Most writers will tell you that the best and worst part about getting a book published is doing book signings. For most of us, who are NOT Stephen King or Stephanie Meyers, this usually consists of sitting at a little fold out table in the middle of a busy retail store where shoppers frantically avoid eye contact with you. You don't even really care if you sell that many books - you just want to not look like such a loser, mostly. But it's always cool (and somewhat surprising) to meet people who would actually spend their money on your book.
Last night I went to Massey Hall in Toronto to see writer David Sedaris ("When You Are Engulfed In Flames", "Dress Your Family In Corduroy & Denim") who not only did not look like a loser, he had long lines for people waiting to sign his book, before and after the show.
And the kicker? The "show" was simply him reading from his books, radio show, and other diary entries. He was fantastic. Hysterical. Had the sold out crowd in the palm of his hand as he talked about, well, mostly HIS book tour, and his own cringe-worthy sittings in between the Frozen Food and the Tires at Costco.
I so impressed that a writer could not only turn a book reading and signing into a ticketed event, (which he is doing across North America), but I was also inspired. As a humour writer, you want the laughs. How awesome for him to hear the laughs in person, instead of missing them as someone reads his book on the Go Train and bursts into laughter (as I do when I read him), feeling themselves like a loser.
"Humour is just the truth being told quicker to you than you're used to", he said in his closing remarks. If that's true, he's one of the quickest talkers I've ever seen.