Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Embarrassing Moment

I have a history of saying embarrassing things to authors (click here for an example). I was pretty nervous about this before I went to the conference. I’m thrilled I only embarrassed myself once.

Me with Michelle Moran

When I went to the book signing, I accidentally left Susan Vreeland’s The Forest Lover in my room. The signing was almost over, so I told her I needed her signature later and I would keep my eye out for her. Later I saw her but didn’t have her book on me, and we brought it up again.
Finally on the last day she was walking out of the room and I jumped in front of her. “Wait! I need my book signed!”
“Oh yeah, I remember you telling me that,” she said. She sat down on a chair, picked up a pen, opened the book, and…
It was already signed.
She probably thought I hadn’t read it, and I had already told her I loved it (I really did).
This also told her I got the book used. 
Not to mention I was pretty peeved I dragged a signed book from Mississippi all the way to San Diego.
She was pretty cool about it, and she personalized the signature by including my name. So I guess it wasn’t too bad.
Dori Jones Yang and I got into a discussion about used books. She said it’s not about the money you get from new books; it's all about the words. If the words are out there, that’s what really matters.
That was a very noble thing for her to say. But I’m sure she’d still prefer it if people paid for their books.

Here are some pictures from the artist Emily Carr, the main character in The Forest Lover. Aren't they amazing?


  1. You are brave to even go up and attempt a signature...three times! I woulda slunk away with nothing. Good for you!

  2. Jeeze! That's so embarrassing! A very positive version of this would be my friend buying a second hand book by her fave author to discover it was signed. Wonder what a double signed book is worth?

  3. Thanks so much for writing about your experiences during this conference. It takes guts to write about embarrassing moments as well!


  4. Thanks! I don't mind embarrassing moments as long as they're funny. When something is just awkward, I think, "Great, I made a dummy out of myself and didn't even get a good story out of it. This sucks."

  5. Emily Carr is one of my all-time favorites. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and she so beautifully captures the spirits of the forest our here.

  6. I know! I grew up in the Northwest too (Portland), and this book made me feel painfully homesick.


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