I spent the evening in Sacramento at my first speaking engagement as an author! It was a novel writing & publishing panel at UC Davis Extension, where I’ll also be teaching a course in about a month. Anyway, I got to chat about my book and how it came to be, from inception to the travails of getting it represented and published. It was the largest audience I have addressed so far (around 80?) save for the one time I got to introduce Tobias Wolff to an auditorium of about 300. It was somehow not nerve-wracking at all; I guess all the teaching experience is good for making you mellow in front of groups of people. When I did the Tobias Wolff thing five years ago, I was all shaky and suspected I might pass out!
While I was there, I got penciled in by some Sacramento library organization for a book round table thingy in March that sounds pretty fun. When I get the e-mail with the details, I should forward it to my publicist to make sure it’s okay. One of the other writers on tonight’s panel keeps a literary blog and asked if I could have my publisher send her galleys to review. The lesson here, I guess, is that speaking engagements come with crazy amounts of networking. Cool, because I suck at seeking that sort of stuff out for myself.
Other exciting buzz-type stuff: galleys are clearly being sent out to book bloggers. I googled myself to find out what a prospective student might see if they searched for me and found this, this, and this. That last one has a photo of the adorable package the book came in, with wrapping paper that matches the lid of Mme Brunet’s box, a tin of French candies, and a personal note from my editor. Damn yo, Reagan Arthur Books knows how to do it up nice.
So, sleepy time for me. It will be pleasant to drift off thinking there are people out there in the great big universe who are excited to read my baby.