Aaackkk… it was exactly what I was scared of, that when it came to the Q & A part of my release party there would not be any questions. I had prepared myself for a bunch of random questions before the night started. But although I knew it was a possibility, I had not prepared myself for the silence. What should I say? Of course it only lasted for a moment, but it was enough to make me nervous.
Wearing the hat of author feels confusing when I am with my friends. I am still trying to figure out what people expect of a more formal author interaction. After all, these people usually see me in my sweats, make-up free and hair in a ponytail. But here I was, dressed nicely, hair straightened and real make-up on. The difference, at least visually, was obvious.
Inside though I still felt like the same person, so how was I to act. Authentic as myself, certainly, but I also knew I was acting as the representative for my book. And I think that was the tricky part.
Now that my book is published it feels distinctly separate from me. In fact, it is difficult to remember that I wrote it. I don’t know if other authors feel this way, but although I know my characters and the story better than anyone, it now almost feels like a story I have simply read, rather than one I dreamt up.
In one way this is lovely… whereas writing is a very solitary endeavor, now I get to actually share the story with others who are enjoying it. On the other hand, there is now a public me, one that isn’t quite as defined as the wonderful characters in my book.
It would be much more comfortable to create that persona proactively, like I tried to do with my answers to the Q & A. But I am not sure I yet fully understand the question. And so, though I have never been good at sitting patiently in the silent spaces of life, like during the Q & A waiting out the transition period may very well open me up to a more authentic answer.