Let's be honest, meeting more than a dozen new people, even if they are there to make your book shine, is a little nerve-wracking. Yes, it is! But I loved it. I did really and truly! After a while, I became aware of people coming in and out of the room, taking stacks of chairs. My brain was stuck on my book and I probably wouldn't have noticed if Ronald McDonald was doing jumping jacks in the hallway. But after seeing the stacks of chairs going out, I had one tiny thought, "I wonder what they have going on today?" And then the thought was gone. Back to the book.
Peter had asked if I'd be willing to read the first few chapters of the book to the group at the end of the day. He'd given me a few days notice. "Sure!" says I, enthusiastically. I knew it was coming and I really wasn't that nervous. Until. There always has to be an "until" doesn't there? But I bet you'll never guess what this "until" was!
Setting: inside meeting room after multiple meetings. Late afternoon. Only my editor, Peter and I remain in the room.
Peter: "Well, you ready to do the reading in a bit?"
Peter: "OK. Let me go call everyone."
Peter leaves room as I look over papers I'll be reading from.
The deep, earthy sound is completely out of place here.
Me: (thinking) What the heck was that? Man, this place is so darned creative. Obviously, someone is practicing on their conga drum. I bet the artists who created my book cover do not appreciate this (it was veeery quiet in their space).
I peek out the conference room door to see Peter putting the drum down. People are trickling out of their cubicles and offices. They're making their way to...THE chairs. OMG! This is officially my, "I wasn't nervous UNTIL..." moment.
I wasn't nervous UNTIL I heard the drum!
Remember the thought I'd had earlier on the stacks of chairs that kept leaving the conference room? Remember, I was wondering what they had going on? Yeah. Turns out it was ME! Time to be nervous.
And that drum, the one in the lobby of Sourcebooks, surrounded by books and plants, and accompanied by an onlooking bull, was to call all employees to the event.
Peter strolled back into the conference room.
Me: THAT'S how you call people? (ie: ever heard of an intercom?)
Peter: (shrugs) Yeah.
Hmmm... I watch people begin to fill the rows of chairs.Obviously, I am the only one perplexed by the drum. And to tell you the truth, I like it. Who needs technology when you can bang on a drum? I wonder if Sourcebooks employees fight over who gets to do it? OK, maybe not.
Next Time: The Reading