Upon arriving, I felt like running away.  I am terrified in social situations.  I can do public speaking well, but when it comes to reading my own work, that’s like putting my heart out there for people to judge.

For the first while, I tried to hide in a corner, and basically blend in with the wall.  Exciting.

When it came time for the five of us to go to the front to start reading, I wished so hard that one of my editors had been there so I could have her drive me home so I could have some wine.  I had to be stone-cold sober.  When my time came, I just told myself to hell with it, and read, trying to suppress my urge to act out the scene.  I think I picked a good piece since it did leave people wanting more.

From there, I loosened up and was actually able to talk to people without counting down the minutes until eight.  We had a Q&A afterward, and my answer to what inspired me went over well and got some cheers.  This post and this post more or less cover it.  If you don’t care to click and read, I’ll sum it up as I was very concerned that the relationship between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan was treated as so utterly romantic when it was controlling and abusive.  So many teenagers lost the ability to identify abusive relationships!  I’ve also, very obviously to readers of this blog, am upset at how the next “great” thing is Edward the Second, known as Christian Grey (is there anyone who doesn’t know that Fifty Shades is Twilight fanfic?), and I want to put something out into the world that will empower young women instead of treating abuse as normal and even desirable.

And I just now realized that the young 20-somethings of today who looooooove Fifty Shades were the teenagers of yesterday who adored Twilight.  Do you know what the means?  It’s a progression in teaching young women that abuse is normal.  Most older women who weren’t into Twilight never enjoyed Fifty Shades because they identified the abuse.  Those who loved Twilight tend to be the fans of Fifty Shades.  Are there many Fifty Shades-fans who didn’t start with Twilight?

Back to the signing.  I ended up pushing the free ebooks for Sacred Blood more since I realized, when trying to pick a passage, that I can make the book better.  I have a bit more experience, and identified several spots that need an overhaul.  I’m going to work on a second edition to release in the next few weeks while continuing on the draft of Sacred Heart (I will be renaming this book from its working title to something else later).  I will send free ebooks of the second edition to everyone I know who has a first edition, and anyone who contacts me about having a first edition they’d like to update.  I did sell my hard copies though.

Better than that, I met some great people. Let me copy this list from this morning’s postK.L. Bone, author of Black Rose,  Greg Wilkey, author of the Mortimer Drake vampire series, Sarah M. Cradit, author of the House of Crimson and Clover series, and Brandy L. Rivers, of the Other of Edenton.  

Such awesome people.  Greg joined us from Tennessee, and Kristin flew in from Ireland.  Brandy is from further up in Washington, and Sarah is more local.  Kristin’s family was with us (Sam, if you’re reading this, just know you’re awesome and have a great way of putting people at ease, and so you always need to be as these signings), and they’re sweet people.  A literature professor, Kate, was in our audience, and she and I had a good conversation on the downward trend in literature and education (education and a love of learning are of extreme importance to me, and this is something that, as the mother of an almost-kindergartener, is of the utmost importance to me).

I’m also feeling reinvigorated in the writing-department.  I needed that.

Thank you so much to Kristin for organizing tonight’s event, and to her mother (I feel so awful for forgetting her name!) for manning the sales table for us, to Sam for emceeing, and everyone who flew in, drive in, and otherwise had a part in tonight’s event.  Though I was terrified, you were all wonderful, and you have me actually looking forward to doing this again!

Now to go add some new books to my iPad.  I wish I’d thought to bring Kristin’s Heir to Kale to have her sign.  Next time, and I do hope there will be one!

Oh, and, as promised, have some shiraz in my new Oregon Ballet Theatre tumbler, and a late dinner of steak and arugula with olives and balsamic.

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