Friday, September 12, 2008

Launch is different the second time around

I've had two books come out this month. Old Maid's Puzzle, the second in the Quilting Mystery series from Midnight Ink and Stamped Out, the first in the Stamping Sisters series from Berkley Prime Crime.

Two books, two launches. It's different this time around. People treat me differently. With three books under my belt, I have a certain level of credibility that I didn’t experience when WGC. No one is patting me on the head saying, how nice for you, dear. Two books in a month tend to make people pay attention.

It takes a little getting used to, this attention. I’m still the same person. My opinions, that no one cared to hear this time last year, are pretty much the same. My level of expertise hasn’t changed but still people look to me for answers. I can suddenly sit on panels, speak with authority. It’s a little daunting to see the look in people’s eyes,like I’ve suddenly have the key to origin of the universe.

No wonder Britney shaved her head.

It was with this attitude that I attended the East of Eden writing conference last weekend. I've been going for years, but always as a student. This time my name badge said "Faculty." I was part of a late night panel of mystery authors with Lee Lofland, Halle Ephron and Dave Corbett. I'm usually in the audience at those things, cracking wise under my breath and occasionally heckling the speakers. It was fun to get to heckle from the other side of the podium. The panel was easy, talking about what we love to do, write mysteries.

In the morning I gave a breakfast talk, and afterwards I was the Pro portion of the Ask-A-Pro. I couldn't imagine what wisdom I had to offer the people who signed up to talk to me, but speaking with them was interesting. All most of them needed was an attaboy and a confirmation that they were on the right path. And their projects were fascinating.

I learned something that day. I'm having a blast.

So, with apologies to Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, my version of The Second Time Around.

Launch is lovelier the second time around
Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground
It’s that second time you see your book title on the shelf
Makes you think perhaps that publishing, like youth, is wasted on the young
Launching a book’s more comfortable the second time you fall
Like a friendly home the second time you call
Who can say what brought us to this miracle we’ve found?
There are those who’ll be published but once, and yet
I’m oh, so glad to be published the second time around


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Great post, Terri. And I echo everything you said. Each book launch is very different than the first, and people's attitudes do change towards you with each book.

The first time I went into a book store and saw all 3 of my books lined up on the shelf like colorful soldiers, I thought: "OMG! I now have a BODY of work!"

Congrats to you!

G.M. Malliet said...

I had the same experience last weekend, when I was asked to speak at a local book club. There is a sense of *unreality* to all this. Since when am I the expert on anything? But these good people seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say, and they asked about a zillion questions.

Terri Thayer said...

I have found people to be genuinely interested, too and that does make it easier. Most people I meet are thrilled for my success. That's quite a gift.

Can't wait for the day I see all three books lined up. Hasn't happened yet. Sounds like real fun!