My first signing for “Western Colorado Fruit & Wine: A Bountiful Heritage” is less than a week away. The calendar is filling in with more. People say to me, “How exciting.” Well, sort of. I love to write. I love to learn things. I love to Eat, Drink, Cook—my version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey that does not require vaccinations or a passport.
Here is what Mary Janice Davidson says about book signings: “A book signing can be (is!) terrifying. It’s like throwing a party and being certain no one will come … pens clenched in sweaty hands, smiling brightly (baring [my] teeth, anyway) at every would-be buyer who strolled past … and not look like a depressed vulture waiting for something to die at my feet.”
Davidson and Eric Gelb, author of “Book Promotion Made Easy” (whose book signing audiences have numbered zero to 200), both say the same thing, though. Have fun with it. Enjoy the ride.
For me, even more than signing jitters, is the idea that my book is a vehicle—with a word count—for the stories of other people and places. I kept that notion with me in the hours, days, and months of research, fact-checking, writing, and revisions while the peach trees and vines lay dormant under the snow. I was reminded that I was a voice for old and new pioneers, for fruit and wine, for profit and nonprofits deeply rooted in the North Fork and Grand Valley’s fruit story when I listened back to the recorded interviews.
Now, with the fruit ripening in the valleys and the wine pouring in the Grand Valley and West Elks AVAs, it is nearly time to talk to the people for whom I wrote the book—the people who every time they taste a peach, or tour an orchard, or sip a Cabernet they become part of the story. It is time to embrace the words of the kitchen magnet: Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone. Yikes.