My friend and author Millie West and I recently shared a table at the lovely McIntosh Book Shoppe for a two-day book signing in downtown Beaufort, SC — two days of talking up our books and meeting new readers during the Beaufort Water Festival.
The annual festival attracts hundreds of people including vendors and entertainers. When Millie invited me to join her July 20-21 for a book signing, I confess I felt the same pressure as my protagonist in Ameera Unveiled. Spotlight and stage fright. Despite being eager to attend, I couldn’t help those old feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
But obviously it was an opportunity not to be missed. I choked down my trepidation and headed 60 miles south from Charleston to Beaufort.
When I arrived, the staff at McIntosh were friendly and encouraging. Millie and I sat in typical southern summer heat with relief from a box fan. I was impressed with the ease Millie had in drawing pedestrians to the table. She promoted her two novels, The Cast Net and Catherine’s Cross, and I shared Ameera Unveiled.
At the end of the day, we had laughed, signed books, and found new connections with dozens of passersby. The stagefright was gone as I remembered that this is one of the wonderful things I love about being an author.
As I rolled my suitcase back to the car after the long, but enjoyable event, I reflected on our two days. Just as Ameera emerged from her journey by being pushed into a spotlight, I left Beaufort with the same message as my book: Face those forbidden zones. Enjoy the power of female bonds. And never lose your sense of humor.
My sincere thanks to Millie and the McIntosh Book Shop for two special days of book signing in Beaufort!