Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, January 05, 2007

Eeyore is an Optimist

by Kerry Blair

Nobody came to my tenth birthday party. I spent the afternoon licking frosting from the candles, popping the brightly colored balloons one by one, and staring through tear-filled eyes at a table set up to hold all the gifts I didn’t get.

Maybe it would have turned out differently if I’d handed out party invitations.

I didn’t invite anyone to the party. Instead I left all the invitations wadded up in the bottom of my backpack and never mentioned my birthday to a single person. It made sense at the time. What if I’d invited twenty kids and only ten showed up? I’d then have concrete proof that half the class hated me. If nobody showed up, well, I wouldn’t be surprised, but the dog would be terribly disillusioned. (I’d told her I was the most popular girl in the fourth grade.)

I was a strange and painfully insecure child.

Frankly, I haven’t changed much.

I’ve mentioned this before, but publishing might not be the best profession for me. I wither in the face of rejection, cringe at self-promotion, and hyperventilate at the thought of people reading my work. And yet I have another book coming out this month. Not only is there the pressure to do my part to sell more than ten or twelve copies of Ghost of a Chance, but there's the fear that people all around the globe will soon feel free to read it. A few of them will do it, too. I know they will. Maybe even some of you. Ack! What if it's even worse than I think and my editor was just too nice to tell me? (Excuse me while I breathe into a paper bag.)

Yet despite my natural inclination to roll the rock securely back in front of my cave, crouch in a dark corner, and wait for January to pass, I am instead embarking upon a veritable flurry of signings, promotions, and . . . gasp! . . . parties. Yes, really. I’m even going to invite people this time. Since this is such an overwhelming prospect, I thought I’d start with you and work my way up to really scary folk.

Ready? Here goes: The first debut parties will be next weekend (January 12 and 13) at Seagull Book in Mesa, AZ and Latter-day Cottage in Tucson, AZ. From 5 - 7 p.m. on those two nights I will lick the frosting from the cookies, pop balloons, and stare through tear-filled eyes at the table set up to hold all the books nobody came to get.

Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll come. If you live within a sixty-mile radius of Mesa or Tucson I’ll expect you. (This is not unreasonable; I’m driving more than twice that far to see you.) There will be refreshments, games, prizes, and even the opportunity to help send a kid with XP to Night Camp. Just look for the 7’ inflatable ghosts. And don’t tell me you’ve ever seen one of those before. Outside an LDS bookstore, I mean. In January.

Please come! Please tell your friends – or even your enemies; I’m not picky about who shows up as long as somebody does. My dog thinks I’m a “famous author” and I can’t bear to disillusion her. Pit bulls are very sensitive, you know. Don't make me tell her where you live.

For an almost-complete schedule of my upcoming signings – and info on the Utah Debut Party – please check out my web site.


At 1/05/2007 3:46 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

Is today Monday? That would explain a lot. =) I tried to post a comment on Kerry's blog, and tacked it to Julie's instead. I apologize to both of you.

In a nutshell, anyone who is lucky enough to purchase a copy of Kerry's new book, will love it. I thoroughly enjoyed the sneak peek I had of it a little bit ago.

And now, I'm going to find a paper bag to hide my face in. I'll become the unknown blogger poster.

Bye now.

At 1/05/2007 5:03 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I had a sneak peek at Ghost of a Chance as well and I LOVED it! Absolutely loved it. You do not want to miss this book!

And I wish fervently that I lived close enough to come to Kerry's signing parties. I'll be there in spirit.

At 1/05/2007 5:18 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

If I'd known you two when I was ten, I'd have invited you to my birthday party! Thanks again for the endorsements you so kindly wrote for the back of the book. You're the best!

And what a great idea, Stephanie! If I can just get a few spirits to come to my ghost party I'll get spooktacular press coverage -- maybe even a guest appearance on that TAPS show.

At 1/05/2007 5:37 PM, Blogger Marsha Ward said...

Congratulations, Kerry! Although your Mesa signing is a few miles over 100 away, I'll try very hard to be there.

If I can't I'll join Stephanie in being there in spirit.

At 1/05/2007 5:59 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

I live more then a thousand miles from Mesa and Tucson. As much as I'm dieing to go to one of the parties I don't have a license and my parents are tired of me begging them to take me places to meet authors. I asked my friend to take me and she said she would if I paid for gas, food, and a hotel. Sadly, I don’t have that kind of money because when I get money I take off for Seagull the second I get it and spend it. (Good thing Seagull is within walking distance.)

I wish I could go to the party or I wish I lived in Utah so I could go to one of your signings there. But I’ll be at all of them in spirit just like Stephanie and Marsha.

I can't wait 'til I can read your book!

At 1/06/2007 11:12 PM, Blogger Mean Aunt said...

Kerry, traffic willing, the Not-Mean Cousin and I will be there on Friday!

At 1/08/2007 10:08 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Oh my gosh, mean aunt, really? There's nobody I'd rather meet! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'm a little worried about traffic myself. I'm driving down Friday afternoon and the Loop 101 can be a nightmare.

At 1/08/2007 12:30 PM, Anonymous meanaunt said...

If you're stuck on loop 101, chances are we'll be right behind you.

We can't wait!

At 1/08/2007 7:51 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

It sounds like we ought to have our own pre-party in north Phoenix. I'm game if you are. :-)

At 1/09/2007 12:40 AM, Blogger FHL said...

And don't think you can go to Utah without meeting me!

I have the West Jordan party written down, but I doubt I can manage to get up there that early on a Friday, but I will definitely see you on the 24th when you come to Orem. Who needs lunch?

(Now, to figure out which one is Orem North and which one is Orem South...)

At 1/09/2007 8:57 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

fhl, I can't wait! (I'll even bring you a donut -- carrot sticks? -- for lunch.)

When you figure out which store is which let ME know! I went to the wrong one last time . . . or was that in American Fork?

At 1/10/2007 2:32 PM, Blogger FHL said...

Turns out the Orem North store is just south of Center Street (how's that for confusing?) It's located between a Shopko and a Smith's. The Orem South store is really easy to miss. It's on University Parkway, just west of "The Mall" and right across the street from my favorite restaurant (not open for lunch, of course), the Outback.

I guess it would be more polite for me to bring you lunch, Kerry, since you're stuck in the shop doing signings. The big 3 are practically across the street from the Orem North store (McDonald's, BK, Wendy's) and it's between my house and where I work. The other one's not far, though. Which would you prefer?


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