Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Step Right Up, Folks! Author Here ...

Barker/bark' er/ Noun: Someone who stands in front of a show (as at a carnival) and gives a loud colorful sales talk to potential customers.

God help me, I handed out a business card at a funeral the other day. What's next? Slipping my card in the breast pocket of the dearly departed, so mourners filing by will see the title of my upcoming book?

Oh, yeah ... that book would be MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN, coming in July from Midnight Ink publishers.

See what I mean?

I think I've hit bottom. The next step is to find a group of fellow authors who've also crossed the line between human being and brand. I can picture me now at the meeting:

Hi, My name is Deborah and I can't stop promoting.

Hi, Deborah! my fellow shills will shout. Welcome to Barkers Anonymous.

Everybody knows the guy who corners you at a party to talk about life insurance, or time shares, or investment opportunities. Have I become that guy? I truly fear the answer.

Worse, I still remember the rules of polite conversation my mama drilled into my head:

1. Always ask questions. People like to talk about themselves, and you'll learn something.

2. Don't talk about religion or politics. 'Nuff said.

3. Really listen; don't just wait for a pause so you can jump in.

4. Never toot your own horn. It's tacky!

Okay, so maybe I've backslid a bit. I'm especially violating that last one since becoming a brand. (Hey! Have you seen my website? It's easy to remember: www.deborahsharp.com
Don't wait! Go there right now!)

These days, I'm not just tooting my own horn. I'm blowing that sucker like my name is Louie Armstrong.

It smacks of desperation, but what can I do? About 276,000 other new titles will be released this year. An author has to be something of a carnival show to stand out from the pack.

It's just like my husband says: Dance, monkey! Dance!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mango Mania

I stole something from my neighbor today, and I don't even feel guilty. That's because I'm intoxicated with a seasonal sickness.

That sniffing sound you hear is me inhaling the scent of my first ripe mango of the season. Yeah, yeah ... technically it isn't mine. It dropped from a neighbor's tree. Usually, I confine myself to picking up fruit that falls in the public swale, the grassy strip of land near the street. But this was the FIRST mango, and no one was home. My husband kept watch while I crept past the neighbor's front windows to pluck that mango like gold treasure from beneath a hibiscus bush.

Probably they wouldn't have even seen it there. Leave a mango on the ground too long and it will be devoured by squirrels, iguanas, even rats. It would be almost criminal to let the season's first mango be gnawed by rodents. At least that's what I told myself.

Right now, I'm savoring my ill-gotten mango, heightening the expectation. I'll put it in the refrigerator to chill . . . soon. First I want to touch it, smell it, admire its colors of pink and gold and orange with just the slightest cast of green.

Mango mania .... Hits about this time every year.