People always ask me how my life has changed since becoming published. And the honest answer is- not a whole lot. I still work the 40/wk, my dog still poops on the floor next to my bed occasionally, and I get flat tires just like everyone else. I’ve never really felt like things were different… until this past weekend.
I had the opportunity to visit Henderson Library in Jefferson, Ohio on Saturday. I’ve done a ton of presentations across the state, and I always enjoy meeting fellow librarians as well as talking face to face with fans. Reaching new readers is a plus too, and I’m not lying when I say I don’t mind driving three hours to “go do a thing,” as the boyfriend calls it.
But what happened in Jefferson this weekend was different. I told the ladies involved in planning the event that I think they put more effort into it than I did into writing the book.
1) Her bed was in a strategic position so that she could see both entrances to the room.
2) There was water, canned food, and a lantern within reaching distance.
3) They said they wanted to include a rifle, but decided against it given… you know… the law.
But they didn’t stop there– Stebbs was well represented too. Just to make sure the old guy felt welcome they put red bandanas all over, and even included his ladder (in one piece) so that he could climb up or down to his secret water source whenever he needed.
Granted, Mother might have been a bit nervous when she saw that there were coyotes leaping all over the walls, but there was a border of roof tiles across the top so that she had a semblance of safety. Mother also would have found comfort in the fact that there were raindrops hanging from the ceiling (complete with book covers) and next door there was – get this – a water bar. Yep. Name your poison. Just make sure it’s water.
I was so flattered. Just walking into the room was an amazing experience, and then they knocked me flat by sharing a Mindy McGinnis Mix CD. These girls did their research (they are librarians, after all). They found my playlists for both NOT A DROP TO DRINK & IN A HANDFUL OF DUST and played the songs while the audience filtered in.
And that’s when things got surreal for this farm girl. Most of the people who came to see me were already fans. I’m not stupid. I know I have fans, but when they are getting so many tickets in advance that we ended up scheduling two presentation times to accommodate them, it kind of blows my mind. And they had questions – real questions that showed they’d read my books, contemplated them, and got them.
My blog even got some love. A college student told me that one of her assignments had been to find a blog and do a paper on it. She found Writer, Writer, Pants On Fire while cruising for an appropriate subject and chose it. This really floored me. Like, Mindy Is On The Ground Now. Most of you are probably aware that blogging takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication, and is completely non-monetary. I don’t make a dime off this blog, and there’s been more than once that I thought maybe I should hang it up and concentrate on novels. It never fails that when this happens I get an email from an aspiring writer, telling me that they use it as a constant reference from the query trenches, or a fellow writer going through submission hell who says that the SHIT interview is what kept them sucking air while waiting for a reply.
All that being said, I’m still me. I own more Carharrts than purses, and I just spotted a little bit of breakfast on my cheek before I sat down to write this. So, has my life changed since becoming published? No, not really. But after this weekend, I think maybe me being published has affected other people’s lives.
And that’s way cooler.