Remember all those bands that had one or two hits and then faded into oblivion? On our recent ski hut trip, we pondered some of them. “Billy Squier!” I yelled in triumph after someone had asked, “Who sang that one song….?” (Oh how I remember In the Dark, the theme song of a long gone boyfriend who claimed to love the night better than the day.)
None of us wants to be one hit wonders! (Though if I have to be, success like Harper Lee’s comes to mind.) One book is no longer enough! Isn’t that the way with everything? I know for sure one tent isn’t enough..but I digress. The reason I am thinking about one hit wonders is that I need to do two public readings, in a place where most people in town (it’s a very small town) have read my book already and heard a reading of it. It’s tempting to seek comfort in the familiar, and read something I know they’ll like. But bravery exists for a reason! I plan to forge forward into the great unknown and read something new! Twice!
I’ll be reading from the manuscript my agent is still gamely shopping, even though the memoir market is hard to crack. Then I’ll read, even more frighteningly, from a work in progress, as yet untitled, though my sister is on notice to provide me with another winning title. It’s not easy to follow up on a book that everyone seemed to love (not humblebragging here, just being honest.) How many times have you gone to a sequel of a movie you really loved to find that it just kind of…wasn’t as good? (Star Wars comes to mind.) You just need to look at Amazon reviews to see disappointed readers who loved a book, but the author’s second wasn’t great to them. Also, how do you really know what is a good piece of writing? You read it alone in your living room to your cat, who looks interested, but then you realize he is looking for a treat. In the end, you just have to throw it out there and see what sticks.
Wish me luck. Oh and please take this song out of my head. “in the daark…will you need me in the dark…”