I am an hour into my book release event at Indy Reads Books. My first public attempt to get the word out for my historical fiction novel, Tripio. The first attempt to get the word out about this very personal, private book. So personal that there are parts of the book that reveal things that happened in my life that not even my own family of origin know about. My own adult children have yet to learn things in there about their father’s life in Chicago in the early 90s’ and two of them are characters in the book.
Good. It is too private, too intimate. I put too much of myself into Tripio. I am glad no one is showing up this afternoon to buy it. I am glad that no one has even asked me about the book as they wonder the store. It makes me pleased, deeply relieved that I put my emotional, spiritual and creative ass out for the public to see and no one notices or seems to even care.
“Give it away” Said the Greek.
“Try giving it away.” Not the voice in my head any longer. No. It was the Greek friend of mine who helped me set up the event and has, out of sympathy, stayed with me this entire lonely first hour.
“Give it away?” I asked aloud this time, assured that no one else in the store cared what I said, did, ate or wrote.
I considered the Greek’s words of advice. I asked the store manager if that would be fine with them. She said it was “my book” to do with what I pleased. I considered the Greeks’ words for about 45 more minutes. Surely before the store closes and the event ends someone will buy Tripio. A last minute rush to get the book they’ve heard so much about would make the event worth the time and effort. I would have made some money and be a self-anointed success! Even better, a literary agent who had been held up at the airport would rush in breathlessly, business card in hand, and ask me..”Do you have a minute to talk? I’ve read your book and…”
“Give it away” He said one more time.
Greek friend, I’m liking this fantasy a little better. But I do have to carry these ten boxes of books back to the car. Plus, the store is closing and I feel bad for the people who are about to get kicked out. I’ve been in their place before. I hated being tossed out of a bookstore just as you are about to find that book that will speak to you.
“OK…why not?” I said to the Greek. “I have nothing to lose.”
“May I help who’s next?”