By Deborah Sharp
With a whopping month of signings and book appearances under my new-author belt, it seems like a good time to pose the question: When do I stop feeling like a pretender?
Case in point: I appeared last weekend at the mega-huge Miami Book Fair. My panel was stuck in a building that Miami Dade College actually calls "The Garage,'' but that's another story. Even if they told me to speak in a spot they call "The Bathroom,'' I would have been grateful for the invite.
My co-panelists bandied about hilarious anecdotes about Hollywood, and movie options, and musical superstars who call them at home at midnight. I told my story about the constipated reader who told me how he likes to pass time on the toilet with Mama Does Time.
Now, I did get a laugh. And these much-more-experienced authors were perfectly warm and gracious to me. (Okay, maybe one wasn't perfectly warm). Still, I felt like I was at the Book Fair under false pretenses. Like I lifted a pass to this super-exclusive clubhouse when the real owner wasn't looking. I mean, when I lunged for the last lemon poppy seed muffin left on the breakfast bar in the Authors' Hospitality Suite, I reached right past Salman Rushdie.
I'll admit, I'm not the most self-confident person on the planet. And, yes, I was on Today (thanks, again, to my slightly pushy TV reporter hubby). But the fact I was on that show somehow makes my raging insecurity worse. The expectations are even higher now. And I'm waiting for the moment the curtain is pulled back to reveal this faker pushing buttons and yanking levers, trying to magically create an author's cloak that fits.
So, two questions: Anybody have the name of a good therapist?
And, if it isn't just me, what was your most insecure moment as a newbie author?