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An Imposter in the House

M.J. Lawrie, Hazel Longuet, Naomi E. Lloyd

Some phrases enter the English language seemingly from nowhere and suddenly they become “in vogue” which is in itself one of those expressions. Some expressions I can live with - they’re harmless they enter the narrative of conversation. Others, well they just plain irritate me!

Imposter syndrome, is one such phrase. It irritates me – don't ask me why because there is no logic to it - it just grates on my last nerve. Yet, I really can't think of a better expression to describe how I was feeling at my recent author signing.

There I was, with two fellow authors, expecting people to turn up and buy my book and find value in me signing it. Me. Why would they want my signature – little old me? So I fully expected to have no sales, no one wanting a signed copy and to just smile and bathe in the reflected success of my fellow authors.

It is an odd feeling – to go from total isolation, as you write the book in a safe little office, to suddenly being outside in the big world facing potential readers.

This event was a big deal - the three of us had worked really hard to make certain it was the biggest success it could be. We’d promoted it. We developed gift boxes of books for sale. It meant a lot to us and yet it was our first signing – yep, all three of us were book signing virgins!

We held this auspicious event in Portsmouth where Naomi E Lloyd lives. Using her contacts we were able to book a bar, three bands to play music, we even invented a cocktail called “Out of this World” to celebrate the event. Naomi used her contacts to do press interviews and to bring in her not inconsiderable social list to attend the event.

All our books are loosely paranormal/ fantasy/ sci-fi genre so we have similar audiences. The odd thing is although we knew each other online – I even interviewed them for this very blog, we hadn't really met. Naomi and I had attended the London book fair in March but neither of us had ever met M.J. Lawrie in person. Isn't the world a strange place – where you can make friends online who you trust and you care about yet you've never met them in person? Maybe I'm just getting old.

We arrived early in the morning to set up the location. We displayed books in the bar’s windows. We had gift boxes on display. We gave out word searches as freebies - click here to grab your copy. We were ready… Now would anyone turn up?

They did. The bar was full. There were vibrant blue “Out of this world” cocktails as far as the eye could see. The bands played amazing sets. And people bought our books. Lots of people. Don't get me wrong, I didn't get writers’ cramp but for my very first book signing it was a huge success.

So yes I did suffer from that terrible phrase "imposter syndrome" but I shared it with two great authors, and as friendship is prone to do, its effects were minimised.

The three of us have since gone on to have a virtual Christmas party via the video conference facility of What’s App - it was riotous and we started the year with a writers’ retreat here in Devon. My imposter syndrome has left the building - I can now say I'm an author without blushing - but I still prefer to call myself a storyteller. So I’m personally very thankful for the wonder of the internet in bringing together writers from around the UK and enabling a community that lessens the isolation of being a full time writer. What are you thankful for?

If you fancy reading some great books check out Naomi and M.J's books:

Naomi E Lloyds Release :

M J Lawrie’s books: Last Witch series and The Verity series

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