‘Cause I’m a narcissistic self-obsessed shout-your-own-praises irritatingly-annoying-braggy sort of person who makes you roll your eyes and scroll on.*
Jeez, well. I hope not. But this * is nearly exactly what I think of myself when I have photos of my books with other people, in other places, and then feel compelled to post them on the socials. (Let’s not unpack what all this means about me, my brain is busy enough thanks very much. Just know I don’t think this about anyone else who posts pics of their books, I think they are lovely, I only think it of myself.) Okay, so in my own defence, I try not to post every pic I get because I really don’t want to be this * but sometimes I can’t help it. Three reasons why –
First – it’s proof of Life. Having a book out in the world is a weird thing. There’s this story you made up in your head and typed into many words and somehow, almost miraculously, that made-up story became something that you could touch and feel and hold in your hands. And still, it doesn’t feel real to me. Until I see someone else with it. That’s when it hits home. My story is out there, in someone else’s hands, someone else’s home, and it means they will eventually read it (ja, I know how a TBR pile can stretch!). But someone will read it and for a little while my story will be alive in their head. It’s real. Seeing that photo is proof of Life.
Then – it makes me happy. Sometimes the people in the photos show things about themselves that I love and it makes me happy. And I want to share that, ‘cause why not? There’s enough of the other kind of stuff on social media. Take this photo of Mike Nicol holding Being Dianne. Now this is a serious crime writer (see the serious crime writer non-smile for evidence) and teacher and someone who has pushed me along the writing road for years. But then beneath the non-smile, BEHOLD THE SOCKS. Pink and blue skulls! It makes me laugh because it sums up Mike for me – he is serious and then very funny at the same time. And I have exactly the same pair which I bought for reason that (as the only woman in my house) demand for all socks ,except pink and blue skull adorned socks, are high. So, in this pic the joy was in the socks. In other photos it’s been beautiful flowers, or perfect mani’s, a tattoo, sometimes the texture of someone’s desk, or the other books on their shelves. Sometimes the background is a faraway place and sometimes it’s just the brightness setting on their Kindle or the duvet the book is resting on. I love the little glimpses into the lives of where my story will go and live all the same.
Last, and most significantly, I feel grateful to the person sending me the photo. They’ve gone to the effort of finding and getting my book, taking a picture and sending it to me. In a world where there are many demands on time, money and energy I appreciate the effort that someone has gone to. It is support made visible and I feel grateful for it. This is the biggest reason that I love getting sent photos of my books with other people.
Right, so if you see posts with my books in someone else’s hands you’ll know the sentimental reasons why. And if you are so inclined please send your pictures or tag me or tweet me or send smoke signals or whatever, I do (so much) love getting them. I promise not to share unless you say yay!