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.
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