At least not with real live people requesting me to. Sure, I’ve sat alone in my room, weeping, signing my own books for hours – what author hasn’t? – but last night at the Crimes by Moonlight launch I was part of a child-laboresque conga line of signing authors and I think I signed 100 books by the end of the night, between the ones for folks buying the book and the ones the store wanted for stock. MY GOD, the hand cramps.
I had a blast. I got to sit next to the amazing Dana Cameron (who shares my agent, and who is up for the Best Short Story Edgar for her tale “Femme Sole” in Boston Noir) and the uproarious Toni L.P. Kelner, and we were, I think, the raucous end of the table, hatching plots to disrupt the evening and keeping each other laughing. Of course, there had to be a moment of Jeff Somers incompetence; otherwise it just wouldn’t have that Somers flair, you know? So of course, there were multiple instances of incompetence. And that doesn’t even count the fact that everyone I was introduced to asked me why I was wearing pants. That isn’t a joke: Every person I met asked me this. I think perhaps I’ve taken that theme a bit too far.
Incompetence #1: My wife decided she would give a copy of the anthology, signed by all authors, to her mother as part of her Mother’s Day gift. So she hands me a copy and says sign it, and so I proceed to inscribe a delicate love letter to my wife in the book, which, when presented to her mother, might have caused some confusion. The Duchess, amused, made fun of me for the rest of the night.
Incompetence #2: When I sat down at the signing table, Dana Cameron immediately pulled out these beautiful and practical bookmarks to stick in everyone’s book as she signed them. I stared at them, thinking, gosh, that’s a pretty good idea. I did not have pretty bookmarks, but I did have a stack of horrible business cards I’d printed myself a few years ago, so I put that grubby pile on the table and slipped them into the books as I signed. Every now and then I’d glance at Dana’s bookmarks and a wash of shame would flow through me.
But that’s okay – I had a great time and the evening was a success, though The Duchess and I begged off dinner and drinks afterwards due to weariness, gaining some black looks from my agent. Earlier in the day the Uber Agent and I did share a drink in her office, though, contemplating the rather disturbing covers of the German editions of The Electric Church and the rather stunning covers to the audio CDs of The Electric Church. Here’s the latter in all its glory:
Purty, ain’t it? Although I must discover who chose that horrible picture of me for the back, and assault them. I HAVE A BLURRY PHOTO FOR A REASON, DAMMIT.