Book Signings & Speaking Engagements!

Eight years is long enough to practice avoidance and get really, really good at it. That’s how long it’s been since Trockle was first published; I still remember standing in my kitchen, on the phone with Vivian Zabel, President of 4RV Publishing, as she informed me that the printed books had arrived and it was now time to think about things like book signings, author visits, and speaking engagements. “STOP!” I yelled. Seriously, I told my publisher I wanted to take it all back. While some writers dream of being published authors, I got the “deer in the headlights” look and tried to convince a publisher to erase the last year or two of my life. “Just stop the presses. I didn’t think this through. I mean, it’s one thing being an author and all, but now you want me to go out there and talk to people?”

I had visions of being pelted with small milk cartons and half-gnawed apples. I had visions of sitting alone in Kroger’s, at a card table stacked high with my books, purple pen in hand, while people gave me pitying looks and walked straight on back to the produce section. I had a full-blown panic attack, right there in the kitchen. And my publisher told me it was too late, the books were done, it was out of my hands, and she laughed at me.

She’s come to know me better, over the years. I’m not afraid of public speaking. I can be quite outgoing and gregarious one on one, or even in groups of two or three.  But I’m not too keen, most days, on being either the center of attention or, as I tend to imagine it, that person who is painfully and awkwardly dying up there on-stage, the one we all inwardly cringe for and feel grateful knowing isn’t us. Writing and social media are my strengths, and Vivian doesn’t push – at least not hard enough to send me over the cliff. I even brought my son – for whom I wrote Trockle many years ago – to the book’s official launch at the North Texas Book Festival, where we both autographed those First Editions, along with the amazingly talented illustrator, Jordan Vinyard. Vivian didn’t push when A Puppy, Not a Guppy came out, either. I showed up for the OWFI Conference. Twice. But when I attended the conference this year, with A New Leaf for Lyle in hand, she did push others not to let me off the hook. I suggested I ought to give a session on “Social Media for Writers” at the OWFI Conference in 2016. Somehow, “Writing for Children” got added to the pitch, and – guess where I’ll be in May? That’s right – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where OWFI’s Pathways to Writing will be held May 12-14, 2016. I’m on the Faculty.

I can see the headlines now: “Reclusive author, Holly Jahangiri, finally crawls out from turtle shell she found rotting on beach after Hurricane Ike,” or “Avowed introvert, Holly Jahangiri, finally speaks aloud – and finds out she no longer has a voice to hate the sound of.”

Secretly, I’m starting to get excited about it. I guess my inner five year old, that incorrigible little ham, still lurks somewhere – of course she does, and she says that after she gets me through this, she wants to climb a tree and eat chocolate covered ice cream on a stick, while wearing black velvet. I’m not so sure about the velvet, but the rest can be arranged.

My friends, fellow authors George and Kathy Slaughter, invited me to participate in an event celebrating local authors at the Maud Marks Library (1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy, TX  77450) on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

The theme is “Treat Yourself to a Good Book,” and I will be hiding in the book room, happy to sell and autograph my books, should anyone care to stop by.




Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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8 thoughts on “Book Signings & Speaking Engagements!”

    1. What makes you think I can even RUN, these days? LOL As I said to the physical therapist, when they asked about “difficulty running,” “Depends on what’s chasing me – are we talking Abominable Snowman, tiger, hornet…” It’s all about context.

  1. I won’t tell anyone how frustrating it is for a publisher to have authors who refuse to promote their books. I mean, if a BIG author like James Patterson has to self-promote, why should, uh, lesser big authors not have to do the same?

    At least you did promote some, which is better than a few other authors I could name.

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