At the launch of Lena Coakley’s Witchlanders in Toronto, with L.M. Falcone

I love going to book launches. Other people’s book launches, that is. There’s so much to celebrate when a new book is released. I know firsthand how much work went into my friends’ books before publication – the years they spent writing, revising, despairing, revising, pushing through, revising, facing rejection, revising, finding a publisher, revising, working with an editor, revising, revising, revising and then finally, many years later, launching.

At the launch of Susan Juby’s The Woefield Poultry Collective in Nanaimo

But a launch for my own new book makes me very nervous. I know that on the day of, I’ll want to say, “Oh, you go on ahead. I’ll just stay home and read.” Because with the focus of the evening on me and my book, I’ll just feel, you know, so totally naked.

It’s not that I don’t get support from my family and friends. I do – immensely so. And it’s not that I’m worried no one will come, or that my scribbled handwriting will muck up the books when I sign, or even that I won’t be asked to sign at all. Those are major concerns, for sure, but my true dread comes from something far deeper. It comes from knowing that my entire heart and soul are laid bare in my book. It’s me there on the page, wearing absolutely nothing.

I so need to get over this. I can’t let my fear of feeling naked turn me into a ditzy blathering mess at my launch – I have to make it work for me instead. So here goes. Since my last launch was all about Cleavage, I’m going to assume that appearing naked at this one is the logical and perfect topper. I’ll keep in mind the artistic advantages too. Maybe I’ll inspire someone to write a story called “The Author’s New Clothes” or “The Naked and the Read” and then dedicate it to me. And just imagine the possibilities for launch photo titles: Nude with Book, Nude Signing Collector’s Copies, Nude Eating Cake. But best of all, if I’m naked I won’t have to worry about getting cake crumbs on my launch outfit.

Yes, there will be cake. And seriously, to spare everyone undue shock and embarrassment, I’ll risk crumbs on my dress and remain fully clothed (this time!) Please join me if you can for the launch of my new YA novel:

How to Tend a Grave

Thursday, May 24, 6pm, at Ben McNally Books, Toronto

Hope to see you there! Naked or not.