In which Deb Kristina’s supply of charm is at last depleted

liarscoverthumbnailHello, my name is Kristina, and I’m an extrovert.

I love parties, even if there are lots of people I don’t know. I even enjoy small talk. I sometimes go into what my husband calls “reporter mode” when I meet a new person, trying to draw out their life story, one anecdote at a time. I’m not intimidated by crowds, or public speaking. In fact, when it goes well, I get a charge out of it.

But even I, the self-confessed extreme extrovert, have found my limit. And it’s the book launch.

I don’t even have a particularly grueling tour. It’s mostly local towns in Michigan where I know people, plus I was in Chicago a couple of times. But the kick-off of the tour was four stops in four days. I didn’t do this on purpose. But my book launch came so close to the Fourth of July holiday, and I knew it would be pointless to schedule anything that week. So I ended up with four events in four days.

By the fifth day, I wanted to crawl into a dark cave in my pajamas and not talk to anyone for at least 48 hours.

So, I have new respect for introverts in this business. It’s a performance of sorts to be social and charming and engaged. Even the most dedicated extrovert doesn’t have an unlimited supply of effortless charm, or so I’ve discovered at last.

At the American Library Association convention, I signed books for 300 librarians that Sunday morning. It was really fun, capping off a solid weekend of social interaction with librarians, booksellers, other authors, and publishing people. I loved every second of it and was so glad to be done! After my signing I retreated to the hotel room, changed out of my “author girl” clothes and back into my jeans. I did venture one more time to the exhibit floor because there was something I wanted to see. I wandered happily alone in the aisles, my charm button switched to “off.”

But I was wearing my nametag, necessary for entrance to the exhibit floor. And I heard my name shouted across the aisle. Showtime! It was like whiplash to go from silent anonymous wandering to be “Author” again.

I’ve loved all this interaction and I will continue to love it because it means people care about my work and there’s no greater compliment to an author. I just need my cave-time once in a while.

8 thoughts on “In which Deb Kristina’s supply of charm is at last depleted

  1. I remember that feeling from last year! It was so fun to finally have my book out and to meet so many awesome people who wanted to celebrate with me. But by the end, I barely knew my own name. I remember one night where I collapsed in my hotel room and ate some sort of Hostess cupcake for dinner, just thankful that I didn’t have to go out into the world again that day and try to remember how to talk to a waiter. The good thing is, it makes you VERY excited to get home to the writing life 🙂

  2. I don’t believe your charm is deleted, Miss Kris. It’s just wearing pajamas, as you said. I know what you mean, though. It’s work launching a book, even the fun parts. Trish, love the Hostess cupcake, I so prefer those to Twinkies.

    b

  3. Authors need to be cloned. One stays home leading a “normal” life which includes the solitary time for writing, and her/his “other” self is able to do MUCH more than whirlwind book tours!

  4. Trish, I have indeed almost been to that point where talking to a waiter is too much.

    Becky, you’re sweet. I’m charging up my charm batteries for this week: three events in three days. Will need much pajama-time afterward.

    Larramie, I’m all for cloning myself (may I have a housework clone, please?) but I actually wouldn’t want to miss the interaction with readers, tiring though it may be. I called in to a book club Thursday and my call was a surprise to most members. When they heard it was me on the phone, they squealed with delight! I’d never want to forfeit that to a clone… (Though, would I experience it all just the same as a clone? Now we’re getting too theoretical for me!)

  5. As a TOTAL EXTROVERT (more on that on Friday), I was sooooo looking forward to this part – the part where you get to talk to people all the time about your book. And as much as I do love that part, it is thoroughly draining. Now, I absolutely cherish a stretch of days WHEN I DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE BOOK!

  6. I totally agree–an I’m an introvert. (Unless the rum is flowing, which doesn’t really fly at YA events.) Right around my launch, I got to where I didn’t want to see anybody, because I really didn’t feel like talking about the book anymore. Luckily, it was a temporary condition!

  7. As an introvert I feel your pain. I can turn it on for a set amount of time, but I can really feel when that time expires.

    I may have to try katie’s idea of rum…

  8. An old friend who wrote a book stopped in D.C. on kickoff night of his tour — and I remember thinking, Oh, that poor man. He looks so dazed and overwhelmed! And it was just night 1 of a 14 night tour…. I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be!

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