Whenever I start feeling a little too full of myself, the universe has a way of yanking me back to earth. Oh, I don't know, say you sold a few books, got a couple of nice reviews, managed to snag an interview on the TODAY show (!) You'd be puffing up just a tiny bit with pride, no?
Well, yes. At least until reality smacks you upside the head. Case in point: I was thrilled last month to be invited to BookMania in Stuart, Fla. Pretty prestigious event, New York Times bestselling authors, famous memoirists, kick-ass suspense novelists. And me, the newbie.
My sister Charlene convinced me to climb out of my usual grays and browns and blacks and khakis, and really dress. ''You're an author now! People expect you to have a little flair.''
So she loaned me a fancy red shawl and shiny red earrings. She added some oomph to my makeup. I have to say, I was looking pretty fine. There I was at the authors' cocktail reception, sipping my soda water. She coerced me into heels, too, which definitely don't mix with alcohol. I was certain I was exuding an authorly air, when an older man came up to me.
"I loved your book,'' he said, big smile on his face.
Ah, this is what it's all about. This is how an author feels, I thought. I smiled warmly, ready to dazzle him with my literary bon mots. (Yes, I know I've written a redneck romp set in middle Florida, but I can fake it, oui?)
And then he took both my hands, clasped them, and stared deep into my eyes: "Hallie Ephron, I have waited so long to meet you!''
"Uhmmm,'' I said as nicely as I could, "I'm not Hallie Ephron. She's standing over there with that crowd of people around her. She's the other woman in a shawl.''
He hesitated a moment, looked from me to her and back again. "Oh,'' he finally said, not at all embarrassed. "Then do you think you could introduce me?''
So, the picture above is my sister and me at BookMania. Hallie Ephron, of the famous literary family, is not the woman on the left.
How about you? Who's the most famous person you've been mistaken for?