There are not many times that I feel completely out of my depth. I can play it cool, schmooze, be witty, even talk total nerdom when the occasion arises. Part of this is my time spent in the videogames industry being around artists and programmers, part of it is my normal, obnoxious personality.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m no wallflower, and shy is not a word in my vocabulary, but right now, I’m freaking out.
I mean FREAKING OUT.
It’s because of this – The Novel Experience Event.
Somehow I’ve allowed my friend and fellow writer, Christine Ashworth, to coerce me into going to the 2016 TNEE show in Atlanta in April. For those who don’t know Christine, she’s a romance author who could charm the panties off your granny, so I stood no chance in saying no. Plus, with the release of Protector, I felt like it was time to suck it up, and start doing some public personal appearances and book signings. I can’t stay holed up in my office forever, right?
Yeaaaaah. About that. I’ve never been one of those girls. Never really interested in the spot light, more comfortable with freaks and geeks, happy to blend in, people watch, be on the sidelines, lurk inconspicuously, but by no means draw attention to myself unless I’m in the middle of a gaggle of goths, and frankly with so much black, you still can’t pick me out.
As you can imagine, this show is out of my comfort zone, and possibly even out of my genre. I hear that the romance girls have the most fun, and know how to chug a margarita, but will my cynical, awkward self fit in with flowers, love, and hot, steamy sex? Cause let’s face it, in romance there’s as much boom chicka wah wah as there are Lee Press On Nails in a porn video . I can’t even write a sex scene that doesn’t sound like it ran screaming out of a 1970’s naughty nurse book.
But if I was honest with myself, I need this – to be part of something bigger than me, to experience life outside my macro world, but more than anything else, I need to find my writing family – those girls, fans and authors alike, who you can count on to be there when no one else gets it. Because nothing is as comforting as being understood and accepted no matter what the rest of the world thinks of you.
So wish me luck friends and colleagues. Six weeks and counting.