Sunday, April 1, 2007

Ask Ms. Viola


Robin and I are delighted to be able to announce today that we've just finished extensive contract negotiations with Ms. Viola Van Der Solvit, a renowned life coach who specializes in helping introverts navigate their social matrix. She has years of experience working with celebrities, sports figures, authors and artists. It was Ms. Viola who suggested to Jack Nicholsen that he wear sunglasses indoors to free him from his fear of Hollywood events.

Ms. Viola has agreed to an exclusive featured column with us addressing your questions and concerns. You'll find a new link in the right column of our blog site for you to send in your questions. If your entry is selected for her column, you will win a Shrinking Violet coffee/tea mug, and enduring fame among our readers.

Robin has graciously allowed me the privilege of being the first to seek the sage counsel of Ms. Viola.

Dear Ms. Viola,

I love signing books for people, but I often get very sweaty-palmed and nervous. Especially when they stand over me talking and watching what I write. I always try to hurry then, and I really don't want to do that. What can I do so that I'm more relaxed?

Signed,
Mary Hershey


Dear Mary,

Poor JK Rowling had the same problem! It's common, so don't fret. A judicial gag order prevents me from discussing my work with her, but if you ever have the chance to attend one of her signings, look at what she is holding-- oh, honestly, Vi, stop! Naughty me. I almost spilled the beans.

Let's get back to you, Mary. Here is something you can try. While your customer is waiting for your inscription, have them write one for you! Set aside one of your books dedicated to guest entries. That way, both of you are signing for each other at the same time. It levels the energy exchange and softens the focus. And, this "guest book" will become a marvelous keepsake for you to have.

A book signing can be a whirlwind of faces and emotions, exciting but overwhelming for many of us. After the signing is over, you'll be able to go home, whip up your favorite relaxing elixir, and enjoy all the nice messages people have shared. It will be as fun as reading your high school yearbook, minus the acne and squeaky voice.

All best,
Ms. Viola

3 comments:

leewardlaw said...

Robin, thank you so much for posting the interview with Jeanne. My son and I loved reading The City of Ember aloud to one another last year, when he was 9. The book reminded me of Ayn Rand's novella Anthem; both story lines focus on communities and people 'left in the dark' - - in physical and philosophical ways.

I appreciated Jeanne sharing with us her 'shyness.' I know her comments will be helpful to all writers, both the shrinking and the blooming! We all need to know and accept what we're willing to do, what we're not, how far we're willing to stretch, and when that stretching will only cause grumpiness. Thanks, Jeanne!
Lee Wardlaw
http://leewardlaw.livejournal.com

leewardlaw said...

Robin, thank you so much for posting the interview with Jeanne. My son and I loved reading The City of Ember aloud to one another last year, when he was 9. The book reminded me of Ayn Rand's novella Anthem; both story lines focus on communities and people 'left in the dark' - - in physical and philosophical ways.

I appreciated Jeanne sharing with us her 'shyness.' I know her comments will be helpful to all writers, both the shrinking and the blooming! We all need to know and accept what we're willing to do, what we're not, how far we're willing to stretch, and when that stretching will only cause grumpiness. Thanks, Jeanne!
Lee Wardlaw
http://leewardlaw.livejournal.com

Robin LaFevers said...

Dear Viola,

Thanks so much for the great tip! I saw a friend of mine do this very thing at a booksigning on Sunday and it was a terrific idea!

Robin