMI REPRESENTATIVE OF UNNAMED GIANT HUMONGOUS GARGANTUAN BIG CHAIN BOOKSTORE: "Now dear...we can't order EVERY book now can we?"

ME: (in very small voice) "ok then..." (hangs up phone and slinks away chastised)

So even though articles about me may be appearing in papers and magazines. I am still the same...taking out the garbage, sticking those yummy microwaveable meals into my oven and cleaning kitty litter off my floor.
Fame?
Yeah, right...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant review, Patricia!! Hawaii must be very proud of you. I've already ordered Lottery, and can't wait for it to arrive.
Zoroaster's Puppy

M. G. Tarquini said...

Honey...we gotta talk about your pitch.

Manic Mom said...

OK, first of all. The horse--just beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous! My mom is about 11 pages left of reading Lottery. She is LOVING it, and wants to prolong the experience.

About that knucklehead at the store--this is what you must do. You remember her/his name? You march your ass down to that store, the day your book is out, and you see the display they have of your NON-POD book, and you ask to speak to the manager of the store. You mention to the manager that you spoke with so-and-so and she wasn't sure if you should come in and sign stock, so you thought you'd stop by anyway, introduce yourself, and then maybe they'd like you to sign their copies that they've surely, undoubtedly already ordered. And then you watch the manager chew out that knucklehead!

Definitely do this!

Manic Mom said...

Oh, and secretly video tape this encounter when you go to the store! I want to see that employee get his/her ass chewed out and/or fired! LOL

Lisa R said...

Great post. I guess we all need moments like this from time to time - keeps us humble. However, the guy/girl is wrong, Lottery will be huge and then they will have to eat crow and beg you to come sign stock, so there.

Gay said...

You left out that it was the cover book of the summer catalog of, I forget which big name catalog it was... But of course, they probably don't have time to READ catalogs, they're so busy returning unsold stock. Then you ask their name and send the store a sympathy card for how poorly business is doing because they don't know how to properly treat authors who could HELP them with sales.

Only a few more days until I get my copy!

ORION said...

Yanno.
I realize booksellers get calls like that all the time from every author in the world--
After I cried and hit my head on the table four or five hundred times I was able to laugh it off.
You can't be a diva as much as you'd like to!
The moving humility finger having humiliated you moves on...

ORION said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
billie said...

Love you illuminated in Baby Horse's eye.

And awaiting Lottery in our local indie!

Kanani said...

Today, I listened to the excerpt.
I started crying. Perry came to life in the way you wanted.
It was so echt.

Kim Stagliano said...

His/her loss. Onward!

The Anti-Wife said...

In your horse's eye you look - distorted!

Perspective is important in all things. To those of us who read your blog and book, you are very important.

ORION said...

Oh how sweet!!!
Thank you anti-wife
(See ya in a week and a half!!!)

sunjunkie said...

Oh, Pat, what a wonderful little tragicomedy. Here's a tip for dealing with gianormous bookstore chains: The Author Wrangler is rarely the person on phone duty. Try asking for the Community Relations person or the Manager-on-Duty. No guarantees they'll recognize your name (YET!) either, but at least you should be able to avoid some of the Who's On First? schtick and eventually get better results. I'm sure you don't let Baby Horse give up after one missed jump, and (here's my stranger's perspective of you) I suspect you won't give up either. Good luck!

Toddie said...

Hi Pat! LOVED the picture of you in the eye of the beholder.

I'm sure you already have most of this marketing stuff down pat (get it?:)) but should you need a refresher, there's a terrific book by Arielle Eckstut and David Sterry called Putting Your Passion Into Print, in which they talk in great detail about shilling your book in a way that doesn't cause bruises from banging your head against a wall. I hope to use her advice myself one day.

See you in September. . . .

reality said...

This post is a perfect example of why I like you.
Now stop being modest and make those phone calls.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'll chime in: Always ask for the manager or assistant manager on duty if calling about a cold sales pitch. Flunkies who man cash registers and stock shelves don't know shit.

I know your feelings got hurt, and I'd cry a bit too. But consider if your every footstep was dogged by papparazzi and the flash of cameras. Yech. I'd rather get my ego slugged a few times.

David L. McAfee said...

The thing to realize here, Pat, is that the bookstore WILL order your book. They might not have already done so, and they might not pay attention to press releases (which seems kinda silly what with them being a bookstore and all, but ah, well...not every knife in the drawer can be the sharpest), but as soon as it starts climbing up the NYT list (and we all know it will), you betcher bum they'll be calling the distributor and ordering it in droves.

I know it. Every one who has read Lottery knows it. The "Unnamed Official Semi Representative of Unnamed Big Chain Bookstore" will know it, too, and that person will be kicking him/herself in the next few weeks.

Mookie said...

Lottery is going to be huge. Don't worry about it, everyone can't wait to get their copy.

Dawn said...

There, there, Patricia, have a wee sniffle and then haul your tail feathers on to the next book store! Their loss.

In a few weeks time there is going to be one very embarrassed employee!

Maprilynne said...

Hehe, that's funny!!

I wonder if it might help to show up with a copy of the book? . . . and picture I.D.:)

The article was awesome, BTW.:)

ORION said...

I'm okay now...REALLY.
two days
two days
two days
two days...

Marianne Arkins said...

OMG, very, very funny.... but you should have stood your ground.

Saw you at Gay's website and can't wait for the book to come out!! It sounds wonderful.

Travis Erwin said...

I am really looking forward to your novel. I just finished a book last night and even though I hate not to be reading something, I am holding off so I can start Lottery straight away.

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh my gosh, we just went through the newspaper article thing too! My husband was interviewed because of his Juno award and I've learned (this being the third newspaper) that they usually get something wrong. And have a well written bio on your website because chances are they will copy something from it.

We can't help presenting a certain persona to the public. I mean, we don't really want the world to see us as our cranky nasty selves. Or maybe you do but don't want anybody to know that you like puppies and kittens...I dunno.

Don't worry about Bookstore Loser. It'll be a funny story to tell at conferences later on in life, I guess!

As for the picture of the horse's eye...You know I love that. I just did a few of those last week. And I'll do more. It's like looking into a well.