How to Read Your Novel in Public

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That Lamy Safari has signed every book so far. That cuff is made of newspapers and bears my very own byline. Small talismans of a writerly life.

Invite all your friends. Convince yourself that if the gathering is mostly friends, you will feel less nervous. Forget to warn them that your work is entirely unsuitable for children. Make friends with the kids who get brought along anyway. Apologize profusely.

Drink. Buy too much wine. Buy so much wine that you will end up handing out bottles of nearly-full cold Riesling to random passers-by to their utter delight. Drink a great deal of the wine yourself. Drink that bottle of champagne you bought when your book was accepted by the publisher. You’ve been saving it for today.

Read. Choose an action passage, one that dives right into the horror of it all. Read loudly and clearly, defying the panic reflex that comes from all those eyes staring expectantly. See your friends react to your work in real time. Glory in that. Glory in all of this, once the alcohol hits your bloodstream. This is what you were always meant to be.

_MG_0223Watch your best friends appear in theme costumes. Pandora, Nietzsche’s Madman, Caesar from Planet of the Apes, the lost dinosaurs, all thoughtful and beautiful and staying after to clear the chairs.

Stephanie and David Foster, great writers and good friends.

Stephanie and David Foster, great writers and good friends.

Sell out all copies of your books. Sell copies to people you know already bought it, to people buying extras to give as gifts, to people who came a long way to see you. Sign them all with your special red fountain pen. To indeed be a god.

Do it again in a bar in Los Angeles, where it is easier than before. Do it with your publisher and other brilliant writers from your publishing house. Arrange to do it again and again. It gets easier every time, and somehow it also gets better.

Alexis Fancher: author of "How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen: and other heart-stab poems"

Alexis Fancher: author of “How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen: and other heart-stab poems”

Do it whenever possible. Never stop reading, never stop writing.

My friends are grand and amazing people. Author Jo Wu and mensch Isaac Wolf.

My friends are grand and amazing people. Author Jo Wu and mensch Isaac Wolf.

Reading at The Mandrake  in LA, drunk on my own small fame.

Reading at The Mandrake in LA, drunk on my own small fame.

Marie Lecrivain: poet, editor and publisher at Sybaritic Press

Marie Lecrivain: poet, editor and publisher at Sybaritic Press

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About Meg

Author, essayist, winner of the Philip K. Dick award.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Books, Cleverness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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