Awkward Authors: An Introvert Prepares for Social Events

UtopYA is in a few short weeks (3 to be more precise). I’m super excited about it. On top of the whole socializing-and-learning-new-things shebang, I get to have my very own author table – well, half of a table, but that’s still pretty awesome. I can show off my books, meet potential readers, and in general get a better feel of how all these events work (as I hope to attend several more).

Confession time!

I’m shakin’ in my flip-flops.

Fact is, I’m aca-awkward at big events like this one. I can talk all day on social media, in part because I can be quick and witty and disappear for a while. I also have time to consider my responses (and not say something stupid and/or accidentally offend anyone. I curse a lot, for example). Large crowds exhaust me; while I’m not in any spotlights at this event, it’s a bit of a test. This is the first large conferences – in this case, young enough to be a “Con” – that I’ve attended in my author/reader/book field. For me, it’s a big step forward into my author status. (This doesn’t mean I’ll feel like a “real” author, however.)

On top of that, this is the first time I’m getting to meet many of my author friends for the first time in person. I’ve known some of these women for a couple of years now. That being said, will I have enough things to talk about? I’m worried I haven’t read the right books (or enough of them) or that we have nothing in common (I don’t have kids, so I’m out if those discussions occur). Many of these authors have already met and hung out, so I’m also a little nervous being the new kid.

But you know what? These women are strong, funny, smart, and have been there for me for the last two years, as I have been there for them. Who cares if I don’t know what book they’re talking about at the moment? We all have our strengths. I find it hard to believe there will be a lull in conversation, regardless of the topic. Here’s my warning to my UtopYA gals: Talking about the weather isn’t my strong suit. I curse a lot and make too many hand gestures when I talk. I make a lot of weird facial expressions (makes me a terrible poker player) and I’m a lot like Chandler from FRIENDS where I can’t offer much other than a joke or sarcasm (sorry in advance).

Despite the nerves, I’m excited. I’m positive that the second I actually start meeting people, I will be comfortable and overenthusiastic. We’re going to quote Pitch Perfect (because it’ll be aca-awesome). We’ll have cocktails (!!!). Who knows, maybe I’ll even dance cause it’s just a bunch of awesome women having fun.

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