These are my new book signing shoes--Crocs studded with cutesy charms that I bought for a song on e-Bay and on sale in a small Christian gift store in town. See the Bandaid, the medicine vial, the teeny thermometer, stethoscope, Heavenly hearts . . . and strange blue germ (?) with its tongue sticking out? See the author who is a complete sucker for branding frou frou? Um, yes . . . that would be me. Even down to the shortbread cookies stamped with artsy designs:
Yes, those are crosses with hearts . . . and a fish. If I'd had cookie stamps along with books, we'd have sold a bundle! For those of you who are curious about these (highly addictive) cookie stamps, check out RyCraft. They have an incredible collection for every occasion. I bought these two stamps in Fredricksburg Texas at a very cool kitchen store called Der Kuchen Laden. Interestingly, it occupies an old hospital building, where all the patient rooms are now filled with coffee grinders, aprons, cookie presses, dishware, baking pans . . . and every wonderful culinary gizmo you never knew you needed.
Because I'm branding myself as the author of "medical hope opera," I'm waltzing through the doors of bookstores for signings dressed in full ER nurse regalia: Scrubs, my old service pin-studded name badge and stethoscope, along with a button that boldly proclaims RX: Hope. Check out the photos from Saturday's signing at LifeWay Christian Store San Antonio:
The LifeWay staff did an awesome job of setting things up: a table right in front of the door, fully laden with copies of CRITICAL CARE ( which they offered at an enticing sale price especially for the occasion), comfy chair, pens . . . and lots of smiles and cheerful assistance for author and patrons alike. We had a great time, sold plenty of books, munched cookies and chatted with readers, fellow authors, as well an aspiring author. Which brings me to the very best part of book signings: those "golden moments" when an author realizes exactly why she was supposed to be there that day. Not to be a "brand," not only to sell books, chat with readers and bookstore staff (and eat cookies) but to really connect with someone who needed encouragement that day. If an author's receptive, it occurs more often than not.
Yesterday my special connection was with that aspiring author. An English teacher who has spent her life teaching others to write, and is now taking first (anxious, exciting) steps to further her own writing. She'd come to the bookstore after a writers' meeting (her first!) and wanted to talk with me about her plans, her concerns, her goose bumps . . . and she hoped I would understand how she was feeling. She wanted to share that, and I was completely honored.
I encouraged her about the exciting journey she was starting; we talked about conferences and critique groups, Christian fiction subgenres, agents . . . the whole enchilada. With a side of shortbread. And a warm hug.
She left with more than a signed book, and I felt my prayer answered--the one I'd whispered in the car on the way to the signing. While wearing my fancy shoes and juggling a Tupperware container of cookies and a bigger-than-life poster of Dr. McSnarly. The same prayer I say before every author event: "Please help me remember that this isn't about me. And if it's possible, let me be a blessing in someone's life today."
Amen. If I could stamp it on a cookie, I would.
Thank you, Rosie. You made my day.