My (Little) Taste of the Big-Time

Only one more left!
Only one more left!

On Friday night, C, K, and I went to a movie. It being C’s birthday, and because this was a girly-friend custom, C picked the movie (a creepy one, also a custom), which we ambled toward after happy-hour drinks and a little shopping.

It just so happened that we passed a Barnes & Noble on our way to the theatre. C and K were too cute, wanting to check out the anthology I’ve mentioned many times already (can’t get enough of it!) in its natural habitat.

I need to practice my signature -- this is the wobbly version
I need to practice my signature -- this is the wobbly version

Admittedly, I hadn’t thought to do this yet, so their enthusiasm grabbed me up too. We perused the “New Mystery” section, but, alas, we saw no sign of the anthology. We asked the information-desk lady, and she comfirmed that they had one copy left.

But where was this lone copy of TWO OF THE DEADLIEST? Answer: Up front on the “New Fiction” table! Too cool! I probably wouldn’t have said anything because of my horrifyingly dismal shameless-self-promotion skills, but K mentioned that I was a contributor.

And here’s where the little taste of the big-time comes in: Information-desk lady let me sign that lone book, and afterwards she slapped an “Autographed Copy” sticker on it!

Is that shameless enough?
Is that shameless enough?

I felt like a teeny, tiny star on the fiction horizon as C and K pulled out their cell phones to snap pictures of me and the book. We giggled like fiends, and the security guard watched us with a knowing smile. He’d lent me the pen I used to sign my story. I’m sure he’s seen local authors before, but this was a first for me!

Later, in the theatre’s bathroom, I called over the stalls to C and K: “If that isn’t enough to inspire me to get on with the next project, I don’t know what is.”

Maybe, just maybe, stuff’s starting to percolate again. Maybe, just maybe.

Practicing my Shameless Self-Promotional Skills

Earlier this week I Google-searched the title of the anthology that will contain one of my short stories. It’s called Two of the Deadliest, and I hoped to discover its publication date, originally set for 2008. You’ll see I’ve updated my sidebar: April, 2009. Sigh.

Besides the pub date, my search also returned results for many well-known novelists who have mentioned their short stories on their websites, only they do a better job of promoting themselves and the anthology than I do. They actually mention the titles of their stories, for one thing, and maybe a sentence or two about their stories. This got me thinking…

Self-promotion: A skill that doesn’t come naturally to me.

End result, I need to exhibit a little shamelessness. It’s not like I have oodles of fiction credits under my belt yet. I mean, really, the following tidbit is big news for a newbie like me:

Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling novelist, sent me an email asking me if I’d like to write a short story for her anthology, edited by her. I’ll be one of a few newbies included in a section entitled “Introducing….”

Very cool, yes? I ought to fling the news about for the whole world to view. Look at me! Look at me! Which is what this blog post is all about (all the while feeling uncomfortable even though I can be as full of myself as I wanna be on my blog!).

Self-promotion: Not for the faint of heart.

The funny thing is that for the seasoned novelists, the anthology is probably not a huge deal. I imagine most of them pumped out their short stories in under a week while I worked my fanny off over quite a few months to get mine right. Once again, sigh.

Here’s the scoop on Two of the Deadliest: It will be an all-female collection of mystery and crime stories centered around the themes of lust and greed — “two of the deadliest” sins. My story is called “Paddy O’Grady’s Thigh” and features an inexperienced journalist, two Irish Travellers, and one dug-up corpse.


Self-promotion: Not so bad when I cringe and do it anyhow.