Over the weekend, I was invited to attend the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association’s Author Reception. It was a great opportunity to meet with indie booksellers, educators, and librarians. The reception was held at a beautifully lit garden area in The Garland Hotel. Tables were placed in a circle with stacks of ARCS on them. The plan was to have people come to you and take an ARC. I located where I was meant to be stationed at and, yes, copies of The Education of Margot Sanchez were in neat stacks. That’s when it dawned on me, I was going to sit here and sign ARCS for the first time! And in that instant when that thought landed in my head, a creepy voice piped in from somewhere else:
YOU ARE A FRAUD.
Sure, I buried it deep down. Tried to drown that voice with a plate filled with cheese and chocolate. I looked over to the NY Times bestselling author I shared the table with and tried to take notes. I noticed how she signed. I obviously didn’t have the right pen. This is her sixth or seventh book. I really should have practiced my signature. Oh my god. What was I thinking?!?
Don’t get me wrong, it went well. I met some great indie booksellers and librarians. People asked me to sign ARCS for their daughters, nieces, and nephews. Someone took a picture of me and sent it to me. I got into it and it was fun.
Still, as I was driving back home, I couldn’t shake that feeling. When I shared my fears with my sister, she said, “That’s just your head playing tricks.” Listen, I never thought I would ever publish a novel. Ever. That happened to other people. And now it’s almost here. It’s a weird feeling. I’m scared and excited and completely freaked out.
The next day, I ordered some pens. And maybe I practiced my signature on the back of an envelope. But most importantly, I rebuked that creepy voice. Instead, I'm replacing it with this:
I'M NO FRAUD. I'M THE REAL THING.