By Deborah Sharp
I've been racking my brain for something new to say when I start doing events for my fourth book, the upcoming MAMA SEES STARS. By now, I'm a bit fatigued with rehashing my same ol' story of becoming an author: Former USA Today reporter, left the sad stories of the news biz behind at age 50, became a writer of funny, Southern-fried fiction . . .
Yada, yada, yada ...
Sometimes I feel like the dolphins at SeaWorld, performing the same tricks over and over and over again just to see if anyone is going to toss me a fish.
I'm thinking this time out I'll shake things up. I'm going to try some honesty, reveal what being an author is really all about. Okay, I'm always honest ... this is UNVARNISHED honesty; the real, tell-it-like-it-is scoop.
So, here it is:
The Top 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Back Then About Being an Author
1. When authors say they're going on a book tour, it doesn't mean their Daddy Warbucks publishers are tossing money at them so they can fly first class, sleep in fancy hotels, and eat in five-star restaurants. If they're like me, it means they're packing the pickup truck with books, driving somewhere like Okeechobee, Fla., and setting up shop in front of the cattle chute at the rodeo on a day so hot that the Hershey's kisses that were supposed to be reader giveaways melted to resemble tiny dollops of cow manure. (Pictured, the author reading to her ''cowptive'' audience)
2. An author has better odds of getting killed by fireworks (1 in 340,733) than of making enough money off royalties to quit his or her day job. Thank goodness my TV reporter husband earns enough dough that I don't have to sleep in my 1992 Miata.
3. Snagging a signing at one of the chain stores is no guarantee an author will move lots of books at said signing. I've learned that when you stand, smiling hopefully, at a table stacked with books, lots of people ask directions to the bathroom. (It's in the back, down that little hallway. Can't miss it.)
4. At every author signing, someone will ask you how many hours you write every day. Nobody wants to hear the real answer: ''I haven't written a word in weeks. I'm too busy updating my Facebook status and checking my Amazon ranking.''
5. And the Top Thing I Wish I'd Known Way Back in 2006, When I Signed A Contract For My First Book? That I'd still be plugging away today. Yep, I'm working on Book 5, buoyed every so often by a sweet review or a reader who says she loves my mysteries.
Lord knows it's not the money keeping this author afloat!
How about you? What keeps you going?