So Devil has been on the shelves a grand total of two days. Most of those two days I’ve spent signing copies of it. We are not talking about the glamorous author signings you hear the stars of the literary world talking about. What I am referring to is standing in a crowded bookshop scrawling my signature in dozens of copies of my book while the bemused public work around me.
Now before I go any further let me make it one hundred per cent clear that I am not complaining. I’ve been signing my copies of my first book today. I’ve actually fantasised about the sheer mundanity of that kind of signing (the kind that doesn’t involve the general public but results in those “signed by the author” stickers you see in bookshops.
I might have writers cramp tonight, after signing several hundred copies but I honestly couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.
Anyway, now that’s clear, back to my day. Today I did the M50 circuit of Dublin shopping centres. My brother-in-law was kind enough to ferry me around The Square in Tallaght, Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown shopping centres. After a while, I couldn’t tell what shopping centre I was in.
The drill was simple. We’d park. Go into the centre and find the local branch of Easons. I would then go and find a member of staff and explain the situation (this is something they don’t tell you when you’re an aspirant writer – that at some stage you would have to walk up to a complete stranger and ask if you can give them your autograph…lots of times).
Actually it turned out not to be as awkward as I had thought. This is completely normal writerly behaviour apparently. I suppose I should have worked that out after seeing all those “signed by the author” stickers over the years.
At one point, after the second or third centre, the brother-in-law commented that we should really have had a reality tv crew following us around. Personally I’m really glad we didn’t. Apart from wandering around several almost identical shopping centres looking for the obligatory Easons, the signing itself is a bizarre experience to say the least. I must have looked like a kamikaze vandal going up to a pile of books in the middle of a display with my pen brandished at the ready.
One thing that surprised me about today was the warm reception I received in all of the shops. Even though it was a Saturday afternoon a few weeks before Christmas people made time to accommodate me and put the little green stickers on my books. At this stage there must be barely a book in Dublin that doesn’t have my signature on the front piece.
It was particularly surreal today because Sharon had made the front page of the Herald (again). So I was walking past her picture every time I past the newspapers on my way to the copies of Devil. The news was rather unsurprising…she’s lodged her appeal. So the story will have yet another chapter.
All in all today I’ve been to five shopping centres. Tallaght, Liffy Valley, Blanchardstown, Dundrum and Stephens Green. Finally I’m beginning to feel like a bona fide writer. I could get used to this!
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