Book signings are always fun events for a writer, at least for a writer who is as new to the profession as I am. Such events are enjoyable for the obvious reason that they are flattering to the ego but also for some less obvious reasons.* I enjoy the people I get to meet, like those I met this week at a book signing in my home town of Monterey, Virginia.
Who said a prophet hath no honor in his home town? I felt very honored indeed. I had the privilege of meeting a woman who was both a lawyer and a theologian--following in the great tradition of John Calvin, no doubt. There was also another person present at the signing who began reading C. S. Lewis in the 1940's. There were others who shared my interest in travel and the desire to get to know the life setting (the sitz-em-leben) behind the works of a beloved author; in fact, one other person present at the signing had been to Oxford and seen the grounds of The Kilns, Lewis's home.
All that to say, if you invite me to do a book signing at your local bookstore, or library, or church, or school--I will most likely say "yes". And that not only because it will be flattering to my ego and helpful to my bank account--but mainly because I am like every other reader of C. S. Lewis--I greatly enjoy the opportunity to meet fellow Lewisians wherever they may be found--be it Monterey or Timbuktu.
*Speaking of the ego, I had a funny sort of egocentric thing happen today. A friend, who happens to be reading my book, met me for lunch. He happened to mention that he wants me to sign his copy. I said, "Why didn't you bring it with you today?" And he said, "Because today I am meeting with you as a friend, not an author." I am certainly glad to have this man as my friend but I couldn't help but think: am I schizophrenic? Thankfully not. But the comment pointed out how we tend to think of authors as celebrities.
I'll never forget another time when I was sitting in a restaurant and giving a copy of my book to another friend. Suddenly a couple at another table realized there was an author in their midst. They were certain that I must be famous and that they were simply failing to recognize my face as they proceeded to quiz me about the topic of my book. Characteristically when they found out I was the author of a theological tome, they lost all interest!