Sunday, June 12, 2016

LS Wagen's Book Signing with a Pig

On June the 4th, I had a book signing at the Red Mountain Branch Library in Mesa, AZ.   The white haired librarian, Stephanie, was very nice and wished me luck.  She seemed really happy with my donation of Super Man’s Resume: A Beginner’s Guide to Resume Writing, and Beyond 2016 Edition.  Previously, I had donated my other title Pauline’s Perils of Perplexity to the library.

Stephanie and I talked about how I used to work at the main branch of Mesa Public Library (the only branch at the time) as a Library Page when I was a senior in high school.  I remember back then as a teen, I was trying to decide if I wanted to work towards being a librarian and working there at MPL as an adult, or being an author and having my book in the library.  Obviously, I could have done both, as most authors if not retired, have another job doing something else.  So teens be forewarned, it’s very difficult to make your sole living as an author, even though this librarian, Stephanie, seemed to be impressed by hosting another local author.

My teenage friend, Mary Beth, who at the time also worked there at Mesa Public Library with me, later became a librarian.  After graduating with me from Arizona State University, she ended up going down to Tucson to get a Master’s in Library Science, and then later got a job working at Mesa Public Library, enjoying a steady income.  Silly me, I chose the other route.

Not that I don’t enjoy being an author, and not that I don’t have other jobs besides writing, and self-publishing.  I even worked in a corporate library for a while.  I guess you could say I was half technical writer, half librarian.

But I certainly got a taste of being a public librarian that day.  While I had visions of people flocking to see me, “famous local author,” or just plain “local author,” 99% of the people that approached me thought I was the Information Desk.  Missing the huge sign that said “Local Author,” they were sure that I worked there.  They wanted to know where Consumer Reports the magazine was (not the book), and where to go to get their teenage daughter a library card.  Hey, working at the library all those years ago, I was able to answer both questions!

Later, my friend, Jane, stopped by to see me.  She had forgotten about my book signing, but was there to check out books.  She had about a stack of 10 books in her hand.  I asked her to take a picture of me for this blog, and she put her books down on an empty book cart.  While she was taking a picture of lonely me for this blog, another patron comes rushing up.  Not to see me, or my books but to check out those interesting books on the cart.  She decided one title seemed interesting and was about to run off with the book, when  Jane and I stopped her.

I was even over shadowed by a pig.  A little boy about 10 years old came up to my desk with his Mom.  At first I thought that he mistook my book, for the comic, Superman, instead of the nonfiction resume writing book about the character Superman. In my book, Superboy decides to grow up and get a job as Superman, and needs a resume written.  No that wasn’t it at all.  He wanted to know where the pig was.  He wanted to read to the pig.  I was the Information Desk once again.

I was sure that they were crazy.  I mean after all while sitting there I had already seen an African American teen with long flowing, wavy, beautiful, purple hair, and another Caucasian teen wearing a white tiger cat headband with tiger ears.

I directed the twosome to the Children’s Room to ask the Children’s Librarian.   A few minutes later, the Children’s librarian put up a sign which I couldn’t read because the back of the sign faced me.

Ten minutes later a woman sashayed through the library doors with a pot belly pig on a leash.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  I had to follow her into the meeting room. It wasn’t like I had to pull myself away from my adoring public.  As I passed the sign I read it.  “Paws to Read” allowed shy and unconfident children to read to nonjudgmental silent pets.

I met Pat, the therapy pig.  Apparently, his favorite food was fruit loops, and his favorite activity was snorting.  There was a sign posted describing the pig.  They also had a parrot named McCaw.  Hey, I thought the pets were supposed to be silent and unresponsive.

The library also featured 2 therapy dogs.  One was a very active Pomeranian mix who wouldn't stay still, and the other was a huge, pretty, silver gray Weimaraner who shyly hid behind his owner, so I wasn't able to get a good picture of either of them.  Hey, I thought the Weimaraner were hunting dogs, but he seemed afraid of me, a stranger.  This was a therapy dog?  Buy hey, at least we both were German.

Anyway, when Stephanie, the librarian, came back from shelving books, and such, to check on me, she wanted to know how many people stopped to see me so she could tell her boss how well her meet the local author program was going.  I said 9 people stopped by, but only 3 (and I was counting my friend) wanted to know about me or my books, the rest thought I was the Information Desk.  Apparently, I still looked like a librarian employee, and the though crossed my mind that I should apply once again to work at Mesa Public Library, as I didn't mind directing traffic, it was steady income, and I could hang out with a pig.

Anyway, I have some pictures from the event.

Here’s the fuzzy picture of the Pomeranian mix who couldn’t hold still. 

Here’s the picture of the “Paws to Read” sign.

And yes the picture of the shy Weimaraner, and the talkative parrot is missing.

Here’s the picture of the pig.

And ta da, the star of the show, the famous local author is below!!

Note the book cart in the distance.  The library patron had to walk right past me without seeing me in order to get to the cart!

Please check out my books at Red Mountain Branch Library so Stephanie’s faith in me is restored, and so I don’t have to share billing with a pig!