Monday, June 29, 2009

Hay There!

Last weekend, I attended the International New Age Trade Show (INATS) in Denver. As predicted, it was equal parts exhausting and exhilarating.

My goal of the trip was to promote the bejeezus out of Opening the Kimono through book signings, event schmoozing and hard-core floor show networking. In a few days, I dispensed over 120 signed copies of my little book of stories to bookstore and retail owners, wholesalers, fellow authors, publishers, musicians, and a few cheeseballs who sneaked into the event to snag loads of free shit to resell on Amazon.

My time spent in Denver was fantastic! The people were warm, and the reception they gave Opening the Kimono was phenomenal. I had people seek me out to tell me how much the book touched them. One woman squealed when she saw me, hugged me, and said that Opening the Kimono was her favorite book...EVER. Even a hard-as-nails, gruff retailer who has been around the labyrinth more than a few times said that Opening the Kimono was the first book she ever personally recommended to her staff and customers. Tons of New Age bookstore owners told me that they are either already carrying it or will be as soon as they get home. I made several huge connections, one of which was with a major publisher who is considering picking up the book for its second edition. However, the ultimate moment of the weekend was when I got to meet Louise Hay in person! Louise is the Grandmother of the Self-help movement, founder of Hay House Publishing and author of the wildly popular book, You Can Heal Your Life. I waited in line like a giddy schoolgirl to get a signed copy of her seminal book. When it came my turn, I told this incredible 82-year old dynamo how much her work inspired me, and she warmly responded by giving me a big hug. Thankfully, her cutie-pie assistant Aaron was there to take a snapshot of the magical moment with my iPhone. I will treasure this picture forever.

However, the moment was a tinge bittersweet in that I was thisclose to the Grand Dame of Inspirational Publishing and did not give her a copy of my book! A signed copy of Opening the Kimono was burning a hole in my purple trade show bag with Louise's name on it, but I never got up the nerve to reach for it. I thought to myself, "Just give her the gift as a token of your appreciation! You'll never know what may happen. Louise will undoubtedly fall in love with it, make one phone call to the acquisitions director, and you'll be getting an email by the end of the week from Hay House with an offer!!!!" Believe me, I was sorely tempted.

But, then I saw the fragility of this 82-year old woman and remembered how friggin' draining book signings are. You have to interact with huge crowds of people all telling you their stories, and you want to make each and every one of them feel special, even if it is for just thirty seconds. My book signing kicked my ass up one side and down the other, and I'm over forty years younger than Louise! So, I imagined myself in Louise's place. If some overzealous chick with a big lion mane slipped me her recently self-published book during my signing, I would be a skosh put off to say the least. To be honest, I would probably "accidentally" leave the book at the signing table and mutter under my breath about how I didn't have time to read someone else's self-described literary masterpiece when I'm busy doing my own gig. Even though I was pressed against the glass looking at the future I so achingly desired, I didn't feel it was right to add another burden to this woman who has done so much for so many for so long.

It was then that I decided the best approach was to simply enjoy the juicy hug I got from one of my biggest she-roes. Love you, Louise!

Someday soon you'll get to read Opening the Kimono, I promise!


Visit to take a peek inside the award-winning Opening the Kimono!

1 comment:

Amy J said...

Congratulations! Sounds like your trip was a huge success! How exciting that you got to meet Louise Hay!