When Cathi, my publisher, asked me if I could do a book signing session, I got completely the wrong idea. In fact, the idea that I got was clearly well above my station. You see, I thought of the book signings that I had attended in the past, and imagined myself behind a desk in a busy bookstore. I would be surrounded by crowds of admirers, all jostling for a signed copy of my book to treasure, or wanting to capture a photo of me beside them, smiling demurely, with which they might then impress their friends.
So, having put on my best “I am an author” ensemble, I arrived at the publishers armed with spare pens, witty chicken anecdotes and full of excitement. But no, that was not quite what Cathi had in mind. My excitement was short lived. I was handed a box of my books and returned home to sign them at my humble kitchen table. They were intended for the customers who had already pre-ordered the book!
Although I didn’t have a crowd of adoring fans at my door when I returned, I did have a small welcome party of cats and chickens who were reluctant to form an orderly queue. I managed to squeeze past them all and set up my signing station at the kitchen table, but as soon as I opened the door to greet the postman, the cats (Polly and Toby) and some of the chickens (Hetty and Blossom) took the opportunity to dash past me and get in on the action.
I was quite flattered at first. Well, at least they seemed more excited about the book signing than the postman! The cats, as it turned out, were actually only interested in their food bowl, and the chickens? Well, there was a digestive biscuit on the table when I went to answer the door that was gone when I got back...
You can always rely on animals to keep your feet firmly on the ground!
- Sue Doherty, author of Talking Chickens